Original Publication Date: 1995
Ghostwriter? Yes, Nola Thacker
Ugh, mysteries. Ugh, SUPER mysteries. I just don't like them! This one could have been suspenseful even, but the pacing is bizarre and a lot of the "scary" parts are told through third-person rather than first-person narration. So annoying! But I had my wisdom teeth removed Friday morning (uppers in my sinus cavities, lowers impacted and erupting) and I've taken my percocet, so I should be able to make it through. I blame any typos on the narcotics.
The BSC returns to Shadow Lake. Well, Kristy, Claudia, and Mary Anne do, with Abby coming along too, while the rest stay behind for various reasons. Before they leave, the mysteries start. Kristy and Abby witness a breaking-and-entering (turns out to be the home-owner's son having money troubles), Mary Anne and Logan seem to be passing each rude notes but neither of them actually authored any...and then things get weirder.
Kristy is threatened with a rock thrown through a downstairs window, the rock reading "You're next." Mary Anne sees a prowler outside her house. Someone starts a fire in Claudia's family's outdoor trash cans. There are threatening calls to the original four of the BSC. Stacey is almost run down by a car.
It gets really dicey later on: someone is stalking the four girls at Shadow Lake, and Shannon, Jessi, and Mallory discover they're in real danger. Turns out that Karl Tate, who was running that dog-napping ring back in Mystery #7, is back. The Shadow Lake girls get stranded on ski lifts, snow-bound with power outages (but not fun ones like in that Super Special), and unknowingly lead by the culprit through a blizzard. Also, Stacey's insulin is stolen, which is just creepy (she has an emergency kit though).
Then the twist: Karl Tate IS at Shadow Lake, but the protect the BSC. His son is after the girls, seeking revenge. Things are revealed and solved just in the nick of time, and the book sort of fizzles out. Again, could have been good. But the extraneous plot points, the poor pacing, the illogical narrations, the outright STUPID notebook enteries...this is a hard book for me to get through.
So...did I throw up from a combination of swallowed blood and anesthesia, or from the overwrought melodrama of this book?
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: none mentioned
Abby knows some Yiddish.
Logan's main sports are baseball and track. Football's come up a lot too, though. In fact, his being on the team is mentioned in chapter 4.
Claudia lends Mary Anne a pair of earrings. Claudia has clip-ons? Or Mary Anne suddenly has pierced ears? Chapter 2 is silent on the matter.
A line of Kristy's narration reveals that she might not think of herself as such a bossy personality as others do; she might think that some things she states as commands are suggestions. (page 154)
Sam Thomas breaks up with his girlfriend early in the book. Stacey, are you paying attention? Leave Robert.
Neither the Kishis nor the Schafer-Spiers have regular answering machines (although Claudia does).
The Club (and clients):
This book sees the advent of the mystery notebook. Mallory compiles it.
Claudia gets to fill in as president when both Kristy and Abby miss a meeting due to being interviewed by police after witnessing a potential buglary.
SMS: nothing new.
Once upon a time, Mary Anne warned us that many cats are lactose intolerant, especially the males, and that milk should only be a small occasional treat. Here she gives Tigger milk with no such warning.
I think it's weird that Super Specials have pictures, but Super Mysteries don't.
If you're in the Seattle area and need dental work, I highly recommend the UW School of Dentristy. I had a consult Thursday morning at 10, a nice low insurance quote by 2:00 pm, set up surgery for Friday at 9, and was home recovering before noon.
Starting 8th grade: 8
Halloweens in 8th grade: 5 (plus one in seventh)
Thanksgivings in 8th grade: 2
Winter holidays in 8th grade (that BSC members celebrate, not just reference): Christmas-2, Hanukkah-1, Kwanzaa-1
Valentine's Days in 8th grade: 2
Summers after 8th grade: 8
BSC Fights: 10
SMS Staff and Faculty: 54
Students (other than the BSC): 177; 113 8th graders, 6 7th graders, 42 6th graders, 15 unspecified. Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation tells us that SMS has about 380 students.
Clients: 33 families
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 117