July 20, 2011

BSC Mystery #19, Kristy and the Missing Fortune: Go for the Gold

Posted in books tagged , , at 10:55 pm by Jenn

Nothing suspicious here...just digging holes in the middle of the night...

Summary: Kristy learns that one of her ancestors was a woman named Christina Thomas who vanished from her family’s home, Squirelot, under mysterious circumstances. Some documents and a bunch of gold went missing at the same time. The BSC girls start investigating, thinking they’ll be able to spend the gold once they recover it.

At the same time, they’re volunteering to help clean up an arboretum in town. A development company wants to buy it and tear it down, but there’s also another interested buyer. If the girls (and a bunch of their sitting charges) can help clean it up in time, the buyer will save it. However, strange things seem to be happening while the girls are working at the arboretum, and they think someone’s sabotaging the clean-up effort.

Thanks to some good, old-fashioned research, Kristy discovers that one of Christina’s relatives, Mildred, lives in Stoneybrook. Kristy visits and learns that Christina ran away because her brother wanted to force her into a common-law marriage that would help him get access to her inheritance. Christina was going to elope with a guy named Henry, who had to go off to fight in the Civil War before they could leave. The story is that Christina went after him, but he died. No one knows what really happened, and all they have to go on is a letter Christina wrote Henry.

More research turns up the revelation that the arboretum is Squirelot. The BSC girls then use Christina’s letter to figure out that she had hidden something for Henry on her family’s land. They do some digging, looking for the treasure, but don’t get a chance to clean up before the potential buyer comes by to see the arboretum. She decides not to buy the land, so all their hard work might be for nothing. Oh, and Cokie’s been lurking, seemingly listening in on the girls’ conversations.

Kristy uses a book about Stoneybrook’s history to figure out the rest of the mystery: There was a full moon the night Christina ran away, and she was trying to tell Henry to stand in a certain spot at Squirelot because the moon would illuminate her hiding spot. The girls head to the arboretum in the middle of the night (aided and abetted by the ever-helpful Charlie), but before they can find the hiding spot, they realize Cokie’s followed them. She explains that Mildred is her grandmother, and she told Cokie some of what Kristy was looking into. If there’s gold at Squirelot, she wants in.

Cokie and the BSC girls wait until the moon comes out, then dig under the tree it illuminates. They find a locket with a picture of Christina (who looks a lot like Kristy), the lease to Squirelot, and a letter telling Henry that Christina took the gold with her. The lease states that Squirelot is to go to Henry; if he dies, it goes to the town. Cokie’s disappointed that there’s no treasure, but the BSC girls are just happy that they’ve saved the arboretum after all. It’s not all good news, though: Kristy and Cokie might be related.

Thoughts: I like that the girls solved the mystery with books and brains. And it was an actual mystery, unlike some of the plots these mysteries try to pass off as suspenseful.

Trivia: Nannie loves the Knicks.

Squirelot is a stupid name.

There’s some nice continuity here with Kristy saying that Mallory talking about Jackie’s loose tooth made her queasy. She’s mentioned in previous books (I think even the very first one) that one of the things she hates most is loose teeth.

I would think Claudia, as an artist, would know how to spell “statue.”


1 Comment »

  1. Allison said,

    “…her brother wanted to force her into a common-law marriage…” Whoa. To paraphrase the movie Clueless, “As if! This is Connecticut, not Kentucky.”

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