Wednesday, May 26, 2010

M#36 Kristy and the Cat Burglar


Kristy and her younger siblings are checking out a house that the kids call "the spooky house" when something REALLY spooky happens: they hear a gunshot! They hear sirens almost right away, and Kristy figures that they probably shouldn't be a part of whatever is going on at the house, so they start running for the street. They're just about there when someone orders them to freeze. To Kristy's relief, it's Sgt. Johnson. He introduces the kids to Officer Hopkins, who's also on the scene, and orders them to stay in his squad car while they check the house. Just then, a man shows up and identifies himself as Jack Fenton, the security guard for the house. He had been on duty that day, but had gotten a call about his wife being in the hospital and had gone to see her. The odd thing? Sgt. Johnson had gotten a call around the same time, asking him to be at the house. Fenton asks the police officers if they've checked the vault, and when they do, some diamonds are missing. By that time, another cop, Sgt. Winters, has shown up. He sort of takes over the investigation from then on, and it's pretty obvious to Kristy that he and Sgt. Johnson aren't exactly best friends. Kristy overhears them talking about Reinhart Golem, the owner of the house. He's a bit of a loner, and although he doesn't spend much time at home, his house is filled with nice stuff. Kristy asks the officers why he has a red cat stenciled on his mailbox, and which is something they hadn't noticed before. That cat is the mark of a robber known as the Cat Burglar, who targets very, very rich people.

Later that week, Kristy is called down to the police station by Sgt. Johnson for a little interview. When she gest there, she's surprised to find Sgt. Winters and Officer Hopkins waiting for her instead. They ask her all sorts of questions about how and when they saw Sgt. Johnson on the day of the robbery. They make themselves scarce when Sgt. Johnson himself shows up. He tells Kristy that Sgt. Winters is VERY ambitious, and would like to be the new police chief when the current one retires. He then asks her to repeat everything she saw and heard on the day of the robbery, and shows her a picture of a man he identifies as Ben Birch. Birch is a business associate of Reinhart Golem's, but Kristy doesn't recognize him. Sgt. Johnson gives her a copy of the photo to take with her, just in case. When the questioning is over, Kristy finds Claudia, Kristy, and a very annoyed Cary Retlin waiting for her (Cary had been bird-watching, supposedly, in the woods near the scene of the crime). The four of them decide to head back over to the mansion to do a little investigating on their own. They end up finding a bullet hole, a bullet casing, and a red marker that could have been used to make the cat stencil. Then, they get brave and peek in the windows. Kristy gets the shock of her life when she sees someone staring back at her; Renhart Golem is home. Instead of being mad, he invites the kids in. He tells them that he'd just returned from Paris, and they show him the evidence they've just found on his property. He calls Sgt. Winters, who shows up with Officer Hopkins. Golem then asks Kristy and her friends to help him spolve the robbery, and offers them a reward to do so.

At the next BSC meeting, the girls discuss the case. They're not totally sure that Cary is innocent. After all, he WAS in the area at the time of the robbery, and he's been known to cause mischief. Ben Birch is also a possibility; his business relationship with Golem had gone sour, and he'd definitely have a motive. Before they can get any further, the phone rings. It's Golem, and he wants their help again. He asks them to tell him everything they know about Sgt. Johnson. It seems that his prints were found all over the red marker that was used to draw the cat. The casing from the bullet is also from the same type of gun that the Stoneybrook police officers carry. It looks like Sgt. Johnson may be a suspect! Then, he shows up at a BSC meeting, looking absolutely awful. He says he's there to ask them some more question, but he ends up going on and on about how he didn't do anything wrong, and asking the girls to believe him. Pretty soon, the police chief shows up....and arrests Sgt. Johnson. Apparently, some of the missing diamonds had been found in his desk.

Kristy does a lot of thinking about the case; even though it looks bad, she really never though Sgt. Johnson could be capable of doing something like that. She then turns her thoughts to the day of the robbery. There's really no way that Sgt. Johnson could have drawn the cat, robbed the house, and shown up where Kristy was standing with her siblings without seeming even a little winded. Cary Retlin shows up and interrupts her thinking; as it turns out, he's been having some of the same thoughts. The two of them head to the BSC meeting, and everyone agrees that Sgt. Johnson could very well have been framed. Since Sgt. Winters is so determined to get the chief job instead ogf Sgt. Johnson, he looks like the most likely suspect. The club decides that they need to tell Reinhart Golem what they'd figured out, so they split the club in two. Kristy, Cary, Mary Anne, and Abby will go to his house to try and find him, and the rest will go to Chez Maurice (his favorite restaurant). Kristy and the others find him at home, and they tell him what they suspect. Kristy notices Cary staring at something, looking panicked; it's a blue Tiffany lamp, identical to one the Cat Burglar had taken from an apartment building in New York City. Reinhart Golem had also had a home in that building, and Cary and Kristy realize at the same time that he must be the cat burglar. Unfortunately, Golem realizes that they've put two and two together, and locks the doors so they can't leave. Just as he turns away to find some rope to tie them up with, Cary knocks him down. Kristy hits the button that unlocks the doors, and they escape just as the police show up. The crew that went looking for Golem at Chez Maurice had noticed that he had a reservation there on the day of the robbery, when he was supposedly in Paris. He was indeed the Cat Burglar, and he had used Sgt. Winters and Officer Hopkins to frame Sgt. Johnson because he was mad about a previous investigation. Everyone is okay after their ordeal, but the BSC officially decides to retire from the mystery business.

In other news, Charlotte is obsessed with playing Harriet the Spy, and that goes about as well as you'd expect.

Rating: 2

Thoughts and Things
  • Last mystery! :D (note that the smiley face is different from the one I used after the last Super Special....)
  • I totally got a molestor vibe from Golem. I can't believe that the BSC members kept going to his house without an adult.
  • I kind of like the subplot. :)
  • I swear, Ellen Miles must have a crush on Sgt. Johnson. There's just something about the way she writes his character, and the way she always has the narrator go on and on about his clear, blue eyes....I wonder if he's based on anyone she knows?


  1. I swear, when I was reading the first half of this review, I thought it was a joke. Like... how far-fetched could they get?

  2. These mysteries are TORTURE and insanely farfetched. Congrats on finishing them up!

  3. The first time I read this book, I figured someone had copied the BSC characters and put it together as a joke or something. So utterly ridiculous. Lucky this is the last one!


    1. my beef is you not spelling "mysteries" right