Monday, October 29, 2012

The Baby-Sitters Mystery #16: Claudia and the Clue in the Photograph


Claudia is in summer school (again) and for some reason she gets to take a photography class. She takes pictures of everyone she knows using an old camera that belonged to her dad. At the same time, the kids in Stoneybrook start missing Dawn. They want to do something to show her how much they miss her, and Claudia decides they should make her a book called A Day in the Life of Stoneybrook with pictures from around town.

The entire BSC brings their charges downtown and takes pictures. Claudia becomes fascinated with the downtown buildings and takes most of her pictures there. Mary Anne takes too many pictures of Tigger and has to borrow film from Claudia. Then, she follows her around and takes a bunch of pictures of Claudia taking pictures.

During a BSC meeting, the girls hear an announcement that someone stole money from the bank. Conveniently, it happened on the same day that they were downtown. Claudia goes to develop her film and Janine walks into the darkroom, almost ruining the film. She sees a woman with a baby carriage and a man in a suit walking around the bank.

They go downtown and watch the people outside the bank again. They see the man from the pictures and follow him to a restaurant. His name is Zibreski and he’s the bank’s vice-president. They don’t learn much about him, but they do see the woman with the carriage. She acts super suspicious and won’t let them see inside the carriage.

Claudia calls the police and tells them about her pictures, but they kind of blow her off. They go to see Sergeant Johnson, and he tells them that her pictures are circumstantial evidence that basically mean nothing. Mary Anne remembers the photos she took and Claudia develops those.

At one point, someone opens the door to her darkroom and she gets freaked out. She runs downstairs and finds both doors locked, but she knows someone was there. Mary Anne’s photos show the same woman with the carriage and Zibreski. They go downtown again, Claudia creates a distraction, and when the woman gets nervous, she peeks into the carriage and sees a baby.

All of the charges get together to work on the book, and Claudia grabs some photos Buddy took and runs off. The pictures show Zibreski walking around the bank. The girls all examine the pictures and realize that it shows the bank clock changing time but that his pocket watch never changes. Claudia enlarges the photos to see his watch even closer.

They take the pictures to Johnson and he agrees to bring Zibreski in for questioning. They demand that he let them go when they talk to him and he agrees. Dumb ass. They show him the pictures and Claudia tells him their theory. He totally caves, admits that he stole the money, and he hid it in a safe deposit box. He hid the key to the box in his fake pocket watch.

The next day, the newspaper runs a big story about the crime and credit’s the BSC with completely solving the crime. Mr. and Mrs. Kishi are super proud of her, but Janine acts a little weird. She finally admits that she was the one who walked into the darkroom the second time and she didn’t admit it because she didn’t want Claudia to get made. Claudia just laughs it off. Then they get a letter from Dawn about how happy she is with her book.

*This book screws with the BSC timeline even worse than most. Dawn is still on her “break” in California and Mrs. Barrett is dating Mr. DeWitt. Dawn is home for a summer after this, plus there’s the summer that Mrs. Barrett gets married, but they are still in the eighth grade.

*Outfit #1: pink star-shaped barrettes, flip-flops with pink stars, pink tank top, white man’s shirt, and white jeans.

*If the Kishis are so obsessed with Claudia’s grades, why do they let her take a class on photography? She had to go to summer school because of her bad math grade, but instead of forcing her to focus on that, they let her spend all of her time on photography.

*Sergeant Johnson should really lose his job. He actually lets them in the interrogation room with a suspect before the guy even sees his lawyer.

*Outfit #2: green leotard, ruffled white shirt, jean skirt, and black boots.

*Claudia still wears her Sea City shirt LOL.

*This book made me remember when I took a photography class in junior high. I was completely obsessed with it for about a month and wanted my own darkroom. Now I barely use my digital camera!

*Why do they always get their names printed in the paper? Shouldn’t there be some type of legal thing where their parents have to give them permission?

*They get all the kids together and when they fight over putting the book together, all of the sitters are somehow shocked because they never saw it coming.

*I love how the kids miss Dawn so much when she goes to California for six months. They do the video and now this book for her. When she moves back for good, they kind of just forget about her.

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