Jones & Parker Detective Agency: The Vanishing Lemonade

by True, 12, from California

A good detective calculates carefully.

It was a hot summer day in Odyssey. Matthew's sister Camilla had set up a lemonade stand on their front lawn, with the money going to an orphanage. My sidekick and I had just arrived when Camilla came out of the house, holding a pitcher of lemonade. Surprisingly, she looked unhappy.

“What’s wrong, Camilla?” I asked.

“Only the worst possible problem,” Camilla cried. “We’re missing lemonade!”

“How?!” Matthew asked, notepad out and ready to take notes.

“Yesterday, I found a good lemonade recipe,” Camilla said. “I added up all the ingredients—water, lemon juice and sugar. The total came to 12 gallons, which was a perfect amount, so I asked Olivia to make it for me.”

“Any chance that Olivia might have spilled or drank it?” Matthew asked.

“I dunno,” Camilla said. “Wanna question her? She’s inside.”

Matthew and I followed Camilla into the house. We found Olivia sitting at a table reading a book.

“Hi, Olivia. Can we talk to you about the lemonade?” I asked.

She looked up from her book. “Sure, Emily!”

“Did you spill, drink or perhaps not finish making the lemonade?” Matthew asked.

“No, I didn’t,” she answered. “I followed the directions precisely. And even though nothing happened, we were still short.”

“OK,” Camilla replied, still skeptical. “Emily, Matthew, what do you think?”

After looking at the recipe, I smiled. “I think I know what happened,” I announced with a “do you know, too?” look at Matthew. He nodded.

Why did the lemonade disappear? What were the clues? Click here to read the solution!

Copyright © Focus on the Family. Used by permission.