June 3, 2011
BSC Mystery #17, Dawn and the Halloween Mystery: How Dawn Saved Halloween
Summary: Halloween is coming, so everyone’s getting costumes and decorations. Out with Carol one day, Dawn hears a scream and sees someone in a clown mask running out of a convenience store. Someone yells that the clown robbed the store, but no one’s able to stop the criminal. Dawn is able to provide some details to the police: The getaway car was a black Chevy, the robber was wearing shoes called Fly Highs, and the car had a bumper sticker from a hot dog place. The adults in the area decide it’s not safe for kids to be out at night, so they cancel trick-or-treating.
Dawn and her friends (but mostly Sunny) decide to take matters into their own hands and find the robber so they can save Halloween. (They also plan a party for the kids, and there’s way too much time spent talking about it.) They first look for places where the mask can be bought and learn that only one store in the area sells it. Then they go looking for the people who bought it. Those people don’t strike Dawn as suspicious, since only mean people commit crimes, so they move on. They also stake out the hot dog place, but they only succeed at raising the suspicions of a woman who works there.
While all this has been going on, Dawn has been sitting for the DeWitt boys (the ones who bugged Kristy in California Girls!) a lot, as well as their new neighbor, a boy named Timmy. Timmy lives with a single father who works a lot, and Mrs. DeWitt has agreed to look after Timmy. One day Dawn notices footprints in Timmy’s yard that match the ones left by Sky Highs, then sees the getaway car in the garage. She tells Mrs. DeWitt, who calls the police, who arrest Timmy’s father. Halloween’s back on, and the kids get to go trick-or-treating.
But! While Dawn’s taking some kids around the neighborhood, she sees someone digging in Timmy’s yard. The person’s wearing dark clothes and a clown mask. When she goes to Mrs. DeWitt to tell her there’s something strange going on, Mrs. DeWitt reveals that Timmy’s dad had an alibi for the robbery and has been released. The police come back and arrest the person in the yard…who turns out to be Timmy’s mother, and the woman from the hot dog place. She was digging up the money from the robbery. So Timmy’s mom is a criminal, but at least his dad is a good guy.
Back in Stoneybrook, the Barretts and DeWitts (no relation) are looking for a house that will hold two adults and seven kids. Franklin and Mrs. Barrett find one outside of Stoneybrook, and at first the kids act like they’re fine with moving, but then admit that they don’t want to leave Stoneybrook. The parents agree to try to find a house in town, but the only houses that will hold their family are out of their price range. The kids find them a great house that’s seemingly too small, and agree to share rooms so they can live there.
Thoughts: Even though this book and Mary Anne Breaks the Rules take place at the same time, neither book mentions the events of the other. So…that’s weird.
This book has an actual twist ending! And one I didn’t remember. I was all ready to complain about how Timmy’s dad was obviously the robber. Nicely done, ghostwriter.
Dawn, re: Jeff and junk food: “I don’t mind if he eats it once in a while. That’s his business.” But Dawn, I thought everything was your business.
Hey, guess when you don’t want to read about a robber who dresses like a clown? When you’re also reading It.
Trivia: Richard drives a red Chevy Cavalier.
If Mrs. Barrett and Franklin keep hiring sitters for their family outings, they’re never going to learn how to take care of their kids on their own.
Jessi calls the decorating scheme of Buddy’s room “early American Ninja Turtle.” Hee.
Dawon doesn’t tell the police about the distinct tag on the robber’s mask, which leads her to the store where it was sold. Guess what, Dawn? That’s obstruction of justice. Good job with the aiding and abetting, We ♥ Kids Club.
Owning a store that only sells Halloween items and is only open in October seems like a poor business model.