Chapter 1: Prologue
Nobody saw it coming.
After Nancy Drew and her friends had won the River Heights Clues Challenge five years earlier and cleared the name of her predecessor as River Heights’ kid detective, the man had gotten his life back together.
Business at the Wardenclyffe Antiques shop had never been better. The Town Hall museum was a popular tourist attraction.
But then Alexei Markovic died. And nobody knew how sick he’d been until the very end.
The day after Alexei’s funeral, Nancy got a big, brown envelope in the mail, sent from Wardenclyffe Antiques.
She opened it, confused. How could Alexei have sent this? she thought. She’d seen him in his casket just the day before, and the shop (as well as the Town Hall museum) were still closed until someone could take over for Alexei.
Inside the large envelope was a set of regular letter envelopes, all decorated and numbered. Nancy opened the smaller envelope labeled as the first one.
I don’t know if I’m jumping the gun, sending this to you now, but I’m hoping this will get sent to you after my death.
I’m sending you this set of letters as sort of a personal version of the Clues Challenge from a few years back. As I told you then, I trust you more than anyone else in town.
Now, I’m going to be writing these as little letters because I’ve been reminded of what you told me of the ones you sometimes send to your friends before cases. Each one will be a clue or a puzzle for you.
Keep in mind that you’ll only be allowed to open the next envelope after you finish the challenge in the current one. In the end, they’ll all tie together. But me telling you what it is now would defeat the fun in the mystery, wouldn’t it?
Your first challenge is to go back down into the nuclear fallout tunnels below the town. Start from the entrance outside my shop. You’ll be searching the whole system for something I left you down there. It’ll be a big poster, designed by a mutual friend, based on my old childhood adventures. I’m not telling you what it looks like; you’ll know it when you see it.
If you want to write letters in response and pretend I’m still alive and paying attention to how you discover what I’ve left you, that’ll be just fine.
If anyone wants to join in as Nancy Drew, let me know in the comments for chapter two. And if anyone wants to join the prompt meme, click on the link in the description.