Meg Mackintosh and the Case of the Missing Babe Ruth Baseball: A Solve-It-Yourself Mystery by Lucinda Landon, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Meg Mackintosh and the Case of the Missing Babe Ruth Baseball: A Solve-It-Yourself Mystery

Meg Mackintosh and the Case of the Missing Babe Ruth Baseball: A Solve-It-Yourself Mystery

by Lucinda Landon

View All Available Formats & Editions

In the book that launched her adventures, Meg follows a series of notes hidden in her grandfather's house to solve an old mystery of a missing baseball signed by Babe Ruth. The reader is challenged to interpret each clue before Meg solves it.


In the book that launched her adventures, Meg follows a series of notes hidden in her grandfather's house to solve an old mystery of a missing baseball signed by Babe Ruth. The reader is challenged to interpret each clue before Meg solves it.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Meg is a determined, clever, and resourceful protagonist, and children will want to see more of her."  —School Library Journal

Product Details

Secret Passage Press
Publication date:
Meg Mackintosh Mystery Series, #1
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.50(h) x 0.20(d)
Age Range:
7 - 9 Years

Read an Excerpt

Meg Mackintosh and the Case of the Missing Babe Ruth Baseball

A Solve-It-Yourself Mystery

By Lucinda Landon

Secret Passage Press

Copyright © 1986 Lucinda Landon
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-888695-25-0


"Hmm, I do detect a bit of family resemblance," said Meg Mackintosh, as she examined Gramps's old family photo album.

"You've got some funny-looking relatives," remarked Liddy. "And look at these pictures of you and Peter!"

Meg turned another page.

"Gramps, who's this?"

"That's me," explained Gramps, "and that's my cousin Alice. She was always bossing me around. She used to drive me crazy, teasing me about my little dog and calling me 'Georgie Porgie.' I called her 'Tattletale Al' because she was always getting me in trouble.

"I'll never forget the day that photo was taken. We went on a picnic," Gramps reminisced. "That was the day she lost my prize possession."

"What was it?" Meg asked.

"My baseball, signed by the Babe himself."

"A baby signed your baseball?"

"Of course not. Babe Ruth, the greatest baseball player ever. He autographed the ball and gave it to my father and my father gave it to me. I took it to that picnic and Alice lost it. I never saw it again."

Meg examined the photo.

Alice did look like a troublemaker. Then Meg spied something else.

The corner of a piece of paper was sticking out from behind the old photograph. Meg pulled it out and carefully unfolded it.

"Hear that, Gramps? Maybe your baseball's not lost. Just follow the clue!" exclaimed Meg.

"I doubt it's that simple, Meg-O. Just another of her pranks. I saw that note years ago, but I couldn't make head nor tail of it," Gramps sighed.

"It's probably too old to make sense now," added Liddy.

"But it might really mean something. I've got to investigate," insisted Meg.

Just then the phone rang.

"Hey, Nut-Meg, Peter here. Remind Gramps that I'll be there in the morning."

"Take your time. I've found a mystery. Something to do with a Babe Ruth baseball," Meg teased.

"A Babe Ruth baseball? That's worth a fortune! Don't touch anything until I get there!" shouted Peter.

"Tough luck, Sherlock, I can solve this one myself. Bye."

Upstairs in Gramps's boyhood room, where Meg always stayed, she took out her notebook and pencil.

"Finally. The chance I've been waiting for!" Meg told Liddy. "Peter won't let me join his Detective Club until I have 'proof' that I can solve a mystery."

"Well, you'd better do it before he gets here tomorrow," warned Liddy. "He'll never give you a chance."

Meg knew Liddy was right. She sat down at the desk and started a list.

"Take a look in her book." Meg looked at the clue again. "Alice's diary? A nature book about birds?" She gazed up at the shelf of Gramps's old books.

"The Old Woman and the Little Red Hen," Liddy suggested as she squinted at the dusty titles. "Doesn't that fit?"

"I don't think so," said Meg, still jotting in her notebook. Suddenly she reached for a book. "I think I've got it!"


"Not a father, that's mother. Not a gander, that's goose. The Mother Goose book!" Meg explained.

She carefully opened it.

"This is definitely Gramps's old book. We must be on the right track," Meg said. After a moment she added, "I think I know where to look."


"Georgie Porgie, pudding and pie ..." said Meg.

"Kissed the girls and made them cry ..." added Liddy as she twirled a pencil in her hair. "So?"

"Georgie Porgie. That's what Alice called Gramps," Meg reminded her. Sure enough there was a small note tucked tightly between the pages. Another clue!

"Little boy blue, come blow your horn," Meg recited.

"But what does a horn have to do with a baseball?" wondered Liddy.

"I don't know yet. First we have to find the horn. Let's see. Foghorn? Cow horn? Horn of plenty? Cape Horn?"

"Well, good luck with it. I have to get home," Liddy said.

Meg walked Liddy downstairs, then went to find Gramps.

"Gramps, did you ever play any musical instrument, like a French horn?"

"No, but I can sing a little. Why?" Gramps replied.

