The solutions for each mystery are located in the back of the book, consisting of dark purple pages with preforated flaps. Underneath a flap for the story, the solution for each mystery is given.
- Marie Cantu
- Noelle Dee
- Hailey Ferris
- Brooke Pinnock
- Hope Harrison
- Sage Matthews
- Faith Peterson
- Rose James
- Caitlin, Nicole, and Emma Ferris
- Tyler, Zachary, and Chris Cantu
Only in this Book
- Megan Brown
- Mrs. Mahoney
- Ms. Toone
- Mrs. Morris
Wishing For Change
Marie Cantu and her best friend, Noelle Dee, are at the zoo, admiring the animals. Noelle finds change in her pocket for the feeding machine, who allows the people to feed the animals. As she tries to insert her quarters, a boy runs up to the machine, his pocket bulging with shiny, wet pennies, dimes, nickels, and quarters. A zoo employee stops the boy, and states that he saw the boy steal the money from the fountain. The boy states that got the money from the change machine, and claims, when asked, that Noelle is his sister, since she looks vaguely similar to him. Noelle denies it, and the boy laughs, and whispers that he will pay Noelle money if she says yes. Noelle continues denying her relationship with this boy, and Marie asks why the change is wet. He replies that he washes it after he receives the money, since "you never know what germs are on them." She also asks if he got all of the coins from the machine, and when he responds yes, she says to the employee, "I don't know if he took those coins from the fountain. I suspect he did, since they're wet. But I can prove he didn't get them from the change machine."
- Question: How did Marie prove the boy was lying?
- Answer: "The boy had a handful of quarters, dimes, nickels, and pennies. He claimed he got them all from the change machine. Change machines don't give pennies. But you'll find plenty of them in a wishing fountain."
Behind the Door
Marie and Noelle look for the restrooms in the mall. They find some, but the signs read 'MEN' and 'ME'. Marie and Noelle aren't sure which door leads to the women's restroom and they don't want to surprise anybody. They go to a store, a Pretzel Baker, to see if they know which room is which. The Pretzel lady there asks what can she get for the girls and suggests some of their different pretzels. Noelle shows interest in buying a pretzel, but Marie just asks which room is the women's restroom. The Pretzel lady says that the doors were vandalized yesterday, where somebody scrapped off letters from both doors and that maintenance must be slow on fixing them. She says that she doesn't know which room is which, as she had only started this job recently and staff have their own bathroom. She suggests Marie to ask the jewelry store saleswoman as she's been around longer. Marie is about to go when she pauses, thanks the pretzel lady for being a great help and says that she knows which door to go through now. Marie pushes one of the doors, looks around, and tells Noelle that this is the women's bathroom.
- Question: Which door did Marie go through, and how did she know which room was the women's rest room?
- Answer: The Pretzel lady had said that letters had been scrapped off of both doors. "Marie realized that the MEN door couldn't be the men's room, because then no letters would have been scraped off. It had to be the WOMEN's room."
Play With Your Feud
Everyone is stressed about the spring play because nothing is prepared, and the matter reaches its peak when Sage and Hope refuse to cooperate. The teacher and other students try desperately to get along, but Sage and Hope say they can't even look at each other. Blindfolds won't work, and the two feuding friends are the sole people who already know their lines. Marie asks Sage and Hope to close their eyes. Sage is moved to the very edge of the stage with her back to the empty auditorium. Hope is moved to the about six feet in front of Sage, facing her, with her eyes closed. Noelle catches on, and when Marie signals, Noelle does something. Seconds later, Marie says, "Open your eyes and get back to rehearsing."
- Question: What did Marie do so that Hope and Sage could practice without looking at each other?
- Answer: "Marie had Noelle close the stage curtain right between the two feuding girls. They could open their eyes, they could talk to each other, but they couldn't see each other. When Hope and Sage opened their eyes, they began laughing. The tension was broken, and the rehearsal went on - with the curtain open.
An Elephant for President?
