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The Red Blazer Girls: The Vanishing Violinby Michael D. Beil
Synopses & Reviews
In which the true nature of detective work is revealed to be full of cobwebs, beady-eyed critters, and something sticky
Like a plaid-skirted Jedi Knight, I wave my trusty lightsaber--okay, really it's just a flashlight--back and forth in front of my face, carving a swath through a tangle of spiderwebs. Convinced that my eight-legged enemies have been cleared from my immediate path, I aim the beam at the jumbled piles of broken desks and God only knows what else lurking in the far corners of the school basement.
There's definitely something dead down here, I announce.
It's not the dead things I'm worried about, Leigh Ann says. There might be rats.
Rebecca laughs deviously. Might be? Um, Leigh Ann, this is New York. Just keep your feet moving and they won't bother you.
In spite of Rebecca's sensible advice, Leigh Ann freezes. Are you serious?
Rebecca. Sophie. Stop scaring her. There are no rats, and nothing is dead, Margaret says.
I shine my light at a shelf just above my head and detect two beady eyes sizing me up. He's so close I can see his whiskers moving. Nah. There wouldn't be rats down here. This is our neat-and-tidy school, after all. I brush aside a few more spiderwebs and charge ahead.
Margaret pats me on the shoulder. She has spotted my furry friend, too. All right, let's concentrate. We have a job to do.
Ah yes, the job.
After our triumphant recovery of the Ring of Rocamadour, we became minor celebrities at St. Veronica's School. Malcolm Chance, the ex-husband of our first client, and someone all my instincts were absolutely, 100 percent wrong about, told the neighborhood newspaper, the East Sider, all about us. They sent a reporter to the school for an interview, and we ended up splashed across the front page, with a picture and this story:
Red Blazer Girls Solve Local Mystery
It seems that Sherlock Holmes, Nero Wolfe, and Hercule Poirot have some competition right here on the Upper East Side.
Four St. Veronica's School students solved a 20-year-old mystery when they discovered one of the famed Rings of Rocamadour in its hiding place beneath the floor of St. Veronica's Church on Lexington Avenue. The students--Rebecca Chen, Margaret Wrobel, and Sophie St. Pierre, all of Manhattan, and Leigh Ann Jaimes of Queens--followed clues, cracked a devilishly clever mathematical code, and outwitted a pair of fiends who appear to have taken lessons from Boris and Natasha of Bullwinkle fame.
The ring, hidden by the late, noted archaeologist Everett Harriman as part of a birthday puzzle for his daughter, dates back to the first century and is alleged to have certain mystical powers--including the power to make dreams come true--according to the girls, who refer to themselves as the Red Blazer Girls in honor of their St. Veronica's School uniforms.
These girls have done the city, and the whole world, a huge service, says Malcolm Chance, professor of archaeology at Columbia University, and the son-in-law of Everett Harriman. The ring is priceless--and it almost certainly would have been lost forever without their intelligence and persistence.
Their reputation established by the discovery of the Ring of Rocamadour, the Red Blazer Girls receive sundry job requests and unwanted criminal attention before investigating a missing violin, a case that involves clues from myriad sources and an unexpected victim.
When there are mysteries to be solved, the Red Blazer Girls are on the case! The discovery of the Ring of Rocamadour has secured the girls' reputation as Upper East Side super-sleuths, bringing many sundry job requests (no mystery too small, right?) and some unwanted attention from crooks. This time the girls must follow a trail of cryptic clues, involving everything from logic to literature, to trace a rare violin gone missing. But nothing is as it appears, and just as a solution seems imminent, the girls find themselves scrambling to save the man who was once their prime suspect. Bowstrings and betrayal, crushes and codes abound in this suspenseful companion to the Red Blazer Girls' 2009 debut. Recent clues indicate that there'll be more mystery and mayhem to come!
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
\Michael D. Beil is an English teacher in a New York City high school. The Red Blazer Girls: The Vanishing Violin is his second book for Knopf, and he is currently at work on a third Red Glazer Girls mystery.
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