Christopher declares this novel, which he’s writing, to be a murder mystery. He doesn’t like many novels, because he has trouble understanding them. Even the adults he’s asked don’t know what certain sentences in novels mean. However, he likes reading murder mysteries because they’re like puzzles, so he’s writing one with his teacher Siobhan’s guidance.
The reader learns that the novel is not simply in first-person narration, but is actively being written down by the narrator as the story advances. Furthermore, Christopher comments on the practice of writing as he does it. He also points out that many novels are somewhat absurd in their complexity, and makes his love of logic clear.
Siobhan tells Christopher that this mystery is different than most because a dog, rather than a human, is the victim of the murder. Christopher compares his story to The Hound of the Baskervilles, which also involves dogs. Furthermore, he wants to write about real events, and he likes dogs. Some, he points out, are smarter than certain people who attend his special-needs school.
In wanting to write a true story, Christopher displays a dedication to truth that permeates all aspects of his life. His high aspirations come to light as he compares his story to a Sherlock Holmes story. Additionally, he makes it clear that he holds himself above the other students at his school.