Nancy made a beeline towards the only other person in Maxine's. If she was right, this man was Detective Beech, working undercover as her uncle."Uncle Steve!" Nancy said, slipping into the booth across from him.
"Nancy!" Detective Beech said. "I haven't seen you since...uh...well, for a long time!""Well, it's not my fault you don't come and visit more often," Nancy said. "So what's up?"
Detective Beech looked right and left, making sure no one could overhear them. Since there was only one other person in the diner, this probably wasn't a necessary precaution. He leaned in closer to Nancy and said, "We prepared a case report for you. It turns out there are two stories about the victim.""Goody!" Nancy said. She liked storytime.
"Everyone already knows the public version of the story," Beech said. "Jake Rogers was a senior at Paseo Del Mar. Kind of a nasty fellow, unpopular as a result. He was at school after hours, for an unknown reason, when he was pushed down a flight of stairs.""Uh huh," Nancy said. She grabbed a menu and started looking through it. For some odd reason, "Xe:R3" was scribbled inside.
"The private version of the story?" Beech said. "Jake Rogers was a small-time crook. His personal bank account is huge, at least ten times what he made as an employee here. He was probably involved in drugs, blackmail, or both.""That's not good," Nancy said.
"Students mention the fact that Jake always carried a blue notebook around with him. Always. He was never seen without it."Detective Beech took a sip of his coffee.
"Of course, everyone figured it was his math notebook or something like that," Beech continued. "But we know better. That notebook probably contained a list of his illegal dealings, or some other kind of incriminating evidence. When he was killed, the notebook disappeared.""Hmmm..." Nancy said thoughtfully.
"The notebook is our best lead right now," Beech said. "Maybe the killer took it, or maybe Jake hid it in the school somewhere. Either way, find the notebook, find the killer. That's the plan.""I've got it!" Nancy said.
"You...you have the notebook?!" Detective Beech asked."No, I know what I'm going to eat!" Nancy said. "I'm going to get the Maxine's Special! It sounds delicious!"
Nancy put down the menu. "Now, what were you saying about the case report?"