Wednesday, April 8, 2015

“I’ve got an important nap planned.” BSC Mystery #15: Kristy and the Vampires (1994)

I always like to warn you guys when I’ve never read a book before when I’m blogging it. We’re at the point where none of these books are ones I read when they first came out (with two exceptions, which I will note when we get to them), but before I started blogging, I went through and read about 2/3 of the rest of the series. If I didn’t read it, there was one of three reasons. Either neither of my local libraries stocked it (Super Mystery #1, Super Special #15), I ran out of time before I had to return it to the library (#76, which is my next read) or it just sounded stupid. That last one was the case with this one.
So anywho, Derek Masters is back in town, filming a TV movie called Little Vampires. Kristy and Claudia get jobs as on-set babysitters to supervise Derek and his brother Todd. Accidents start happening on the set…the kind that prove someone is tampering with things in order to hurt Derek. The BSC investigates and, unlike most of their books, they don’t really figure out who the suspect is and then gather evidence to prove it. Kristy puts two and two together at the last possible second and stops Derek from driving off in a car with a cut brake line. The culprit is this girl ‘with stringy hair and a rose in her button hole’ who was obsessed with the star of the movie, Carson Fraser, and thought Derek was upstaging him. She winds up in a mental health facility and the movie is a success…and I’m wondering why there was no security on this movie shoot.
Interesting Tidbits
The cover: This actually happens in the book. Claire’s afraid of the vampires, so Kristy tells her to dress up as something scarier than the vampires so they’ll be afraid of her. I’m not sure why a vampire would be scared of a witch, but I don’t have five-year-old logic, either.

