Nancy headed for Petra’s backyard. George and Bess followed her.
Nancy glanced around. She didn’t see Petra anywhere. But she did see Petra’s dog, Prince Fabian. He was running around and around with a chew toy in his mouth.
Nancy’s dog, Chocolate Chip, ran over to join him. The two dogs chased each other, barking happily.
“I wonder where Petra—” Nancy began. Then she stopped.
Nancy noticed that Prince Fabian was wearing a collar. A jeweled collar.
Prince Fabian was wearing Chip’s missing collar!
The Nancy Drew Notebooks
# 1 The Slumber Party Secret
# 2 The Lost Locket
# 3 The Secret Santa
# 4 Bad Day for Ballet
# 5 The Soccer Shoe Clue
# 6 The Ice Cream Scoop
# 7 Trouble at Camp Treehouse
# 8 The Best Detective
# 9 The Thanksgiving Surprise
#10 Not Nice on Ice
#11 The Pen Pal Puzzle
#12 The Puppy Problem
#13 The Wedding Gift Goof
#14 The Funny Face Fight
#15 The Crazy Key Clue
#16 The Ski Slope Mystery
#17 Whose Pet Is Best?
#18 The Stolen Unicorn
#19 The Lemonade Raid
#20 Hannah’s Secret
#21 Princess on Parade
#22 The Clue in the Glue
#23 Alien in the Classroom
#24 The Hidden Treasures
#25 Dare at the Fair
#26 The Lucky Horseshoes
#27 Trouble Takes the Cake
#28 Thrill on the Hill
#29 Lights! Camera! Clues!
#30 It’s No Joke!
#31 The Fine-Feathered Mystery
#32 The Black Velvet Mystery
#33 The Gumdrop Ghost
#34 Trash or Treasure?
#35 Third-Grade Reporter
#36 The Make-Believe Mystery
#37 Dude Ranch Detective
#38 Candy Is Dandy
#39 The Chinese New Year Mystery
#40 Dinosaur Alert!
#41 Flower Power
#42 Circus Act
#44 The Purple Fingerprint
#45 The Dashing Dog Mystery
Available from MINSTREL Books
The Dashing Dog Mystery
ILLUSTRATED BY JAN NAIMO JONES
Published by POCKET BOOKS
New York London Toronto Sydney Singapore
This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons living or dead is entirely coincidental.
A MINSTREL PAPERBACK Original
A Minstrel Book published by
POCKET BOOKS, a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
Visit us on the World Wide Web:
Copyright © 2001 by Simon & Schuster, Inc.
All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce
this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever.
For information address Pocket Books, 1230 Avenue
of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
First Minstrel Books printing December 2001
NANCY DREW, THE NANCY DREW NOTEBOOKS,
A MINSTREL BOOK and colophon are registered trademarks
of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
A Holiday Party
Guess what, Nancy? You got something in the mail!” Hannah Gruen announced.
Eight-year-old Nancy Drew glanced up from the book she was reading. Hannah, the Drews’ housekeeper, was standing in the doorway of the living room.
Nancy smiled eagerly. “What is it, Hannah? What did I get?”
Hannah walked over to the couch where Nancy was sitting. She handed Nancy a bright pink envelope. “Maybe it’s a Christmas card,” Hannah said.
Nancy looked at the envelope. It was addressed to Miss Nancy Drew and Miss Chocolate Chip Drew.
Nancy peered over the edge of the couch. Her Labrador puppy, Chocolate Chip, was curled up on the floor, taking a nap. “Hey, Chip, this is addressed to you, too!”
Chip opened one eye and thumped her tail. Nancy reached into her pocket and pulled out a bone-shaped doggie biscuit. Chip got up on her hind legs and grabbed the biscuit with her teeth. She gobbled it up in about two seconds.
“Good girl!” Nancy said.
“Nancy, open the envelope. I’m dying to know what’s in it,” Hannah said with a chuckle.
“I will, I will.”
Nancy opened the envelope carefully. Inside was a green card. It was shaped like a dog’s paw.
