Ginnie and Ginevra and their families have rented a house on Cape Cod for the summer. They have a kind neighbor in Miss Wade, who despite being an old maid somehow still manages to be presentable. She lives in a big old house and the man at the local historical society refers to her as "impoverished". Great place, Cape Cod. To be fair, Ginnie is indignant that the man would label her with such a squalid word.
Despite her genteel economy, Miss Wade is still able to donate the money from her Beach Plum Jelly sales to her church. On a rainy day the girls are allowed to poke through the attic and dress up in old clothes. In one of the boxes Ginnie finds an old diary and is fascinated. It belonged to Miss Wade's mother and was written in 1871 when the girl was ten years old. It mentions the gift of a fabulous French doll with a precious jewel around it's neck. On questioning, Miss Wade reveals the doll went missing thirty years ago while the family was away and the house was rented.
Soon, however, at the church auction who should appear but Lady Vanderbilt! The girls are outbid and the race is on to discover the answer to all the mysteries.
The book is okay for its type. It's probably believable that a 24" French fashion would have sold for only $6 at a sleepy summer auction in 1962, but it seems fishy. The usual preponderance of coincidence is also in effect. The book is geared towards very early readers as Ginny's observations make clear every emotional impulse she is feeling or other character's are feeling: '"He is embarrassed because his car broke down" Ginnie thought' is a typical example when we've already been told Ernie's face is red when he confesses a major repair is needed for his car after bragging about it. Ginevra doesn't add much, she's a wall that Ginnie bounces ideas off of and nothing more.
Well, that happened.
Ginnie and Genevra
Next: 'Ginnie and the Mystery Cat'
Previous: 'Ginnie and the Wedding Bells'