Review: Baby-Sitters Beware (BSC Super Mystery #2) by Ann M Martin

Who would want to murder a group of seven girls who had formed a baby-sitting business? Well, someone does and it certainly isn't one of their charges or clients. Baby-Sitters Beware is one of the most chilling instalments in the entire BSC series. Branded a Super Mystery, this one is longer than the normal mystery books in the series and like all of the Super Specials chapters are told from the perspective of various characters. The premise is this. Nasty, creepy things are happening to the members of the BSC. Stacey is almost run down by a car. Claudia's kitchen catches fire. Someone throws a rock through Kristy's window. It seems that someone means them harm. And when Kristy, Stacey Claudia and Abby all head to Shadow Lake with Kristy's family for what is supposed to be a fun weekend getaway, the problems soon escalate.


This was certainly a revelation. Baby-Sitters Beware was published in December 1995, which is approximately seven or eight months after I stopped reading the series, though the Australian publication date was probably about four to six months later. Anyway, the point is, it is one of the later books and one that I never read as a child. Consequently, two things surprised me. First, just how much older the main characters seemed--in many respects they seem too mature to be a group of comprised of five thirteen year olds and two eleven year olds. Second, just how creepy the plot is, which, again, has a slightly older feel to it. This time around, there isn't an innocent explanation. The perpetrator isn't a kid acting out or doing dumb things. And it's actually an entertaining, page-turning read. It feels as though it was intended to appeal to old fans who had grown up, as well as younger ones. (The timing certainly supports this theory, the book was released shortly after the release of the Baby-Sitters Club movie, which must surely have stirred up nostalgia for first generation fans, who by then would have been in their late teens and early twenties. If they were going to buy a book, or gift one, a special edition would have been good value.) This is also the first BSC book I read that features Abby, the 'last' character to join the BSC. And I liked her. The character is entertaining and a perfect foil for Kristy--both girls are similar but while Kristy is over-confident, Abby comes across as more capable. 

I also had to giggle a bit at the ads in the back for the BSC fan club and video club. Of course, these clubs weren't available to readers in Australia, but the ads appeared in the Australian versions of the books, regardless.

An unexpected but entertaining addition to the series.



Lorrs said…
This is one of the last BSC books I got when I was younger, I really liked it. Oddly in Ireland the mysteries came out quicker than the regular series, so I never read book when Abby joined the club, but I had a few mystery books where she was there.
Kathryn White said…
That's awesome! It's funny how the releases differed around the globe.

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