Maybe there are people in Antarctica with penguins in their basements, but in Virginia? Finding a body down there is somewhat more likely for Meg. Explaining the penguins' presence is easy; Meg's dad volunteered to take care of the birds until the future of the bankrupt local zoo could be determined. But identifying the body in the basement proves a harder task. Meg and Michael have been planning to elope to avoid the elaborate wedding their mothers have begun to organize; a plan that's threatened by both the murder investigation and the carnival of animals. The only way to set things right, Meg decides, is to identify both their uninvited visitor and the killer who put him in their basement.