Oh, and of course Kristy’s shirt says “Little Vampires” rather than Little Vampires, and this is where the picture of Kristy on the covers comes from. And Mary Anne’s wearing her watch on her right hand again!
Kristy starts off with a Serious Case of the Caps, when she defines the first day of the story as The Day I Found Out It Was Going to Be an Interesting Summer.
Kristy first hears about the ‘movie’ in the newspaper, but David Michael already knew thanks to the Stoneybrook gossip chain. This is also how everyone else heard about it, so apparently, Kristy is out of the loop.
If it’s so far from Kristy’s house to Claudia’s that Charlie has to drive her to all the BSC meetings, how come Mary Anne the unathletic can ride her bike to Kristy’s like it’s no big deal?
Ahh, siblings. When Charlie drops Kristy (and Mary Anne) off at Claudia’s, he calls her Nerd-Brain and she calls him Mush-Mouth.
Claudia calls the movie Baby Dracula. That’s probably already been done at some point.
After ‘going back in time’ for the last book, I completely forgot that this was during Dawn’s visit to California. Shannon shows up at the first meeting and I couldn’t figure out why she was there. (As a side note, doesn’t Shannon usually spend most of the summer at camp?)
Chapter three is supposed to be all exciting because it’s Kristy’s first day on set and she’s learning all about what a movie set is like. It was actually really boring, full of new character names. We meet Missy the makeup lady; Carson Fraser, the bad actor who’s the star of the movie and his agent, Frank; Sheila, the publicist, Harry the director and Cliff the producer.
A general outline of the movie’s plot: Laddie Alducar, a vampire, moves to the US from Transylvania. He missed out on having a normal childhood, so he tries to recreate it by coaching little league and making friends with Derek’s character, but then his vampire-side decides to turn Derek into a vampire. Eventually, he decides to become a regular kid (I’m not sure how that happens; even the vampires in that Twilight crap couldn’t just magically become ‘normal’) and lives happily ever after. Sounds like something you’d see on the Disney Channel right around Halloween.
There’s this whole stupid thing about how Derek has grown a whole bunch and is clumsy because of it. He actually drops a Tiffany lamp that’s a prop for the movie, and that’s how we meet Zeke the prop master. My real question about this is that this is a TV movie that’s clearly aimed at kids. Those aren’t exactly high-budget pieces. Why would the prop master spend the money on a ‘one of a kind Tiffany lamp’ when you can get cheapy replicas in a lot of stores?
Claire’s afraid of the vampires on set because Adam and Jordan have been telling her scary vampire tales. Adam even prepared for the fact that Mal (and their parents) would try to talk Claire out of her fear: he told her that some people believe vampires are just made up, but she shouldn’t believe that because it isn’t true. After a boy in a vampire costume messes with her, she spends the rest of the day on various vampire repellants.
The mystery is afoot! First someone put something slippery on the floor so that Derek would slip. Then they replaced a pane of breakaway glass (which was supposed to be a window pane Derek gets pushed through) with real glass. Luckily, the pane breaks before Derek gets near it. The prop master gets fired over that.
Oh, this is so realistic. Kristy asks to see paperwork to trace the evolution of the pane of glass, and an assistant just lets her go through a pile of receipts. She doesn’t even ask who Kristy is!
Ha! The P.R. bitch* keeps calling Kristy by the wrong name.
*Obviously, Sheila from P.R. is supposed to be a red herring. She made a point of saying there’s no such thing as bad publicity, and then the next thing you know, all these bad things start happening on set. She seems to be determined to make sure that everyone in the whole country is going to be talking about this crappy TV movie.
Mrs. Masters says Derek can’t have any cookies before lunch. Yet the day before she let Todd have a soda even earlier in the day. I would think soda would be much worse than a cookie.
Next ‘accident’ on the set: Derek’s stunt double, Cheryl, crashes to the ground when her flying harness comes loose. Derek would have been doing that stunt if it weren’t for the glass incident. Later that day, Derek gets a card that says, “Scared yet? You should be. Get off this set—and stay off!” (We won’t discuss the fact that Kristy opened the envelope on that card even though it was addressed to Derek.)
Ooh, emergency BSC meeting!
Shannon takes notes at the meeting—originally, just for herself. She even draws up a list of suspects before sharing with the rest of the members. I guess she’s done enough BSC mysteries at this point that she’s drawn in.
It seems really unlikely to me that this set would be so unguarded. Various people are able just to walk on set and watch without any security clearance or anything. It’s one thing when Derek tells the Pike girls they’re okay because they’re with him, but they were able to walk up on set prior to finding Derek without anyone questioning their presence.
Shannon and Charlotte seems like a good pair since they’re both smart and apparently both enjoy playing detective. When Shannon suggests they tail suspects, Charlotte’s response is, “I’m good at that.” Then she goes and gets sunglasses for her, Shannon and Becca so no one recognizes them. (Of course, the sunglasses are all silly, covered in rhinestones or hearts. Charlotte’s eight, after all.)
Even funnier, when they show up on set, Claudia says, “I bet they’re playing detective. See the sunglasses?”
Oh yeah, there’s this whole thing about how Cokie keeps showing up on set and acting like she and Kristy are friends (BFFs for life, as one of my coworkers would say) in an effort to meet Carson. She throws a party hoping he’ll show up, and invites the entire cast and crew. Claudia and Kristy attend the party because Derek and Todd do, but of course Carson doesn’t show up. To make things worse, Derek drenches Cokie while doing a cannonball and then everyone who ate at the party gets food poisoning!
Mary Anne suggests Cokie could be the cause of the accidents because she’s so obsessed with Carson.
Wait. Why does Logan have a sitting job if not all the BSC members do? I guess he’s got more availability during the summer, but you’d think they’d give it to full members first.
Kristy and a few others try to go hunt down the source of the glass again, but the office of the company that provided it is so disorganized that they don’t even get to talk to anyone. They four of them end up laughing hysterically about it, but it sounds a little like my manager’s office.
Kristy decides Frank the agent must be responsible, because he looks like a villain: he wears black and smokes cigars. That sounds like something a little kid would think.
Kristy decides to talk to Derek’s limo driver while waiting for Derek on set. He’s the one who says the title quote.
I love how the BSC actually acknowledges that their sleuthing is getting them nowhere. Kristy only solves the mystery because she sees this girl who has been on set every day talking to the P.R. bitch and a reporter and realizes she’s related to the people who provided the safety glass that got switched. Later, she sees her covered in grease and she drops a repair manual for cars. Kristy’s able to piece together that she tampered with Derek’s limo just in time.
Isn’t it nice how various bad guys in these stories keep dropping incriminating evidence and not realizing it? If real criminals all did that, the police would be able to solve a lot more crimes.
That was one of the dumbest ones yet. I feel like I just wasted a whole afternoon.
Sheila (the P.R. bitch): gauzy pink blouse, silky black pants, pink heels and pink rhinestone clips; peach colored suit (this chick just loves the pastels; they also describe her wearing lavender pumps at one point)
Cokie: white ruffled peasant blouse, pink flowered skirt, high heeled sandals; pink mini dress, pink heels, pink nail polish and lipstick
Claudia: flowery jumpsuit
Kristy: shorts and t-shirt

Coming next: We’re going to do another book I’ve never read before but am actually looking forward to…because I heard Stacey acts like a selfish brat through the whole thing. Nothing against Stacey, but I kinda love when the BSC act more like real teenagers.

1 comment:

  1. So many of the mysteries were boring to me. This was no exception.