February 21, 2011

BSC Mystery #12, Dawn and the Surfer Ghost: Totally Radical, Dude

Posted in books tagged , , , , , at 12:49 pm by Jenn

A surfer? In California? Well, I never!

Summary: Dawn and Sunny are taking surfing lessons and working at an after-school program on the beach. (We’re reminded a dozen times that California is awesome and you can surf in the middle of the winter, blah blah blah, shut up, Dawn.) They meet a surfer named Thrash who’s one of the best in the area and is preparing for a big competition. He’s hoping to win the grand prize, which should be enough money to get him to Australia to…well, surf more. Sunny thinks Dawn has a crush on Thrash, who’s about 20, and keeps teasing her. Dawn denies it, but she’s kind of obsessed. The next day, Thrash disappears and his board washes up on shore. Everyone thinks the board was tampered with and Thrash is dead.

Since the police think what happened was an accident, they don’t put much effort into looking for a body (or even a live Thrash). Dawn, having been a charter member of the BSC Mystery-Solvers Society, decides to find out what happened on her own. The police think she’s ridiculous and just ignore her, as they should.

Dawn finds a can of Thrash’s custom surfboard wax and thinks it’s a message or a clue or something, though nothing really ever comes from that. People start having accidents on the beach, and Dawn thinks their boards are being tampered with. Twice she spots a guy surfing at night and thinks it’s Thrash’s ghost; he’s hanging around the beach until his killer is brought to justice. Sunny’s really the only person who entertains Dawn’s weird way of thinking, but then she almost drowns, so maybe Thrash’s ghost is a little too vindictive for its own good?

Of course, there’s no ghost. Dawn realizes that the new guy working at the snack bar is actually Thrash, with shorter, dyed hair and no piercings. He tells her he knows who tried to kill him, and he’s biding his time until he can get revenge. The beach accidents were just that, accidents, and he’s the one who’s been surfing at night, waiting until the beach is empty so no one will see him. Thrash wants to tamper with the board belonging to the guy who tampered with his, but Dawn convinces him to go to the police instead. He does, they set up a really lame sting involving Thrash coming back from the “dead” at the competition, and Thrash wins, which means he can head down to Australia.

Back in Stoneybrook, Carolyn Arnold hurt her ankle while doing gymnastics with her sister Marilyn. Marilyn blames herself for the accident since she wasn’t paying attention or helping, so she decides to be Carolyn’s shadow and make sure nothing ever happens again. It gets really annoying until Stacey solves everything by having two different friends invite the twins over at the same time, making them realize they don’t always want to do everything together. Which they actually realized back in Mallory and the Trouble with Twins, but whatever.

Thoughts: “[Carol’s] cool, in other words. Which is fine for a regular person, but not really so fine for a woman my father might be serious about.” Only lame people can date Mr. Schafer!

Sunny thinks Thrash likes Dawn. Well, Sunny, that would make Thrash a pedophile.

Stacey to Dawn: “Your mystery sounds so cool!” Yes, Stacey, murder is awesome.

If you’re leaving your kids with a sitter three times in one week and it’s not a regular thing, you have a problem. And presumably a lot of money.

Mary Anne thinks it’s unhealthy for Marilyn and Carolyn to be together all the time. Yet no one ever comments on the triplets being joined at the hip(s). Also, Kristy thinks Mr. and Mrs. Arnold would appreciate the BSC girls coming up with a solution to the twin’s problem. Actually, Kristy, they’d probably like to parent their children themselves. Or maybe not, considering the hiring-sitters-three-times-a-week thing.

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