I So Don't Do Mysteries

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  • Format: Trade Paper
  • Copyright: 2009-11-10
  • Publisher: Yearling
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SO HERE I am spending spring break in California with my best friend, Junie. Our chaperone is a teenager, like us. And soon I'll get to hang out with the coolest, cutest boy in the Southwest. Life is so good. Except I should tell you that I'm not actually in San Diego for fun. Even though I'm a normal person who likes normal stufffriends, clothes, the mallI'm supposed to be solving a mystery, one that involves a rhino heist and a crazy chef. And I have to do it because my supercop mom is counting on me. Did I mention she's a ghost? A ghost who can make contact with only one person. Me, Sherry Holmes Baldwin. My mom is flunking out of the Academy of Spirits, and if I don't help her, she'll be banished to an afterlife for ghost failures. But . . . Isodon't do mysteries. From the Hardcover edition.

Author Biography

Barrie Summy lives in California with her husband and their four children. Please visit her at www.barriesummy.com.


Chapter 1


I slam my hand down on the paper.
Sucking in a deep breath, I peek under my palm.

Yikes again.

A fat red F shimmers before my eyes, its wide arms swaying, mocking me, calling me lame names.

"How'd you do, Sherry?" the always-gets-an-A nerd behind me asks.

Scrunching my paper into a ball, I say, "Just peachy." Then I stand and swing my backpack over my shoulder. "I know more about genetics than I could ever use in this lifetime." Even with an F, I figure this is true.

Nerd asks, "What'd you get on the essay question?"

There was an essay question? It's so time to blow this formaldehyde stink hole. I shuffle down the aisle, the backs of my flip-flops slap-slapping my heels. As I pass the wastepaper basket, I drop my test in.

Then I give a mighty shove to the heavy metal classroom door. With a groan, it swings open onto the breezeway and fresh Phoenix air.


"Ow!" a male voice says.

Uh-oh. That doesn't sound good.

I look behind the door.

Ack. Major tragedy. I just door-whacked Josh Morton, the coolest, cutest eighth grader at Saguaro Middle School. In Arizona. Quite possibly in the entire Southwest. I've only been nonstop crazy about Josh since September, when I spotted him in a very small Speedo at a water polo game.

Hunched over and leaning against the stucco wall, he's holding a hand against his nose and groaning.

"I'm sorry, really sorry, really," I babble. "I just flunked a test and was kind of taking out my frustration on the door."

"Yeah?" He gives me a slight smile--well, more like a big grimace. Then, with a gorgeous shoulder, he gestures toward the door. "Science?"

"Yeah." I shrug. "Like that's even useful."

"I hear you." Behind his hand, Josh sniffs.

"You okay? Can I do anything?" I can't believe I attacked Josh Morton with a door. I can't believe I, a seventh grader, am finally talking to him. Nervously twirling a few strands of hair around my index finger, I add, "I feel horrible."

"I'm okay." He straightens, nodding. "I'm okay."

I take a deep breath and inhale a chlorine + soap scent. I love, love, love it. I absolutely must have some of this Eau de Josh for my locker.

"Sherry, right?" He raises dark eyebrows over deep blue eyes.

"Yup, yup, yup." I sound like the flags at the front of the school, fwapping in the wind against the pole.

"I'm Josh Morton."

Believe me, I so know who you are. "Hi."

I can't come up with anything else to say, but at least I look good in my jeans and my new long-sleeved, open-neck T-shirt that perfectly matches my lavender eye shadow.

He removes his hand from his nose. Then he wrinkles it like an adorable little bunny sniffing the air for lettuce or carrots.

This is the closest I've ever stood to Josh and, therefore, the first time I notice the sprinkling of freckles across his nose. I squint. Yes, if connected carefully, they'd spell out my initials.

"Is something wrong?" He's staring at me.

"Not at all."

Last month's Seventeen listed twenty suggestions for memorable first meetings with a potential boyfriend. Nowhere did they mention a brutal door-whacking encounter, but it seems to be working. I'll write a letter to the editor so they can add it as method number twenty-one.

Suddenly Josh clamps a hand firmly over his nose. With his free hand, he hauls his backpack up from the sidewalk. "Gotta go." Without even a glance at me, he's off and running.

I watch his shaggy hair bounce against the collar of his black Death by Stereo T-shirt, which rides up to reveal the grooviest plaid boxers above sagging jean

Excerpted from I So Don't Do Mysteries by Barrie Summy
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