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Puppy Love Prank

Illustrated by Peter Francis

Nancy and her friends save a dog shelter’s big day in the thirteenth book in the interactive Nancy Drew Clue Book mystery series.

Helga and Horatio are getting married! The bride and groom are two fluffy white dogs belonging to one of River Heights’s more eccentric citizens, Mrs. Ainsworth. Mayor Strong’s mansion is decorated for the occasion, and the whole town is invited. The celebration is an effort to raise awareness for Waggamuffins, the local pet shelter. And Nancy, Bess, and George are helping out by walking three adoptable dogs down the aisle.

But the wedding comes to a barking halt when the bride and groom are found covered in sticky paint! Mrs. Ainsworth is so upset she calls off the whole thing and demands to know who is behind this color conundrum. But if the guests leave early, how will they meet all the cuddly canines that still need homes?

Can the Clue Crew solve the case of the painted pups before it’s too late? It’s up to the Clue Crew—and you—to find out!

Chapter 1: Tail-Wagging Wedding Chapter TAIL-WAGGING WEDDING
“Stop!” Bess Marvin shouted as she came to a halt. “We forgot something super important!”

Nancy Drew stopped walking too. So did her other best friend, George Fayne. All three girls were carrying plastic bins filled with treats for the wedding they were going to today.

“We didn’t forget to dress up for the wedding,” Nancy told Bess. “We’re both wearing party dresses and George is wearing a button-up shirt.”

“Yes, but every wedding has something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue,” Bess explained. “We don’t have any of those.”

George raised a foot and said, “My sneakers are old.”

Bess rolled her eyes at George’s grubby, frayed sneaker. “That’s for sure,” she sighed.

“And I’m wearing Hannah’s sparkly poodle pin,” Nancy said. “That’s borrowed.”

“Your dress is new, Bess,” George said, “like everything else you wear.”

“Very funny,” Bess said with a smirk.

Nancy giggled. She had known Bess and George forever but still couldn’t believe they were cousins.

Bess washed her long blond hair almost every morning, painted her nails pink, and had a closet filled with stylin’ clothes. The only time George trimmed her nails was when they grew too long for her computer keyboard or softball catcher’s mitt.

But like Nancy, Bess and George were great at solving mysteries. That’s why all three friends had their own detective club called the Clue Crew. Nancy even had a special notebook where she wrote down all their suspects and clues!

“We need something blue, you guys,” Bess insisted. “It’s a wedding tradition.”

George’s dark curls bounced as she shook her head. “It’s a dog wedding, Bess,” she pointed out. “There’s nothing traditional about that.”

Nancy, Bess, and George stood outside Mayor Strong’s mansion, where the dog wedding would take place. Getting married were Helga and Horatio, the fluffy white bichon frises of Mrs. Ainsworth, the richest woman in River Heights.

“Let’s not forget the main reason for this wedding,” Nancy said. “To let everyone know about the pet shelter Waggamuffins and all the dogs who need homes.”

“And because my mom is catering the wedding,” George said proudly. “We get to walk three of those dogs down the aisles as brides-mutts. How cool is that?”

“It would be even cooler,” Bess sighed, “if we could find something blue.”

Nancy, Bess, and George carried the bins filled with doggy cupcakes up the path to the mayor’s mansion. Mrs. Fayne and her staff unloaded the catering truck to one side of the driveway.

When Mrs. Fayne saw the girls, she smiled. “Thanks for bringing the pupcakes, girls,” she said. “You can put the bins on the rolling cart.”

“Good,” George said with a grin. “These cupcakes may be for dogs, but there’re enough to feed ten elephants!”

“Where are Helga and Horatio, Mrs. Fayne?” Nancy asked while stacking the bins. “We’d love to meet them before the wedding!”

“Mayor Strong arranged a special room for the dogs,” Mrs. Fayne said, pointing to a door at the back of the house. “It even has its own entrance.”

Mrs. Fayne returned to her work and the girls turned toward the door. Nancy brushed aside her reddish-blond bangs to read a sign on the door. It read: PRIVATE.

“Now we can’t go inside the room to meet Helga and Horatio,” Nancy said, disappointed.

“Who says we can’t?” George asked. She walked to the rolling cart, grabbed two pupcakes, and said, “Special delivery for Helga and Horatio!”

Nancy knocked three times on the door. They waited until a woman’s voice called, “Enter!”

Bess opened the door. As they stepped inside, the girls looked around the room. The first things they noticed were a doggy-size wedding dress and tuxedo hanging on a rack. Standing by the rack and waving a steamer was a boy of about nine or ten.

A silver-haired woman sat on a velvet throne-like chair holding two fluffy white dogs. “You missed a wrinkle on the left suspender, Ludlow,” she told the boy. “Keep steaming, please.”

“Yes, Grandma,” Ludlow replied.

Nancy guessed the woman was Mrs. Ainsworth. The dogs had to be Helga and Horatio!

“Hello, Mrs. Ainsworth,” Nancy said. “We’ve come with pupcakes for the happy couple. They’re cupcakes baked for dogs—”

Peter Francis lives in Brighton, UK, where he spent a number of years as an illustrator for children’s television before turning to books. When not painting in his studio, he enjoys long coastal walks, exploring local history, and growing vegetables.

More books from this author: Carolyn Keene

More books from this illustrator: Peter Francis

More books in this series: Nancy Drew Clue Book