When the Hollister family receives a gift of pineapples, a lizard shows up in the package. Lizards are not particularly fond of cold weather, and it is winter in Shoreham, but fortunately the lizard does not need to remain in Shoreham very long. A friend of Mrs. Hollister, Grace Villamil, has come to Shoreham to visit with her children Carlos and Maya. After a thoroughly enjoyable visit, she asks the Hollisters if they would like to come to Puerto Rico to visit her and her husband.
When the family visits Puerto Rico they soon encounter a mystery. A stone the children found on the Villamil's property seems to have some kind of writing on it. The children learn that the writing may lead to a lost emerald crown. Unfortunately, two criminals are also searching for the lost crown.
The children begin their search, encountering the pair of criminals each step of the way. However, with intelligence and luck the children manage to outwit the criminals. Often the police nearly capture the criminals as well. The story moves along steadily until the somewhat exciting conclusion where Pete and Carlos help capture the two criminals and the searchers learn the secret of the emerald crown!
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