Norah McClintock presents...

Robyn Hunter Mysteries

Something to Prove

Robyn just wants to spend some time with Nick, but it seems like he’s always busy. Work, school, and now Danny — a girl from his past who could pass for a supermodel.

Robyn’s best friend Morgan thinks that James Derrick, a new boy at the school, could help her get her mind off Nick. But James has problems of his own. Haunted by the tragedies of his past, he confides in Robyn. When she realizes that she’s somehow connected to his misfortune, she digs deeper. But is she digging her own grave? Soon her problems with Nick might be the least of her worries.

The thrilling conclusion to the Robyn Hunter Mystery series!

Scholastic Canada Ltd.
ISBN 978-0-545-98571-0 PBK
224 pages
Ages 12 to 14
5" x 7 ¾”


Excerpt

Morgan looked surprised when I met her at her locker the next day after school. I’d just offered to go with her to the pet store so that she could buy some treats for her dog Missy.

"Aren’t you supposed to be tutoring James this afternoon?" she said.

"He blew me off. Is there something wrong with me, Morgan? I feel like I’m being punished for something. First, Nick keeps saying that he’s too busy to see me, but he always has plenty of time for Danny. Then James asks me to tutor him, because he says he wants to do well this year, but he’s been avoiding me all day — and he didn’t seem too thrilled when I showed up at his house for dinner yesterday." That was putting it mildly. Was I the problem? Or was it something else — something to do with James’s tattoo and with what his father had said? I’d been hoping he might open up to me a little after our tutoring session today.

"Maybe he’s embarrassed that his dad invited you," Morgan said. "Or . . ." She hesitated.

"What?" I said.

"Maybe he likes you, but he doesn’t know how to deal with it because he knows you have a boyfriend."

"Maybe have a boyfriend," I said gloomily.

Wait a minute.

"What do you mean, he knows I have a boyfriend? I never told him that."

"No, but Billy did."

"He did? When?" More importantly: "Why?"

"It happened sometime last week," Morgan said. "But Billy didn’t tell me about it until the weekend. James asked about you, and Billy told him that you were seeing someone. That was what you wanted him to say, right? I mean, you don’t want James to spend a lot of time and effort chasing after someone who isn’t available, do you? Besides, Britt Anderson has been making eyes at him."

"She has?" Britt was in my French class. She attended every school dance, always with some hot boy on her arm. And guys drooled over her because she was super-attractive, with pouty lips and perky breasts and a reputation for, well, showing guys a good time. A really good time.

"I saw her talking to James in the library during my spare," Morgan said. "I told you, Robyn. He’s cute. And that shy thing really works for him. It makes him seem vulnerable. It was only a matter of time before someone decided to hit on him."

"Terrific," I muttered.

"I thought you weren’t interested."

"I’m not." At least, I didn’t think I was. "It’s just that everyone seems to have someone — except me."

We walked down to a main shopping street and headed for the pet store. We were about to go inside when I stopped short.

"Maybe you got it backwards," I said. "Maybe Britt wasn’t hitting on James. Maybe it was the other way around — maybe he was hitting on her." And maybe that was why James had been less than enthusiastic about my unexpected presence at dinner. Maybe he’d been wishing Britt was there instead.

Morgan frowned. "Why? What makes you—" She turned to look where I was looking. "Oh," she said.

James was coming out of a florist’s shop a few doors down from the pet store. He was carrying flowers.

"Well, they’re not for Britt," Morgan said, "unless she’s into the whole Goth thing and no one told me."

"What do you mean?" I said.

"Look."

I looked. Then I turned back to her. "I don’t—"

"Those aren’t date flowers, Robyn — unless you’re dating a vampire. Calla lilies and white roses? That’s something you’d see at a funeral — or on a grave."

I stared at her for a moment. Then I turned and watched James get into his car and drive away.

From Something to Prove: A Robyn Hunter Mystery. Copyright © 2010 by Norah McClintock. All rights reserved.