Dawn Schafer, Undercover Baby-sitter (Baby-Sitters Club Mystery, #26) [ePub]

by Ann M. Martin

dawn takes a job with a new client, sitting for her kids at some big manor in kristy's posh neighborhood. then a second new client calls for a sitter...for the same afternoon, at the same house. kristy takes the job. when the girls show up to babysit, they discover that the new clients are sisters who do not get along with each other. they are each living in separate wings of the house while they deal with the details related to their father's death the year previous (it was his house). they hired separate sitters because they have convinced the kids that they don't get along with each other...but actually, the moms just don't want the kids to be friends. there are two other people living in the house: the sisters' youngest sister amy, & a young foxy butler named john.

dawn gets the scoop from the kiddos: they have been told that they once had a big fight with their cousins & don't get along. but they don't remember the fight & are interested in meeting their cousins again. the sisters' need regular sitters for a little while as they wrap up their father's estate, so dawn decides to introduce the kids to each other. lo & behold, they get along just fine & are playing together like old friends in no time.

dawn overhears richard chatting with one of his lawyer buddies after one of her sitting jobs at the manor. apparently the deal is that the sisters have always always been competitive & their father kind of stoked that quality in them, pitting them against each other while they were growing up. amy is way younger than them & was kind of the pet. they always had a younger brother, but he died in an accident. after old rich dude died, he gave each sister a clue which would lead them to his fortune. whichever sister finds it first will get to keep the entire fortune. so that's why they are in the house—they're trying to solve their clues. the lawyer points out that they have a better chance of cracking the code if they pool their clues & work together, but it seems unlikely to happen.

dawn decides that somehow she will find out what the clues are & solve the puzzle, & also somehow get the sisters to work together. it wouldn't be the babysitters club if they didn't meddle in shit that didn't concern them, right? she drops hints about the puzzle to the kids, & at one point, startles amy in the house library. amy, for whatever weird reason, uses this as an opportunity to tell dawn what her clue is. it's something like, "the first is always the most important."

turns out one of the moms told her older daughter what her clue is. something about how, "the signature tells all." everyone gets all excited about figuring out what the clues mean & when dawn explains to the feuding moms what's going on, they drop their frosty demeanors & admit the final clue to evidence, "it wasn't me i was —-".

obvious, right? they're looking for a painting. preferably the first in a series. & the house is decorated in a series of paintings that old rich dude had painted of himself every single year. clearly the first painting has the code on the back that will enable the sisters to access the fortune. but they're like, "it wasn't me...i was...hmmm...the first is the most important...WHAT COULD IT MEAN?"

dawn goes home & thinks about it & has some idiotic deus ex machina dream full of angry portraits. she calls the manor first thing in the morning & is like, "i cracked the code, dudes!" richard drives her over to the manor on his way to work & after stalling for like a chapter & a half, she's like, "we're looking for a painting." they finally figure out which painting & call their lawyer. they explain that they all worked together to solve the puzzle (actually, dawn solved it), so they are setting aside their differences & sharing the fortune. the lawyer confirms that they cracked the code...& then they hear sneezing behind a wall. a bookcase slides out of the way & the butler emerges, looking sheepish. he admits that he is their long-lost baby brother, believed by everyone to be dead. amy knew he wasn't dead, but had agreed not to tell. the older sisters & so relieved that he's not dead (WTF? did they have a funeral for him? i think finding out that a sibling is not in fact dead should warrant a bigger response than this) that they cut him in on the fortune. they all agree that rich old dude was kind of a bastard, always fucking with his kids' heads & telling them that their siblings had died, & that they have the best fortune of all now that he's not around to fuck it up: each other. awww. *puke*

in the B-plot, dawn is preparing to move back to california for the next school year & keeps pissing mary anne of by making plans with her & then forgetting & making plans with someone else. finally dawn decides to have a day when she has a big picnic with her babysitting charges, & then a barbecue & sleepover with the babysitters club, & then a special all-day family day. &...no one cares. learn to use an appointment book, dawn. you're only 13. i'm sure you're not that in demand.



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