Sam Sunday, bear detective, is miserable because no one remembered his birthday. Then he gets a call, asking him to come to a decrepit inn, the Ocean Beach Hotel. When he arrives, the duck who runs the place (and a dame in distress if ever there was one) informs Sam that things have been mysteriously disappearing. One by one, Sam tracks down the suspicious-looking guests and assembles them in the parlor. But now the duck has disappeared, and when he returns to the parlor, ""Good night, Louise! It was empty! The suspects had vanished like soap bubbles."" Smelling a flimflam, Sam steps into an unlit ballroom. The lights go on, his friends throw down their disguises, and ""SURPRISE!"" This Dashiell Hammett parody is on the money, and the genre-bending ending adds an entertaining twist. The illustrations, in graphite, oils, and oil pastels, feature a memorable cast of characters: The world-weary goat, the self-conscious mole, and the bear, whose trench coat hangs exactly like Bogey's, are rendered with a truly refined sense of humor. Supraner and Hillenbrand employ mockery and mimicry on a grand scale, creating a minor hard-boiled masterpiece.