There is a poster of an elephant with Marie's head and a trunk. The caption reads "Vote for Marie Cantu-she nose what to do." Although Marie thinks it clever, she really was planing to run for student body president and she's worried that the posters will ruin her chances. Noelle shows Marie that there are posters of herself with a Hippo's body and reading "Hippo-Hippo-Hurray! Noelle Dee for Lincoln Middle School Vice President!" Marie says that the posters are all over school and everyone's seen them. The girls don't have a clue who did it, but they're sure it was put up by someone who didn't want them elected. The girls start to take down the posters when the bell rings. At morning recess, Marie and Noelle grab their friends Rose James, Sage Matthews, and Faith Peterson to help take down the posters. They find out that the custodian had already taken them down, but now Marie and Noelle want to find out who made them. They mention that the poster maker knew Marie and Noelle wanted to run, but the girls had only told a few friends about their plans. Sage says that she's not a good enough artist to make the posters and Rose says that she's spending the week at her grandmas and her art supplies are at home. Hope Harrison enters the scene, asking what posters. She says that she just came back from the dentist and mentions that she's been thinking of running for president, but says that she decided to vote for Marie and Noelle so they can make her secretary of state. Rose says that they were joke posters and Marie says that maybe Hope should run since the posters might have ruined their chance at winning. Rose asks Faith where she was that morning since she's been quiet, and she says that she was walking with her and she didn't make the posters. Hope tells Sage she wished she could of seen the posters and asks who was on the Hippo. Sage answers, and suggests that the boys could of made them. Marie says that the boys weren't responsible, smiles at Noelle and asks her if she should tell them who did it.
- Question: Who made the posters, and how did Marie know?
- Answer: Hope made them. Hope said that she hasn't seen the posters, yet gave herself away when asking Sage who was on the Hippo. Hope planned to ruin her friends chances so her chances of being elected would boost. She apologized, so Marie and Noelle ask her to be their campaign manager with the theme "We're WILD for Marie and Noelle!"
Rock and Rumors
Marie is walking and telling her older friend Megan Brown about how she and Noelle won the election by a landslide. Marie hears something and turns around to see Hailey Ferris, wearing headphones and humming to a song. Marie waves hello and Hailey walks behind the girls for a few minutes before leaving. She goes straight to Noelle's house and tells her that when walking behind Marie and Megan, they were planning their own slumber party and weren't going to invite Noelle because Marie liked Megan more. Noelle feels hurt, but tells Hailey that Marie can have a sleepover with whoever she likes. Hailey suggests she and Noelle have their own sleepover, but Noelle says she'll see and goes inside. Later, Marie is surprised to receive a call from Hailey, as Hailey never called her before. Hailey tells Marie that she and Noelle will have their own sleepover and that Marie and Megan can have their own. Marie pauses, then asks Hailey to come over and tell her more about the sleepover. Hailey comes over to see both Noelle and Marie, asking what's going on. Noelle says that she never agreed to the sleepover and Marie never planned one with Megan. Hailey says that she heard Marie when she was walking behind her, and Marie saw her there for herself. Marie attests that while Hailey was behind them, she couldn't of heard what she was saying and could prove it.
- Question: How did Marie prove that Hailey wasn't telling the truth?
- Answer: Hailey was wearing headphones and humming to a song. If she was listening to her music, then she couldn't of heard what Marie and Megan were talking about. Hailey admits that she lied because she wanted to be friends with Noelle, which Noelle offers that she can be friends with both her and Marie.
Up, Up, and A-What?
Today is the day of the big balloon festival, and Hailey has invited Marie and Noelle to ride with her and her mom, Mrs. Ferries. Noelle is eager to ride, but Marie is more frightened. She asks about Hailey's sisters wanting a ride, but Mrs. Ferris says that they're working on a project this morning and weren't coming. Marie eventually comes into the basket with some encouragement from Noelle, and they fly up into the air. They pass over buildings and fields when they see a message. Someone had put together sheets and blankets to spell out W O W I H. Hailey mentions that someone's excited, and Mrs. Ferris ponders it's meaning. Marie tells Mrs. Ferris that it's a message and it's addressed for her.
- Question: How does Marie know the message is for Mrs. Ferris, and what does it mean?
- Answer: "The balloonists were looking at the message upside down. Marie realized that and turned the message right side up in her mind. "HI MOM" was a message from Hailey's sisters to their mother."
