Original Publication Date: 1994
Ghostwriter? Yes, Ellen Miles
From my favorite Super Special (and one of my favorites overall) to a mystery. Yeesh. At least this one has a darkroom.
Remember how in Stacey's Lie Claudia was interested in--and pretty good at--photography? It wasn't just a one-time thing. She's taking a photography class in SMS's summer school. It inspires her to come up with an idea of a project for Dawn: the BSC and the charges will go around Stoneybrook one day and take pictures, selecting the best for a photo album for her, "A Day in the Life of Stoneybrook." Claudia finds herself and Mary Anne taking a lot of shots of the bank's architecture...and then finds out a large sum was stolen that day. There's even a scary bit when a mysterious figure opens her bathroom/darkroom door and ruins her film (but it was Janine). At first, it looks like there's nothing in the pictures, but when she enlarges them she notices something odd and it helps solve the case. There's a lit window, and with some other information, the police are able to nab the bank VP.
Greer at http://blog.stoneybrookite.org/ is diligently posting about the BSC Challenge. Here are my next answers:
Favorite minor character: Sam Thomas, I think. I really like the Sam-Stacey pairing. And Mimi is way up there, of course.
Least favorite minor character: The obvious answer is Mr. Nichols, who beats his kids (Claudia and the Terrible Truth). I also don't like the Jeremy character from the Friends Forever series. We get a character from my neck of the woods and he's a jerk? Not cool, Ann, not cool.
Favorite parent: I think Richard Spier and Elizabeth (Thomas) Brewer both did an admirable job in very difficult circumstances.
Least favorite parents: Well, obviously, Patrick Thomas is an awful parent. Shannon's parents are also very distant and clueless. They remind me of a family I nannied for; the parents seemed to actually clock out when I arrived and didn't pay a whole lot of attention to their kids at any point. It showed in the kids' behavior, too.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: Hershey's kisses in a box of pastels, jaw breakers, Fig Newtons, pretzels
I keep forgetting that Logan's supposed to have curly hair. His pictures never do, but we're often told so.
This isn't the first time Shannon has been the distraction during a BSC mystery investigation. Those drama camp lessons must be good for something.
Kristy gets "a craving" for pizza...hmm, wanting salty food...is she becoming a woman?
The Kishis must be loaded. Just running out to set up a temporary darkroom, with all the equipment and chemicals needed, can't be cheap. She's not just developing photographs, but the negatives too.
On page 23, we're informed that one of Mallory's brothers is named Gordan. Did Claudia's spelling troubles infect the editor? (He's Jordan again on page 31)
Richard Spier would have an old Brownie camera.
Mrs. Kishi's bank PIN is Claudia's birthday.
The Club: nothing new.
Photography teacher/stuck doing summer school: Mr. Geist
Math teacher/stuck: Mr. Davies
A robbery happens when the victim is aware of the theft as it happens (like a mugging). The bank in this story wasn't robbed; it was burgled.
This is the first time Sgt Johnson features prominently. And he lets the BSC in the interrogation room with a suspect...?
The ATMs in Stoneybrook give out tens, fives, or fifties (Claudia's mom routinely gets $50).
It really makes no sense how Claudia' film negatives get destroyed. I've developed film and pictures, and you open the film canister and put it on the developing solution in a sealed bag. You can sit outside on a bright sunny day under a tanning lamp, and as long as no one opens the bag your film will be fine. Claudia even mentions the bag that's used for this purpose. Her individual prints might have been exposed to light too early and ruined, but the negatives would still have been intact.
Starting 8th grade: 6
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 2
Halloweens in 8th grade: 3 (plus one in seventh)
Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 1
Summers after 8th grade: 7
BSC Fights: 8
SMS Staff and Faculty: 47
Students (other than the BSC): 165; 101 8th graders, 6 7th graders, 42 6th graders, 15 unspecified
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 95