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"Should I drop one petal at a time," eight-year-old Nancy Drew asked, "or two at a time?"
Nancy's best friends, Bess Marvin and George Fayne, stood by her as she lifted her white basket of rose petals.
"Here's what you do," George said. She put her arm around Nancy's shoulder. "Grab yourself a fistful, swing your arm all the way back...and throw!"
George's cousin Bess Marvin rolled her blue eyes. "Nancy is a flower girl at a wedding, George," she said. "Not a pitcher in a Little League game!"
Nancy smiled. Being a flower girl at a wedding was just one of her dreams. And that Friday night it was about to come true!
Her cousin Sara was marrying a fun guy named Brett. Because it was winter, Sara had planned a snowball wedding, where the whole wedding party would wear white. Nancy was wearing a pretty white flower girl dress.
A waitress dashed by the girls, balancing a platter on one hand. More waiters and waitresses were setting up plates of hors d'oeuvres on long, fancily decorated tables. In about fifteen minutes the guests would arrive at the Chapel of Love for the wedding. In about an hour the wedding ceremony would begin!
"It's cool your mom is catering Sara's wedding, George," Nancy said. "This way you and Bess can be at the wedding too!"
George's mom ran Fayne's Catering Service in River Heights. Besides ordering and preparing the food, Mrs. Fayne liked to add special touches. Tonight she had Bess and George dress up like snow fairies. Together they would wheel out the wedding cake during the reception.
Bess twirled in her white dress decorated with silver snowflakes. "I feel so pretty in this dress!" she exclaimed. "I want to be a snow fairy forever!"
"Forever?" George groaned. She straightened the white tiara over her dark curls. "Can you picture solving mysteries in these frilly clothes?"
Nancy giggled at the thought. She, Bess, and George had their own detective club called the Clue Crew. They loved solving mysteries more than anything!
"Hi, girls," Mrs. Fayne said as she walked over carrying a platter. She turned to two waiters standing around talking. "The spinach pies are ready to be set up, please."
"Did someone say spinach pies?" a voice boomed.
Nancy turned around. Walking over was Bob Kernkraut, the owner of the Chapel of Love. He was wearing a white suit and a dark blue tie decorated with white snowmen.
"Would you like a spinach pie, Bob?" asked Mrs. Fayne.
Mr. Kernkraut stared at the platter. Then he quickly shook his head and said, "Oh, no thank you. My wife put me on the Waist Watchers Diet — so no more snacks for me!"
Mr. Kernkraut walked away as a waiter grabbed the platter. Mrs. Fayne then smiled at the girls and asked, "Who wants to see the wedding cake?"
Three hands shot up.
"Follow me!" Mrs. Fayne said.
On the way to the kitchen, George nodded toward Mr. Kernkraut. He was leaning against one of the tables with a deviled egg in one hand. His eyes darted around the room as he quickly stuffed it in his mouth.
"Some diet," George murmured.
Mrs. Fayne stopped in front of the kitchen door before opening it. "Don't go too near the cake, girls," she warned. "Famous François is putting on the finishing touches."
"Who is Famous François?" Bess asked.
"Are you kidding, Bess?" George said. "He's the most famous baker in River Heights — maybe the world!"
"And don't say the word 'baker'!" added Mrs. Fayne. "Famous François is a cake 'artist' with his own studio."
"Is it a cake or the Mona Lisa?" Bess sighed.
Mrs. Fayne opened the door wide. The girls stepped inside the kitchen and gasped. On a round table in front of them was the most beautiful wedding cake they had ever seen. Its seven layers were frosted snowy white. Sticking out from the cream were tiny silver twigs that looked like winter trees.
"Awesome!" Nancy exclaimed.
A man wearing a chef's hat stood on a ladder as he hung what looked like icicles from the cake. Standing beside him was a teenage girl, holding more icicles in a pan.
"It is my Matrimonial Mountain of Love!" François announced with a French accent. "It represents the heights to which a couple must climb to reach true happiness!"
"To me it represents something yummy!" George said, licking her lips.
Famous François sniffed as he grabbed the last icicle. The girl put down the empty pan and said to the three friends, "Speaking of yummy, how about a cookie?"
She lifted a plate filled with white snowflake-shaped cookies. She was dressed in all white too — from her smock to her canvas sneakers.
"My daughter Adele will be a famous pastry artist someday too," François said. "Just like her famous papa!"
"Dad!" said Adele, blushing.
Mrs. Fayne gave the girls permission to take one cookie each. As they nibbled, the door flew open. Sara, in her beautiful bridal gown, stepped into the kitchen. Behind her was a girl who looked about seven years old.
