Sunday, May 4, 2014


James Harshell and Kerri Benedict are the Party Snoopers, Incorporated--they plan the party (because criminals can never resist a good birthday bash), capture the crook (because the party is just a trap, after all), and collect the dough (what's hard work without a little reward?).  Join them as they tackle on their biggest case yet, involving a wedding, a couple of mischievous ring-bearers, and...rock stars?  **Told in alternating first-person perspectives

Previously on Party Snoopers...
“Fight each other?” Kerri crouches down in her bathing suit, sand falling off her like snow. “Yeah, man. Show me your everlasting kung fu skills. Just be aware that I took lessons from Gracie Barra.”
I suppress a snort.
Garin-or-Gaven blinks. “Who?”
“Famous taekwondo master,” Kerri bluffs without moving. “Plus you don't want to mess with a bridesmaid, ring bearer.”
His eyes practically pop out of his head. “How did you know I'm a ring bearer?”
Smooth job, Kerri. And how...?
“I'm psychic.” Kerri stands up and dusts off her hands. “You know what, James?” She has this really innocent look on her face.
“What?” I expect something super-sassy, like in the movie—is it Lean GirlsMean Girls? Kerri made me watch it with her.

“I think I'd better vacuum the hallway.” She walks away, keeping her eyes on the guy, who's staring at her openmouthed. “It's really getting way too sandy.”

Sunday Serial Part Five
“Wait, so how did the note arrive again?” I sip my Starbucks frappuccino and stare at James, who's sitting across from me.
Henrietta's voice blares from speakerphone. “The waiter gave it to us in a cream envelope with gold curlicues.”
James whistles, and I stiffen, remembering Jakkab's stepbrother. I wonder where his twin is.
“It sounds like somebody was expecting you and Jakkab to get married,” he says, jabbing his cake pop into his mouth. (It's his fifth one.)
“But the writing was handwriting. If they were truly expecting it, they would have typed it,” I point out.
He gives me an annoyed look. “What other person would just carry a gilt envelope around?”
“Gilt?” I stare at him. “Where do you get these words, James?”
“I read something other than Pretty Little Liars.” He shoots me a pointed look, then turns his attention back to the phone.
“I don't read Pretty Little Liars.” Doesn't he know I'm above catfights and secret notes?
“I love to hear you two bicker. It's like your love language is arguing or something.” Henrietta sounds dreamy.
“Our love language?” I make a face at James.
He keeps staring at the phone. “Are you reading that book, Henrietta?”
“Mmmmhmmm.” I can just imagine her, chilling beside her apartment pool, nodding to herself. “It's a really good book. I think my love language is food.”
“You cook?” I ask in surprise. “I thought you--”
“Back to the subject,” my partner interrupts, twirling his sixth cake pop—chocolate and raspberry. Rolling his eyes at me, he continues. “It's like somebody knew Jakkab was going to propose to Henrietta that day.”
“I still think it was a spur-of-the-moment thing.” I slurp extra-loudly to prove my point.
He whooshes out a sigh. “Going with my theory, did Jakkab tell anybody he was going to propose to you, Henrietta?”
“I doubt it. Jakkab is a man of few words.” I can tell that Henrietta is mildly bored. “But I had a sneaking suspicion that he was going to propose to me when we went to the White House. Jakkab is usually a cheap guy. One time we put on dreads as a disguise and got Chipotle.”
Okay. So. “Did you tell anybody you were going to get proposed to, Henrietta?” I ask, knowing from experience that Henrietta has a big mouth.
“Um, I might've told Serrah.” Henrietta sounds sheepish. “She wasn't very happy with me. She told me that Jakkab and I should just break up again. She said it's much better for my image.”
I look at James. “Doesn't Serrah know that you want to settle down a little?” To be honest, I've never liked Serrah. She seems to try to do her best to make Henrietta into the stereotypical rock star everybody expects. “Doesn't Serrah know that just because you have pink hair doesn't mean you break up with people all the time?”
“Preach it, sistah,” James says under his breath. “With dat double negative doe.”
“Shut up, grammar police.” I pick up the phone in order to address Henrietta more personally. “Henrietta, so you told Serrah? Who else?”
“I ran into Henderson at the store, and he was telling me about his sweet new girlfriend, so I told him I thought that Jakkab was going to propose to me today.” I can hear Henrietta shrug. “He said OK and walked into the Hostess aisle.”
I can spot this one from a mile away. “Henrietta.”
For a world-famous rock star, she's not very perceptive. “Henderson was trying to make you jealous.” Henderson Jasper, heir of Jasper Industries and Henrietta's ex-boyfriend, is one of those people are too sweet for their own good. She thought he was boring, and broke up with him.
To be sure, it always was rather funny to see Henrietta—with her multicolored bouffant—and Henderson—with his round baldness—on the cover of People magazine.
“Oh really?” Henrietta sounds like she could care less about his feelings. I make a note to be a little bit more sensitive when I grow up. “Whoopsie.”
Awkward silence pervades through the phone line.
“So maybe Henderson sent the note.” James sits back on his seat, looking satisfied.
I would love to wipe that smile off his face. “You be quiet,” I order. “There's still my theory. It was a spur-of-the-moment thing. What kind of person would carry a gold embossed envelope around?”
“An envelope maker?” James asks.
“A rich snob who eats wieners on toothpicks,” offers Henrietta.
“Exactly. Maybe a rich snob who eats wieners on toothpicks is the stalker.” I sip my frap. “Anything can happen.”
“Or maybe it's a guy who's planning to sabotage the wedding.” James isn't budging.
I consider it. “Maybe we should call the restaurant and ask for the names of the people who were there at the same time you guys were. When did he propose?”
“Six-twenty-five PM, three days ago.” I could melt Henrietta's voice and pour it over my pancakes. “But the people at the White House are rather exclusive. They might not let you have the names.”
I fixate James with a look, and he glares at me back.
Game on, dude.

“ACK!” I feel like smashing this cell phone to the ground. “Remind me never to get proposed to at the White House. That lady was so rude!”
“I'll tell that to your future husband.” He crosses his arms and smiles at me.
For a moment, I wonder—is James going to be that husband? Standing that in his awkward flip-flops and his bones that hang at right angles? Really?
He'd better muscle up if he wants to date me, I think, then glare back at the cell phone, where the Call Ended still blinks on the screen.
“We have two leads.” James' fingers tap on Jakkab's dining room table, which we're standing by. “Serrah and Henderson. Both of them could have easily gotten into the White House.”
“Are you guys detectives or something?” A new voice interrupts, and a kid steps into the living room.
I get a glimpse of Angels baseball cap and Hawaiian swim shorts before my reflexes kick into action and I tackle him. “YOU!”

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