The commercial rape of the beautiful island known as Pear Island, a.k.a. Breakfast, Grand, or Providence Island enrages Quill to the point that he refuses to visit there, even though his very own Klingenschoen Foundation was greatly responsible for the development by providing loans, grants, etc. for entrepreneurs. But strange, strange things are happening on the island. Guests dining at the hotel because sick en masse due to food poisoning, and a drunk man drowns in the hotel pool. The last straw for Nick Bamba is when an elderly man takes a tumble down a faulty flight of stairs on the property of the Domino Inn, run by Nick and his wife Lori. Nick suspects that something's up, so he enlists Qwill help: he's to come to the island and snoop around. Qwill, intrigued by any wrongdoing, grabs his bags, some books, and the cats and rides a boat over to the island for a two week stay.
The Domino Inn was so named because the previous owners were big time into playing dominos; the inn came with a couple dozen sets of dominoes in red velvet pouches. Qwill learns that the spots on a domino are called pips, so when he reaches his cabin with five dots on the door, he knows he's in Five Pips. Qwill and Koko invent a game with dominoes. Koko's job is to draw several dominoes at a time, and Qwill counts up the pips, figures out which letter of the alphabet that the number of pips corresponds to, and makes up words. Amazingly, Koko helps come up with some pretty incriminating words: filed, hack, blade, and more.
Qwill, in attemps to get to the bottom of things, gets 6'7" Derrick Cuttlebrink to help him sniff out clues on the inside, since Derrick works at the hotel. Qwill rescues a young woman, Elizabeth Appelhardt, in distress on a nature trail where she had been bitten by a snake. In thanks for his heroics, Qwill is invited to The Pines, where the Appelhardt family lives. Elizabeth eventually meets Derrick, and all she can say both times she sees him is, "He's so tall!" After a giant storm that levels practically all of the new development on Breakfast Island, Qwill returns back home to Pickax, and Elizabeth accompanies him to become the newest Moose County citizen.
Koko's skill in the domino game, along with his scattering of hazelnuts and Yum Yum's discovery of a crumpled piece of manuscript paper, Qwill comes up with the murders and a theory of sabotage against the island.