Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"Girls, rum, mango and papayas." BSC Mystery #8: Jessi and the Jewel Thieves (1993)

aka Jessi Misinterprets Something and Hilarity Ensues
I had this written a week ago, but didn't get to post it, due to poor health. It's posted here as I wrote it at the time.
Wow, this one is packed with ridiculousity. I think it's supposed to come off all cute, like a sitcom, but instead it makes Jessi and her friend Quint look really stupid.
Jessi goes to stay with Stacey for the weekend in NYC, so she can see her friend Quint perform at Julliard. While visitng Quint, she overhears a couple of men planning a jewel heist. She and Quint chase these men all over Central Park, but eventually discover that they were rehearsing for a play.
Back in Stoneybrook, Becca is spending the weekend with the Pikes. She feels like her family has abandoned her and acts like a whiny baby until MA helps her run away to her home for a couple of hours.
Interesting tidbits
Jessi points out she didn't kiss Quint the first day she met him. I'm soooo relieved. I was picturing her as big slut before she said that.
Jessi's parents and Aunt Cecelia are going to a wedding, hence why Becca is staying with the Pikes. Given their history, I'm surprised the Ramseys didn't leave Becca in charge of Squirt. They have no problem leaving Jessi in charge of them both.
On that note, whenever I read a Jessi or Mallory book, I remember that the legal age to leave a child home alone in the state where I grew up was 12. Of course, a lot of parents didn't follow that, but I can't even imagine leaving an 11 year old in charge of a small child.
I love how, during the description of the girls in chapter 2, they always have to point out that Claudia's not a porker. It's always like, "Claudia eats like a pig, but she's just the right weight!"
Jessi says Dawn usually brings her own snacks to BSC meetings, but doesn't Claudia usually have some healthy, low sugar snacks for Dawn and Stacey?
Jessi actually acknowledges how stupid it is to send postcards on a weekend trip. I've never understood why these girls do that.
The "jewel thieves'" conversation is so clich├ęd, I knew when I read it back when I was 12 that either a) they were in a play or b) the ghostwriter had watched waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too many crappy old movies. Among the phrases are "double-crossing weasel" and "lily-livered, chicken hearted wimp," and the two men are straight out of central casting.
Jessi says she calls Mallory and says "It's me" and Mallory knows who it is. Is she surprised? I'd hope she'd recognize her best friend's voice.
Aren't Quint and Jessi a little old to "play detective?" I think I was really into that when I was eight or nine. A friend and I used to spy on all kinds of people, hoping to find a mystery.
I find it ironic that Jessi talks about how great it is to reread books (specifically, Misty of Chincoteague). Rereading this one is killing me.
Quint and Jessi are not subtle about following the "jewel thieves." I'm really surprised the two men don't realize they're being followed.
Stacey's dad takes Stacey, Jessi and Quint out for lunch and lets Jessi choose. One, how is Jessi (who has not spent much time in NYC) supposed to know what the options even are? Two, she and Quint choose the Palm Court, which is the restaurant that the two robbers mentioned. Really?
Jessi apparently loves the carousel in Central Park so much, she gives her horse a name and pretends he was real.
Parts of this book read like a guide book for NYC. Guess that was because MA wasn't there to fulfill that role.
Claudia misspellings: haden't (hadn't), notbook (notebook), probibly (probably), woulden't (wouldn't), beleive (believe),Becka (Becca), culd (could), haveing (having), ackting (acting), fammily (family), seene (seen), hapenned (happened), parrents (parents). And my favorite, hippily instead of happily. Oddly, this entry occurs right before the chapter about MA and Mallory babysitting the Pikes and Becca on Saturday. Claudia babysits later in the book on Sunday.
Becca's being all pathetic because her family left her behind. While it's all very bratty, she has a bit of a point. They had to hire a babysitter to watch Squirt anyway, so why not take Becca with also?
Dawn apparently has nothing better to do with her Saturday than cover MA's babysitting job (probably unpaid). I think I remember that happening in another book too, where one of the girls called someone over to cover her job so she could go "save the day" with one of the charges. (I want to say it was #9, aka Dawn Sucks out My Soul.)
MA mentions her dad going away on a business trip when she was in third grade. Which is consistent with several other books, including SS #11, the "remembering" book.
Jessi spots the "jewel thieves" in the audience at Quint's Julliard performance. She says one of them is staring at her. Well, of course he is! She was staring at him first.
Jessi and Quint actually attempt to go through the suspects' trash.
Jessi and Quint get kicked out of a jewelry store. I don't know why, but this makes me laugh. I think it's that it's the most realistic part of the whole story.
What are the Kishis eating? Claudia finds a bunch of paper towel rolls and "several" oatmeal boxes in the recycling bin. That's awfully convenient. I don't know anyone who eats that much oatmeal.
The Pikes call paper towel rolls "Hoo-hoo tubes." Never heard that before, but I don't know a kid who hasn't used one as a microphone at some point.
Becca names her dragon Charlotte after Charlotte's Web. Wouldn't her first connection to that name be her best friend?
Jessi buys Becca a troll doll. Ahh, memories.
Waiter at the Palm Court: green pants, white jacket, mustard sash. Jessi thinks it's cool and can't wait to tell Claudia about it
Jessi: black velvet dress, jet necklace; sweater with geometric designs in primary colors (borrowed from Mallory), jeans and black boots
Next week: Mallory and the Trouble with Twins

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