Book 5 of the Kim & Kelly Mystery Series. What actually happened at an old abandoned insane assylum, and what is the link to stolen local art, and mysterious happenings to keep people out of the buildings? Kim & Kelly are on the case and solve a most sinister, twisted caper.
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When Kim and Kelly attend a sleep over party no one thought they’d be sneaking over to an abandoned psychiatric hospital late at night.
The hospital is made up of many different run-down and spooky looking buildings, all of which have a story to tell of the horrible experiments that used to go on there years ago. Ghosts stories are told during the sleep over party and a dare is cast amongst the guests. Just for kicks the girls sneak over to the abandoned buildings to snoop around. While the other girls are running around and having fun, Kelly and Kim discover footprints, fresh paint, car keys and many other curious items. Fun quickly turns to terror as the girls are chased out by mysterious sounds throughout the building.
Robberies at nearby art galleries and odd findings in the insane asylum have the girl’s curiosity running wild. Using teamwork and perseverance, the young super sleuths are determined to get to the bottom of the strange happenings going on in the abandoned buildings and solve a most curious crime.
The night went along great; we ate, drank soda until we thought we’d burst, listened to music and talked about ourselves and boys quite a bit. When it was almost eleven o’clock, we got into our pajamas and piled into Shelly’s bedroom, which was a modest sized room with purple carpet and sheer curtains, and a pink bed set. All the girls gathered on the floor, spreading out their sleeping bags and claiming a spot in front of the small TV in the corner.
Shelly flipped channels until she found an old black and white scary movie with Dracula, while Samantha turned off the lights. Nobody said too much during the show as we wolfed down popcorn, but the movie was a bit stupid.
“This isn’t scary at all,” Karen finally said in her slight Russian accent, scrunching up her face.
“Boy, scary movies sure have come a long way,” Lisa observed, “These special effects are so noticeable.” She shook her head in disgust and tucked her short, light brown hair behind an ear.
Kim and I giggled and nodded in agreement.
“You know what’s really scary? That creepy place over there,” Lin said, motioning with her head toward the Willow Bend Center, visible just outside Shelly’s bedroom window.
“Doesn’t it bother you to have that place so close?” Lisa asked Shelly.
“Not really. You hear stories about the place, you know, the things that went on there, and people say it’s haunted, but we’ve never heard a thing. So, I have no issues with it,” Shelly said.
“What sort of stories?” Kim said, turning to face Shelly.
“The weird kind…” Shelly started.
“Yeah, but exactly what have you heard?” Lisa insisted, fluffing her light brown bob.
“I’ll tell you one that I’ve heard,” Samantha volunteered, sitting up in her sleeping bag and beginning to braid her long red hair. “Long ago Willow Bend was the best center for mentally disturbed people, you know, crazy people. But after a few years the doctor in charge…umm, what’s his name…”
“Steele, Doctor Peter Steele,” Shelly said with a mouth full of popcorn.
“That’s right, Doctor Steele. Anyway, it was found out that he was doing experiments on some of the patients,” Samantha said.
“What sort of experiments?” Lin asked.
“The illegal kind. The kind where, if you weren’t already a total nut case, when he got done with you, you didn’t know what was real and what was actually your imagination.”
With all of us hanging on her every word, Samantha plunged into the story.
“Anyway, this doctor was obsessed with experimenting on his patients, and their families didn’t even know. When the patients tried to tell their family members what was happening nobody listened because they thought they were just crazy. So the cruel treatments continued. He would put a patient in a room with a spinning wheel decorated with some sort of design and played a tape of suggestions. Then, when that patient saw a certain color, or design, he would attack one of his family members that came to visit.”
“I heard he used to put people in straight jackets, hang them upside down and dunked them into filthy water, until they were almost drowned,” Tonya said, smoothing down her platted hair.
“I heard that he would burn their feet with a cigarette, or something hot, and then turn them loose in those woods over there, and hunt them down in the middle of the night,” I added.
