Professor Hershel Layton had just gotten to the office, put down his briefcase, hung up his coat and hat, when his telephone rang. He picked it up on the second ring. A gentleman, after all, never allows his telephone to ring more than two times.
"Hershel Layton's office -- Hershel speaking. May I ask who is calling?"
"Layton!" Inspector Chelmey's unmistakeable growl boomed through the receiver. "We've got a disappearance. A woman, about seventy years old, one of them hoity-toity types. Heiress with a huge fortune but no kids or grandkids."
Layton cradled the receiver in his neck and grabbed a notepad and pen off his messy desk. "Where is the residence?"
"Top of the hill in Millionaire's Row. The big, gray house right at the corner. Can't miss it."
"I see. Who was the last to see her?"
"Butler," Chelmey responded gruffly. "He's the one who called it in. He said she went into town yesterday for a beauty parlour appointment, but never came back." Chelmey coughed loudly, then continued. "Her name's Dame Perdita Mortum. See if you can't track her down. Do your thing, know what I mean?"
"Loud and clear, Inspector. Thank you." Chelmey grunted his assent, and Layton heard a loud click on the other end. He replaced his own receiver back on the hook and redonned his coat and hat.
"This town is never short on mysteries," he declared to no one in particular. "Or puzzles, for that matter."
He stepped out of his office and closed the door behind him. "I suppose I should start by rounding up the usual suspects."