Bundle up, Bookwyrms! It’s a Bonus Post!
Next stop on our mix-n-match Mystery Machine tour is Stonybrook, Connecticut, where our favorite team of tweenage babysitters find themselves in a middle-grade Christmas season horror flick.
This time, the BSC themselves are the targets and they need to solve this Super Mystery before they end up with the ultimate no-speaking roles in next week’s CSI: Stonybrook!
Just in case it’s not clear: this book is about a maniac who tries to murder a bunch of 13-year-olds. But, like, it’s cozy and fun! 😅
Ann M. Martin. Babysitters Club Super Mystery #2: Babysitters Beware. New York: Scholastic, 1995.
Rating: 4.75 out of 5 threatening notes tied to your kitten (THE KITTEN IS FINE, GUYS. Tigger is fine. Just a little annoyed at being treated like a creepy freakin’ messenger pigeon).
Genre: Cozy Middle-Grade Christmas Babysitting Horror Mystery.
Playlist: Of course there’s a “babysitter in a horror movie” playlist on Spotify. And the first song is, of course, the eerily fitting “Somebody’s Watching Me,” by Rockwell.
I also recommend “Cold Out There,” by Jon Hopkins (this literally came on my Pandora as I was reading the book 😨 ) and any version of “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” (scary ghost stories, indeed!).
Coffee Pairing: Hot chocolate with marshmallows. Don’t worry, the marshmallows are only slightly burnt.
I swear I had no idea about the upcoming BSCC Live/Streamed Show when I bought this from Half-Price. 😈
The creepy nutshell: A few of the babysitters are planning a ski trip to Shadow Lake. Kristy’s stepdad has a huge cabin that could fit a dozen babysitters, but poor Mallory has to watch her siblings that weekend (which she’s totally not going to be bitter about for the next 200 pages), and Jessi and Mary Anne aren’t going either.
Guess it’s just going to be Kristy, Stacey, Abby, and Claudia! I’m sure Claudia will get over her mysterious and sudden grudge against Abby by then, and Mary Anne will figure out why Logan sent her a weirdly/vaguely threatening note at school, and Kristy’s snow dreams will come true (and her brother and stepsister’s favorite snow monster movie totally won’t be foreshadowing anything).
But then they start getting scary notes and experiencing near-deadly freak accidents and it starts to look like someone from their past is out for revenge.
Guys, I don’t remember reading this one at ALL, and yet there’s an eerily familiar scene in which Stacey thinks she’s been caught daydreaming about her two major love interests when she hears Abby making kissy noises.
Like, NOTHING else rings a bell. Not the opening robbery. Not Claudia’s house almost burning down. Not the fact that the villain is so evil they LITERALLY STEAL A 13-YEAR OLD’S INSULIN PEN.
Nope. Just Abby making kissy noises. Maybe my own preteen brain blocked out the horror elements?
Anyhoo, this was a total thrill ride with a super-exciting Boss Battle (hint: Kristy gets to use her softball skills in a totally badass new way). The only reason I docked points was because:
(1) a very interesting plot point was dropped like an unfinished red herring. It was just hastily wrapped up as a Guess We’ll Save This Mystery For Another Time joke that left me annoyed rather than amused.
and (2) my adult brain just couldn’t help facepalming at the babysitters using their kids to help stake out and identify suspects, and the actual adults sharing intel with a bunch of eighth graders (one woman actually BEGS the BSC to stop the villain).
Ah well, it’s nostalgic escapism and of course no one dies; they just get really big boo-boos. Also, the Rodowsky boys call chocolate chip cookies Slammers because it’s 1995 and they just discovered pogs. That almost makes up for the ghostly herring.
What about you, Bookwyrms? What’s the most delightfully unrealistic Kid Detective book you’ve ever read? Ever started reading a new-to-you vintage book only to realize you actually did read it? Who’s excited for season 2 of the Netflix show??
P.S. Check my Instagram Stories/Highlights this month (@nerisirens_coffee_grotto) — particularly the Fall’oween Highlights — for updates on a Halloween Book Bingo I’m casually participating in. It’s the Scaredy Cat Bingo, which I discovered via Kristen Brand!
I’m also doing @themerhatter‘s Meroween Challenge in my regular posts.
That’s Messed Up GIF from giphy.
Jay Karl Snowman Prank GIF from tenor.