When last seen in . . . the Sticky Case (1978), Sharmat's kid detective was engaged in tracking down ""something big that is small""--a stegosaurus on a postage stamp. Here he has to find a place that is round, big, and safe, where things are shiny. That's where Rosamond's note says she left Annie's key, and if Annie doesn't find the key she can't get into her house to prepare for her big dog Fang's birthday party. Nate is ""sorry about the key and glad about the party,"" as he's not looking forward to partying with Fang, ""the one thing I am afraid of."" Nevertheless he takes the case; checks out possible round, big, safe, shiny places--a bank, Annie's garbage can, and Oliver's ""shiny things"" collection; and finally finds the key hanging with Fang's new silver license and charms on his new birthday collar. Nate's dubious reward is a place of honor next to Fang at the party. Snappy as usual, like Nate's tough-guy talk.