Claudia gets home from a sitting job one day notices something funny about her bedroom. It's messy, which isn't unusual, but it's a different mess than the one Claudia left earlier. Her closet is open, her makeup is rearranged, and the papers on her desk have been moved. Of course, Claudia jumps to the obvious conclusion that she's been robbed...even though the rest of the house looks normal. Nothing's missing, though, so she's stuck wondering: who's been in her room?
The situation with Claudia's room isn't the only strange thing that's going on in the Kishi house; one morning, Janine comes down for breakfast late because she was busy putting on makeup, and she comes home late for dinner a few times. She also wants to borrow Claudia's favorite red sweater, in spite of the fact that Janine isn't exactly a red sweater kind of person. Claud even catches Janine coming out of her (Claud's) room, and goes in to find things rearranged. That solves the mystery of who's been in Claudia's bedroom, but there's still no rhyme or reason as to why Janine is suddenly so interested in clothes and makeup. When Claud tells the club members about her sister's weird behavior, Mallory is the only one who comes up with a reasonable suggestion: maybe Janine hasa boyfriend. Instead of recognizing that this is more likely than Janine being in trouble with the law or something, the BSC laughs at Mal. That poor girl can't win, even in books narrated by other people....
Derek Masters is back in Stoneybrook for awhile, and is really into playing detective, so Claudia recruits him to help her figure out what's going on with Janine. They tail her over to SHS one day, and watch as she meets up with a (very cute) guy. Claud tells the BSC about him, and NO ONE considers the possibility that he and Janine are dating. Even Mallory, who made the suggestion before, is now sure that he's some kind of spy, and Janine is passing him the results of the chemistry experiments she's been working on in the lab. Sheesh. Anyway, Janine keeps lying about where she's going and showing up late for dinner, so Claudia and the Masters boys come up with another plan to get her to confess: they pretend that Derek has to set up a fake courtroom for school, and they need her help with the legal stuff. They talk on and on about how important telling the truth is, but DEREK is the one who ends up confessing: he's supposed to kiss a girl on his tv show, and he's nervous. He's never done that before, but he lied to all his friends and told them he had.
Claudia tails Janine again one afternoon, and sees her get into a car with the cute guy from before. Claud is actually getting pretty concerned, especially when she hears Janine lie to their parents about where she'd been that afternoon. Claudia thinks Janine might be in some sort of trouble, so she tells Mr. and Mrs. Kishi everything. They call a family meeting, and Janine makes her big confession: that guy IS her boyfriend. She'd been lying because she wanted to keep him to herself for awhile. She's pretty mad at Claudia, but they make up after Jerry (the boyfriend) comes over for dinner.
Thoughts and Things
- I can't believe that Derek and his friends (8 to 10 years old) are so obssessed with kissing. When I was that age, I still thought most boys were icky. At least they admitted in the end that they felt that way, too. 8 is too young for that sort of stuff....
- Why in the world wouldn't Claudia assume that soemone in her family had searched her room right off the bat? Parents search their teenagers' rooms all the time, if they suspect drugs or rampant sexual activity.
- This is the first mystery to have a cover that isn't blue. I like the purple!
- Before reading this one, I kept thinking that this was the book where someone lights a fire in the Kishi's yard, but I guess that's a different one.
- I don't really have that much to say about this one; it was really kind of boring.