The Movie Theater Mystery #7 (The Whodunit Detective Agency)

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9780448480787: The Movie Theater Mystery #7 (The Whodunit Detective Agency)
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Jerry and Maya are on the case again!

Doodle Bug is the third dog that has mysteriously disappeared in Pleasant Valley. But the police chief has no idea who the dog-napper might be. When Jerry and Maya hear strange sounds coming from the basement of the Rio Cinema, they quickly realize it just might be a clue. Can Pleasant Valley's doggy detectives get to the bottom of this canine caper?

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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-language 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.

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Chapter 1: A Singing Dog

 
Look!” said Maya. “It’s happened again!” She passed Jerry the newspaper and jabbed at an article. The two friends were relaxing in their favorite comfy armchairs in Maya’s basement. Maya’s basement: otherwise known as the Whodunit Detective Agency Headquarters. They kept everything they needed to run their agency there.
 
Jerry read the newspaper while Maya grabbed their scrapbook and a pair of scissors.
 
The scrapbook was full of articles they had found about all sorts of crimes.
 
“Another dog stolen.” Jerry sighed when he finished the article.
 
“That makes the third one this week. Look at this,” said Maya, opening the scrapbook in front of Jerry.
 
She pointed to two other articles that she had pasted under her own headline: “Disappearing Dogs.”
 
“There’s got to be a connection between all these thefts,” said Jerry.
 
Maya picked up the scrapbook and nodded. “Let’s read the article again and see if there are any similarities between the cases.”
 
They each took out their notebooks. As they read, Jerry and Maya wrote down the main points in each article. Then they compared what they had written.
 
“Only small dogs have disappeared,” noted Jerry. “No big dogs. I wonder why?”
 
“Well, it’s easier to run off with a small dog,” said Maya. “And a small dog probably isn’t as dangerous as a big dog.”
 
“The dogs have been stolen all over town,” said Jerry.
 
“That’s right: outside the library, by the church, and in front of the hotel,” continued Maya, as she checked over her notes.
 
“The dogs were all stolen at around the same time, between seven and seven thirty at night,” said Jerry.
 
“The owners had left the dogs unattended for only a few minutes,” Maya said.
 
“But still long enough for the dog thief to strike,” said Jerry, scratching his nose thoughtfully with his pen.
 
Maya snipped out the most recent article from the paper and pasted it into the scrapbook.
 
“What else do we know?” asked Jerry.
 
“According to the paper, each dog owner received a mysterious phone call shortly after the disappearance,” said Maya. “None of them recognized the voice on the other end of the line. The caller demanded that each owner pay one thousand dollars—or they will never see their pets again.”
 
“The owners must be frantic!” said Jerry.
 
“And the dogs, too.” Maya sighed. “Someone rotten  enough to steal a dog is probably rotten enough to treat them poorly.”
 
“Read it again, Maya, and let’s see if we missed anything,” said Jerry. He closed his eyes to concentrate. Maya straightened up, cleared her throat, and began to read.
 
Maya shut the book with a snap. Jerry jumped. One look at her face and he could tell that she was angry. Very angry.
 
“We’ve got to do something,” she said. “We’ve got to stand up for those innocent dogs!”
 
The two detectives slouched in their armchairs and thought about what they could do. But they didn’t come up with any good ideas. Finally, Jerry said, “The dogs won’t come back just because we’re sitting here worrying. Let’s take a break and clear our heads. That new cowboy movie opened at the Rio Cinema today. Maybe it will give us some ideas. Come on, Maya! Let’s go!”
 
Maya sighed and got up from her armchair. She put the scrapbook down on the desk.
 
“You’re probably right,” she said. “A change of scenery will do me good. I’m too angry to think straight now! What kind of person would be cruel enough to steal someone’s pet?”
 
The newspaper articles made it clear: Pleasant Valley had a criminal on the loose. Maya had a feeling their detective agency would soon have a new case to solve!

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