The Original Boston Brooke
New neighbors have arrived in Marie's neighborhood, so she grabs Noelle, Hailey and Megan to join her to see if the new family has any kids. They meet a girl Marie's age named Brooke Pinnock whose in 5th grade, moved from Boston, and lives with her grandparents. Brooke says that her grandpa recently retired and they decided to move to a smaller town. Marie asks what Brooke's grandpa did before retiring. Brooke states that her grandpa played for the Boston Red Sox. The girls are stunned, and Brooke says that her grandpa also played for every team in the American League for forty years. The girls don't believe Brooke, saying that he would burn out before forty years. Brooke admits that her grandpa did complain about the arthritis in his fingers, but never complained otherwise. The girls begin to bet ten dollars that Brooke was lying, but Marie tells them it would be a waste of money. She says that Brooke's grandpa did play for every team in the American League, but she's leaving out one important detail.
- Question: What detail did Brooke leave out?
- Answer: "Brooke's grandpa did play for the Boston Red Sox-he played the stadium organ!"
Marie's family take Noelle very early in the morning to swim at the beach. After setting up very close to the water, Marie and Noelle start sandcombing and find some interesting trinkets. When returning to the camp, they see a young boy and his mother talking to Mr. and Mrs. Cantu. Marie's parents introduce the strangers as the Murray's, and Mrs. Murray asks if they had seen a swim mask and snorkel anywhere. The young boy, Jonathan, recently received it for his birthday, and left it at the beach yesterday in the exact spot where the Cantu's are now. The boy rashly accuses Marie's brothers of stealing his snorkel gear. His mother apologizes and scolds Jonathan, who continues his accusations. Marie finally states, "I don't know where the gear is now, but I think I can identify the thief."
- Question: Who was the thief?
- Answer: "The giver of seaweed, seashells, and sand dollars had also taken. The mask and snorkel had drifted away with the tide."
Garden Party Pooper
The Ferris' have a vegetable garden and sometimes they hire neighborhood girls to help with the gardening. So today Marie, her friends, and Hailey's sisters Caitlin, Nicole, and Emma, are working in the Ferris' garden when Mrs. Ferris announces it's lunch time. While eating, Marie wishes that she had a garden and Brooke responds that she's happy she doesn't have a garden or else her grandparents would have her working in it everyday. Caitlin wishes she didn't have a garden as she only likes to water, which Hailey responds that Caitlin has been hogging the hose all morning. Emma pipes in that she likes weeding. Marie and Noelle decide to go back to the garden and start hoeing the corn. But the hoes weren't where they had left them before lunch. They look all around, and still no luck. They go inside and Marie announces "Has anyone seen the hoes?" Hailey asks "They're missing?" and tells Caitlin that she's out of luck. Caitlin asks why, as she hates to hoe. Nicole suggests that her mom could of put them away, but Hailey points out that their mom wouldn't want to slow down their gardening, and Brooke starts to shout that a thief took it. Marie laughs, but says that one of them did hide the hoes, and she asks Caitlin to tell her where they are so she and Noelle can get back to work.
- Question: How did Marie know it was Caitlin?
- Answer: "Caitlin had spent all morning with the "hose." When Marie asked about the "hoes", Caitlin would have heard "hose"-like Hailey, who said, "it's missing? Looks like you're out of luck, Caitlin." Instead, Caitlin said, "I hate to hoe." She knew that the "hoes" were missing and not the "hose." Caitlin had hid them, hoping to stop working."
Sticks and Stones
Marie and Noelle have been at Camp Veronica Lake for three days, and today is a very hot day. The counselors announce that due to the heat, they're giving out Popsicles. They tell the girls to put the sticks in a separate bucket and not to feed the squirrels. Later, the counselors say that each cabin has to take their own trail to the next activity and the last cabin who arrives at the secret spot will have dinner cleanup. Marie, Noelle, and their three cabin mates, start off their trail by going behind the latrines where they see a star made of purple-stained Popsicle sticks. Marie notes that this must be what the Popsicles were for, and the girls follow their trail. Everything is going fine, until they reach a split in paths and one sign that says LIFT on top of a large rock. The girls don't see how they can lift the rock as it's too big, but they try anyhow, and fail. They try looking underneath the sticks, but they find nothing. One of the girls sees three Popsicle sticks on the right trail and says this must be the way, but Marie realizes what the clue is and which way they're supposed to go.
