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  • Susan Stoderl

Middle-Grade Detective Book Excerpt | Mission 2: Unexpected Visitors

Chapter 1. Apartment 4B—with a Capital “B” for Bo-o-oring!

A cloud of doom hovered over the MacGregor household. Sophia propped her elbow on the kitchen table, her head resting on a listless hand. A multi-grain bagel wallowing in cinnamon-walnut cream cheese lay abandoned on her plate. Her best friend Pedro seemed to fare no better. Mr. O’D sipped his third cup of Irish Breakfast tea as he skimmed the sports pages, oblivious to the severity of the situation in apartment 4B.

Zelda Screech Cat shrieked to get Sophia’s attention to telepath her true feelings in her native CatScreech. It’s Monday. School’s only been out since Friday and you’re already boring as dirt. Fix it or I’ll have to adopt drastic measures to entertain myself!

“If you don’t want me to use this cream cheese as mousse on your lovely white fur, can it!” Sophia was in a foul mood.

“Whoa, little girl! Where did that come from?” asked Mr. O’D, laying his paper aside.

“I can’t help it! I’m bored. There’s nothing to investigate, no battles to wage against the Cru Crew, nor large animals to save!”

“The situation is serious here! Our summer Underground Railroad Seminar doesn’t start for another week,” said Pedro.

“Why not count your blessings? The Russian poachers are in jail, the NYPD is ignoring you, and Brad Whitewood isn’t waiting to flatten you!”

“True.” (We caused Mr. O’D, Henry, and Lionel a lot of trouble with Operation Save Jack.) Sophia found it necessary to add one of her signature parentheticals to clarify the situation. “If Pedro and I hadn’t intervened, who would have saved Vlad and Jack?”

“And, if we didn’t keep tabs on the Cru Crew, who knows what they'd do? They could terrorize the entire school instead of just us!”


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