In 1930, Mr. Topham is living in Josiah Crowley's house after Josiah's death. He is a teacher of "harnessing psychic potential", including the ability to bend spoons using nothing but brainwaves and beaming thoughts into another person's mind. He met Josiah at the Lilac Inn in the summer of 1929, where Josiah became interested in his teachings and asked to be taught everything Mr. Topham knew, even insisting that the alleged psychic move right into his house, which Mr. Topham continues to use as his school. When Nancy snoops around without his knowledge, she can overhear a lesson on moving spoons with the mind between an increasingly frustrated Mr. Topham and a student called Ms. Deckman who has endless questions. When Josiah died, his will apparently left everything he had to Mr. Topham.
However, the will was suspicious. It wasn't found for months until one day it turned up in a drawer. Nancy speculates that the will is a fake, probably forged by Mr. Topham, who had access to Josiah's typewriter and also could potentially have copied his signature.
Sure enough, Nancy soon finds the real will in Josiah's safe deposit box, which left Mr. Topham nothing. Even so, he claims he will prove this other will is a fake in court, but Nancy's lawyer dad Carson Drew believes he doesn't have much of a chance.
- Mr. Topham owns a grey cat named Uri who will mew ceaselessly unless he has his favorite toy mouse. When secretly sneaking around the house, Nancy will have to find the little green mouse and give it to Uri before his meows alert Mr. Topham to her intrusion.