Monday, December 21, 2015

The Baby-Sitters Club Mystery #18: Stacey and the Mystery at the Empty House


The Johanssens are heading off on a vacation to France. Even though they set the lights on a timer and did some other stuff, they still need someone to take in the mail/paper, make the house look lived in, and take care of Carrot. Since this is a job clearly meant for a responsible person, they decide to hire Stacey. To make things even better, she's not really an animal person.

Things go pretty well at first. Carrot seems super excited to see her, and even even likes being around him. Then, things get weird. She starts noticing strange things in the house. Carrot goes bonkers and chews up a bunch of paper, and the dog winds up destroying some other stuff in the house too. She also finds weird things like a glass that she swore she put away in the sink and a broken vase.

Stacey later stops by and sees a strange woman in the bushes with bright red hair. The woman says she's the meter reader and that her husband checks electrical meters too. Stacey slips up and lets it be know that the family are out of the house. She sees the man and woman talking secretively later. On another day, she takes Carrot for a walk, and he leads her to the same couple in their van a few blocks away from the house.

On another trip, she forgets to grab the newspaper. When she comes back from walking Carrot, the paper is gone. To make matters worse, the news reveal that an inmate recently escaped from prison. The next time she stops by the house, she sees a new hairbrush in the bathroom with red hairs in it, the same color as the meter reader.

After telling the BSC, they decide to host a slumber party/stakeout and watch the house from Jessi's room. Though they have fun pigging out and goofing off, nothing really happens. They do see a light come on but then realize that the lights were on a timer. Claudia and Stacey head over the next day and find the broken vase looking new again. They also find a notepad with a phone number written on it. The number is for the bus station, which leads Stacey to think that the escaped inmate somehow knew when the Johanssens were coming back and are out to kill them.

They rush to the bus station, and Stacey sees a guy with red hair moving towards Dr. Johanssen. She runs to stop them only to see the doctor hugging the man. Dr. Johanssen then introduces the man as her friend Bill. He has free reign to stay in their home and even knows where they hide the spare key. He left her a note, but Carrot ate it. When they realize what happened, they all have a good laugh at something that's incredibly not funny.

Watson won some kind of sleigh ride thing, but since he can't use it, he gives it to Kristy. Even if there isn't any snow, the sleigh can still work as a hay ride. Instead of treating her friends, she decides to treat her charges. Before she makes any real plans, she lets the news slip to the Arnold twins. They call all their friends, and things completely snowball. Kristy then has to kick it into overcharge and pray that they get some snow. Snow suddenly comes out of nowhere on the day of the party.

*There is NO way in hell I would trust a 13 year old girl to take care of my house! The idea just astounded me.

*How did Kristy even agree to this arrangement? Stacey says that she misses her human charges, which shows that the only job she does the whole time is walking Carrot. I'm also not sure why she doesn't have time to do a real sitting job.

*Then again, I wonder how they charged the Johanssens. She stops by sometimes, takes him for a quick walk, and feeds him. Other times, she hangs out and plays with him for an hour or more.

*On my “no way in hell tangent,” Stacey gets so comfortable hanging out with Carrot one night that she literally falls asleep in their house.

*Stacey knows so little about dogs that she thinks Carrot is dying when he dreams. She would really freak out if she saw my 50 pound dog having a nightmare.

*Maureen gets dreamy eyed when she hears that they're going to Paris. She talks about how she went in college, fell in love with a guy, and planned on staying until her mom showed up and dragged her home. Funny how that never came up during their Paris trip.

5 comments:

  1. When I was 13, my friend's parents had me pet-sit/house-sit for them for two weeks when they went on vacation one summer. They had put the dog in a kennel, so I just had to water plants, collect mail, and refill the dishes for the cat and the birds. It wasn't that big of a deal.

    What I can't believe is that they'd be so flippant about not letting Stacey know that their friend sometimes comes over and just makes himself at home! What if he was showering or naked when she arrived! She's just a 13 year old girl and he's a grown man she doesn't know. Even if he's a good friend and a good guy, it's still super sketchy! As Stacey, I would have been completely freaked out and pissed!

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    1. I think it was weird to me because Stacey seems flighty a lot of the time and not someone I would leave my house key with. The whole story was super weird anyway. Why would he not leave another note or stop by sometime to tell her who the hell he was?

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  2. When I was 13, my friend's parents had me pet-sit/house-sit for them for two weeks when they went on vacation one summer. They had put the dog in a kennel, so I just had to water plants, collect mail, and refill the dishes for the cat and the birds. It wasn't that big of a deal.

    What I can't believe is that they'd be so flippant about not letting Stacey know that their friend sometimes comes over and just makes himself at home! What if he was showering or naked when she arrived! She's just a 13 year old girl and he's a grown man she doesn't know. Even if he's a good friend and a good guy, it's still super sketchy! As Stacey, I would have been completely freaked out and pissed!

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  3. It was really weird how they never mentioned Bill to Stacey.

    I always wondered why they didn't have Carrot stay with a friend while they were away. My family watched plenty of dogs belonging to friends and family while they were away on vacation. And when we were on vacation they'd watch our dog.

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    1. Or put him in a kennel? My parents had three little dogs that they would leave with a local kennel when they went away. It was attached to their vet's office, workers let them out a few times every day, and employees even came in overnight to check on them.

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