September 4, 2013
BSC Mystery #36, Kristy and the Cat Burglar: One Last Case
Summary: Kristy’s out for a walk with her younger siblings when they run into Cary, who’s bird-watching. (What? 13-year-old boys don’t do that? You liar!) They check out a nearby mansion, and they’re near it when they hear what sounds like a gunshot. Sgt. Johnson is on the case and tells the kids that there may have been a break-in. The security guard on duty was called away because his wife was taken to the hospital, and while he was gone, someone broke in and stole some diamonds. Sgt. Johnson was tipped off beforehand that there was going to be a crime.
Sgt. Johnson is joined by a couple of other officers, one of whom is a jerk because he wants to be the chief but Sgt. Johnson is the more likely candidate. The cops investigate, and but it’s Kristy who finds a drawing of a cat on the mailbox, which indicates that the robber was the uncreatively named Cat Burglar who’s been committing break-ins on the East Coast.
The BSC girls start their own investigation and come across the marker used to draw the cat, plus a bullet casing. They also meet the mansion’s owner, whose name is – and I am totally telling the truth here – Reinhardt Golem. He thinks they’re awesome for being little detectives and encourages them to solve the case. He suggests that a business rival, Ben Birch, may have robbed him for revenge.
Things aren’t looking so great for Sgt. Johnson, though. He investigated Golem in the past, after another burglary, and the marker found at the crime scene belonged to him. The call that got the security guard away from his post was about a fake emergency, and Sgt. Johnson was on the scene before anyone else, so he could have easily been there without being spotted. Plus, there are diamonds in his desk, so that’s probably not good. Sgt. Johnson gets arrested, and though the BSC girls find it strange that someone they know as a good guy would commit a crime, they have to admit that the evidence against him is pretty strong. Sgt. Johnson, however, swears that he was framed, and that the marker and bullet casing were planted at the crime scene after it was searched.
Kristy still thinks something’s fishy, so the girls (and Cary, who at this point is practically an associate member of the club) dig a little deeper and find an indication that the cop who hates Sgt. Johnson may have framed him. Kristy, Cary, Abby and Mary Anne head to Golem’s house to give him the news while the other girls go to a restaurant where he eats whenever he’s in town. At Golem’s, Kristy spots a lamp that was supposedly stolen during a previous burglary at one of Golem’s houses, and she realizes that he’s been pretending to be robbed so he can collect the insurance money.
Golem figures out that Kristy figured it out and decides to lock the kids in his house while he jets off to Paris. But the club members who went to the restaurant learned that Golem was there when he was supposedly in Paris, which means he was in town during the burglary. They send the police over to Golem’s, and the almost-kidnapped four are rescued.
Cary goes to a BSC meeting, where the girls lament being snowed by Golem, who really didn’t seem suspicious, which made this a good twist. Also, it turns out Ben Birch was one of his aliases, another good twist. The girls decide that they need to stop playing detective, at least for now, since this mystery almost put them in danger. And that’s why this is the last mystery.
In the B-plot, Charlotte goes all Harriet the Spy on everyone and almost loses some friends.
Thoughts: I can’t believe we don’t get any explanation of the name Reinhardt Golem.
The police don’t put up crime-scene tape. Way to go, guys.
“There’s just something about [Cary] that makes you think he’s up to no good. For example, the fact that he’s often up to no good.” Heh.
Golem seems like a smart criminal until you realize he was dumb enough to display “stolen” goods in his house. And that even if he’d gotten out of the house before the police arrived, he told Kristy and the others where he was going, so it’s a pretty good bet that the police would have tracked him down.