Nobody's There

Nobody's There

by Joan Lowery Nixon


View All Available Formats & Editions


How did Abbie Thompson end up a sidekick to Edna Merkel, Senior Citizen Pseudo-Sleuth? It all started when Abbie was so furious at her father for breaking up their family that she acted without thinking and was arrested for malicious meschief. The judge decided to give Abbie a chance at a clean record and arranged for her to volunteer in a program in which teens are matched with the elderly.

Abbie's "friend," Mrs. Merkel, is a cranky, difficult woman who's a member of the Buckler's Bloodhounds. The Bloodhounds provide the police with information about scams or frauds in the community. But Edna Merkel is too active a member, and after she brags that she's on to something big, she's attacked and ends up hospitalized. Suddenly the private investigator game is real and, with the help of Mrs. Merkel's indecipherable notebook, only Abbie can figure out who did it. But will Abbie get to the assailant before the assailant gets to her?

About the Author:

Joan Lowery Nixon is the author of over 100 books for young readers and has been called the "grande dame of young adult mysteries."

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780440419877
Publisher: Random House Children's Books
Publication date: 01/13/2004
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 200
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.54(d)
Age Range: 12 - 15 Years

About the Author

Joan Lowery Nixon is the award-winning and beloved author of more than 100 books for young readers, including the Orphan Train Adventures, the Orphan Train Children, and the Ellis Island series.

Read an Excerpt


Trembling, her legs so wobbly it was hard to stand, Abbie Thompson clung to the rough trunk of an oak tree and waited for her father to appear. As a garish yellow porch light over the nearest apartment suddenly gleamed, Abbie sucked in her breath and slid farther back into the darkness behind the wide tree trunk.

Abbie knew she shouldn't be here. She shouldn't be spying. She'd die if her father saw her. Fearing to be seen, she had pulled a scarf over her strawberry-blond hair, which was light enough to stand out in the darkness. She must not be caught lurking, but she had to know. She had to!

The door of the apartment opened, and Davis Thompson stepped out, hand in hand with a young, very pretty, dark-haired woman. Both of them tall, trim, and attractive, they moved as though they knew they were an exceptionally good-looking pair. Laughing, they drew close to each other, and he bent to kiss her.

It was a light, quick kiss, but Abbie doubled

over in pain. It felt as if someone had socked her

hard in the stomach.

She watched her father and the woman run to his low-slung red sports car. Before she could react, before she could think, the car had driven away.

Abbie let herself slide to the ground, sitting cross-legged in the dark. She stared at the stillbright front window of the apartment, hating the woman who lived there and hating her father.

All through the seventeen years of her life, Davis Thompson had called Abbie "Daddy's girl," and she had loved this special nickname. He had been a real daddy then. He'd played ball with her and gone to her Fathers' Night dinners at school and applauded her pianoplaying at recitals. Lately, though, he had become so different that Abbie wondered if he could possibly be the same person.

Davis Thompson known to nearly everyone in the south Gulf Coast town of Buckler, Texas, as Dr. Davis Thompson, professor of English at Buckler College suddenly dyed his hair to cover the gray at his temples, wore expensive sports coats over cashmere turtleneck sweaters, bought a car that would fit a movie star's lifestyle, and walked out on his family.

"You must understand, Sandra, I'm not being fulfilled any longer," her father had told Abbie's mother just before he left. "Life should be rich and complete.''

"Davis, are you serious?" Mrs. Thompson's

voice had wavered with shock.

He raised his voice as if he were arguing not only with her, but with himself. "I've given this sincere and weighty consideration," he said. "For a long time I've felt that my life here is nothing."

Frozen in the hallway, Abbie couldn't help overhearing the conversation. She had gasped and leaned against the wall for support. Mom and Davy and she were nothing?

"Is there someone else?" Abbie's mother had asked. Her voice came out raspy and choked, and she had to ask the question again.

"Be reasonable," Dr. Thompson had said. "It wasn't working with us. You know that."

"No, I didn't know. I thought . . . well . your moodiness . . . I mean, when you didn't get the promotion to department head, I assumed .

"Perhaps I would have got it, if I'd had more support from you," Dr. Thompson had snapped.

"More support?" Mrs. Thompson's voice had risen. "After all I've done But the back door had slammed shut. Realizing that her father had left, Abbie had run to cling to her mom.

Now Abbie dug her fingers into the circle of freshly turned earth that surrounded the tree. As her hands slid over the ring of small, smooth stones that bordered the circle, she whispered to her absent father over and over, "How could you not want us? How could you?''

She tried to look away from the lighted apartment window. Behind the golden glow lived the woman with the dark hair, the woman who had kissed her father.

The pain in Abbie's mind and body turned to an anger hot and intense. Breathing heavily, she unconsciously gripped the stones, pulling them from their ring as she rose to her feet. She stepped out from under the wide limbs of the oak, aimed at the window, and threw the stones as hard as she could.

"I hate you! I hate you!" she yelled.

The glass smashed, gold-red splinters flying to each side like starbursts. There was a moment of total silence, as though the air had stopped moving. Then a young woman in a robe, her blond hair wet and stringy, ran screaming from the apartment. Doors of other apartments opened, and people scurried out, scrambling without direction like ants whose hill has been disturbed. A beefy man in his undershirt grabbed Abbie's arms. A plump woman kept yelling that she had called the police.

Abbie stood numbly, the red anger draining from her mind and body, as she tried to remember what she had done.

Like an automaton Abbie moved through the next few hours. She was driven in a police car to the station, where someone asked her a million questions, then fingerprinted and photographed her.

Her mother appeared, tear streaks on her face.

"Oh, Abbie! Oh, darling, I'll help you. This is all

your stupid, stupid father's fault."

Dr. Thompson arrived, scowling. "What a foolish thing to do, Abbie! What could you have been thinking? You can thank me for talking Jamie and her roommate out of pressing charges."

But local officials had recently waged war on malicious mischief. Getting tough on these troublemaking kids was a priority, and Abbie found herself sitting in an office opposite a man who introduced himself as Judge Arnold Wilhite.

The judge reminded Abbie of her late grandfather Bill, with his thin hair combed over his bald spot, and crinkle lines around his eyes. Judge Wilhite leaned back in his office chair and rested his tooled cowboy boots on his desk. "I want to hear what you have to say, Abigail. Why'd you throw rocks through Miss__" He stopped and glanced at the paper on his desk. " through the window of Miss Jamie Lane's apartment?"

So that was her name Jamie Lane, Abbie thought. "I guess I don't have a good reason," she told the judge. She stared at her hands, which were clenched in her lap. "I just did it." The numbness she had felt began to slide away, and Abbie was frightened, She breathed in small, shallow gasps, trying to steady herself,

Judge Wilhite studied Abbie for a few minutes, Then he said, "The D.A.'s office is talking about prosecuting you for malicious mischief. Is that what you'd call what you did? Malicious mischief?"

Abbie raised her head and looked at him, "It wasn't mischief, It was hate, I hated her, and I was angry.

"Had you given this act some thought? Had you planned to come to Miss Lane's apartment and throw rocks?"

