The house in Caulfield Place, off Browning Street in Walworth, was haunted, or at least that's what the street kids said. So when two men, a woman and a parrot moved in, everyone was very interested, especially 14-year-old Cassie Ford, who was particularly fascinated by the parrot. And it was just about this time that Mr Finch, Chinese Lady's husband and Boots's stepfather began to get mysterious telephone calls.
Mr Finch had never told the rest of the Adams family - except for Boots - the secrets of his past, or what kind of work he did for the government, and he decided not to tell them about the slightly sinister telephone calls either. It was when he took Chinese Lady on a summer's day jaunt in his Morris motorcar that things began to happen. For, in the Hog's Back Hotel, Chinese Lady went to the cloakroom, and when she came back Mr Finch had vanished. It took all of Boots's ingenuity to discover what had happened, and Cassie's knowledge of the Caulfield Place parrot was to prove a vital clue in unravelling the mystery.