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Ashley's Detective Notebook
Mary-Kate and I have to find the real crook before morning — or everyone at Patty's party is in big...
Ashley's Detective Notebook
Mary-Kate and I have to find the real crook before morning — or everyone at Patty's party is in big touble!
"Ashley, check it out," I told my sister as I opened our next Christmas present. "Great-Grandma Olive just sent us a fingerprinting kit!"
Ashley sat next to me by the Christmas tree. "Cool!" she exclaimed. "Just what we always wanted!"
Ashley and I are detectives. We're ten years old and run the Olsen and Olsen Detective Agency from our attic. GreatGrandma Olive's gift would definitely come in handy when we were solving our cases.
"We could have used this kit a few days ago," Ashley said. "Right, Mary-Kate?"
"That's for sure," I agreed.
A few days ago Ashley and I went to Patty O'Leary's Christmas sleepover party. But it wasn't an ordinary popcorn and videos sleepover. It was held at Tower of Toys -- the biggest toy store in town.
And there was something else that made Patty's party different. Ashley and I had to solve a mystery!
"This party is going to be awesome," Ashley said the night of the sleepover. "I've never slept in a toy store before."
"It's got to be an awesome party if Princess Patty is throwing it," I said. "Her parents totally spoil her."
"And today I'm glad they did!" Ashley giggled.
Ashley and I lugged our sleeping bags to the Tower of Toys entrance. The door was decorated with colorful lights and teddy bears dressed up as elves. The store windows were filled with every toy and game we could ever imagine!
"Hey, wait for us!" our friend Samantha Kramer called.
I turned and saw Samantha rushing toward us. Our other friend, Tim Park, was right behind her. They were here for Patty's party, too.
"This store rocks!" Timdeclared. "And we'll get to play with every toy in the place."
"I know," Ashley said. "I can't wait to try the latest Moon Raiders video game."
Tim pulled a crumpled piece of paper from his pocket. "I made a list of all the candy I want to eat at the Snack Shack in the store."
I laughed. Tim loved to eat more than anything!
"Well I'm going to unroll my sleeping bag in the Margie doll section," Samantha announced.
That was no surprise. Samantha had every Margie doll ever made. Sand'n'Surf Margie, High-flying Margie, Ride 'Em Cowgirl Margie --
"Hey, look!" Samantha pointed at two people stepping out of the store: a handsome guy dressed in a Hawaiian shirt and a teenage girl with long, swingy blond hair.
"Who are they?" Tim asked.
"It's Margie's boyfriend and little sister," Samantha explained. "Honolulu Hal and Cricket."
"They're dolls?" Tim asked.
"No, silly," Ashley said. "They're real people. They're just dressed like the dolls. It's their job to walk around Tower of Toys and talk to the kids."
I smiled. They did look just like the dolls. But they didn't look very happy.
"Hi, guys!" Samantha called. "Are you going to be at the sleepover, too?"
"Not a chance," Hal grumbled. "We've been fired!"
"Tower of Toys says we're not popular anymore," Cricket wailed. "How's that for a Christmas present?"
We stared at Hal and Cricket as they walked past us. "I can't believe they were fired," I said.
"Tower of Toys won't be the same without them," Ashley said.
"Well, they'll never fire the girl who plays Margie," Samantha said. "The Margie doll has been Toy of the Year since we were in kindergarten."
We filed through the door and into the store. The place was packed with wall-to-wall games and toys. There were whole sections just for electronics, scooters and skateboards, stuffed animals, dolls, books, everything.
"This is just the main floor," Tim said. "Upstairs is the Outer Space Place, the Magic Hut, Puppet Parade, the Snack Shack, and more!"
"We know," Ashley said with a grin. "Mary-Kate and I have been here dozens of times."
But today Tower of Toys looked extra special. Gumdrop-covered wreaths and gigantic candy canes were hung along the walls. A huge silver Christmas tree stood in the center of the store. Its branches reached all the way up to the ceiling.
Patty peeked out from behind a giant giraffe. "There you are," she said. "Ready for the best Christmas sleepover of the century?"
"You bet!" I answered. "Is everyone: here?"
Patty pointed to four girls playing tag around the Christmas tree. "Bethany, Kendra, Alexis, and Maria are here," she said. "They're all from my Sunshine Scout troop."
We waved at the girls, and they waved back.
Then I spotted a boy with spiky red hair walking around the store. He was talking into a mini-tape recorder.
"Who's he?" I asked Patty.
"That's just my cousin Melvin." Patty sighed. "I had to invite him."
"COOL" Tim said. "At least I won't be the only boy at this party."
I could hear Melvin barking into the recorder: "Electronic skateboard -- one unit! Tubes of Freaky Foam, hot colors only -- two dozen units. Mega-Monster Cycles-three units!"
"What's he doing?" Ashley whispered.
Patty rolled her eyes. "Melvin's recording his Christmas list," she said.
"And he needs three Mega-Monster Cycles?" I asked.New Adventures of Mary-Kate & Ashley #32: The Case of the Candy Cane Clue. Copyright © by Mary-Kate & Ash Olsen. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.