Wednesday, October 29, 2014

“Being your answering service is not my main ambition and function in life.” BSC Mystery #7: Dawn and the Disappearing Dogs, AKA The Mallory Book (1993)

I’ve been referring to this book by the wrong name for ten years, and I still have to think twice before I can remember the correct title.
Dawn is pet-sitting for the Mancusis when their Great Dane Cheryl goes missing. She feels horribly guilty, but the BSC doesn’t realize there is a mystery until Kristy’s dog also gets dog-naped, and there’s a whole epidemic of missing dogs in the area. The BSC follows up on a small clue and then is in the right place at the right time to figure out that the new local pet shop provided dogs for clients by stealing them.
Meanwhile, the Krushers and the Bashers are combining forces to combat another team from a nearby town. The younger members protest the fact that the combined team (the Krashers) consists only of the older members of the teams.
Interesting Tidbits
The cover explains this book’s alias. Years and years ago, my sister and I had a hot mess of BSC books covering the floor while we were cleaning. I was rearranging the books and I asked my sister to pass ‘that Mallory book.’ She handed me this book, because Mallory is on the cover and she didn’t look at the name.

That has got to be Vanessa with Mallory and Dawn; glad to see her glasses are as stylish as Mal’s. But her cheerleader costume is wrong; she’s supposed to be wearing a jean skirt. Oh, and Mal looks almost exactly like my sister’s childhood friend Sarah.
I got all excited for a second because I thought this one was German, but I'm thinking it's maybe Dutch? (Babelfish seems to agree.) I love that they call Dawn Betty.

