Original Publication Date: 1996
Ghostwriter? Yes, Nola Thacker
Bleh, Super Mystery. Only one more of these to go!
This time, Kristy, Abby, Stacey, Mallory, and Mary Anne are on a four day school trip to Salem, MA while a famous diamond called the Witch's Eye is stolen. The girls investigate because they have to be involved in everything, and some creepy stuff starts happening to them, like coming back to the hotel to find their rooms ransacked. Back in Stoneybrook, Claudia, Jessi, Logan, and Shannon (staying behind due to grades, a ballet a recital, a football game, and not going to SMS, respectively) organize a Halloween parade for the kids. Mostly the plot stays on focus, but each sitter gets at least one chapter:
Abby picks up a souvenir pumpkin keychain, and after the creepy stuff starts, wonders if it's cursed and bringing bad luck on the BSC. It turns out that the pumpkin is hollow, and the stolen diamond is inside, which explains why people have been following her, going through her hotel room, and so on: the theif was trying to get the diamond back.
Kristy tries to hold pranks from Cary Retlin and Alan Gray at bay. She ends up in the now-closed museum that the diamond was stolen from and gets locked inside with Alan Gray. The two of them figure out that Cary is behind both of them being able to enter the museum and team up to scare him.
Mary Anne finds a discarded disguise that was presumably used by the theif.
Mallory helps out a fellow student who's being picked on by Cokie by sort of...halfway between befriending and defending her.
Stacey finds a clue--a piece of paper with a series of numbers written on it, which turn out to be a combination to a hotel room safe. She does some work to narrow down the list of suspects.
Jessi gets the mystery notebook down to Mallory in Salem (a teacher's husband is coming for part of the trip). Again, the trip is FOUR DAYS.
Claudia's chapters mostly mention her homework troubles. She and Logan also come up with the idea of organizing the Halloween parade for the charges.
Logan helps the kids make costumes for Halloween.
Shannon helps Jordan Pike deal with his book of "magic spells" not working out as he had envisioned.
It turns out that a famous author, who had been researching the diamond and its supposed curse, stole the diamond with a partner to add to its mystery and help sell the book she's writing. The BSC serves as the catalyst to solving the mystery, and the owner of the diamond is very grateful.
Established or continued in this book:
The Girls (and Logan):
Claudia candy: M&Ms
Foreshadowing: Claudia and her parents are worried about her grades.
If these books were written now, I wonder if Dawn would crusade against high fructose corn syrup rather than sugar.
At one point, Abby starts concocting a complicated and gruesome (well, for the BSC) theory about the mystery. Later on, in mystery #36, we'll find out that she's a fan of shows similar to America's Most Wanted and Unsolved Mysteries, so this makes sense.
Mary Anne narrates that Abby is the most individual a person she knows, rather than Dawn!
Stacey has a great memory for numbers. She says they "imprint" on her brain almost immediately and stick with her for a while.
Mallory makes a reference to going to a candle light church service. In the fourth and final Super Mystery it's implied that her family attends a church at least semi-regularly, although religion is rarely mentioned in the BSC books.
Sometimes Nikcy Pike goes through rolls of pennies that his dad gets from the bank, and has twice found one worth five dollars. Unless the penny has a rare defect, Lincoln pennies are worth face value, wheat pennies are worth about three cents, and "Indian head" pennies are worth at least a dollar. The pennies with rare mistakes are worth much more than five dollars, so Nicky must have found Indian head pennies in fantastic shape.
The Club (and clients): nothing new.
New-to-us student: Eileen Murphy (6th).
Mary Anne spends an afternoon watching Ms. Garcia's five-year-old daughter. Ms. Garcia references her family being "just the two of us" and says that her daughter has the same outgoing personality that her father had. I didn't realize she was a widow.
Okay, look. In the US, there is a constitutional garauntee to freedom of speech, of the press, etc. But it means that the GOVERNMENT can't step in the way of these things. Individuals and private businesses can still tell you to shut up or hold your protest on the (public) sidewalk instead of on private property and do so without infringing on any rights. You can say that they're being jerks, and you may well be right, but they are not violating the Constitution.
This Halloween is the sixth one celebrated while the (older) BSC members are in eighth grade.
Abby congratulates Mallory on her clever deduction, then wonders aloud if she meant induction instead. I like to think that was a subtle commentary on Mallory perhaps following in her parents' footsteps and having a bunch of kids.
Starting 8th grade: 9
Halloweens in 8th grade: 6 (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: 3
Summers after 8th grade: 9
BSC Fights: 11
SMS Staff and Faculty: 56
Students (other than the BSC): 184: 118 8th graders (not including Amelia Freeman, who is deceased), 6 7th graders, 44 6th graders, 15 unspecified. Baby-sitters' Winter Vacation tells us that SMS has about 380 students.
Clients: 35 families
Types of candy in Claudia’s room: 120