Encyclopedia Brown and Jack Bauer have passed the torch to Chase Manning.
In a last-ditch effort to save Apple Valley Elementary's award-winning music program from looming budget cuts, the PTA plans to auction off a recently donated, handcrafted cello at the school's annual fund-raising dinner. Confidence is high until the cello turns up missing the morning of the event. The school principal charges Chase Manning, a fifth grader who has dreamed of playing in the Sixth Grade Honors Orchestra his whole life, with finding the cello by three o'clock. Each hour of the school day involves surprising and suspense-filled plot turns as Chase pursues the elusive cello. This single-day, real-time mystery thriller truly is a chase against time!