Authors: Tony Abbott
We bring stories to life
First published by Egmont USA, 2013
443 Park Avenue South, Suite 806
New York, NY 10016
Text copyright © Tony Abbott, 2013
Illustrations copyright © Colleen Madden, 2013
All rights reserved
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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The mysterious talent show mystery / Tony Abbott;
illustrated by Colleen Madden.
p. cm. – (Goofballs; bk. 4)
Summary: The Goofballs are lucky they are expert detectives when their school talent show becomes a whirlwind of mysterious events!
[1. Mystery and detective stories. 2. Talent shows–Fiction. 3. Schools–Fiction. 4. Humorous stories.] I. Madden, Colleen M.,
ill. II. Title.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, or otherwise, without the prior permission of the publisher and copyright owner.
To all my goofily talented friends at Egmont!—T.A.
i, I’m Jeff Bunter.
And you’re not.
That’s a goofy joke.
But it’s no joke that I’m an official Goofball.
My friends Brian Rooney, Kelly Smitts, and Mara Lubin are also official Goofballs.
We solve mysteries like nobody else.
Brian is an inventor. Sort of.
He makes wacky junk that doesn’t always work but looks really cool and helps us solve crimes.
Kelly is as smart as a computer, but she doesn’t look like one. Unless a computer is really short, really suspicious, and has big yellow hair. Which sounds like an invention Brian would make.
Then there’s Mara. She’s tall like a fashion model, as skinny as a rake handle, and wears giant green glasses. She’s also a master of amazing disguises.
Me, I was born to solve mysteries.
Since I first learned to carry stuff, I’ve carried a notebook around with me. I call it my cluebook because I write down all the clues I find. And believe me, there are clues everywhere!
Like the ones we found last week.
It was the first rehearsal for the Badger Point Elementary School Talent Show.
We couldn’t have the show at our own school because they were putting down a new floor in the Cafeteri-Audi-Nasium.
“Good thing,” Brian said when he found out. “Without a floor, we’d fall into the basement.”
So, instead of being held at Badger Point Elementary, our show would be at the big, large, huge, and enormous Badger Point High School!
That’s where Brian, Kelly, Mara, and I met last Monday afternoon for our first rehearsal.
In my backpack were a dinner plate and a balancing stick. I was really getting good at spinning that plate. I wanted everyone to see me do it.
Of course, being Goofballs, we all agreed to keep our talents secret, even from one another. It was more mysterious that way.
But none of us guessed what the
talent show mystery would be.
“Someday, we’ll go to this school,” said Kelly as we looked up at the big building.
day?” said Brian. “That’s a week from now. I can’t wait that long.”
And he walked right in, leaving the doors swinging behind him.
“Brian’s a Goofball,” said Mara.
“Also a glueball,” I said. “Which means we should probably stick together.”
The moment we entered the high school, Kelly gasped. “Wows!”
Wows, is right.
The school was humongous. Inside the front doors were three super-long hallways leading off into the distance.
Brian stared down each hall. “Does anyone know where the auditorium is?” he asked.
“I was here once,” I said. “So I do.”
“I do, too,” Mara said.
“Me, too,” Kelly said.
“Well, I don’t,” said Brian. “So I should lead the way.” He started down the wrong hall.
“Brian, wait,” I said. “If you’re the only one who
know where the auditorium is, why should
Brian smiled at me. “Jeff, Jeff. It’s simple.”
Uh-oh. When Brian says, “It’s simple,” it’s usually the opposite.
“First of all,” he said, “where are we at this exact moment?”
“In the high school,” said Mara.
“And what are schools for?” said Brian.
“To learn things,” said Kelly.
“But since you already
where the auditorium is, you can’t
where it is,” Brian said. “Since I
know where it is, I’ll
where it is. That’s why I should lead.”
I stared at Brian.
Kelly stared at Brian.
Mara stared at Brian.
“I’m glad we’re all agreed,” Brian said. Then he took a pair of cardboard binoculars from his cargo pants, pretended to focus them, and crept down the completely wrong hall like he was tracking a jungle beast.
Kelly sighed. “If we don’t follow him, he’ll get lost.”
Mara sighed, too. “If we
I sighed the loudest. “I know I’m going to sound like Brian here, but the Goofballs are nowhere unless we’re all together, so it’s better to find ourselves lost together with Brian than to lose Brian and find ourselves together without him.”
Kelly stared at me.
Mara stared at me.
we won’t get lost,” I said.
So we followed Brian.
And we got lost.
We started by going upstairs to the second floor. There we discovered a hall with no lights and no doors. Then we found a hall with lots of doors but no lights. Then we found a hall with no doors but lots of lights. Then we found the stairway back to the front doors again and went right to the auditorium.
“This is like a corn maze,” Brian said.
is the Indian word for corn,” Kelly said.
is my word for goofy,” I said.
is my word for that!” said Mara. She pointed to a sign outside the auditorium doors.
“Friturday?” Mara stared at the sign through her big green glasses. “And I thought
had talent. Someone is inventing new days!”
“Maybe it’s our first clue,” whispered Kelly.
At the word
, I pulled out my cluebook and scribbled it down.