Copyright© 2004 by Joan Lowery Nixon

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See All Customer Reviews

Nobody's There 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 10 reviews.
simply00complex on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Another fun and exciting mystery from Joan Lowery Nixon. I was right there next to the character trying to solve the case with her. The story unraveled with a great plot, good characters, and some great twists along the way. Recommended for high schoolers.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was a good example of a book that makes you think whodonit.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I started reading this book my favorit quote was do not think you are a nobody because everyone is a somebody. I realy liked this quote because when Abbie felt that her dad left her and her brother she felt that her dad liked his girl friend more than Abbie. Abbie was jealouse that her dad had left her and her mom and brother so she went to spi on her dad and when her dad and his girlfriend lef she was so mad that she through rocks at the window then she got in trouble by the police and the judge assined her to take care of an elderly women she was not a pleasent lady Mrs. Merkel was critising her and making her life miserable. Then one day Abbie dosn't go to Mrs.Merkels house because Abbie went on a date and when she goes to see Mrs. Merkel house she finds out that she got murrderd Know Abbie needs to find out who murrderd her. I think this is a great book for mystry lovers because it is exciting and you was to read on and on.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think Nobody¿s There is a very well written, mysterious adventure about two people trying to be private eyes for the police, but while doing so, they put their lives in danger. If you like books with a lot of mysteries, then you should read Nobody¿s There. In this book, the first mystery you come across is the murder of the bank owner. When Ms. Edna Merkel is about to solve it, she is mysteriously attacked, and has to be hospitalized. Abbie has to find who attempted to murder Ms. Merkel, and with what did they hit her. Do you like books that are adventurous? If your answer is yes, you should read the book, Nobody¿s There. Abbie and Ms. Merkel take you on wild and crazy adventures in this book. Ms. Merkel and Abbie join a neighborhood watch, and Ms. Merkel takes it a little too seriously. She tries to be a private eye by catching people who are trying to scam the citizens of Buckler. The first part of their being private eyes is when two men try to pull a roofing scam on Ms. Merkel. She calls the police, and then she tells the men what she did. One man pushes the door open and steps inside, but Abbie, who has been sitting behind the door, hold a chair up to the man¿s back, and he thinks it is a gun. Another part is when Ms. Merkel confronts a man stealing cell phone numbers, and costing the citizens a lot of money. The police arrive, but he makes bail. Then he tries to run over Ms. Merkel, but Abbie saves her. Most people like a humorous book. Are you like most people? If you are this book is for you. When Abbie holds the chair up to the man who¿s trying to pull the roofing scam¿s back, he thinks the chair leg is a gun, and yells, ¿Don¿t shoot!¿ There are little parts in the book that are funny. They are the parts when Ms. Merkel is crabby, and she goes on an adventure, but doesn¿t clue Abbie in. Abbie never knows what¿s going on. I found it a hard book to put down, and I hope you do too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
It was pretty good but wasn't too suspenseful. It didn't really keep me on the edge of my seat because the murder took place like at the beginning of the book and then it took a while for the main character to solve it... She writes better but this was an O.K. read.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is so cool. Teenager Abbie Thompson is left with no other choice but to join the Friend to Friend program, which matches teen drivers with elderly adults. The awesome third-person point-of-view is excellent, and the conclusion is delightful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book was pretty dull compared to her others. I am very dissapointed!
Guest More than 1 year ago
My opinion about this book would be it was written very well. The author puts a lot of detail into it and it is very interesting to read. It is a murder and mystery story that isn't confusing to read. I really like the characters and their attitudes in the book. For me, at times, it was really hard to put down. It is a book that will keep you guessing and hanging on to the edge of your seat. The best parts were when Addie gets in a fight with her father and she throws a rock into his girlfriends apartment window. She gets in trouble for doing so. As her punishment she gets placed with Ms. Edna Merkel. A lady who is really crabby, bossy and thinks she is a private eye. But when Ms. Merkel gets mysteriously attacked can Addie help her solve the casefind who is responsible for the crime?
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nixon out-did herself in this mystery full of 'turn-around' sequencing that will all come together at the end. A marvelous story about a private-eye senior citizen and a girl put on probabtion for throwing rocks. Several incidents has happened in which Edna Merkel, private-eye, needs to get to the bottom of. A suprising conclusion that throws you for a loop!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I thougt the book was good. It was very descriptive. The book is about a girl who gets mad at her Dad because he walked out on her family. She throws stones a his girlfriend's window so that it would brake. The police were called because the girl's roommate was home. The girl faces probation and is put on the friend to friend program. She gets stuck with an old lady. Her name is Mrs. Merkel. She is the meanest women Addie could ever have imagined. She has to take this woman anywhere she wants to go when she wants to go there. Mrs. Merkel likes to be a private eye. She stops criminals from scamming senior citizens. Now Mrs. Merkel has ended up in the hospital. Can Addie take over for Mrs. Merkel and put her life in danger or will she give up? To find out you'll have to read the book.