Do you think maybe this was a Dawn book just for the sake of alliteration? It is pretty decent, I admit.
Dawn starts the book by musing about how useless gerbils are. And I laugh, because I’ve said the same thing about hamsters.
Okay, Dawn and I have a few things in common in the first two pages of this book. 1. We both don’t eat red meat because we don’t like it, rather than because we want to save cows. I actually hate cows, and as far as I’m concerned, everyone else should eat MORE cows. 2. She likes to exaggerate; she says the Mancusis have five million pets. That’s, like, my favorite thing to do.
I love the early 90s flashback of Frank the talking bird singing, “You got the right one bay-be!” from the old cola commercials. (I think it was Pepsi).
By the end of chapter three, we haven’t even gotten into the drama of the A plot or the B plot.
When Dawn is getting ready to take the Mancusis’ dogs out, she makes the mistake of using the word ‘walk.’ Of course, the dogs go nuts. So Dawn spells it…and one of the dogs still goes nuts. My childhood best friend’s dogs could spell both walk and treat, and also went crazy if you just brushed your hand against their leashes.
Ooh, Claudia spelling! Tripplets (guess whom she was sitting for), aktully, cardbored, stuk. She also uses your for you’re and their for there. But the real shocker is that she manages to spell refrigerator correctly!!! Half my coworkers can’t do that. (There is no D, people!)
Snack time with the Pikes: PBJ, the icing off the top of the cake (but not the cake itself), PBK (peanut butter and ketchup…I guess it could be PBC for peanut butter and catsup, but they spell it ketchup in the book), Fig Newtons with Marshmallow Fluff.
The only clue so far to the mystery: this same green car keeps showing up. Dawn and Jessi see it while walking the Mancusis’ dogs, and then it’s stalking the Krushers practice.
Nofe-air! Nofe-air!
Best. Conversation. Ever.
            Dawn: What’s that I smell?
            Sharon: Tofu and vegetable curry. With brown rice on the side. Plus, I made
some seaweed salad.
Mary Anne (entering): What is that smell? Did the garbage disposal back up?
Ha ha ha ha ha! The fun part of the conversation is that Sharon actually made a different meal for Richard and MA, but MA promises to at least try a bite of the curry (which, by the way, is making me hungry even though I just had some awesome southwest-two-bean-chili.) But then she takes a tiny nibble and proclaims she’s full. Richard says he’s also full to get out of trying the curry, but he’s a terrible liar.
Ooh, emergency BSC meeting.
Everyone’s taking notes during a stakeout, so we get more Claudia spelling! Collor, instedd, shoarline, realy, goten, pensils, chassing.
Dawn decides that the green car must be related to all the dog-napping, so all the BSC members go around town looking for it. Kristy and Dawn spot the car or one like it and go to the cops to report it. The cops totally blow them off, which makes me think of two things. First, I know that officers are very busy and don’t take kindly to people who dick around with them, but it would only take a few seconds to look at what they have. Second, the BSC members take themselves sooooo seriously. Kristy and Dawn are so horribly offended when they are dismissed, because they have these awesome detective skills and can’t understand why the officer can’t see that!
I’m trying to puzzle this one out: Mallory made the original missing poster for Shannon, yet the one DM sees is full of Claudia spelling: Mising dog, name: Shannun, breed: Bernaise Mountin dog. They are constantly using the copier at Kristy’s mom’s job, so you’d think they’d have just copied Mal’s poster.
Members of the Krashers: DM, Nicky, Jackie, Matt, from the Krushers, and Jerry, Dave, Joey and Chris from the Bashers
The title quote is what Sharon says to Dawn when Dawn freaks out because Sharon went out for a little while. But really, weren’t most moms of teenagers human answering machines before real answering machines invented?
When Kristy, MA and Dawn discover that the green car belongs to Karl Tate, a rich (and important) businessman, they decide that the car must be a red herring. And all I could think of was A Pup Named Scooby Doo.
To cheer themselves up, MA and Kristy drag Dawn to the new pet store, where they actually see Karl Tate arguing with the owners. Before that happens, though, Dawn keeps getting antsy because the other two want to stop and look at all the pets for sale (which seems like perfectly normal behavior to me.) But after they see Karl Tate, they’re standing in front of the fish tanks and Dawn makes a really bad pun: “Something fishy is going on.”
Oh boy! Two stakeouts in one book! We don’t get Claudia spelling this time, though. She doesn’t go on this one, same as Stacey didn’t go on the first one. (Stacey does, however, kick Kristy in the shin during this one. Hee hee!)
Has anyone ever set up a burglar alarm like these girls do all the time in these books? No? Okay, moving on.
Dawn throws a temper tantrum because she wants to follow a car. (Stacey thought she might have seen a dog-napping just before both she and Dawn arrive at Krashers practice.) She’s actually stamping her foot.
Another awesome conversation:
            Claire: How are you this silly-billy morning?
            Dawn: I’m silly-billy fine.
            MA: I’m goo-goo fine.
Kristy and Bart made an age cut-off to decide who got to play on the Krashers. So how do they justify Jackie and Matt (who are both seven) being on the team, while Margo (also seven) doesn’t get to play?
Okay, giant coincidence time: While watching the Krashers game, Dawn just happens to see Cheryl, the dog who was stolen during her pet-sitting job the week before. From there, the mystery comes together. Karl Tate was in cahoots with the pet store owners. Whenever someone came in looking for a breed of dog, they would find and steal a dog of that breed and then sell it.
Margo actually asks for Dawn’s autograph.
Claudia: blue minidress with polka dots, white leggings, white dot earrings (I had an outfit that looked just like that in 1993, except that it was a black dress with bows and I wore bow earrings.)
Claire: jeans, sweatshirt, wedding veil

Next week was supposed to be #62, but Tessie’s in the middle of moving and she packed up my only copy of the book. Which means I’ll get it back in 2016 if I’m lucky. I’m looking for a new copy, but for now we’ll go on to #63, where we wonder what exactly is the source of Claudia’s spelling problem.


  1. Isn't there also a Patty on the Bashers? Even though in book 20 there weren't any girl Bashers.

    And maybe Matt and Jackie are better players than Margo? Matt certainly is. They constantly say how he's the most skilled Krusher. But you're right, if 7 is the cutoff age, then Margo should've been allowed on the Krashers if she wanted to be.

  2. Haha, the Mallory book. Last week a friend of mine and I were watching our daughters run around like crazy people after their swim lesson, and a boy walked past with a curly, red afro-type hairstyle (though he was white). He was out of earshot, so my friend said, "Let's take a moment to acknowledge that hair." I said, "Did you read the BSC books? Yeah? That's Boy Mallory." She agreed.