Distracted by Joe's interest in a beautiful young woman, Frank knocks down a man who walks unexpectedly in front of his car. The boys search the unconscious victim for identificaion and discover a key taped to his leg. The police arrive and Frank is answering their questions, as Joe notices the young woman driving away.
It's love at first sight when Joe bumps inot Karen Smith. The young woman hurries off, but not before she drops her vaccination certificate which alerts Joe to the possibility that is about to leave for Africa or Brazil.
The Shady Nook Motel, Joe is snapping photographs for his friend Otto Hydinker's new CD. Meanwhile, Frank is assigned a piece on the mayoralty race between Harold Porter, an inept and seemingly unlucky liberal, and the beautiful but hard-nosed Isabel Ford. Joe's session is broken up by Demetrius Kavounas, the motel's owner.
Sidney's disc drives have beens stolen. The young scientist turns to her new boyfriend Joe Hardy, and his brother Frank, for help in reovering them. The boys begin their investigation with Josh Randall, Sidney's lab mate, who disappeared along with her research.
Joe befirends Max, a young boy who lives in a world of fantasy. In fact, when we meet him, he's running from an imaginary giant; but, as he tells Joe, at least he's eluded the pirates and the spaceman. Suddenly Max disappears. Searching for a lead, Frank traces some shredded bits of money the boys find in Max's bedroom to a six year old robbery.
Chet Morton, boyhood friend of the Hardys, and a student in the Public Prosecutor's office, tells the boys that he's been cursed by Cara Bergman, a psychic. In a effort to help, Joe visits Cara, who protests that she hasn't the power to curse anyone.
Joe answers an advertisement to house site for Chuck Jones, a vacationing banker. He hardly has time to suspect that something is not quite right before Joyce and Ed, two aspiring "debt collectors', arrive and take him hostage at gun point.
Joe's purchase of a rare Macedonian Love Buzzard is followed by the arrival of two thugs, Lepke and Rolf, demanding the bird's return. At the Egale, Frank is dealing with his new responsibility for the night ship when Joe bursts in. He barely has time to hide the bird before his pursuers arrive.
Frank, Joe and Nancy Drew are in Paris for the Police Sciences Symposium at which Fenton Hardy is scheduled to speak. They are sitting at a side-walk café when a purse snatcher grabs Nancy's purse. A young man, Christian, gives chase and, although the thief gets away, he does retrive the bag.
Driving in the south of France, Frank, Joe and Nancy stop at the site of a recent car crash. As Joe goes to check it out, Nancy spies in the grass an oversized and strange-looking die. Curious, she pockets it and they contiune on to their logding, the beautiful Chateau D'Iberville.