In the small town of Willow Wood, Tennessee, Jim Morton is trying to sell the bed and breakfast he inherited from his recently deceased father James. Jim and his father didn't get along and they were not close in recent years. He has had to travel a long way and wants to get this taken care of quickly. Marcus is willing to buy. Teenage son Dereck has found a mysterious message from his grandfather.While the Morton family is at the Old City Cafe, the vacationing Moore family from Texas arrives in their RV, which won't start. 10-year-old Gator Moore is an aspiring comic book artist and we have already seen some of his work creating Ace Wonder. Gator fantasizes about being a detective and even wears a hat that looks like what detectives wore in the 30s, though in his fantasies cop cars are Crown Victorias, not the classic cars one associates with prohibition.Gator overhears the Mortons' situation and is grateful for the chance to work on a real case. He records his thoughts on a small recording device of some sort, always preceding his recordings with "Log"; a girl his age might say, "Dear Diary".Gator runs into a homeless man who doesn't appreciate being disturbed, who steals the recording device as compensation or "rent" being charged for trespassing on "his" property. Dereck comes to Gator's rescue and Gator's father rescues Dereck. Bobby John, who runs the cafe, appreciates what the two families did to get rid of this bum, and gives them free food. Bobby John can also fix the Moores' RV, but they will have to stay someplace while he does.So this bed and breakfast, which the Mortons (mostly Jim) just wanted to get rid of, will have guests for one night. The water heater doesn't work, but while Gator's father can't seem to fix his own RV, he can fix the water heater.Gator and Dereck go right to work solving the mystery, and Gator's brothers assist in visiting people who might be able to help. I should mention at this point that everyone in Gator's family is played by an actor with the same name as his or her character.Three people might be able to help, and all are suspects, but not in a murder. Gator is actually disappointed James wasn't murdered, but it's still a mystery, even if breaking the law is involved. Dereck and Jim have a troubled relationship much like Jim had with his father, and solving this mystery may offer a chance to change that. Dereck doesn't know that his father got in trouble as a teenager, or that his partner in crime (literally) is now Sheriff Billings.Other who may provide clues to solving the mystery, and who might be guilty of major crimes, include Marcus, who was James' attorney, or the scary librarian Virgil. Also, there is a Russian company seeking to capitalize on technology that could change the world, technology that James may have created.While there is not a strong Christian message here, one of the clues is found under an old church. The words of an old hymn "at the cross, at the cross, where I first saw the light" lead to this clue.