A 13-year-old girl earns a night in jail, the unexpected consequence of good intentions.  She couldn't have done it though, without help from a little brother, a computer, and a grouchy neighbor.  And she wouldn't have a lot to look forward to afterward without the support of an elderly neighbor with famous connections.

Available editions: PDF (suitable for iPad and other ebook readers) at this direct order page. Kindle edition only at this Amazon.com page.

excerpt

  Just as I was shoveling in the last of the milk-sogged flakes and reading the ingredients on the cereal box for the sixth time, a tap on my shoulder sent me halfway to the ceiling, my loosened lips spraying my last bite of breakfast as I spun around in mid-air. I followed the milk fountain trick with the kind of scream I would have made only if I’d seen a seventy-pound rat - because that's exactly what I was staring at.
    Actually, there were two.
While I was choking, Broccoli flipped up his mask and in his best gangster voice said: “Pipe down, Sister. Ya wanna wake the whole neighborhood?”
    “Yeah!” Harvey echoed, still hidden behind pink-rimmed eyes and yellow incisors. I swore in front of little boys for the first time in my life.
    “You’re hiding out. We understand,” Brocc consoled me. “Ya wanna be alone.”
    I swore again. I didn’t know what to say. In a way I was glad to see them.
    “Look,” I said - then I paused to ask: “You guys didn’t run into any trouble, did you?”
    “Naw, not much,” Harvey answered. I lifted his mask so I could see him talk, but the sight of his sweaty face made me prefer the rat, so I pulled it back down. He went on: “My mom wanted to know what the stuff in the paper was all about, but we said ‘We don't know. We didn’t write it. We just delivered it.’”
    “Yeah,” my brother added. “We told them we hadn’t even read it. It was true, too.”
    “When was this?” I asked.
    “Last night,” they said in unison.
    “Then my mom called Mister Glick to talk to you,” said Harvey, “He said he’d instivate - indivase...”
    “Investigate,” Broccoli corrected.
    Harvey continued: “...investivate it himself.”
    “Yeah,” Brocc continued, “but then this morning Mister Glick called Harvey’s house back and said you were gone. Everybody figured you were here, so they’ve all been calling. I told them this would be the last place you’d come, if I knew my sister.”
    “Has anyone told the Reuhausens?” I asked them.
    “Doe-no,” they agreed.
    “Look,” I said to them, getting back to my original thought, “you guys be my eyes and ears today, okay?”
    They nodded eagerly. I explained all my logic and reasoning to them, everything I had already thought of and more that came to mind, to assure them that we were in the right and that everything would be settled when Dad and Mom came home. I gave them a message for Heidi to stay away from our house no matter what, but that I would call her right at 11:30.
    The Sleuth Brothers left by the same rat hole through which they’d entered, (the recently-oiled back door).
    I locked it behind them and added a chair beneath the doorknob.

Available editions: PDF (suitable for iPad and other ebook readers) at this direct order page. Kindle edition only at this Amazon.com page.