Jane is a private investigator specializing in missing persons, but considers reading her true passion. She reads at every opportunity and her choice of books is eclectic. Over the course of time she has noticed that whatever she happens to be reading parallels her life. Her husband says this is just coincidence, to which Jane responds that keeping an open mind in order to detect and use these coincidences helps her solve cases. Jane is just starting to read a new book, Doris Lessing's The Golden Notebook, when she is hired to find a missing girl. In this, Jane's first recorded case, she decides to conduct an experiment to demonstrate to herself, and to her doubting husband, that her coincidence detection theory is valid.