The card said:
Dear Loyal Customer,
You are invited to a holiday party
to celebrate the grand reopening
of the Dashing Dog Pet Salon
this Friday, 2-5 P.M.
There will be lots of doggie treats
(and treats for humans, too!).
Hope to see you there!
P.S.—At 4 P.M., we’ll be raffling off a
beautiful, one-of-a-kind doggie collar
by Stella Sipowitz.
Don’t miss it!
Chip began sniffing the invitation.
“Look, Chip! We’re invited to a party at the Dashing Dog Pet Salon!” Nancy exclaimed.
Nancy had taken Chip to the Dashing Dog once. It was a fancy pet salon where dogs could get shampooed and trimmed and groomed. Chip had needed a professional bath because her fur had gotten covered with finger paint.
Hannah read the invitation over Nancy’s shoulder. “A holiday party for dogs and their owners. What a great idea!”
“Do you think Dad will let Chip and me go?” Nancy asked Hannah. To Nancy, Hannah was way more than a housekeeper. Hannah had helped take care of Nancy since her mother had died five years ago.
“I’m sure he will. But let’s ask him when he gets home from work, okay?” Hannah said. “In the meantime, who wants to help me bake some Christmas cookies?”
“I do!” Nancy raised her hand and jumped off the couch. Chip began barking. “I think Chip wants to help, too,” Nancy said, laughing.
As Nancy followed Hannah to the kitchen, she clutched the paw-shaped invitation to her chest. She couldn’t wait for Friday. If there was one thing she loved, it was a party!
“This place looks like a playland for dogs!” Bess Marvin said.
“They should call it Poochy Playland,” her cousin George Fayne agreed.
Bess and George were Nancy’s two best friends in the whole world. Nancy had invited them along to the Dashing Dog holiday party. Hannah had just dropped off the girls and Chip at the pet salon. She had promised to pick them up at 4:30.
The three girls stood inside the front door of the newly redecorated salon. Nancy remembered the way it had looked before, when she had brought Chip in for her bath. Back then, there was lots of pink furniture and pictures of glamorous dogs on the walls.
Now the salon had a whole new look. The walls were covered with wallpaper that had tiny pawprints on it. There were plush couches and chairs in red, blue, and yellow. In one corner was a big play area for dogs, with tunnels, balls, and
other toys. A fluffy white poodle and a little brown terrier were playing tug-of-war with a rawhide bone.
In the far corner of the room was a doggie café called Bone Appétit. People sat on tall silver stools, sipping hot chocolate and eating cookies. Their dogs sat on low, wide stools and nibbled doggie biscuits. On the CD player, a woman’s voice sang “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?”
In another corner of the room was an enormous Christmas tree. It was covered with sparkly lights and glittery ornaments shaped like dogs. A string of red bone-shaped holiday lights ran along the windows.
“Wow, this place is awesome!” Bess said. “I wish I had a dog. I’d come here all the time.”
“So you could give your dog baths and stuff?” George asked her.
Bess shook her head. “No. So we could have snacks at Café Bone Appétit. Those cookies look yummy!”
Nancy giggled. Bess loved to talk about food almost as much as she loved to talk about clothes. George was a lot more into sports. The two of them were really different, even though they were cousins.
Chip tugged at her leash, eager to join the other dogs in the play area. “All right,” Nancy said, unclipping the leash. “Be good, okay? No nipping or biting.”
Chip bounded over to the play area. Nancy glanced around the room. It was crowded with two-legged and four-legged guests. Nancy spotted a girl from her school, Petra Wylie. Nancy wondered if Petra had a dog, too.
Nancy also saw Alice Cahill. She was the “Pet Corner” columnist for the River Heights Gazette. Nancy recognized Alice from her picture in the paper, since she and Hannah read “Pet Corner” every Tuesday.
Alice was petite and blond. She was talking to a couple of dog owners and scribbling in a small notepad. A big, fluffy white poodle was beside her, on a leash. Nancy wondered if that was Alice’s pet, Pierre. Alice wrote about Pierre in her column from time to time.
“Welcome, welcome to the Dashing Dog!”
A man came walking up to Nancy and her friends. He was wearing a gray suit and a red bow tie. His eyes sparkled behind a pair of brown glasses.
“I’m Rex Rumford,” the man said. He smiled at Nancy. “You’ve been here before! I recognize you. Hmm, let’s see. Chocolate Lab. Lots of paint. Emergency bath. Am I right?”
“Right!” Nancy laughed.
She introduced herself, and Bess and George did the same.
“Thank you for inviting me to your party,” Nancy said. “I brought Bess and George with me. I hope that’s okay.”
“Oh, yes, the more the merrier,” Rex said. He glanced at his watch. Its face had a picture of a cartoon dog on it. “Uh-oh, it’s almost four o’clock. Excuse me, ladies. I need to make an announcement.”
Rex went up to the front counter and rang a loud bell. Several dogs began barking. “Attention, please!” Rex shouted.
The barking dogs were shushed by their owners. The room fell silent.
“I have an announcement to make,” Rex went on. “At four o’clock—”
But Rex didn’t get a chance to finish. He was interrupted by a loud scream from the back of the room!
A Surprise Prize
Who screamed?” Bess cried out. “What happened?”
Nancy whirled around. She saw a boy in the back of the room, inching away from a big Doberman. The Doberman was sniffing the boy’s feet. All around the room, more dogs began to bark.
A middle-aged woman broke through the crowd and went rushing up to the boy. She was wearing a black dress with an expensive-looking diamond necklace. Nancy remembered seeing her the last time she was at the Dashing Dog. Her name was Mrs. Vanderpool.
“Come on,” Nancy whispered to Bess and George. “Let’s see what’s going on.” The three friends followed Mrs. Vanderpool.
Mrs. Vanderpool stopped in front of the boy and put her hands on her hips. “Lucas!” she exclaimed. “Why did you disturb Mr. Rumford’s speech like that?”
“I’m sorry, Grandma,” Lucas apologized. “But that mean dog tried to jump up on me.” He pointed to the Doberman.
“Lucas, that is what dogs do,” Mrs. Vanderpool said sharply. “They jump up on people. All you had to do was to tell the nice Doberman to get his paws off you and go play somewhere else. It’s very simple.”
“But, Grandma—” Lucas protested.
Just then two tiny Yorkies ran up to Mrs. Vanderpool. They were wearing matching red sweaters, and they had little red bows on their heads.
“My babies!” Mrs. Vanderpool cried out. She scooped them up and clasped them to her chest. “Hello, Muffy. Hello, Buffy. Aren’t you the most precious babies in the world? Yes, you are! Does your mommy love you? Yes, she does!” The Yorkies began yipping and squirming in her arms.
“Is your grandson okay, Mrs. Vander-pool?” Rex called out.
“Yes, he’s fine, thank you,” Mrs. Van-derpool said, waving one hand. She frowned at Lucas and added, “I’m going to personally apologize to Mr. Rumford for your behavior.” Then she turned and marched up to the front counter. The Yorkies were still yipping and squirming in her arms.
“Ankle biters,” George muttered.
Nancy glanced at Lucas. He had blond hair and big brown eyes. He seemed to be the same age as Nancy and her friends.
“Hi, Lucas, I’m Nancy. And these are my friends Bess and George,” Nancy said. “Hey, are you okay?”
Lucas stared down at the ground and kicked a doggie ball with his foot. “I guess so.”
“That mean Doberman!” Bess said sympathetically. “I’d scream, too, if he jumped up on me.”
Lucas smiled shyly. “I don’t like dogs,” he admitted. He stole a quick glance at his grandmother. She was across the room talking to Rex. “Don’t tell her that, though,” he added. “I like cats. I have two of them back home.”
“Where do you live?” Nancy asked him.
“Chicago. I’m visiting Grandma for a week,” Lucas replied.
