THE SCREAM MUSEUM
New York : Hyperion, 2001.
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MacKenzie Riggs prefers her burgers well done, if she eats one at all.
Peter Hawke, better known as P.C., likes his burgers rare and smothered
in globs of melting Roquefort cheese that oozes out with every bite.
She’s better at riddles and psychoanalytical stuff, like figuring out why
people do the things they do. And she gets intense chills on the top of
her head when something isn’t right. P.C. is a better judge of straight
facts. Like P.C. likes to say, he’s more like “the left brain to
her right lobes.”
In spite of their differences, they are best friends. When the duo
learns that a mutual friend, Tom Boggs, the assistant janitor at the Museum
of Natural History, has been accused of murder, they are determined to
clear his name. The evidence against Tom seems irrefutable; witnesses
saw him with his hands around Dr. Farr’s neck, right there in her office
with her cages of tarantulas and poison centipedes. Even Tom is confused
about what really happened, and the police are convinced they have all
the evidence they need. However, the amateur detectives know Tom
wouldn’t harm anyone, and they realize he didn’t have a motive.
But solving the crime won’t be easy. Too many people had a reason
for wanting Dr. Conchetta Farr dead. Take the director of the museum,
Dr. Grant Gardner, for instance. He has a secret that would destroy
his career, and Dr. Farr knew it. And, of course, there’s Jeffrey
Mirsky and Beverly Congers. Those two were fighting for Dr. Farr’s
job as Director of Research practically before her body had even reached
the morgue. Dr. Liam Speigelman is a new employee, but something
about his story doesn’t seem quite right. So many people have
motive and opportunity.
What a mess! Can MacKenzie and P.C. untangle the clues in time to
save Tom? Why was Tom choking Dr. Farr? What, if anything, does the
Genesh necklace, which is on exhibit at the museum, have to do with the
crime? Can MacKenzie and P.C. escape danger when the killer discovers
they are close to solving the crime before they are sure who the killer
actually is? To discover the answers to these questions, you’ll have
to read the bizarre mystery, The Scream Museum, by Paul Zindel. (Melissa
West Hartsville Elementary School, Hartsville, SC)
American Museum of Natural History -- Fiction.
Mystery and detective stories.
Museums -- Fiction.
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