Okay, so I have always pronounced Mary Anne’s last name as “SPY-er,” I’m not entirely sure why, especially because I read this book early on. So, imagine my shock at the earth-rattling revelation that Logan pronounces her last name “Spee-yuh.” Does that mean her name is pronounced by normal, non-southerners as “Spear?” How did I miss that?
Anyhoo, this book is another example of the fact that Ann M. Martin thought all the BSC members were monumental suckers. Not only do they believe that the chain letter is bad luck, they believe that the necklace that Mary Anne gets in the mail is bad, back luck (sing it with me, Social D fans: “You got bad, bad luck / Bad, bad luck / You got bad, bad luck / Bad, bad luck”). They freak out completely after they all have some bad things happen, and they blame it on the charm, instead of blaming it on Hale-Bopp or El Nino, or something reasonable. Finally, they decide to go to the library to look up books on witchcraft, cause they’re sure that someone has put a spell on them.
The library incident cracked me up, for a couple of reasons. First, Claudia hates the library. Now, I know her mom is the librarian (although nobody mentions this), and her parents try to make her read “good” books. But, seriously, let’s assume her mother dragged her to the library as a kid, even then she could have found the cool kid’s books or the cool art books. What art student doesn’t have to use the library?
Mary Anne has this fantasy where she’s picturing old musty library with “stereotypical librarian” and a dark corner with the witchcraft books. I just think she’s seen the beginning of Ghostbusters too many times. Anyway, they find a bunch of fantasy novels disguised as books on witchcraft (I don’t think ANM has ever looked at a modern wicca book, cause they don’t require horror movie ingredients for spells, just candles and herbs and stuff. Hey, I was infatuated for a while when I was younger, give me break).
Then, after the Halloween Hop, during which Cokie lets it slip that she’s in on the prank, Mary Anne gets a letter telling all the BSC to go to Old Hickory’s headstone at midnight, blah blah…Well, after finding out from Daddy that the necklace is actually a mustard-seed symbol of faith, she figures out the whole thing, and the girls decide to play a prank on Cokie and Grace…scare the shit out of them, embarrass Grace-crushing-on-Logan-which-is-the-whole-reason-behind-this in front of Logan.
ANM really likes the mysteries, but really not so good at writing them. Her mysteries remind me of the witch and ghost stories I used to write when I was young. Nothing was connected other than superficially, there’s no depth. Now, I’m sure part of that was me being influenced by her. But, a crazy rich published writer should have worked a little harder. (Ouch, I know.)