- Question: What is the clue? Which way are the girls to go?
- Answer: "The girl's counselor hadn't spelled LIFT on the stone. She'd spelled LEFT! hungry squirrels had dragged three sticks from the E and left them on the wrong trail. The girls headed left and were soon at the secret location. They weren't the first there, but they weren't the last."
My Summer Vacation
It is the first day of school, and everyone is sharing their summer vacation. Marie and Noelle's new homeroom teacher, Ms. Toone, says that she had an exciting summer, but the class will have to figure out what she did with some clues. She states that she saw four states in a couple of seconds, but she didn't drive or fly to all four states. The most fun, Ms. Toone says, was when she played Twister in all four states at the same time. Marie pulls out a pocket atlas, points out a page to Noelle, and they raise their hands.
- Question: Where did Ms. Toone go on her summer vacation?
- Answer: "Ms. Toone went to Four Corners, USA, and stood on the landmark that connects four different states (Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, and Arizona)."
Chalk One Up
Marie and Noelle are walking home when they realize that they left their jackets at school. Once there, they look into their classroom to see that it has been covered in chalk. Sage and Faith were playing with the chalk erasers when Marie asks what's going on and an angry Ms. Toone asks as well. Everything has a layer of dust, from the USA map to the phone, and the girls say that the chalk vac fell apart. The chalk vac is a mini vacuum cleaner that those on chalk clean up duty use to clean up, and Marie remembers that the vac was pretty full when she was on chalk duty two days ago. Ms. Toone asks when the accident happened, and Sage says about ten minutes ago. Ms. Toone asks why they haven't called the office and report the accident. Sage says that the office was busy when she had first called. While Ms. Toone calls the office, Marie asks why the girls were having a eraser fight earlier, and Faith admits they couldn't help themselves once the chalk was everywhere. Ms. Toone says that while the custodian is coming, they should start cleaning up. The custodian enters and as Sage repeats the story, he says that the girls should clean up till he gets back. If he decides that they did a good job, he'll take over, but otherwise they'll stay until everything is clean. Ms. Toone leaves to get some more rags and Marie turns to Sage. She says that although it might of started as an accident, Sage and Faith didn't try to take care of it right away. She says that she and Noelle will help clean up, but Sage shouldn't lie to a nice teacher like Ms. Toone.
- Question: How did Marie know that Sage had been lying?
- Answer: "The phone was covered with chalk dust-every inch. If Sage had called the office, she would have brushed some of the chalk dust off. The phone had not been touched."
Cream Puff Day
Today is cream puff day at the cafeteria, where the dessert for lunch is a delicious cream puff. Marie and Noelle play a game where they offer trades such as a million dollars or their peas for the other's cream puff. Brooke joins in and offers an idea: she'll mark an X and a O on two napkin pieces. One of them chooses a piece and if they get an X, they'll get Brooke's cream puff. But if they get an O, Brooke will get theirs. Marie takes the offer before Noelle can say anything. Noelle says that she thinks it's a trick as Marie chooses the right hand. Marie opens it up so that no one else can see, says that it's an X, tears up the napkin into little pieces, and puts it in her pocket. Brooke says that she doesn't believe Marie as she didn't show her the napkin, and Marie apologizes. She says that Brooke could show her the other napkin and if it was an O, it would prove she had an X. Brooke sighs as she shows the left napkin with an O in it. Brooke laughs, and tells Marie that was clever.
- Question: What was Brooke up to, and how did Marie get two cream puffs?
- Answer: "Brooke had written "O" on both napkin pieces. If Marie had picked either one, she would have owed Brooke her cream puff. But Marie had a trick up her own sleeve."
Rebecca Sorensen is a smart girl in Marie's grade. She can name all fifty states in twenty seconds and she's been district spelling bee champion for two years in a row. But she is known for being shy, so when Brooke found a love letter from Rebecca to Matt in a bush, everyone was surprised. The letter reads: "Dear Matt, I hope your not embarased to receive this letter, but I like you very much. Your a very nice person and I'm so glad we got to be partners for our science expirement. Now I hope we can be friends. Love, Rebecca." Brooke, Hope, Hailey and Noelle start gossiping about Rebecca's letter while Marie reads it over. Brooke says that she's going to tell the entire class that Rebecca likes Matt. Noelle says that they shouldn't be spreading this all over and Marie backs it up, saying that this isn't a note from the Rebecca they know.
