Evaline Waters is an older woman who lives in River Heights. Most people know her because loves gardening and lives in an old house. Rackham Industries, which is like the evil corporation in town, recently announced plans to kick her out of her home. They claim that they found proof that she doesn't own the land she says she owns and that they have a claim to the property. Nancy agrees to help her find evidence to prove she really owns her home and land.
Before she can do that though, she needs to have dinner with Ned, his parents, and his dad's friend, Colonel Lang. Ned's dad mentions getting weird calls at home from someone who says the package is on its way. Lang offers to give Ned flying lessons, and they make plans to go out the next day with Nancy. Nancy has a bad experience at the airport because of a man with a bad attitude. Once she gets up in the sky though, she falls in love. Carson agrees to let her take flying lessons and calls this guy Frank to set up lessons in advance.
While out with Bess and George, Nancy sees angry guy driving around in circles. They follow him for a bit and then park to watch him keep driving for over an hour. He then heads to Berring Antiques, which is the new antique store in town. When they go inside to check things out, Nancy mentions seeing him at the airport, but he claims he was never there. She also brings him up to Frank, her teacher, who claims he never met the man.
George finds mention of a law online that could help Waters keep her home, but they need to find the actual law in the town archives. The courthouse actually doesn't have those records because they're all at the university archives. Nancy luckily knows a former professor and history buff who takes them over. They find out that someone broke in and stole all the files they need.
Nancy and George then go to the county courthouse to look for information. The woman in charge talks about the area's leading archivist, Mr. Williams, and how he pickets outside the courthouse because he thinks the public should not have access to those records. He thinks they'll just mess everything up. To no one's surprise, the files are also missing from there.
Another thing on her mind is the fact that Lang never actually left town. She keeps seeing his rental car everywhere. While staking out the antique store, because she still doesn't trust the owner, Lang hops in her car. He reveals that he's an FBI agent and actually tracking the owner. Berring was a former criminal who bought and sold stolen antiques.
During her next flying lesson, Nancy looks at the teacher's business card to see the time of their next lesson and makes a comment about how his phone number and her boyfriend's phone number are one digit off. She then realizes that someone could easily make an error and call Ned's house when trying to call Frank. Frank puts things together and tries to attack her, but he trips, hits his head on the dash, and gets knocked unconscious. Luckily, Lang is at the airport and can tell Nancy exactly how to land the plane.
Nancy and Lang then start putting things together. Frank was the distributor for the stolen merchandise that Berring sold. He accidentally called Ned's house a few times when sending along a message. The FBI checks out his store and finds all the proof that they need to put him away. Nancy begins wondering if Mr. Williams had something to do with everything. They head to his house and find all the stolen documents, which apparently Berring stole and then sold to him.
Ned shows up with Mr. Shannon, Deirdre's dad and the head lawyer for Rackshaw Industries, when Lang calls them to tell them he found. The two men then run outside, but Mr. Shannon tells Carson that he's on his own and then drives off. Apparently the official document said that someone could claim ownership of a piece of land if there was so proof of ownership by getting to the courthouse and making a statement three times.
Lang lets them borrow his car, they pick up Waters, run her to the courthouse, and she heads inside and makes her claim right before the head of the corporation shows up with his lawyer. The gals all visit her in the end and let her know how happy they are that she gets to keep her home. Ned and Nancy then have a little talk about her spending so much time with the Colonel and Ned finally confesses that he's terrified of flying. Nancy then decides to keep taking lessons but to let Ned stay on the ground.
*I hate to be Miss Factual here, but no matter what the deed says, Waters owns that land. Once you live on and take care of a piece of property for a set period of time, it becomes yours. That's why you hear horror stories about neighbors taking over the yards of others.
*Nancy knows the professor because he was the father of her best friend in first grade. She talks about how the girl, her mother, and her brother died in a car accident. The dad was so devastated that he quit his job and could barely function. That's kind of deep and sad for someone who is only in two chapters!
*Just to let us know that the internet is way better, all the archives they visit are dusty and dirty with messed up files that no one ever visits. The university archives are so rarely used that they have to track down a security guard and have him try multiple keys before they can even get inside the room. Um, yeah, no. Even at my fairly small college, the archives were in a special area of the library.
*Nancy spends a good portion of the book worrying about how Ned will react and not telling him about her flying lessons because she doesn't want him to think she stole something from him. It's kind of cute how it ends.
*The Waters house is over 70 years old and was built on top of the original home, which burned down. The foundation of the old home is still visible, which makes me think it should be a protected property.
*Deirdre pops up a few times just to annoy Nancy and talk about her dad is such a better lawyer. Nancy takes delight in the fact that Deirdre changes boyfriends the way some people change clothing but could never get her hooks into Ned. George just likes calling her Dee-Dee because it irritates her, which I love!