December 27, 2012
BSC Mystery #31, Mary Anne and the Music Box Secret: The Secret Is That There Is No Mystery
Summary: Granny and Pop-Pop (Dawn’s grandparents) go on an anniversary cruise, and while they’re gone, their house floods. Sharon and Mary Anne head up the clean-up effort, with some help from the other BSC girls. Mary Anne finds a music box that plays “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” and contains a picture of a sailor. The box is also wrapped in paper that warns of a curse. No one in the family claims to know anything about it, so Mary Anne thinks it belonged to Lydia, a girl who used to live in the house. But there are initials inside saying the box is from H.I.W. to L.S., and the BSC girls can’t find anyone with those initials.
Mary Anne finds some letters Granny wrote to her cousin about Lydia, who was in love with a boy named Johnny, who her father hated. She thinks Johnny gave Lydia the music box. Granny lived next door and would write about how Lydia would sneak out to see Johnny. There’s also something about Lydia’s father possibly embezzling from the bank where he worked, and maybe burying the money in the yard. One of the plumbers working on the house grew up in the neighborhood, and the girls see him looking around suspiciously, so they think he’s looking for the money.
The girls basically set up a sting, pretending they found something in the yard, then waiting for someone to make a move to find out what it was. They’re surprised to learn that an older man who’s been hanging around is the plumber’s father, and he does indeed want the buried money. Except there’s no money, just papers. Womp womp.
Mary Anne keeps trying to find out what’s going on with the music box, especially after she starts having dreams about the sailor. She realizes that H.I.W. stands for “how I wonder” and L.S. is “little star,” from “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star.” Then Mary Anne borrows a bracelet from Sharon and realizes it was in the picture with the sailor, having almost been cropped out. Sharon tells her the bracelet belonged to Granny. Mary Anne puts things together and figures out that the music box was Granny’s after all. When Granny comes home, she confirms that she was L.S., and H.I.W. was her first love, the sailor, who died in the war. There’s no curse, there’s no money, and really, there’s no big mystery. Just a boring book.
The B-plot is even more boring. The Barrett/DeWitt family is finishing building an addition to their house. Everything comes out great. Thrilling, yes?
Thoughts: You know what’s really fun to read about? Construction.
I like that Dawn’s grandparents treat Mary Anne like she’s their own granddaughter. I wish we’d heard more about their relationship before this book, though.
Stacey uses the word “bodacious,” and not ironically. Shut up, Stacey.