Todd and Laurie's dad is either on top of the world, taking them on fun adventures, or down in the depths and sleeping all the time. In the middle of the night, he decides to take them to a hotel he spent most of his childhood holidays in. He paints a picture of a luxurious mansion surrounded by acres of land—a fairground, all-you-can-eat-buffets, a sparkling swimming pool, a grand ballroom, firework displays.
The reality is a rundown dump—and the disappointment means Dad takes to his bed. Todd and Laurie have the run of the place, and meet Scout, the daughter of the owner, who tells them about the night many years ago when a famous novelist vanished from her room on the top floor, which was locked from the inside ... with clues to crack, a mystery to solve, and Dad to worry about, this holiday is full of twists and turns.