- Question: How did Marie know?
- Answer: "Would Rebecca, two-time district spelling champion, misspell the words "embarrassed" (embarased), "you're" (your), and "experiment" (expirement)?"
Easy as Pie
Marie is helping her mom make Thanksgiving dinner. They had made four pies yesterday, one pumpkin, two apple and one pecan, and are finishing up the turkey and mashed potatoes. Soon dinner is ready and they call for the family. Marie's brothers Tyler, Zachary, and Chris, along with five of their cousins, come out of Tyler's room and the adults come out of the living room. Everyone is eating the dinner with Marie's dog Junior underneath the table. Soon, it's time for dessert and as Marie and her mom go to the pantry where they left the pies, they discover that the pumpkin pie is gone. Marie's mom announces to the family that one of the pies is missing. Zachary teases that Marie ate it and Chris says that Junior could of eaten it since he loves pumpkin pie. The adults say that maybe the kids had eaten it while upstairs while the kids say the adults could of eaten it in the living room. Marie and her mom say that it's pretty obvious who had eaten the pie. Marie's mom says to point to whoever ate the pie and she and Marie point to the same person.
- Question: Who took the pie, and how did Marie and her mom know?
- Answer: "Mom and Marie had never mentioned what kind of pie was missing from the kitchen, but Marie's brother Chris had blamed it on the dog, Junior, saying "He's been in the kitchen, hasn't he? And we know how much he loves pumpkin pie.""
Lost in the Library
Harriet Putter is a story of a girl with magical powers and was the current most popular book in her school. Marie looks at the book on Mrs. Morris' desk and says she can't wait to read it. Brooke says that she deserves the book more as she's supposedly Mrs. Morris' favorite library aide and is working now. Mrs. Morris says that there's only one copy of Harriet Putter and for now, everyone hast to be on a waiting list. She says that she had ordered more copies so the list will go down faster. Later, it's Marie's turn to be the library aide and Mrs. Morris asks her to shelve some books in the science section. Marie does her job until she finds Harriet Putterand shows it to the librarian. She decides to ask all the library aides about it the next day. Marie asks about a conference Mrs. Morris was supposed to have along with a substitute, but apparently the conference has been canceled. Next morning, the seven aides Matt, Nate, Russell, Marie, Faith, Brooke, and Hope come together. Mrs. Morris says that Harriet Putter had been moved from her desk and ended up on shelves yesterday and asks if anyone knows how it go there. Russell says he wasn't at school yesterday, Hope says it wasn't her day to help, Brooke says she was shelving only the fiction section but swears she didn't touch the book, Matt says that the was shelving the history section, not the science section, Nate says that his day to shelve is tomorrow and Hope says that her day to shelve is today. Mrs. Morris gives a warning to be careful while shelving as they don't want to have another accident and loose a book as popular as Harriet Putter. Marie thinks to herself that it wasn't an accident and glances to the person she knew had put the book on the shelf.
- Question: Who does Marie think put "Harriet Putter" on the science shelves?
- Answer: "No one had said where Harriet Putter had been found, but Matt knew it had been put in the science section. When Marie asked him about it, Matt said he had wanted to read the book, but was embarrassed to check out a "girl's" book. He'd hid the book thinking that while the substitute was in, he'd take it just long enough to read it."
Win, Lose, or Draw
Ms. Toone had left the class to do some errands when Marie asks everyone in the class to sign a birthday card for Ms. Toone. Russell comes up to sign the card when Marie asks what happened to his arm. Russell's right arm is covered in a cast, from elbow to fingertips. He jokes that an elephant fell on it as he signs. The next day, Ms. Toone thanks the class for the birthday card and thanks a mysterious artist who left a drawing of her on the floor. She holds up a picture of a fish writing on a chalkboard with the words "Ms. Tuna in her fish school" written on it. The kids laugh and Ms. Toone asks who drew it. The kids try to figure out if she's angry about the picture as the teacher says that she found the picture underneath one of the boy's desks. She walks up to Russell and says she found it under his desk. Russell panics and says that he couldn't of done it due to his broken arm. Ms. Toone starts to accuse him like a lawyer would do in court, and Marie catches onto her joke. She whispers to Noelle and they both stand up saying they were witnesses to evidence that Russell had "committed this horrible crime." As some kids catch up to the game and others are still confused, Marie presents the evidence.
