Original Publication Date: 1992
Ghostwriter? Yes, Ellen Miles
Child TV star Derek Masters is heading back to Stoneybrook just in time for a mystery: Claudia notices things in her room have been rearranged, and items missing (Dawn suspects a ghost). Fortunately Derek got to be in an episode of a mystery show, and is ready to help. He's dealing with an issue of his own, though. His TV character is supposed to kiss an actress in an upcoming show, and he's getting teased about it. But the teasing lessens and it turns out in the end that the writers cut the kiss anyway. Back to the mystery...
In addition to the weirdness in Claudia's room, Janine has been acting oddly. She's wearing (badly-applied) makeup, asking to borrow out-of-character clothes from Claudia, and being late to things. She even asks Claudia for a makeover. But she won't say why. She even lies about where she'll be when she's late for dinner, and gets grounded. When Claudia talks to Derek, he has some outlandish ideas (she was abducted by aliens!) but also some okay ones, like following Janine to see what she's up to. Claudia and Derek do, and see Janine meeting a handsome stranger. Of course, the BSC is too dense to realize that Janine has a boyfriend. Claudia ends up confronting Janine about meeting the stranger and getting in his car in front of their parents, and Janine confesses that she's been seeing Jerry Michaels, and dressing to impress him. Naturally, he prefers the Janine he fell for, and Janine goes back to how she used to dress.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Devil Dog in her backpack
In second grade, Stacey thought she was a princess. That might come up in her biography; I'm not sure.
Claudia and Janine apparently wear the same shoe size.
The Club: nothing new
Claudia mentions having to catch the school bus, but in previous books she walks to school.
PSA time: nothing stood out
Dawn suggests that Janine's up for an academic award and is dressing up to impress a teacher. That seems wrong...
Starting 8th grade: 4
Halloweens in 8th grade: 2 (plus one in seventh)
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 2
Summers after 8th grade: 3
BSC Fights: 7
SMS Staff: 30
Students (other than the BSC): 92; 60 8th graders, 2 7th grader, 18 6th graders, 11 unspecified
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 63 (bonbons, bubble gum, Butterfingers, butterscotch candy, candy hearts, Cheese Doodles, Cheetos, a chocolate bar, chocolate-covered cherries, chocolate marshmallow cookies, Chunky bar, cookies, Cracker Jacks, crackers (unspecified and whole wheat), cupcakes, dark-chocolate caramels, Devil Dogs, Ding-Dongs, Doritos, Fig Newtons, Fritos, fruit pie, gumdrops, Gummi Bears (regular and sweet-n-sour), Heath bars, Hershey's kisses, Ho Hos, jawbreakers, jellybeans, Kit-Kats, licorice, licorice whips, Lifesavers, M&Ms (regular and peanut), Mallomars, malt balls, marshmallows, Mentos, Milky Ways, mini candy bars, Necco wafers, Oreos (Double Stuf and chocolate-dipped), Payday bars, Planter's Peanut bar, popcorn, potato chips, pretzels, pretzel sticks, red hots, Ring Dings, root beer barrels, salt water taffy, Snickers, taco chips, Tootsie Roll Pops, Tootsie Rolls, tortilla chips, Triscuits, Twinkies, Yodels)
Crushes: Claudia-8 (Guy, Terry, Austin Bentley, Timothy Carmody, Arthur Feingold, Woody Jefferson, Trevor Sandbourne, Will Yamakawa), Dawn-5 (Travis, Lewis Bruno, Parker Harris, Price Irving, Richie Magnesi), Mary Anne-2 (Alex, Logan Bruno), Stacey-7 (Toby, Kelsey Bauman, Pete Black, Ross Brown, Pierre D'Amboise, Scott Foley, Sam Thomas), Kristy-1 (Bart Taylor), Mallory-1 (Ben Hobart), Jessi-3 (Daniel, Curtis Shaller, Quint Walter)