"I found another clue. Alice hid it in your old Mother Goose book, on the Georgie Porgie page. It has something to do with a horn."

"That's easy." Gramps grinned as he pointed to the bookshelf. Meg followed his finger to the old bugle there. She took it down to inspect it. She removed the mouthpiece, shook it, and peered inside with her flashlight. But no clue.

Gramps got up from the couch. "Well, my dear detective, it's time to turn in. I wouldn't get my hopes up over these clues. Old Alice, she was a sly one."

"Maybe this isn't going to be as easy as I thought," Meg whispered to Skip as they went upstairs to bed.

Meg checked her detective kit. Everything was in order — a magnifying glass, a pair of tweezers to pick up small clues, flashlight and extra batteries, tape measure, scissors, envelopes, and, of course, her detective notebook and pencils.

"I have to be sure to write everything down," she said to Skip as she got under the covers. "The tiniest fact can solve the biggest mystery. Track, write, decode, deduce ... then I'll have plenty of proof to show Peter and his Detective Club." After a while she slid her notebook under her pillow and dozed off to sleep.

"Yikes," shrieked Meg. "Stop! Please stop that awful noise!"

Gramps put the bugle down. "If you think that's bad, Meg-O, you should have heard your father play it. I got this bugle for him when he went to Scout Camp. He was a pitiful horn player. Ah well, rise and shine for breakfast."

When Meg got downstairs, Gramps was making pancakes. "All this talk about Alice reminds me of when we were kids. Once she challenged me to a pancake-eating contest. I ate sixteen, while she watched with a miserable grin on her face. When it was her turn, she ate three and forfeited the contest. She had decided from the start to let me win. All I won was a stomachache!" Gramps laughed. "Alice was always getting the best of me."

But Meg was only half listening. She was still puzzled over something Gramps had said earlier. Something had to be wrong with the horn clue.


"Wait a minute!" Meg shouted. "Gramps, if you got this bugle for Dad when he was a kid, it couldn't be the right horn. It wasn't even around when Alice drummed up this whole mystery."

"Guess that's so," Gramps admitted sheepishly.

Meg looked at the clue again. "Whatever you do, don't blow this horn." Remembering another kind of horn, she raced into the living room.

"You wouldn't want to blow this horn, eh, Skip," Meg said as she took the old powder horn off the hook. She pulled off the cap. There was no powder inside, but there was something else. Meg took her tweezers out of her detective kit and slowly pulled out a small, tightly rolled piece of paper.

"I guess I'm not surprised that nobody has looked in there lately," said Gramps. "Maybe you really are onto something, Meg-O. What does it say?"

"I don't know. Does it mean anything to you, Gramps?"

"Never cared much for word puzzles myself," confessed Gramps, "but if you find one of those jigsaw puzzles with the pictures, I'll be glad to help you."

Meg shook her head and sighed. Peter would be arriving soon. She had to solve this mystery fast. Just then the back door slammed and Meg jumped.

"Whew, it's only you," Meg said with a sigh as Liddy came into the room.

"Only me? Only me might help you solve this," Liddy replied as she read the clue. "It looks like a secret-alphabet code. You know, when each letter stands for a different letter in the alphabet."

"Or maybe the letters in each word are just scrambled around," said Meg. She took out her notebook and began trying different combinations.

Before long the door slammed again. Peter was peering over their shoulders.

"Here's a clue for you, Nut-Meg, drop it!" Peter said. "I can have this solved in no time!"

"I found it, I followed it, and I'll finish it," protested Meg, covering her notes. But not quickly enough.

"What's this? A word puzzle? I could put it on my computer and have it decoded in a flash," Peter persisted. "What's it got to do with a Babe Ruth baseball, anyway?"

Meg snatched the clue back. "Don't bother. I've already figured it out with my own brainpower!"


"Well, what does it say?" asked Liddy, as Peter stomped out of the room. "I counted seven E's, but what does that mean?"

"Nothing. It's not an alphabet code. It is a scrambled- letter code. The letters in each word are just mixed around."

"It says: 'Clue three little bo peep lost her' — her sheep, of course," said Meg.

"Why didn't I see that?" said Liddy, shutting the dictionary.

"Is it something to do with sheep's wool, or an old spinning wheel?" wondered Meg.

"Or a sheepskin?" suggested Liddy.

Meg and Liddy looked high and low. Meanwhile, Peter was eagerly searching the old photo albums, jotting down notes. He was more nerve-racking than Alice and her crazy clues, thought Meg.

It wasn't until later in the afternoon, when Liddy had gone home, that Meg realized what the answer to the sheep clue was.


"Right in front of me all along," Meg sighed. She carefully unhooked the old painting. On the back, tucked tightly between the canvas and the frame, was another small note. But it had crumbled over time.


Excerpted from Meg Mackintosh and the Case of the Missing Babe Ruth Baseball by Lucinda Landon. Copyright © 1986 Lucinda Landon. Excerpted by permission of Secret Passage Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

Lucinda Landon is a children’s book illustrator and the author of American History Mysteries and the Meg Mackintosh Mystery series. She lives in Foster, Rhode Island.

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network


Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >