Thursday, July 18, 2013

"Paint goes on paper. Not people." BSC Mystery #32: Claudia and the Mystery in the Painting (1997)

You know how I feel about the mysteries. This one is convoluted and more than a little silly. Claudia ropes the BSC into helping Rebecca Madden, whose grandmother (conveniently named Grandmother Madden) was an artist. She was believed to have destroyed most of her artwork sometime before she died. Now her estate is up for auction and Claudia believes that the art is still somewhere in the house. There's all this goofiness because a Mr. Ogura keeps coming by the house, but never actually talking to Rebecca, despite the fact that she says he's working with her on appraisals. Turns out, there are two Mr. Oguras, father and son. Father is working with Rebecca, while son is in cahoots (love that word!) with Rebecca's cousin Suzanne to find and steal any artwork that turns up. Claudia discovers the art was all painted over and the BSC stops the bad guys. Tra la la, happy ending.

The subplot is so much easier to explain. The museum from mystery #11 is opening a "Kaleidoscope Room" that allows kids to do art projects. The woman running the room wants all the kids to have matching projects, so she doesn't let them be creative. Eventually, she sees the error of her ways, thanks to Claudia and Abby.

Interesting Tidbits

Two things about the cover. First, Claudia's outfit isn't so much wild and crazy as stupid. She's wearing a shirt that's too long to be 3/4 sleeved and too short to be long sleeved. Plus, dark wash jeans with a light wash jean coat cut into a vest. BRRR.

Second, that's one ugly cat (and I love cats.)

Oooh, Mrs. Kishi outfit on page 2! (see below)

Claudia's dad is a partner in an investment firm. I'm not sure if I knew that from an earlier book or from the Complete Guide.

It's not 1988 anymore: Mrs. Kishi shows Claudia how to use the electronic card catalog. (Claudia calls her mom Superlibrarian.)

Heh: "You have a babysitting job with this family, not a detective job."

How does Claudia manage to hide chocolate in her bed? Don't M&Ms left under a pillow turn to chocolate soup after a while?

Abby gets scared of having to supervise kids on an art project. That seems...out of character. Humorously, though, when she asks what she's supposed to do, the BSC members give her "helpful" suggestions: Make sure the kids paint on paper, not each other (Kristy); Stop them from eating clay (Stacey); Make sure they don't put beans up their noses (Mal)

Okay, so Abby's allergic to paint? No wonder she was having issues with the art project. I take back what I said.

Mrs. O'Neal, the woman running the Kaleidoscope Room, is pretty dumb. She puts out outlines of a bear for the kids to paint, but only gives them brown paint (she's never heard of polar bears? panda bears? black bears?) And then she gives the kids clay but only wants them to run it through molds. Yet she's got all these other supplies visible where the kids can see (and want) them. She's more concerned with order and mess than with creativity.

Heh II. Charlie drops Kristy off at the Maddens'. He sees Claudia looking at the rocks at the side of the house--where the key is hidden--and asks her if she's making a rock sculpture.

Claudia decides that Ms. Madden, who is a friend of Kristy's mom, must know a little about the BSC, because she sends Stacey to organize clothing in the closets and has MA working on the books in the library.

Grandmother Madden had a bunch of cats, all of whom looked the same, and called them all by the same name. I can't even imagine doing that. After Mistletoe died in March, I didn't even want another cat that looked like her.

Claudia is at the museum and an employee tells her it's closing in 15 minutes. Claudia's also worried she'll be late for the BSC meeting if she doesn't hurry. What kind of museum closes at 5 or 5:30 in the afternoon?

Heh III: "This deliveryman, who didn't look like a delivery man..." (Stacey) "Meaning?" (Claudia) "Meaning he didn't have any pizza?" (Guess who)

Page 108 of my copy has a random black blob over a couple of words. Doesn't affect the story in anyway, but I've never seen anything like it.

I like that, although we don't see the Addisons very often, anytime Corrie shows up, the book is art related. And they're consistent about Corrie's parents avoiding spending time with her.

Heh IV. Abby's trying to compliment Corrie's work, but can't think of an artist. So she says it's as good as Pele. Sean tells Corrie who Pele is (how does he know?) and Corrie thinks that means that Abby is insulting her artwork.

There's this whole stupid conversation about how Stacey should have redone her fingernail polish before putting on decals. It keeps coming up over and over, so you know it's important. In fact, it's how Claudia figures out Grandma Moses Grandmother Madden had someone paint over her artwork.

They must have been getting lazy by this point in the series: the "painting over the artwork" thing has already been done.

Claudia totally trespasses on the Madden property. She knows where the key is, but doesn't have permission to use it.

When Claudia discovers young Mr. Ogura and Suzanne Madden stealing the paintings, they lock her into a closet. Which made me laugh for some reason.

Conveniently, all the really good stuff with Ogura and Suzanne getting captured happens "off screen."

This one really did suck. BLEAH!


Mrs. Kishi: black skirt, red blouse, earrings that Claudia made: books that really open

Claudia: navy pants, white t-shirt, red suspenders, red and white checked shirt, sunburst earrings; black skirt with flowers embroidered at the hem, pink top, papier-mâché bead necklace, beret, earrings

Stacey: red and black plaid skirt, clunky shoes, black ribbed turtleneck (she sounds like something out of Clueless)

New Clients:

Jimmy Cook (7)--23

Next week: A Forever Friends book. I have two, neither of which I've read. We'll see.

1 comment:

  1. hi i have the summer before, if you want i can help you Julie