The rolling cheer of a wave ripples around the stadium and the scent of hot dogs and burgers fills the air. It’s the finals of the All-Girl Starling Cup Soccer Championship – and it’s a sell-out! Many in the crowd have traveled hundreds of miles to watch the most-anticipated game of the year. The Rolling Hills Bluebirds are playing the Seashell Cove Wildcats, and the winners will be the State Champs! The sky is blue, the sun is shining, and everybody’s looking forward to a great game. But things are about to go terribly wrong.
The teams run out to wild applause. It’s tradition for the team captains to shake hands before the game starts. Bluebirds captain Rebecca Goodkicks and Wildcats captain Victoria Smee jog onto the field to roars from the crowd. They go to the center to shake hands, but before they reach each other, Rebecca starts slowing down. She looks uncomfortable. What’s going on? A few moments later she turns and runs back into the locker room! Is she limping? What’s happening?
A few minutes later, Ella Galaxy, the booth announcer, relays the news that the game will be delayed, and groans are heard from everyone. Rebecca’s soccer shoes have been sabotaged with Red Hot Itching Powder! Rebecca needs some time to recover. The Bluebirds coach, Ivana Winalot, is refusing to let her girls play until the mystery is solved and the culprit is found.
The crowd is getting restless. Everybody wants the game to begin. The guilty party must be brought to justice. The local police proclaim the game will be delayed until the case is solved. Everyone has been deputized and is ordered to help find the culprit.
It’s described as a new mystery “from popular kids mystery writer Andrew West”. This makes me absurdly happy.