I So Don't Do Mysteries by Barrie Summy
A girl. A guy. A ghost. A heist. Yikes!
Sherry (short for Sherlock) wants more mall time, less homework and a certain cute guy. Instead, she's recruited by her mother's ghost to prevent a rhino heist at San Diego's Wild Animal Park.
Here's what people are saying about I So Don't Do Mysteries:
"Summy keeps the fizz in her effervescent premise...using a punchy first-person narration; story lines involving romances, movie stars, rhinos and egotistical chefs; and various eccentricities, including a late grandfather who assumes the form of a wren...Sherry remains entertaining, and readers will hope for a second caper."
"A seriously funny ghost story packed with mystery, romance and fun." --Sarah Mlynowski, author of the Magic in Manhattan series
"Sherry's relationship with her mother's spirit and her own quirky personality elevate this text by adding sincerity and warmth." --Kirkus
"I SO DON'T DO MYSTERIES is a funny, engaging debut novel and Sherry's antics will keep you turning pages since nothing happens as expected. Ms. Summy's title suggests she so doesn't do mysteries, but I believe she does them very, very well, and I surely hope she will be brewing up more mysteries for Sherry and her mother in the future."
--5 Star Review, Cana Rensberger, TeensReadToo.com (http://www.teensreadtoo.com/DontDoMysteries.html)
"It's a really funny book, Mom, which is weird because you don't have much of a sense of humor." --This is from my very own Child #3!!
Excerpt from I SO DON'T DO MYSTERIES:
This excerpt is from Chapter three, when Sherry first meets her mother as a ghost. Her mother, an officer with the Phoenix PD, was killed in the line of duty eighteen months earlier.
Weird. Weird. Weird. Next she’ll be telling me she’s going on a field trip to Hogwarts. “And the Academy of Spirits is what, exactly?”
“An organization that trains ghosts to protect the living. To enroll, you need prior experience in a field such as law enforcement, firefighting or PI work. And to advance through the various levels, you have to conquer your weak areas. For example, I’m currently targeting my sense of direction. The Academy is only on the other side of town. Under Dairy Queen. But it took me months to find my way here.”
I rub my forehead, thinking how a Blizzard will never be the same for me.
“Sherry?” Mom’s voice goes soft and gooey and sweet, like fresh bubble gum. “I’ve been watching you, and it looks as though you’ve gotten even more fearful of challenges since I’ve been gone.”
“Mom, I’m fine. Really.” Except for the fact that I totally freeze up in tough situations. Like a Popsicle. As in frozen solid.
“I did some research at the Academy library and found an interesting loophole in their rules.” She pauses. “A loophole that would allow us to work together.”
“Like. . .partners?” I picture Mom’s partner—well, ex-partner—Stefanie, with her cute haircut and cool blue uniform. I smile. Then I picture a bunch of bad guys with guns and scars. I frown.
“It would be completely safe,” Mom says, reading my frown. “You’d just be helping me with a little mystery solving. It would build up your self-confidence.”
It feels like an undigested carnitas burrito with guac and sour cream is sitting in my stomach.
“I don’t do mysteries, Mom. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m not Nancy Drew.” I fluff my dark hair for emphasis. “Do I look like a strawberry-blond-haired teenage detective?”
“You know me,” I say. “You know I’ll choke.”
I can make myself sweat with memories of my many mistakes. I always flunk pop quizzes; I was held back in beginner swimming five times; I’m the star of miles of videotape of school shows where I just stand there like a moron. And the lame list goes on.
“You wouldn’t be operating alone. I’d be very involved.”
“No, no, no.” I’m shaking my head so fast, the front of my brain has probably Jell-O-jiggled all the way to the back and vice versa.
She sighs. “Sherry, I need to be a little more up-front. I didn’t want to put this pressure on you, but--”
“What? What?” I say. “What’s going on?”
“The Academy is”—Mom clears her throat—“highly competitive. This is my last chance. If I fail this assignment”—her voice cracks—“I’ll have to move on.”
The heavy burrito feeling is back in my stomach. My go-getter mother is failing at something?
“To the afterlife reserved for Academy failures.”
So I’d be losing her all over again. Right after we found each other. And to a terrible fate for which I don’t want details, thankyouverymuch.
“I really need your help,” she says.
Like the pitiful drummer in our school band, my heart beats all erratically. My mom needs me. My überindependent, never-turns-down-a-challenge mother needs me. And not just for babysitting but for big stuff. This is mind-blowing. “What would I have to do?”
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Please rewrite this sentence, replacing the italicized portion: It feels like an undigested carnitas burrito with guac and sour cream is sitting in my stomach.