“Well, I’ve heard even more creepy things than that,” Samantha cut in, most likely trying to keep control over the story. “And I do know for a fact that Doctor Steele weeded out all the good nurses and kept only those that were into tormenting the patients, like he was. Many of those poor people were abandoned by their families, because the doctor had them so convinced that they were too far gone and didn’t recognize them anymore…”
“Yeah, I heard that too,” Karen cut in, her Russian accent coming out strong at times, “Some of the people were taken out by their families, but about twenty of them were left with the doctor.”
I looked at Kim, who was hanging onto every word with eyes wide and mouth hanging open. She glanced over at me, and then back at the group.
“What happened to them?” she asked.
“They died horrible, tormented deaths,” Lin whispered, leaning close to Kim’s face. “And their bodies were buried on the grounds somewhere, or cemented into the floors and walls.”
“Their spirits roam the buildings,” Tonya added.
“Not all died,” Karen announced.
“Oh, yeah, there was one guy that got away, but he was never found,” Shelly said, as she stuffed more popcorn into her mouth.
Kim got up and walked over to the bedroom window; she leaned on the sill and looked out at Willow Bend Center. “That’s pretty gross. Why would anyone want to do such horrible things to another person? And he got away with it, I bet. That’s so cruel,” she said, more to herself than to anyone in the room.
Nobody answered, but went back to watching the dumb movie. That’s when I noticed Samantha watching Kim with a sinister, up-to-no-good type of look, and then a smirk spread across her face.
“Who wants to go over there?” Samantha finally said.
In the Grand Scheme of Things begins with a short article in the newspaper, ‘Sixth Museum to be Robbed This Month – Police are baffled by a string of art thefts…’ The article intrigues young Kelly’s detective mind. “Why would anyone want to steal paintings that were from an unknown artist? I thought, unless…those paintings have value that no one but the thief knows about…Hmm…maybe the adults just aren’t thinking the right way?”
At a sleep over party, Kelly and the other girls, sneak over to an abandoned psychiatric building. Kim and Kelly discover footprints, fresh paint, car keys and many other items. The girls fun night out turns into terror as they are chased out by scary/mysterious sounds. Robberies at nearby art galleries and clues in the asylum have the girl’s curiosity running wild. Using teamwork and detective skills, the young sleuths are determined to get to the bottom of the happenings in the abandoned buildings and solve the robbery crimes.
The Kim & Kelly Mystery Series is original and exciting storytelling. The author explains in a recent interview, “I write the K&K books in first person. Most books for kids are written in third person. I also have two main characters, instead of just one, this way I can switch which girl will be telling the story to either Kim or Kelly. Readers will get to know each character more in depth; getting to know their thoughts, views, opinions, how they truly feel, their family life, etc. Readers won’t get bored with the books being told the same old way all the time. No other children’s author, or children’s mystery author, has ever done this.”
The two main characters are well developed and will stay with the reader long after the book is on the shelf. Who are Kim and Kelly? “Kim is from the roughness of Washington, DC..." the author says. "She’s more down-to-earth, practical and doesn’t believe everything she sees, hears, or reads. She wants to find out for herself. Kelly has always had an easy life, growing up in an estate home, getting anything she really wants, piano lessons, riding lessons, etc. However, Kelly is extremely smart with a photographic memory. Kim will follow the true detective path, while Kelly will get into forensics. The two make an incredible team right from the start, and as the girls grow and mature so will the series. Quite frankly, Kim & Kelly are upper middle class African-American girls, discovering that there’s more to life than what the average teen of today does behind their parent’s back. Just as the Nancy Drew series inspired young girls back in its time, I’m hoping Kim & Kelly inspire young girls of present.”
T.J. Perkins is a talented author that understands how to tell a mystery/suspense story. In the Grand Scheme of Things everyone of all ages will find fun and a fictional challenge full of mystery. Young adults will enjoy these characters and surprisingly so will mom and dad. In the Grand Scheme of Things by T.J. Perkins is a must read for ALL ages!
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