Hotaro Oreki doesn't like to do things that he considers a waste of energy. However, things start to change when he enters high school because even though he does not want to join any non-compulsory school activities, his older sister requested that he join the memberless Classic Literature Club so that it won't get abolished. Unbeknownst to him, another student, Eru Chitanda, already planned to join; but instead of being free from club obligations, Hotaro eventually joined as he is strangely unable to refuse or escape from Eru's passionate gaze of curiosity. Together with his friends Satoshi and Mayaka, they began to discuss a variety of mysteries in school that only H?tar? seems to be able to solve, including the mystery that lingered on from Eru's childhood memory.
The story centers around Akamatsu Yuuki, a boy who joins the staff of his school's second newspaper. The editor-in-chief Nikaidou Ayaka immediately assigns him to the life (Jinsei) advice column. Three girls — the science representative Endou Rino, the liberal arts representative Kujou Fumi, and the physical education representative Suzuki Ikumi — answer requests from students about whatever is troubling them.