Kristy and the Missing Fortune (M#19)

Original Publication Date: 1995

Ghostwriter? Yes, Ellen Miles


Kristy stumbles across a mystery: a young woman named Christina Thomas who disappeared, probably with some gold...and who might be one of Kristy's ancestors (yes, she does acknowledge that Thomas is a common name). Kristy finds a relative of Christina's, a great-great-niece, who lends her the last letter received from Christina, which has a clue on it in the form of an intricate sketch.

Kristy finds some clues while the BSC is helping fix up the arboretum. They're cleaning up to make it presentable to potential buyers, lest it get developed. It turns out Christina's family owned the land before, and it was donated by her great-niece and nephew. Who else is in Christina's family? Cokie Mason! Her maternal grandmother is the one who lent Kristy the letter. The BSC discovers this when they go to the arboretum at night and she's there, too. Due to the moon behaving as it never has before or since (see my last paragraph below) they find a lockbox with Christina's treasures. No gold, but it does have the deed to the land the arboretum's on, so it's saved from the developers.

What happened to Christina, or she's Kristy's ancestor, is never discovered. However...if Kristy is related to Christina...then she's also related to Cokie!

Established or continued in this book:

The Girls (and Logan):

Claudia candy: Cocoa Blinkens, popcorn, M&Ms, Chips Ahoy, sourdough pretzels, and Fig, Apple, and Cherry Newtons

Claudia still remembers the knitting that Mary Anne taught her: she's knitting a scarf, with three colors of yarn. Hmm...three at once? Stranding? Intarsia? Color changes?

Stacey's spending more time with Robert, rather than hanging out with the BSC.

Their Families:

Watson tells "the stupidest jokes in the world." Kristy still loves him, though.

David Michael is still a "champion whiner."

Shannon's sister has a green thumb...why don't they ask her for help with Jessi's plant-sitting job?

The Club (and clients):

Jessi gets a plant-sitting job. Everyone acts like it's a huge inconvenience, but come on. All you have to do is water the things every few days. In fact, inspired by the BSC, a pre-teen me put up fliers in my neighborhood advertising my pet- and plant-sitting services to vacationing neighbors.

SMS: nothing new.

PSA Time:

Spend five minutes looking up how the moon phases work if you're going to incorporate them in a plot. Otherwise you will incur my (impotent) wrath.


The Krushers only play during the regular baseball season, so no winter games. For some reason, I thought they were year-round.

In my experience, cats suddenly biting while being pet isn't due to being old and cranky, like Kristy thinks is the case with Boo-Boo. I know at least three cats who get so happy they don't know what else to do.

Does Ann M. Martin hate February? It's a common thing among the BSC.

The archaic "Stoneybrooke" is used in old letters and the like (dating from the late 1800s).

Because I've always lived in the Seattle area with its great Washington Park Arboretum, I find it odd that Stoneybrook's is so unknown, even by long-time residents like Watson Brewer.

The BSC makes a big deal about the size of some footprints, stating they're too small to be an adult's because their "small like ours." By the time I was 13 my feet were fully grown, and three sizes bigger than my mom's. Not far behind my dad's, for that matter.

February 14, 1863 didn't have a full moon. It was a waxing crescent and hit first quarter three days later; the full moon that month was the 25th. Also, while the technical "full moon" is brief, for all intents and purposes, the night surrounding a full moon are pretty similar in terms of brightness. More importantly to the plot, FULL MOONS RISE AT SUNSET. ALWAYS. The moon is full when its "front" (relative to the Earth) is facing the sun. From the earth's perspective, the sun and moon are opposite each other when the moon is full. But these are the same girls who told Claire Pike that when the sun sets it goes behind a cloud, so why should I expect them to know anything about astronomy.

The numbers:

Starting 8th grade: 7

Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 2

Halloweens in 8th grade: 4 (plus one in seventh)

Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 1

Christmases in 8th grade: 1 (Hanukkah is also mentioned, but no one in the BSC celebrates it)

Summers after 8th grade: 7

BSC Fights: 9

SMS Staff and Faculty: 47

Students (other than the BSC): 165; 101 8th graders, 6 7th graders, 42 6th graders, 15 unspecified

Clients: 31

Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 101

Mary Anne-2


noseinanovel said...

I remember being so let down by both this mystery and "Kristy and the Haunted Mansion" because both had the potential to be actual mysteries, with satisfying conclusions...but weren't. They were just dropped, loose ends quickly tied up, nothing satisfying for all the foreshadowing and build up. I know we're talking about the BSC, but still.

SJSiff said...

You're right; both of these Kristy mysteries ended in a way that makes me think the ghostwriter had reached a page limit rather than a real conclusion. Although I do like that this mystery isn't totally solved; we still don't know what happened to Christina.

Anonymous said...

Incidentally, I would not be optimistic on the deed being intact after more than a century undergound. Don't know what that box is made of, but unless it has been carefully sealed, groundwater will get in, probably within a few years. Dirt will follow. The process will feed on itself; as more water enters, the entry will get larger, and more can enter. Not to mention the strain placed on the box by the weight of soil, tree roots hitting it, etc. The paper would be acid free, thus it would not deteriorate on its own, but water and soil processes mean that it will likely decompose well before a century is up. If it were desert or tundra, that might be another story, but a temperate climate like Connecticut- the odds are not good.

SJSiff said...

That's a very good point, Anon. We know Stoneybrook's seen at least one blizzard and a hurricane in recent memory!