As you may have gathered from the title, this one is narrated by Claudia. Let’s see what ridiculous shenanigans THIS time!
Chapter 1. It’s a dark and stormy night, to borrow from Edward Bulwer-Lytton. Claudia wants to read Nancy Drew and eat candy, or paint and moon about boys. But, no, homework comes first. Sigh! It’s so tough, innit? It must be done, though, or she can’t stay in the BSC, of which she recaps the origins, as well as the fact that she hasn’t done any homework since the start of the school year. How did that go on this long without your parents being notified sooner?
School is boring, Claudia bitches. Who cares how to solve for x? I just want to read mysteries! And my sister, Janine, is a “real and true genius,” which is different from a fake and false one, believe me. Supposedly, Claudia’s IQ is also above average, but she doesn’t want to concentrate and buckle down, so her spelling sucks. Right, like that’s your only problem, especially when she uses the non-word “trigonomulus” a few paragraphs later.
On this night, it’s Claudia’s grandmother’s turn to help her with homework. Mimi has a “rolling accent that reminds [Claudia] of a ship at sea.” She’s Japanese, and polite. That’s about all we get.
Claudia talks with Mimi about Nancy Drew mysteries and Halloween. Claudia is already prepared for the latter: purple knee-high pants with suspenders, tights with a clock print, purple plaid shirt and hat (wasn’t she wearing purple plaid in the last book, too?), high-tops, and lobster earrings. The hallmarks of a crazy person, even in 1980s Stoneybrook.
Claudia wants to work on her portrait project, so Mimi sits for her. This devolves into a conversation about sisters and getting along, and Mimi advising her that these things involve patience and time.
Later, Claudia is settling in with Nancy Drew, but her thoughts quickly drift away to Trevor Sandbourne. He’s dreamy!
Stacey calls, and lots of sighing occurs – about boys, about no sitting jobs, about Stacey not knowing enough people. Claudia promises a get-together with the others, and goes back to her book.
Chapter 2. The girls are at Kristy’s and very bored. Kristy suggests looking at old toys, but that’s childish. Claudia tells us that both Kristy and MaryAnne look and act younger than twelve, and are totally not sophisticated like her and Stacey. MaryAnne suggests cookies, but Stacey has the diabeetus, so that’s out. The player is broken, so they can’t rent a movie.
Claudia tells them about the guy she’s been mooning over, and apparently, Kristy has a class with him – and Alan Gray, who is gross. Kristy was the only one to beat him at his own game – by packing an irresistible lunch for him to steal, only to find in covered in dead and disgusting things. Ha, ha.
MaryAnne goes back to her newspaper and is freaked out by the “Phantom Caller.” He calls people and then robs them. And he’s moving closer to Stoneybrook. Suddenly, Claudia remembers that at her last sitting job, she got two phone calls, and each time, they hung up without saying a word.