It's late October, and the weather is typically dark and stormy. After finishing her homework, Claudia has Mimi sit for the portrait she's been working on. They have nice conversation about sibling relationships, in which Mimi advises Claudia to try and make time for Janine if she wants their friendship to grow. Seriously, if Claudia had just DONE that, most of book #7 wouldn't have been necessary at all! Anyway, Claudia is also in major crush mode over Trevor Sandbourne, and she and Stacey commiserate via the phone about that crush and Stacey's crush on Sam Thomas. The club gets together that weekend, and out of boredom, Claudia confesses her undying love for Trevor to Kristy and Mary Anne. They're a little hurt that she told Stacey first, but they get distracted by an article in the paper about the Phantom Caller. Apparently, someone has been been calling people and hanging up when someone answers. Once no one answers, he robs the house. Claudia remembers that she got two hang up calls at a recent sitting job, and the BSC goes into panic mode. The girls call an emergency meeting of the club, and make up their famous ribbon code for alerting each other (and the police) or any problems when they're sitting. Frankly, if I were alone in a house and someone was breaking in, I'd just call the police myself rather than waste time calling a friend.
Back at school, everyone seems to know about Claudia's crush on Trevor, but no one knows how the word got out. Claudia originally suspects Kristy, but Kristy denies it on the grounds that she doesn't care about stuff like that and would never voluntarily speak to Alan Gray, who was teasing Claudia earlier.
Both Kristy and Claudia continue to get funny calls, although no one else in the club does. When the Goldmans (the Kishis' next door neighbors) are robbed, Phantom-style, the BSC becomes even more convinced that he's in Stoneybrook and out to get them. Things come to head when Kristy and Claudia are sitting for the Newtons and Feldmans, and they see a prowler outside the house. They call 911 (no ribbon codes this time), and the officers catch Alan Gray sneaking around the house. It turns out that he had been the one calling Kristy, because he wanted to ask her to the Halloween Hop and didn't know how. She agrees to go, in spite of the fact that he's basically been stalking her. That solves the problem of Kristy's mysterious calls, but what about Claudia? Well, anyone with half a brain could see that one coming a mile away; it was Trevor. Alan just didn't mention him because he didn't want to get him in trouble with the police. He likes Claudia as much as he likes her, they go to the Halloween Hop together, and live happily ever after. Or not; we don't hear much about Trevor after this.
Thoughts and Stuff
- Clock tights and lobster earrings!
- Janine apparently has candy hidden in her room, too. Was this ever mentioned again in any book???
- The only middle school dance I ever went to was a Halloween one, and I didn't have nearly as much fun as Claudia did.
- Sam takes a girl with yellow and green spiked hair and gloves with no fingers to the movies, which breaks Stacey's little 12-year-old heart. This girl sounds like a reject from an 80's music video, and she doesn't strike me as Sam's "type." I always thought of him as a little bit preppy.
- The little blond Marshall girl on the cover? Kirsten Dunst was the model. I wish I could remember where I read that....