Sleepover Stakeout is the second book in the Sleuth or Dare series.
WHO'S OUT THERE? Norah and Darcy's detective agency, Partners in Crime, is taking on a new and chilling case. The girls' classmate, Maya, is hearing strange, crackling voices coming over the baby monitor while she's babysitting late at night. Maya is worried someone might be in danger.
To help investigate, Norah and Darcy join her for a sleepover stakeout. In between eating snacks and watching TV, the girls are on high alert for anything suspicious. Soon, they stumble upon a mysterious secret they never could have imagined -- but Norah and Darcy clash over how to interpret the new clues.
Can the girls get past their differences to see their way to the truth? lets think about that.
“The pizza is frozen,” Fiona said, her green eyes shimmering with excitement. “I repeat … the pizza is frozen!” Darcy and I exchanged confused glances. “What are you talking about?” Darcy asked Fiona. “What pizza?” Fiona nodded at the cell phone in her hand. “You know … the thing. I was using code to tell you it’s not moving yet.” Darcy rolled her eyes. “We don’t need code words. It’s just me, you, and Norah here.” Darcy was right. It was only the three of us: me, Norah Burridge; my best friend, Darcy Carter; and our other friend, Fiona Fanning. We were the members of Partners in Crime, a detective agency Darcy and I had started just a few weeks ago. Now we were huddled against the brick back wall of Danville Middle School. It was Friday afternoon, so most kids had already left, but we were sticking around. We were undercover. Our classmate Abigail Mattimore had e-mailed us through the Partners in Crime website. She had a raging crush on Trey Watson, a popular jock in our grade, and she thought he might like her, too. They’d been talking and texting a lot. But every Friday afternoon, he disappeared. He would never answer his phone or say where he was. Abigail had his whole schedule memorized (stalker alert!) and knew he had no sports practice. She was worried that he was meeting another girl on Fridays. I suggested she just ask him, but Abigail said she didn’t want to seem crazy. Yet, somehow, hiring a detective agency run by seventh graders wasn’t nuts. So we took on the case and were now staking out Trey. Fiona’s parents had a GPS on her cell phone that tracked where she was at all times. She thought it was annoying and overprotective, but it was sure coming in handy solving this mystery. Fiona had “accidentally” dropped her phone into Trey’s backpack near the end of the school day. Now all we had to do was wait. We were tracking its signal on an app on Darcy’s phone. As soon as the signal started moving, we’d know Trey was heading to his secret place. And, according to Fiona’s pizza code — it was standing still for now, meaning Trey was still in school. It was kind of funny seeing Fiona all into being a detective with us. Only a month ago, I never would have pictured even being friends with her. Fiona is the prettiest, most popular girl in our school. Darcy and I are nerds and proud of it. Usually those two worlds don’t mix, but we were enjoying sleuthing together. “Let her use the code if she wants,” I said to Darcy. “Oh, fine,” Darcy said, tucking a purple-striped chunk of her short black hair behind her ear. Fiona took a moment to eyeball my T-shirt. I’m not into fashion like she is, but this was my favorite item of clothing. It’s a shirt I got at the Museum of Science that says “Pluto: Revolve in Peace 1930–2006.” “What does that mean?” Fiona said, frowning. Her long brown hair was twisted into this beautiful, complicated updo that I would need a degree in engineering to copy. I always wore my blond hair straight down my back, or up in a plain ponytail. “It’s a joke,” I said. “Like ‘R.I.P.’ but ‘revolve’ in peace. Get it? Because Pluto was demoted from planet status in 2006 …” “Huh,” Fiona said. I’d already lost her. We each have our own hobbies. I’m an astronomy buff. Fiona is a fashionista. She can’t name any of Jupiter’s moons, but I don’t know any expensive shoe designers, so we’re even. Darcy’s into technology, crime, and conspiracies, and she’s totally obsessed with the TV show Crime Scene: New York. Even though we all have our own interests, we work well together. At least, we have so far. This is only our second case. And we never meant to become private investigators. It started as a class project. But once we solved our first mystery, we were hooked. “The pizza is on the move!” Fiona yelled. My heart jumped. She passed the cell phone to Darcy. We all huddled around it and watched the little red dot on the GPS map. Once we saw which direction Trey was going, we’d hop on our bikes, catch up, and find out where he went every Friday. “Wait!” Fiona’s voice was panicked. “It’s moving too fast.” I squinted at the map. The dot had already left the school parking lot and was headed down Main Street. Definitely too fast to be someone walking. “Is he on a bike?” I asked. Darcy watched for a moment. “Don’t think so. He must be in a car.” “Well, let’s motor,” I said. “The car has to stop sometime.” We jumped on our bikes. Darcy had the cell in her hand, so she took the lead. Fiona and I followed behind her, pedaling hard. After ten minutes, we stopped in the center of town. “What’s up?” I asked my BFF, panting. “You need a break?” Darcy frowned at the cell phone. “Nope. It stopped. He’s in there.” She pointed at a place called the Java Lamp. My mom had mentioned it once or twice as a great new spot to get afternoon lattes. “A coffee shop?” I said, surprised. I love the smell of coffee, but I don’t drink it. First, because I have enough trouble shutting my mind off and falling asleep at night as it is. Second, because I tried it once and it tasted like a cup of melted pennies. “I guess Abigail was right,” Darcy said. “He is meeting someone else.” Dread formed in the pit of my stomach, but I tried to remain hopeful. After all, Trey had come in a car. Maybe it was a family tradition or something. Coffee Fridays! Okay, even I wasn’t believing that. I sighed, then looked at my friends. “Let’s go get the evidence.” All we needed was for Darcy to snap a picture with her cell phone and e-mail it to Abigail, and the case would be over. And Abigail’s heart would be broken. I thought about my crush, Zane Munro, and how I would feel if he was meeting a girl every Friday at the Java Lamp. A girl who wasn’t me. At the mere thought of it, my heart cinched. I wished it didn’t have to end this way for Abigail. Man, being a private investigator was tough. Darcy shoved open the door with one shoulder, and Fiona and I followed her in. The place was packed. A big red lava lamp bubbled over the cash register. Little round tables were full of people holding steaming coffee mugs, chatting, reading books, or pretending to work on their laptops while eavesdropping on the table of women next to them. (Okay, that last one might have been just one guy.) Trey, however, was nowhere to be seen. “Maybe he’s in the bathroom,” I said. Darcy made a beeline for a glass case that held baked goods. “You guys!” she called, waving us over. “They have giant cookies! They’re the size of my face!” Fiona ignored her. She was too busy checking out a table of cute boys. Was I the only one who remembered what we were here for? Just then, an employee wearing a Java Lamp apron went up on the empty stage in the corner and turned on the microphone. Feedback screeched through the room, and people clapped their hands over their ears.