When Athelbert Fan is thrown in jail for thievery, his daughter, Penny, is convinced he has been framed. Someone else must have stolen the gold cup from the crabby magistrate's home and put it in with her father's tools. But whom could it be? Setting out to prove his innocence, Penny forms an unlikely foursome with the magistrate's son, a young traveller and a magical scribe's apprentice. Soon they discover even more crimes - and it's always the rich being burgled and the poor being blamed. Before long, the whole town is in uproar, until a mysterious inspector arrives ... but can he be trusted? It's up to the young quartet to untangle the truth and put things right.