Little Suze Hanford loves her pet banana slug Hope. But when Hope starts spelling out hot stock tips with her slime trail, she's kidnapped by Suze's next door neighbor, an unscrupulous day-trader. Will Suze ever see her pet again?
When Hope, her pet banana slug, goes missing, Suze Hanford is despondent, not only because she loves the cute little bugger, but because Hope has helped parlay Suze's lemonade stand profits into a three-million-dollar nest egg. Hope uses her slime trail to spell out stock tips, and so far the little detritivore is batting a thousand. Without Hope, Suze knows she'll squander her fortune and end up working for a living when she grows up, possibly as a prostitute.
Day-trader Snidely Turkovich, Suze's next-door neighbor has been as successful as a three-legged greyhound lately, and if he doesn't start picking winners, he'll lose his house. Snidely is the obvious suspect; with Hope in his corner, his luck would surely change. But when Suze catches the slimeball with Hope, he claims it's not Hope, but Warren, his own banana slug stock forecaster.
Suze calls in a favor from the CSI squad, who discover that every banana slug has a slime trail as unique as a fingerprint. They compare Snidely's slug's slime trail with a slime trail in Hope's terrarium. A perfect match. Hope and Suze are joyfully reunited, and the now-hopeless Snidely is ruined.
Trail of Hope is a 95,000-word commercial novel that should appeal to those who enjoyed Mollusk Fever and I, Gastropod. Thank you.