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At Vancouver's Pacific National Exhibition, Joe Lumby, track star extraordinaire, finds himself caught up in a mystery involving the theft of a gallery treasure.
Welcome to the second book of what I call my Not-so-dead Poet Society stories. Let's talk a bit, if you have time. Come closer, so my computer-weary eyes can see you. My battered fingers are reaching the end of their endurance, but I want to share a few more things with you before you go.
The last thing Chaz wants is to spend his summer working on his father's Eye, a Ferris wheel with glass-bottomed gondolas set up to view scenic North Vancouver. For one thing, Chaz would prefer to pursue his own passion: dance in the style of the late, great Gene Kelly. More important, Chaz suffers from vertigo, and even the thought of the Eye makes him want to lose his lunch. But when a crowd of angry protestors and a mysterious vandal threaten his father's dream, and the family's livelihood, Chaz is forced to overcome his own fears to help out.
Clay would much rather work as a lifeguard at the beach than at Safari Splash, the new water park in town. He's certain the summer will drag along, despite his position at the Boa, the park's fastest slide. The summer job starts to get interesting when he learns that someone has been wandering the park in a lynx costume, scaring the staff. When forty thousand dollars is stolen from the till, and his friends are under suspicion for the theft, boring is starting to look good. But Clay is certain that the mask and the thefts are connected, and he's determined to solve the crime.
When Dinah gets a part in the musical adaptation of Wilkie Collins' "The Moonstone", she stumbles onto a plot to steal a priceless ring.
Dinah Galloway--budding diva, enthusiastic gourmand and amateur detective--is back. This time she has taken to the high seas with a gig in the lounge of an Alaska-bound cruise ship. Also aboard are her mother and her older sister Madge, a moody professor of First Nations art, an elderly woman with romantic intentions toward an even older man, an aspiring thief with gooseberry-colored eyes, and a priceless Native mask that seems to be attracting far too much attention. Also on the ship is Talbot St. John, class heartthrob, with whom Dinah has a running feud. The mask is on its way to a museum to be returned to its ancestral home, but is stolen moments before its delivery. When Dinah is pushed into a glacial lake, the mystery becomes more dangerous and the pool of suspects deepens. As Dinah entertains the passengers and eats her way up the Northwest Coast, a number of potential suspects emerge.
Amateur detective and singing sensation Dinah Galloway has enough on her plate without having to worry about being pursued by a vengeful stalker. The red-headed twelve-year-old is in the running to sing in commercials promoting beautiful British Columbia. To clinch the job, Dinah has to get fit at a wellness retreat on Salt Spring Island. Veggies? Exercise? Yech! Grudgingly, though, Dinah admits that her lifestyle could be a little healthier. Off to Salt Spring she goes, along with the two other finalists: one friendly, the other the last word in sulky. Her friends Talbot and Pantelli make their usual disruptive appearances, along with Dinah's ever-anxious mother and cool, elegant sister Madge. Hoping to shed not only pounds but her crazed pursuer, Dinah learns the true meaning of personal best--it truly is how you play the game, not whether you win or lose.
It's all aboard! for mystery when Dinah Galloway takes the cross-country train from Vancouver to Toronto, to appear on a TV talent show. But will she make it-or be permanently derailed? Along with her sister Madge, and her fellow junior musicians, tree fanatic Pantelli Audia and history buff Talbot St. John, Dinah is shadowed by someone who wants to get hold of an $80,000 treasure left by her late dad. But what is the treasure? The redheaded, singing sleuth realizes that the secret dwells somewhere in her dad's murky past, and involves a funny, if less than respectable, ex-con named Ardle McBean, and a mysterious man with a bowl cut. The mystery accelerates when Dinah's sweet, elderly piano teacher, also on the train, disappears and the danger to Dinah increases. She struggles to keep on the tracks of the mystery before the shadows, past and present, overwhelm her.
Confronting a prowler in the backyard, Dinah is determined to find out why someone has taken an interest in her older sister and herself. Who is the buck-tooth burglar? Why are the Rinaldi's tomatoes always involved? And what is the connection between Madge's boyfriend and GASP, a group of well-intentioned anti-smoking activists? When it becomes apparent that Wellman Talent, the modeling agency Madge works for, is making deals with an unscrupulous tobacco company, and that the spy is out to sabotage GASP's plans to expose the connection, Dinah has to call on all her talents, both sleuthing and singing, to solve the case. In the spirit of Sammy Keyes, Dinah gets by on pluck, courage and an irrepressible sense of humor as she is catapulted into a mystery that twists and turns from the blackberry patch to the corporate boardroom.
After a hang glider crashes into the pool of the house where Dinah and Madge are house-sitting, the hapless pilot creates more than a splash of suspicion in Dinah's mind. Why does this itchy intruder make off with Dinah's inflatable turtle? Why is someone trying to drive their cat-mad neighbor away? And what is the connection with the balding stranger seen lurking behind the hedge? And when Madge's boyfriend starts a campaign to save the endangered spotted owl, it seems that a crooked politician may be out to destroy the habitat of the near-extinct animal. While Madge paints, Dinah brushes aside suggestions that she be a quiet, well-behaved guest in this posh North Vancouver neighborhood. There's just too much for Dinah and her friends--tree-fanatic Pantelli and irritatingly conscientious Talbot--to investigate in this hilariously suspenseful adventure. Along with learning about endangered animals and fragile ecosystems, Dinah runs across clueless reporters and greedy developers, all the while continuing to belt out her favorite songs and satisfy her healthy appetite.