4 girls and 4 boys are suspects - up to 25 can play!
The Colorful Case of The Swiped Sunflowers, another Barbara Lane offering, asks your group of younger kids to figure out who stole the new sunflowers from Clodhopper's Greenhouse before they could be displayed for the very first time. Your cadre of sleuths will be intrigued by this preteen mystery party that will "grow" on them.
Clodhopper’s Greenhouse is the only greenhouse in the small town of Beulah Falls. Mr. and Mrs. Clodhopper, the proud owners, have operated it since the day they were married 50 years ago. Everyone in town loves gardening. In Beulah Falls, it’s more than a hobby - it’s a competitive sport! Things are usually friendly among the gardeners—but not always.
The greenhouse is special. People come from everywhere just to look at Mrs. Clodhopper’s famous, prize-winning sunflowers. They’re all over the place, and one room in the greenhouse is full of them! The huge blooms are the brightest yellow, and the leaves the deepest green ever. They’re beautiful, and have won first-prize at the county fair for ten years in a row—a record that Mrs. Clodhopper is eager to protect. But, she’s a little nervous that Elma Bloomright, her rival gardener, is growing a new flower that might wow the judges. Could it take first place at this year’s county fair?
That’s why Mrs. Clodhopper’s been working on a new kind of sunflower – one that would be bigger and better than anything Beulah Falls had seen before - a very special kind of sunflower that she knew would be so bright and colorful that it would astound the judges.
She and Mr. Clodhopper have been the only ones to see the new blooms. They were kept in the Secret Room at the very back of the greenhouse. The Clodhoppers were planning to replace all the old sunflowers in the greenhouse with the new ones, even though they still have not decided what to do with the old sunflowers. The change was to have taken place on the greenhouse’s 50-year anniversary – which ia also the Clodhopper’s 50th wedding anniversary!
Early yesterday morning, just as the sun was coming over the hills above Beulah Falls, Mrs. Clodhopper left town to visit her niece in Reed City. She didn’t plan to be back until late last night. "Oh, don’t forget to tell Jacob about the key," Mrs. Clodhopper reminded her husband.
"Alright, darlin’," he said as he helped his wife into the car. He closed the door and watched as the car rolled out of the driveway and turned the corner.
Now, the Big Day is here! This morning the greenhouse opened as usual, and then closed for lunch. That’s when the Clodhoppers had planned on bringing out the new sunflowers, put away the old ones, set out refreshments, and re-open the doors! But apparently, not everyone was excited about the new sunflowers. When Mr. Clodhopper went into the Secret Room he discovered that all of Mrs. Clodhopper’s new sunflowers were missing! Who could have possibly taken them? Until someone figures that out and can tell us where the new sunflowers are, the celebration can’t begin.
A special team of investigators has been assembled to solve this mystery and figure out what happened to Mrs. Clodhopper’s new sunflowers.
One of these suspects (standard names) swiped the sunflowers:
(you can change these standard names when you personalize the mystery)
MR. CLODHOPPER, co-owner of Clodhopper's Greenhouse - The new sunflowers were Mrs. Clodhopper's idea. He likes the old ones better.
MRS. CLODHOPPER, co-owner of Clodhopper's Greenhouse - Some people think her new sunflowers are a flop and she's embarrassed to admit it.
THELMA TRICKY, the Clodhoppers' niece - She's known for playing tricks on everybody.
ELMA BLOOMRIGHT, flower grower - Her poppies always finish in second place at the county fair behind Mrs. Clodhopper's sunflowers.
JACOB BLOOMRIGHT, Elma's nephew - He helps out at Clodhopper's Greenhouse and is responsible for locking up.
HIRAM LOCKITT, security policeman - He thinks that the residents of Beulah Falls don't pay enough attention to keeping everything safe.
JEN GOODEGG, owner of the Sunflower Cafe - She wants to plant sunflowers around her restaurant, but thinks the Clodhoppers are charging too much.
DAVID WEEDY, owner of Weedy's Grocery - He doesn't like gardening and feels that everyone in Beulah Falls pays too much attention to raising flowers.