"Why can't I be the flower girl, Sara?" the girl asked in a whiny voice. "I'm Brett's next-door neighbor!"
"We told you, Kendall," Sara said. "My cousin Nancy is the flower girl."
"Hi, Kendall!" Nancy said with a smile and a wave.
Kendall didn't smile back. She marched over to the cake and dragged her finger across the frosting. The cake shook as the table shifted on its wheels.
"No touching the master-piece!" François cried.
Kendall's nose wrinkled as she licked her finger. "Buttercream!" She gagged. "I hate butter! Now I won't be able to eat the cake!"
But Sara was not paying attention to Kendall. Her eyes were fixed on the top of the wedding cake.
"Isn't there supposed to be a bride and groom on top of my cake?" Sara asked. "Instead there are two dogs!"
Nancy looked up too. Sure enough, two gray dogs topped François's Mountain of Love.
"They are not dogs!" François snapped with a wave of his hand. "They are the ice wolves of Patagonia."
"Okay," said Sara slowly. "But I asked you for a bride and groom."
"Yeah, Dad," Adele said. "It's Sara's wedding cake. And a bride's wedding should always be perfect."
Famous François stuck his chin in the air. "No ice wolves — no Famous François!" he declared.
Sara seemed to blink back tears. "It's fine," she said. "Keep the ice wolves where they are."
She then picked up her hem, turned around, and left the kitchen.
It's not fine, Nancy thought sadly. Sara hates it.
"Hey, you guys," said Adele, trying to smile. "Look what else my dad and I baked."
The teenager pointed to more pastries on the butcher-block table. On it sat a cheesecake, a fluffy lemon meringue pie, and some white frosted cupcakes.
"The cupcakes will circle the bottom of the cake," Adele explained. "To look like fallen snow."
"Everything looks delicious," Nancy said. "Right, Kendall?"
But when Nancy turned around, Kendall was gone.
"That's funny," said Mrs. Fayne, looking around the kitchen. "What happened to that onion I was about to cut?"
The girls left the kitchen. Guests were starting to arrive for the wedding. Nancy's father had come with his brand-new camcorder. Mr. Drew was a lawyer, but tonight he was pretending to be a big-shot movie director!
"Sara and Brett's wedding — take one!" Mr. Drew boomed. He pointed the camera straight at Nancy. "The prettiest little flower girl in the whole wide world!"
"Thank you!" Nancy said with a little curtsy.
Mr. Drew turned his camera toward some other relatives. Just then a bridesmaid named Natalie ran over. "Nancy, the ceremony is starting in a few minutes," she said. "Sara wants the wedding party to line up."
Nancy's tummy fluttered with butterflies. "This is it!" she told her friends. "Where did I put my basket of rose petals?"
Bess pointed to Nancy's basket, sitting on a nearby chair. "There!" she said.
Nancy grabbed her basket, then raced to join the others. The bridesmaids and ushers were excitedly whispering to one another. Nancy thought she was the luckiest of them all. She got to stand in front of Sara and her father, Nancy's Uncle Bob.
"Good luck, Nancy," Sara whispered.
"You too!" Nancy whispered back. But as the organ music began to play in the chapel, her nose began to itch.
As Nancy sniffed, Uncle Bob whispered, "It's okay to cry at weddings, Nancy."
Nancy nodded, but she knew she wasn't crying. So why were her eyes watering?
The bridesmaids and ushers walked side-by-side down the long white carpet. Finally it was Nancy's turn. She gave a big sniff, flashed a smile, and began her walk.
"Oh, look, it's the flower girl!" someone pointed out.
"She has reddish blond hair, just like Sara!" another voice murmured.
Nancy's watery eyes burned as she sprinkled petals on the carpet, just like she had in the rehearsal. But as she dropped the petals, she no longer smelled roses. Instead she smelled something not flowery at all!
Nancy glanced down at her basket and gulped. Under all the beautiful white rose petals...was a big peeled raw onion!
Text copyright © 2008 by Simon & Schuster, Inc.
CHAPTER ONE: FLOWER POWER
CHAPTER TWO: BRAT ATTACK
CHAPTER THREE: SWEET REVENGE
CHAPTER FOUR: POPPED QUIZ
CHAPTER FIVE: BUTTER SPUTTER
CHAPTER SIX: CAUGHT IN THE ACT
CHAPTER SEVEN: HIDE AND PEEK
CHAPTER EIGHT: NOSE KNOWS
CHAPTER NINE: ART SMART
CHAPTER TEN: CASE CRACKED
Posted February 28, 2013
Never mind my first review asking if george is a boy or girl i got my answer from the (camera...lights......cats!the name george is for girls too
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