IT HAD been in the paper for some time that the famous Bakery Mafia was active in London. I had not paid much attention, but given the ubiquitousness of the news even I knew it concerned a group of criminals that had seemingly innocent bakeries as a front. I would be irreversibly tangled to the investigation into the group when I was enjoying an evening at Holmes' studio, waiting for Holmes to return from another investigation, when D.I. Greg Lestrade came bursting into the room.
"I demand to know where Holmes is. Speak up at once."
"Good evening, Lestrade. I regret to have to inform you that Sherlock is out on other business. I cannot tell you the time of his returning home." Upon these words Lestrade started walking circles through the cramped room. After some while he faced me with concern on his face.
"Watson, I have a big favour to ask you. With Holmes not available I need you to work a case for me."
"The last three days we have intercepted communications of the Bakery Mafia. We expect them to meet in the Central Bakery tomorrow. We can bust the meeting and arrest everyone, but we have no evidence of any wrongdoing. We need you to infiltrate the meeting and see what evidence you can find."
"To gain their trust, and to enter the meeting, you need the code word that they use upon entry. We expect that they are using coded messages in the morning paper. It is absolutely essential that you decipher these messages and find the code word in them. We only have one day to figure it out!"