Inspired by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, this is Chabon's crack at the great detective story. A young mute boy, Linus, shows up at an English boarding house with his pet parrot, Bruno. Bruno mysteriously recites numbers in German which the lodgers speculate are the key to some sort of German code. When one of the lodgers is found dead, and the bird missing, the local police inspector enlists the help of a strange aging beekeeper (a nod to Sherlock Holmes who retired to take up beekeeping) to solve the crimes. The old man agrees to find the parrot and return it to his rightful owner, but has no real interest in the deceased. Like Doyle's famous tales, this is an exercise in deductive reasoning - but in the end, the most interesting question still remains unanswered. A fun little mystery with a very clever parrot.