- Question: What was Marie's evidence?
- Answer: "Russell's right arm was broken, but he had signed the birthday card just fine because he was left-handed! It was silly to use it as an excuse because his teacher would recognize his handwriting. When Russell finally confessed, Ms. Toone told him she loved the drawing, had him sign it, and tacked it up on the bulletin board."
As there's a blizzard outside, Marie, Noelle, and Rose are spending the lunch in their homeroom, decorating a bulletin board for Ms. Toone. Brooke marches in, asking the girls to guess what she found. Rose guesses that it's a picture of Brooke's lovey-dovey boyfriend and Brooke says that it's a picture of Rose's lovey-dovey boyfriend. She reads out a poem written on the back of the photo as Rose screams, grabs the photo back, and asks where Brooke found it. Rose accuses Brooke that she took it out of her desk while Brooke said that she actually found it between pages 99 and 100 of Harriet Putter. Marie asks how she remembered the pages and Brooke says that she found the fact the picture was between those two numbers to be interesting. Brooke begins to tease Rose about her boyfriend when Marie says, "Stop teasing Rose and come clean. You took the picture, and that's why you're lying to Rose about where you got it."
- Question: How did Marie know that Brooke was lying?
- Answer: "Find a book. Try to put something between pages 99 and 100. All books are numbered so that an odd-numbered page and an even-numbered page are back-to-back on the same sheet of paper."
The Governor Is Calling
Marie gets a call from someone asking her to hold for the governor. Marie waits and wonders why would the governor want to call her, when she realizes that it was a prank call. The phone rings again and Noelle calls, asking why was Marie's line busy. Turns out the both of them got a prank call about the governor and they agree that the secretary's voice sounded a lot like Megan. They decide to get revenge and as they make prints in the spotless snow in front of Megan's house, they build a snowman in from of her door. They ring the doorbell and hide. As Megan struggles with getting rid of the snowman, Marie and Noelle come out of hiding and act innocent. Megan says that she owes them one while Marie says that they're equal now after Megan's governor calls. Megan says that she never made any calls, as she was at the library researching and she just came back ten minutes ago. Megan invites the girls in for hot chocolate. Later, as Marie and Noelle are about to leave, Marie asks Megan if she had made prank calls to anyone else. Megan insists that she didn't do it, but Marie says "You didn't go to the library today. I think you were here all morning being the governor's secretary."
- Question: How did Marie know that Megan hadn't gone to the library?
- Answer: "When Marie and Noelle arrived at Megan's house, there weren't any footprints in the snow. If Megan had just returned from the library, as she said, she would have left footprints walking up to her house."
Who Hearts Who
Hailey's dad brought some Swiss chocolate hearts and Hailey plans on giving some to her friends Marie, Noelle, and Brooke. The deal is that they have to send another chocolate heart to the boy they like the most for Valentines day. Brooke complains that she wouldn't mind giving a chocolate to Matt or Russell, but she doesn't want the heart to be a sign of love. Hailey reassures her that they don't have to love the boy to send it, and they can send it anonymously. The girls decide to keep it a secret among themselves and Marie is curious who had sent their heart to who. It's soon Valentines day and Marie looks who among the boys had gotten a chocolate heart. She sees that Russell, Nate, Matt, and Ben had gotten one. She thinks about who could of sent which heart: she had given her heart to Matt, she knew who Brooke liked, and she knew that Noelle didn't like Nate. She makes a grid and soon figures out who sent the heart to who.
- Question: Which boy had each girl given to?
- Answer: "Marie had given to Matt. Brooke had said she would give to either Matt or Russell. Since Matt already had Marie's chocolate, Brooke's must of gone to Russell. Noelle didn't like Nate, and she hadn't given chocolates to Matt or Russell, so that left Ben. And Hailey had given to Nate."