• Eleven year-old Primrose Squarp, the main character, has hair "the color of carrots in apricot glaze."
• After her parents are lost at sea during a storm, Primrose remains in her hometown of Coal Harbour, British Columbia, Canada but stays with the strange Miss Perfidy.
• Primrose is convinced that her parents are safe on an island, although everyone else believes they are dead.
• Miss Perfidy is being paid $3 an hour from the estate of Primrose's parents to look after her -- and the money is running out.
• A town meeting is held to decide what to do with Primrose.
• During the boring speeches, Primrose searches her mother's notebook for clues, but it contains only a grocery list and a recipe for carrots in apricot glaze.
• The school guidance counselor, Miss Honeycut, launches a plan to have Primrose sent to live with her nearest relative, Uncle Jack.
• Uncle Jack...
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