Title: The missing bracelet
By Author: Marianna Heusler
Tag line: Ms. Hopper liked being a detective even less than chaperoning teenage girls!
Police characters: None.
The gist: Samantha announced that her new gold bracelet is missing. She is with a group of three other teens at the zoo on a class trip. She claimed she took it off in the washroom by the lion house because the clasp was loose. She set it on the sink and when a mouse scurried by the girls all fled and she forgot all about her birthday bracelet. It was a hot day but one of the girls wore a long sleeved shirt, claiming she had skin allergies to the sun. Samantha went back to the washroom while the girls waited and drank water, but did not find her bracelet. The janitor had closed the door and put up yellow tape when they left because he was going to work on the clogged drains, but he let Samantha back in to look for it. He claimed he never saw it. The three girls emptied out their backpacks and pockets but no bracelet. Ms. Hopper knew where it was.
Crime scene: Zoo.
Clues: One girl was wearing long sleeves on a hot day.
Suspects: Well, it can’t be the two girls who emptied their backpacks and pockets…unless one of them swallowed it. So that leaves the janitor or the girl with long sleeves. Or, of course, Ms. Hopper.
Red herrings: A small one. The janitor claimed he never saw the bracelet and that the drains were clogged, but then he tells Ms. Hopper maybe the bracelet fell down the drain and he says the bracelet is long gone. So which is it, Mr. Janitor?
Solution: The girl with the long sleeves is wearing the bracelet.
My two cents: It could have been the janitor. He didn’t empty out his pockets.
Instead of wearing long sleeves in the heat and calling attention to yourself, as opposed to rolling them up like a normal person, why doesn’t anyone ever think to stick the goods in their bra? Just an observation. That’s where I’d put it. Not on my wrist.
This story was laid out well and read well. There were many spots that were “show not tell” moments. Everyone was cranky from the heat, even the janitor, but the author never said what the temperature was or even told us it was hot. She used deep POV to get the message across. The author had the girls collapsing on the ground, reaching for water bottles, and fanning themselves with zoo maps. One girl even suggested waiting in the reptile house because it was cool in there. Another girl complained her tank top was sticking to her. The janitor had perspiration stains on his shirt and his face was red. Very nice deep POV work on this story.
The title was lame. The missing bracelet? That couldn’t have been the author’s choice. After turning in such a well constructed story, I doubt she would fall apart at the title.
It was kind of obvious where the bracelet was but I still enjoyed the journey. I’m going to give it five stars for the good writing.