The Boy Detective Fails
In the twilight of a childhood full of wonder, Billy Argo, Boy detective, is brokenhearted to find his young sister and crime-solving partner, Caroline, has committed suicide. Ten years later, Billy, age thirty, returns from an extended stay at Shady Glens Facility for Mental Incompetence to discover a world full of unimaginable strangeness: office buildings vanish without reason, small animals turn up without their heads, and cruel villains ride city buses to complete their evil schemes.
Lost within this unwelcoming place, Billy finds the companionship of two lonely children, Effie and Gus Mumford—one a science fair genius, the other a charming, silent bully. With a nearly forgotten bravery, Billy confronts the monotony of his job in telephone sales, the awkward beauty of a desperate pickpocket named Penny Maple, and the seemingly impossible solution to the mystery of his sister's death. Along a path laden with hidden clues and codes that dare to be deciphered, the boy detective may learn the greatest secret of all: the necessity of the unknown.
Author Joe Meno collaborated with composer and lyricist Adam Gwon to adapt the novel into a musical of the same name, which premiered in August–October 2011 at the Signature Theatre (Arlington, Virginia).
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