November 3, 2011
SVH #104, Love and Death in London: Werewolves of London
Summary: Jessica and Elizabeth go to London to work as interns for a newspaper. (Just go with it.) Before they go, they watch An American Werewolf in London, which freaks Elizabeth out a little. Also freaking her out: A random woman who tells them to “beware the full moon.” In London, the twins stay at a youth hostel and become friends with some of the other teens there, including Emily, who’s Australian, and Lina, who’s poor and working at a soup kitchen for the summer. They also reconnect with Rene, who’s totally in love with Liz. And a missing princess, Eliana, is mentioned numerous times.
The twins wind up working on cases assigned to a dolt of a detective, Bumpo, who gets to do fun stuff like investigate missing dogs and minks. But while they’re out and about, the girls come across the scene of a murder. A doctor has been found dead with his throat ripped out. There are two men hanging around; they turn out to be Andrew Thatcher, the chief of police, and a lord named Robert Pembroke. Later, the twins find the missing dog…dead, with its throat ripped out.
Of course, it wouldn’t be an SVH vacation without some love: Jessica falls for Pembroke’s son, also named Robert, and Elizabeth falls for another newspaper intern, Luke. (Todd who?) Luke keeps talking about werewolves, and now Elizabeth wonders if they might be real, and if there might be one killing people and animals in London. (There was also a nurse murdered the same way as the doctor, but no one is talking about her.)
A reporter at the paper, the awesomely named Lucy Friday, quits because her story about the doctor’s murder gets buried (har har). She tells the twins that she thinks Robert Senior is covering it up for some reason. Maybe because a cigarette case with his initials was found on the doctor’s body? No, no one notices that.
Robert Junior invites the twins and Luke to the Pembrokes’ manor for the weekend, so Liz and Luke decide to use the opportunity to see if anything strange is going on with them. Instead, they find wolfsbane, and some sheep get murdered. But it’s all okay, because Luke gives Elizabeth a pendant that will protect her from werewolves. (Those totally exist, you guys.) He probably should have given it to Jessica, though, since she’s been murdered in her bed. Or not. Whatever.
Other stories involve Lina actually being a princess named Eliana who ran away to live with the commoners, and one of the other hostel teens, Portia, being a jerk to everyone. She invites everyone to opening night of her play on the West End, where they realize that she’s just a Method actress and isn’t really a jerk. Also, Rene is jealous of Luke, like anyone cares.
Thoughts: I guessed where Eliana was on page 22. A for effort, though, ghostwriter.
If I ever write hardboiled crime novels, my heroine will totally be named Lucy Friday.
So a cigarette case was found at the scene of a murder, and later Robert wonders where his cigarettes are. Hmm, do you think there’s any connection?
Elizabeth: “I almost forgot about Rene. We never really got to explore our feelings for each other in France.” You mean you never got to hold hands and kiss chastely?
The ghostwriter does pretty well with all the Britishisms, except one: Hostel-dweller David, who’s British, would say “biscuits,” not “cookies.”
Elizabeth has a sailor dress. How old are you, Elizabeth? Are you six already? Such a big girl!