Reynard "Reynie" Muldoon is an orphaned boy with a love for puzzles and books, living in an orphanage in the metropolis of Stonetown with his tutor Miss Perumal. Upon noticing an advertisement in a newspaper targeted towards gifted children, he takes a series of complex and odd tests. He meets three other children who are gifted in their own way, George "Sticky" Washington, Kate Wetherall, and Constance Contraire. After passing various tests, the children meet Mr. Benedict, the organizer of the tests. He is assisted by his subordinates Number Two, Rhonda Kamikaze, and Milligan, the secret agent turned security guard for Benedict.