May 10, 2011

BSC Mystery #16, Claudia and the Clue in the Photograph: A Picture is Worth a Thousand Dollars

Posted in books tagged , , , , at 11:01 pm by Jenn

This apron is not wacky enough for my tastes

Summary: Claudia’s taking a summer photography class, and her copious picture-taking inspires the BSC girls and their clients to put together an album for Dawn highlighting a day in Stoneybrook. They take lots and lots and lots of photos. Then they take some more photos. Then a bank gets robbed the same day they took some photos at the bank. Of course, the BSC girls decide to solve that mystery, and they think the photos Claudia took at the bank could provide some help.

The girls stake out the bank and find out that one of the robbery suspects is the VP there. They also keep seeing a woman with a baby carriage, and since she won’t let them actually see the baby, they wonder if she’s hiding something. Claudia develops her photos but someone opens the door to her makeshift darkroom and she starts to suspect the bank VP knows she has evidence of his wrongdoing. It’s kind of a moot point, since her photos are now ruined. Mary Anne remembers that she also took some photos at the bank, but all those show is that there was a light on in a window, even though the bank was closed, since it was a Sunday. Oh, and the woman with the baby carriage was a red herring.

The BSC girls take what they have to Sergeant Johnson at the Stoneybrook Police Department, and though he’s the only cop willing to even listen to them, he tells them they need more evidence than they have. Specifically, he needs a picture of the VP carrying something out of the bank to show that he took the money out. The photos don’t show enough details, so Claudia very smartly uses her camera lens to zoom in, then blows up the parts of the photos she needs to see more clearly.

Once the photos are enlarged, the BSC girls can see that the VP of the bank was wearing a pocket watch that didn’t work. They think that he might keep something inside of it, like maybe a key to a safe-deposit box where he’s stashed the money. Amazingly, they’re right, and even more amazingly, when Sgt. Johnson opens the watch, the VP confesses. But since he was dumb enough to be outsmarted by a bunch of teens and pre-teens, one of whom can barely tie her shoes, I’m not surprised. P.S. Janine opened the darkroom door and was too embarrassed to admit it. Yeah, no one cares, Janine.

Thoughts: This is Sgt. Johnson’s first book. Like Emily of BSC Chronologically, I choose to picture him as hot. Well, Claudia does focus on his “clear blue eyes.” Sounds hot to me.

Claudia’s parents make her take a summer math class, and she says she’ll do it if they let her take a photography class as well. I bet both sides thought they were the only ones winning in that compromise. Actually, Mr. and Mrs. Kishi would be happier about the photography class if they thought of it as a type of chemistry lesson, what with all the chemicals and reactions necessary to develop the photos.

Kristy won’t let Stacey talk to Logan when the girls are staking out the bank because he could be a suspect in the robber. Yes, Kristy, I’m sure a 13-year-old boy masterminded a bank heist.

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1 Comment »

  1. Alison said,

    This plot is straight out of the 1960s film “Blow-Up.” AMM sure loved to reference old movies.


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