How can a valuable, highly recognizable thoroughbred horse start a practice run around an open racetrack and be an unknown nag when it reaches the finish line? Bet on Banacek to solve the puzzle before the horse thieves make tracks with the real article.
A small but powerful prototype engine sits sealed in a rotating display case in the middle of a crowded trade-show floor. A power failure turns out the lights for a few seconds, and when the lights return, the rocket engine has vanished. Banacek must beat his competition to the solution before Federal agents step in.
A charter company jetliner makes an emergency landing at a small desert airstrip, blowing all of its tires and leaving a shaken flight crew. The next morning finds the pilot left guarding the plane dead and the airstrip empty of the immovable aircraft. Enter Banacek - in a chauffeur-driven jeep - to sort out the convolutions of pilots, stewardesses, old business partners and more to learn where the crippled plane has gone.
A stage magician vanishes in the middle of his act, as he is about to be arrested on suspicion of a $1,750,000 securities fraud. Banacek is called in to try to recover the missing money and solve the mystery of the disappearing man.