A pun in his own right--Mr. Sniff is a hound in both the canine and the Holmesian senses of the word--Lewis' portly hero establishes his credentials even as he is rushing to the aid of Brigit McWoof, whose Mexican Tree of Life has just been stolen. Mr. Sniff does his Sherlock number on the taxi driver, the butler who takes his coat (""I am glad you gave up smoking."" ""So I did. But how did you know that?"" ""Your breath is clean. Your fingers, however, are not. They are stained""), and on stylish Mrs. McWoof's assembled guests. Investigating the case, Mr. Sniff soon realizes that all the guests are lying--but doesn't guess that the mystery is a ruse to get him to the spot for a surprise birthday party. Just as with the master's deductions, readers won't catch on to the lies or the Tree of Life's whereabouts before the solution is explained to them, but the clues are there in retrospect. Elementary. . . and pretty smart.