October 6, 2011

BSC Super Mystery #1, Baby-sitters’ Haunted House: Ghostbusted

Posted in books tagged , , , , , , at 11:13 pm by Jenn

I don't care if that house is haunted, I want to live there

Summary: Karen’s mother and stepfather are planning to spend some time in Maine with some friends, the Menderses, who have four kids. They want one of the BSC girls to come along to look after Karen, Andrew, and the Menders kids. All of the BSC girls want to go, and for some reason, the adults agree to bring Kristy, Claudia, Dawn, and Mary Anne along. Jessi and Mallory stay back in Stoneybrook to take on running the club.

There’s this whole back story about the house where everyone’s staying in Maine – it belongs to Mr. Menders’ family, and the guy who owned it may have died, and his wife might be haunting it. If the Menderses want to, they can move there. The kids don’t want to move, but the parents are all excited about opening a health-food store, so they spend their time in Maine researching. The BSC girls try to get the kids excited about possibly moving to Maine, even though there’s weird stuff going on in the house.

It’s typical haunted-house stuff: weird noises, a woman in white, etc. The butler and maid, Mr. and Mrs. Cooper, are also a little shady. Mrs. Cooper supposedly can’t talk. There’s a fourth floor of the house that the Coopers claim they don’t have a key to, and the gardener, Georgio (who’s in college but totally has a crush on Claudia), keeps telling the girls it’s not safe to go up there. After the girls see a “ghost” in the hallway with a candle one night, they get suspicious of Georgio. It turns out the “ghost” was the oldest Menders kid, Lionel, who wants to scare his family away from moving into the house. But then the girls see a light going on in a window on the fourth floor, which supposedly no one has access to.

Mary Anne does some investigating and learns that there’s a dumbwaiter in the house. The woman she talks to at the historical society tells her another woman was in asking questions about the house; the only thing memorable about her was that she spoke with an accent. Claudia and Dawn check out the dumbwaiter and find a tape recorder, which they realize is where the weird noises have been coming from. Dawn winds up having to hide in the dumbwaiter when the Coopers come home, and she discovers that Mrs. Cooper can, in fact, talk.

More digging and research turn up the fact that the Coopers, who claimed to have lived in the town their whole lives, lied about that. The news also comes out that Mr. Menders has a cousin in Scotland who will get the house if the Menderses don’t want it. Thanks to Dawn, who remembers that Mrs. Cooper has an accent, and Lionel, who’s an aspiring actor and can do all sorts of accents, the BSC girls figure out that Mrs. Cooper is Scottish. They put this together with a photo of one of Mr. Menders’ relatives, who Claudia realizes looks like Mr. Cooper, and figure out that the Coopers are the people who stand to get the house (and the possible treasure on the fourth floor).

A storm hits while the adults are all gone for the day, and the BSC girls and Georgio get stuck in the house with the Coopers. But then it gets all anticlimactic and the Coopers just leave the country, apparently thinking the house is really haunted. Disappointing. Also, there wasn’t really a treasure. Also also, the Coopers don’t kill Karen before they leave. Like I said, disappointing.

Mallory and Jessi’s plot is really boring, and also something we’ve seen before: They have to turn down jobs because the two of them, Logan, and Shannon are the only sitters in town, and then people stop calling. They think the club is losing business, but people are just out of town or don’t need sitters.

In other news: Andrew’s obsessed with frogs and boats; one of the Menders girls, Jill, is obsessed with Dawn; Karen’s obsessed with getting the other girl, Martha, to make friends; and Claudia has to tell Georgio she’s 13 in a letter. But at least he didn’t go to jail.

Thoughts: There was a lot about this book I forgot, but I did remember the scene with Dawn and Claudia hiding in the dumbwaiter, and the scene where the BSC girls have Lionel speak in different accents so they can figure out where Mrs. Cooper is from.

It’s weird to read a BSC book where everyone gets a chapter except Stacey, since she wasn’t in the club at this point.

Shannon’s a jerk in this book. She shows up late to a meeting, stays for only 15 minutes, and tells Mallory and Jessi that they need to end meetings on time. Why did she even bothering coming?

“Elton Cooper grilled burgers, hot dogs, and chicken for us.” But what did Dawn eat? WHAT DID DAWN EAT??

Andrew wants to know the difference between a frog and a toad, so Dawn looks it up in the dictionary. How quaint.

Claudia follows Georgio to a dark shed even though he makes her nervous. Someone get this girl a copy of The Gift of Fear.

Kristy: “Why would he have a candle in the toolshed?” Mary Anne: “For light?” Thank you, Mary Anne, for teaching us all what candles are for.

Mrs. Pike complains about everyone leaving town and not being able to get a sitter, saying they “should have planned better.” Hey, maybe you shouldn’t have had eight kids you never want to take care of.

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2 Comments »

  1. And how many times has Ms. Pike been the reason that most of the Babysitters have been out of town? Dumbass woman.


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