The Cafe Mystery #4 (The Whodunit Detective Agency)

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9780448480725: The Cafe Mystery #4 (The Whodunit Detective Agency)

Jerry and Maya, classmates and best friends, are on the case again and ready to solve the latest caper in this international best-selling series.

A robber has struck at Cafe Marzipan, Pleasant Valley's best bakery, three times in the past year! And as usual, the police chief has no clue as to who the clever culprit might be.  Once again, he calls upon the super sleuthing skills of best friends Jerry and Maya to help him catch the tricky thief. Will they be able to look past the muffins, croissants, and tarts and catch the robber?

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About the Author:

Martin Widmark was born in 1961 in Sweden and today lives in Stockholm with his family. He has worked as a middle school instructor and a Swedish teacher for immigrants, but he is now a full-time children's book author. Over his career, he has also written several textbooks. He is fascinated by life's little oddities and anything unique, from food and music to languages and people. Widmark is considered a literary giant of contemporary children's fiction in Sweden. Both his Nelly Rapp and LasseMaja series are consistently on the bestseller lists and have received critical acclaim. His books have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Helena Willis was born in 1964 in Stockholm, Sweden, and now lives outside the city with her husband and two daughters. She's been working as a freelance illustrator since she graduated from  Beckmans College of Design in 1991.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter 1: Photos and Apple Pie

 
 
Mmm, pastries!” said Maya.
 
“Cakes and muffins! Yum,” added Jerry.
 
“Can you believe everything that’s been happening in there?” asked Maya, gesturing toward Café Marzipan, Pleasant Valley’s best bakery. “It’s hard to imagine anything bad happening when you see all the good things in the window. Let’s get something to eat and see what we can find out.”
 
“Wait a second,” said Jerry. “Let’s take a photo first.”
 
Jerry and Maya now had a new digital camera for their detective agency, and Jerry was taking photos of everything, everyone, and every pastry they saw. You never knew where an important clue might come from!
 
He took a step back and pointed the camera. Maya leaped in front of the shop window so that she could be in the picture, too.
 
“You always want to be in the photos!” Jerry laughed. “You’d make an excellent model, but I want to get a picture of the pastries.” Jerry took a couple of pictures, even though Maya kept jumping in with a fancy pose.
 
Then they went into the bakery, which was on Church Street, next to Mohammed Carat’s jewelry shop.
 
Jerry ordered a muffin, and Maya chose a cupcake. The young woman at the cash register was surprisingly quiet and seemed upset about something. It looked like she had been crying.
 
The two young detectives paid for their treats and looked around the bakery for a place to sit.
 
“Hello there, my little helpers,” they heard someone call. “Come over here and sit with me.”
 
They saw Pleasant Valley’s police chief waving at them. The two classmates walked over to the police chief’s table and sat down.
 
“You’ve just walked into a crime scene, you know,” said the police chief, his mouth full of cake. Not one to miss an opportunity, Jerry reached for the camera. Maya realized what Jerry had in mind, and after glaring at him, wiped the frosting off the police chief’s nose.
 
“Thank you,” said the police chief and continued with his story: “The robber was here just an hour ago.”
 
“What? Again?” gasped Jerry. He and Maya had read in the local paper that Café Marzipan had already been robbed twice this year.
 
“So that’s why the woman at the cash register was upset,” said Maya.
 
“Yes, Sara Bernard is still in shock. Poor thing, she’s the one who faced down the robber and had to empty the cash register for the crook,” replied the police chief.
 
“Did the robber take a lot of money?” asked Jerry.
 
“Yes, that’s what’s so strange. On all three occasions, there’s been an unusual amount of cash here in the café. The first time, the café had extra cash on hand to buy a new coffee machine. The second time, the rent was due. Just before the latest incident yesterday, a busload of soccer players stopped in after a game. The bakery sold out of all the cakes, muffins, and pastries, and that’s why there was so much cash in the register.
 
“That means the robber has gotten away with loads of money all three times.”
 
“Very strange,” agreed Jerry.
 
“That’s a lucky coincidence. Do you think the robber knows when there’s a lot of money in the register?” asked Maya.
 
“Excellent question, my clever detective. I’m beginning to think that someone gives him information—someone must tell the robber when he should raid Café Marzipan!”
 
“He?” asked Maya. “Are we sure that the robber is a man?”
 
“Another excellent question!” replied the police chief. “We shouldn’t jump to conclusions, of course.The tall height Sara reported leads me to believe the robber is a man, but we won’t be absolutely certain until we have caught the crook!”
 
“So, we either have a robber on a lucky streak, or a robber with a connection to the café,” Jerry said.
 
The police chief said nothing for a long moment. He was too busy licking frosting from his face! When he was finished, he said, “The chances of the robber being that lucky three times in a row are low. Just think: He knows exactly when he should strike. Someone must be giving him the information he needs. Does the Whodunit Detective Agency have any ideas on who it might be?”
 
Jerry lowered his voice to a whisper: “My guess is that it is someone who works here.”
 
“Why do you think that?” asked Maya quietly.
 
“Someone outside the café might know that they were planning to buy a coffee machine, of course,” answered Jerry. “And the same person might also know when it’s time to pay the rent. But no one outside of this shop could have predicted, first of all, that a whole soccer team was going to stop by yesterday, and second, how hungry they would be.”
 
The police chief nodded in agreement, and Maya smiled. She realized that their little detective agency had just found a new case.
 

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