Monday, May 18, 2015

“His room is decorated in what Jessi likes to call ‘Early American Ninja Turtle.’” BSC Mystery #17: Dawn and the Halloween Mystery (1994)

Why are the books going Claudia, Dawn, Claudia, Dawn? Luckily, for the rest of the month we have Mary Anne, then Stacey, then a super special.
Wow, this one is really dumb. Dawn witnesses a convenience store robbery, seeing the clown-masked robber and her getaway car. She and the We Heart Kids Club decide to try to track down the robber by identifying the mask. Meanwhile, Dawn has been sitting for a boy named Timmy Ford with the DeWitt boys. Timmy’s parents are separated and he’s been missing his mother, who doesn’t make enough money to support him. Mrs. Ford is actually the robber; she was trying to get money so Timmy could come back to live with her. Dawn catches her digging up the money and turns her in.
Back in Stoneybrook, the Barrett-DeWitt family has found a house a couple towns over that has enough bedrooms to hold their whole family. Unfortunately, the kids are unhappy about moving, so they find a much smaller house in Stoneybrook and decide to renovate it.
Interesting tidbits
Dawn thinks Carol is cooler than she (Dawn) is. Of course, she says that in a kind of insulting way, as if adults aren’t supposed to be cool. Part of the reason she’s cool (which seems to be Dawn’s only adjective in chapter one) is that she watches MTV music videos. There’s a dated reference.
I think this is around the time that the BSC books started appearing in the same month that the story takes place. For example, there were several summer books (#76, #77, mystery #16), then school is back in session in #78. This one takes place in October, of course.
I’ve always hated reading books that have mistakes in the way they were put together. You know when you get a book and there’s a fold in the paper so it sticks out of the bottom of the book? This one has two pages at the beginning of chapter two that are shorter than the rest of the pages. My sense of OCD is making it really hard to concentrate on these pages.
Claudia should be in the Guinness Book of World Records for ‘Most Chee-toes Consumed.’ Hilarious.
Winona Ryder gave Maggie a guacamole recipe. Somehow, I’ve never thought of most celebrities as doing much cooking (and definitely not sharing recipes with the kids of their producers).
Dawn thinks adults shouldn’t sing along with the radio. She’s obviously never met my mother, whom I’m pretty sure is an adult.
“A mixture of cologne, Band-aids, jelly beans, and suntan lotion.” I guess I never noticed that drug stores have a distinctive smell.
Dawn only got a brief look at the robber, but it was enough to identify her shoes.
Richard drives a Chevy Cavalier….same as the robber.
I love that the town thinks of ‘cancelling’ Halloween…simply because a convenience store got robbed. What do they think happens in high-crime areas? My neighborhood has its share of crime and we still have trick-or-treating. Those who don’t want their kids out alone either escort them or take them trunk-or-treating in the mall parking lot. You can’t cancel a holiday. Imagine if they tried to cancel Christmas or something.
Maggie recalls a Halloween when she had chicken pox and couldn’t go out with her friends. That happened to Tessie one year, and she still talks about it. Although most of that actually had to do with the fact that she was still sick on her birthday a few days later and had to sit out her birthday party.
Dawn actually suggests trying to hunt down an armed robber. Genius, that one.
Do you think that one week prior to Halloween is enough time to plan and enact a party for all the elementary school kids? Me neither.
Dawn acknowledges the California DeWitt/Stoneybrook DeWitt situation, saying she doesn’t think they’re related.
Hey, I just realized that after Mrs. Barrett becomes Mrs. DeWitt, both Mrs. DeWitts are gorgeous. Mrs. Barrett ‘could be a model,’ remember, while the other Mrs. DeWitt is an actress.
The title quote refers to Buddy Barrett's bedroom. Although by 1994, I don’t think kids were into Turtles anymore….
Shouldn’t the Barrett-DeWitt clan buy a van? Renting one every time all nine of them go somewhere would probably be more expensive over time.
HA! Jessi puts out a giant sigh after getting into the van with the extended family. Hey, she’s getting paid to be there, so she shouldn’t worry so much about the kids fighting (especially because they worked it out among themselves.)
Dawn is a really, really bad liar.
The suspect pool is narrowed down to three people who bought the hideous clown mask: a Palo City high school track team member; a driver for Hank’s Flower Basket and a ‘tall blonde woman.’
Hey, wait a minute. How tall is Dawn supposed to be? If she weren’t a witness, she might be a suspect herself. *shifty eyes*
Halloween costumes: Jeff: monster; Erick: roll of Life Savers; Ryan: Elvis; Timmy: Martian; Marnie: jack-o-lantern; Suzi: Princess Jasmine; Buddy: magician; Sunny: Mrs. Claus; Maggie: Pink Panther; Jill: Marge Simpson; Stephie: ballerina; Daffodil: good witch; Clover: bunny; Dawn: Pippi Longstocking
Dawn and Sunny rule out the flower driver who bought the costume for his daughter (although honestly he could have used the mask to perform the robbery and then given it to his daughter) and the track-team-boy. The boy is one giant nice-guy cliché: he even helps a little old lady cross the street. The girls call him Saint Tom.
Sunny has an overactive imagination. She tells a woman (behind the counter at the hot dog place mentioned on the bumper sticker on the getaway car) that they’re looking for the robber—without saying that—by giving an extremely vague description. Sunny’s then convinced that the woman is staring at them the rest of the time…because she’s an undercover police officer. (She actually is staring, but for a whole different reason.)
They keep referring to the Barrett-DeWitt clan as the Brady Bunch, and I’ve been putting together that whole family thing: The parents in the middle, Buddy and Lindsey in the top corners, Ryan and Marnie in the bottom corners, with Taylor, Suzi and Madeleine in the middle.
Cheese! The house the Barrett-DeWitts decide upon isn’t one on a list they were working off of. It’s actually one Marnie just sees at the side of the house and points at.
Carol apparently has a lot of experience putting together haunted houses. When and where, it does not say.
Umm, why would you set out food stuff for a haunted house the day before? They might go bad in advance. Not to mention the fact that they’re blocking the elementary school gym for 24 full hours.
Sharon would be that mom who hands out apples and raisins to the trick-or-treaters. Although when I was growing up, that usually that was the mom whose kids weren’t allowed to celebrate the holiday for whatever reason.
Dawn says her dad taught her how to whistle with two fingers in her mouth. Of course, Kristy can also whistle that way.
Carol: ripped jeans, MTV t-shirt, orange sunglasses
Cynthia DeWitt (Ryan and Erick’s mom): tacky daffodil print housedress, clunky brown grandmother shoes, turquoise cats-eye glasses (I used to have a pair like that, and I miss them so much), yellow cardigan
Sunny: black leggings and white shirt
New characters:
Timmy Ford (8)—29

Next week: #79

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