Rex rang the loud bell again. “Ahem. Excuse me, everyone. Now, as I was saying. At four o’clock, which is in just ten minutes, we will be raffling off a beautiful jeweled doggie collar. It’s made by local artist Stella Sipowitz. Here’s Stella now, with the collar!”
A tall, dark-haired woman dressed in a red velvet cape joined Rex. She held up a red leather collar that was studded with rhinestones shaped like bones.
“This collar is part of a new line of special things for today’s dashing dog,” Stella announced. “More of my collars, coats, and leashes are on sale here at the Dashing Dog Pet Salon. But this particular collar is one of a kind. So if you’re the lucky raffle winner, your pooch will be the proud owner of a completely unique and original work of art!”
“Wow!” Nancy whispered excitedly to Bess and George. “That collar would look really great on Chip.”
Rex raised his hands and clapped. “Thank you, Stella. Ladies and gentlemen, if you haven’t already filled out your entry slips, please do so right now. The slips are right here on the counter. Fill out your name and phone number. Then put the slip in the jar. And remember—one slip per person, please. No exceptions!”
Everyone began rushing up to the front counter. “Did you fill out your entry slip yet?” Bess asked Nancy.
Nancy shook her head. “Not yet. Let’s do that now.”
Nancy, Bess, and George walked over to the front counter. Nancy filled out her entry slip with a black pen that was lying next to the raffle jar. When she was done, Bess took the pen from her. She started filling out an entry slip, too.
“But you don’t have a dog, Bess,” Nancy said, surprised.
Bess shrugged. “I know. But if I win, I could always give the collar to Chip as a Christmas present.”
“Oh, that is so sweet!” Nancy exclaimed. “Chip would love that.”
“I’ll do that, too,” George said. “Wouldn’t it be cool if one of us won the collar for Chip?”
Hearing her name, Chip came bounding up to the girls. “Hi, Chip! Are you having fu
n?” Nancy asked her.
Chip jumped up on Nancy’s leg and wagged her tail happily. “I think the answer is yes,” Nancy said, giggling.
“Excuse me, are you done yet or what?”
Nancy turned around at the sound of the familiar voice. Petra Wylie was standing behind her. She looked annoyed.
“Other people need to fill out their entry slips, too,” Petra snapped. She nodded at the black pen, which George was holding. “And there’s only one pen.”
“Oh, right. Sorry.” George finished up her entry slip and put it in the raffle jar.
Nancy glanced down. Standing at Petra’s feet was a small white dog with brown spots.
“Is that your dog, Petra?” Nancy asked her.
“Yes,” Petra said.
Nancy reached her hand down to let the dog sniff it. “Wow, she’s so cute. What kind is she?”
The dog growled at Nancy. Nancy quickly pulled her hand back.
“It’s a he,” Petra replied. “And he’s a Jack Russell terrier. His name is Prince Fabian. I’m going to win the collar for him.”
Bess crossed her arms over her chest. “No, I don’t think so, because we’re going to win the collar for Chocolate Chip!”
Nancy glanced at the raffle jar. “There are lots and lots of entry slips in there. Maybe none of us will win.”
“We’ll see!” Petra bent down and began filling out an entry slip with big, loopy letters.
Chip bounded off in the direction of Café Bone Appétit. “I think Chip’s trying to tell us something,” Nancy said.
“I agree with Chip.” Bess grinned. “It’s snack time. Wait up, Chip!”
The three girls squeezed through the crowd. At the café they ordered muffins and hot chocolate for themselves. Nancy ordered a bowl of doggie treats for Chip.
As they ate, Nancy glanced across the room at the raffle jar. She saw that Mrs. Vanderpool was filling out an entry slip. The “Pet Corner” columnist, Alice Cahill, was standing next to her. She was filling out an entry slip, too.
Just as Nancy and her friends were finishing up their snacks, Rex rang the bell again.
“It’s four o’clock, time for the raffle!” he announced. He reached into the jar and stirred the entry slips with his fingers. Then he covered his eyes with one hand and grabbed one of the slips.