Agent Updates are short stories in The Black Book of Buried Secrets. Each of the five stories revolves around a participant in the Clue Hunt after the end of the Hunt, with one story for each of the five branches of the Cahill family.

Amy and Dan Cahill

Agent Update: Amy and Dan Cahill is the first story, and follows Madrigals Amy and Dan Cahill.

Plot

Nellie Gomez drives her charges, Amy and Dan Cahill, down the Massachusetts Turnpike in the Madrigalator while singing along to the radio. As they approach Crestwood Cemetery, where Amy and Dan's parents, Hope Cahill and Arthur Trent, are buried, Nellie turns off the music, and the trio sits in solemn silence.

Amy, Dan, and Nellie climb a hill and arrive at Hope and Arthur's headstones. Amy touches her mother's headstone and leaves a bead of amber, one of the Clues she had found during the Clue Hunt, and Dan sprinkles another Clue, mace, over his father's grave. Dan notices something different about the rose carvings on Hope's headstone and presses against it, which causes a lever to pop out of it. Amy is reluctant to pull the lever at first, not wanting to learn any more secrets, but Dan convinces her to, and the siblings pull the lever. A vial, containing vinegar, another Clue, pops out, with an encoded message etched onto the vial. Dan runs to show Nellie their discovery, while Amy says goodbye to her mother for the first time.

Characters

Code

The code in Hope's gravestone, "LFFQ HJEFPOT HPME SJOH TBGF", translates to "KEEP GIDEONS GOLD RING SAFE".

Ian Kabra

Agent Update: Ian Kabra is the second story, and follows Lucian Ian Kabra.

Plot

Ian and Natalie Kabra are in Boston, Massachusetts for the conclusion of the murder trial of their mother, Isabel Kabra. They finish breakfast and leave for the courthouse. At the courthouse, Isabel enters, not wearing makeup for the first time that Ian could remember, and the jury delivers a verdict of guilty. As she is escorted out of the courtroom, she locks eyes with Ian.

Outside the courtroom, Isabel is interrogated by reporters. She takes the opportunity to insult her children, calling them weak-minded and saying that they will not amount to anything. As Ian leaves with Natalie, he thinks about his mother's downfall, and that now, she is only prisoner number 44850.

Characters

Code

A sticky note on the last page contains the letters "RDAOXONMYSEDSAZY", and the instruction "ignore the odd ones". Taking just the even-numbered letters from the string gives the word "doomsday".

Alistair Oh

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Hamilton Holt

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Jonah Wizard

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How the Black Book Came To Be

While this story is not officially an Agent Update, it appears in The Black Book of Buried Secrets and depicts contemporary Cahill agents in the wake of the Clue Hunt. The story serves as a prologue to the book and describes the book's inception. Unlike most stories within The 39 Clues, it is written in first person by author Rick Riordan.

Plot

Author Rick Riordan, a Janus agent, arrives at the top of the headquarters of Scholastic Inc. in New York City. He is meeting with six other Cahill agents who, with Riordan, have been publishing the events of the Clue Hunt under the guise of children's fiction. Riordan warns that, even though the Clue Hunt has ended, a new threat to the Cahill family is arising. Another author-agent, Ekaterina Jude Watson, alludes to the rising threat of the Vespers, scaring the others.

Watson suggests the creation of a survival guide, based on information pooled from each of the five branches of the family. Ekaterina Margaret Peterson Haddix defuses a conflict between Janus Gordon Korman and Lucians Linda Sue Park and Patrick Carman and offers to share Ekat secrets. Korman points out that no Tomas are present, and Riordan calls in a hidden group of Tomas agents, taken from the best online players. The Tomas agents, who have already pledged to contribute Tomas secrets, intimidate the Lucians into agreeing, and the authors pledge to create The Black Book of Buried Secrets.

Characters

Historical Cahills mentioned

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