Lark and Connor are judges for the annual baking contest at the community center. When they arrive, they discover that someone has destroyed a contestant's entry. And not just any contestant’s entry—Sophie's! Sophie is Lark's best friend (she just doesn't know it yet). The twin sleuths can't simply roll with it. To save the contest they'll have to take a whisk risk and start investigating the other contestants. With the timer ticking, Lark and Connor have to find the culprit before someone actually takes the cake.
Lark and the Dessert Disaster is the fourth title in the Lark Ba Detective series, following Lark Holds the Key, Lark and the Diamond Caper and Lark Takes a Bow.
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Text copyright © 2019 Natasha Deen Illustrations copyright © 2019 Marcus Cutler
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system now known or to be invented, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Deen, Natasha, author Lark and the dessert disaster / Natasha Deen; illustrated by Marcus Cutler. (Orca echoes)
Issued in print and electronic formats.ISBN 978-1-4598-2067-8 (softcover).—ISBN 978-1-4598-2068-5 (PDF).—ISBN 978-1-4598-2069-2 (EPUB)
I. Cutler, Marcus, illustrator II. Title. III. Series: Orca echoes
PS8607.E444L3328 2019 jC813'.6C2018-904771-2C2018-904772-0
Simultaneously published in Canada and the United States in 2019 Library of Congress Control Number: 2018954160
Summary: In this illustrated early chapter book, Lark and Connor Ba have been invited to judge a community baking contest. But when a contestant’s dessert is sabotaged, the amateur detectives have to solve the case if they are going to have any sweets left to sample.
Orca Book Publishers gratefully acknowledges the support for its publishing programs provided by the following agencies: the Government of Canada, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Province of British Columbia through the BC Arts Council and the Book Publishing Tax Credit.
Edited by Liz Kemp Cover artwork and interior illustrations by Marcus Cutler Author photo by Richard Jervis
ORCA BOOK PUBLISHERSorcabook.com
Printed and bound in Canada.
22 21 20 19 • 4 3 2 1
Orca Book Publishers is proud of the hard work our authors do and of the important stories they create. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it or did not check it out from a library provider, then the author has not received royalties for this book. The ebook you are reading is licensed for single use only and may not be copied, printed, resold or given away. If you are interested in using this book in a classroom setting, we have digital subscriptions that feature multi user, simultaneous access to our books that are easy for your students to read. For more information, please contact [email protected]
For Mom and Dad—ND
An Excerpt from “Lark Holds the Key”
My name is Lark Ba, and I was cooling my heels. Well, not really. My heels weren’t hot. “Cool your heels” is something my halmoni—that’s Korean for “grandmother”—says when I’m really excited to do something, but I have to be patient-like and wait. Right now I was waiting for my mom and dad to finish getting ready. I was cooling my heels with my dog, Max. We sat next to my little brother, Connor. He wasn’t cooling his heels like me and Max though. He was studying. Connor was reading a book about baking.
“Did you know North Americans eat two billion cookies every year?” he asked.
“That’s a lot of cookies,” I said.
“This book says it works out to three hundred cookies a person.” Connor closed his book and looked at me serious-like. “Do you know what that means?”
“Someone has been eating our cookies,” I said, “because there’s no way Mom and Dad let us have three hundred cookies a year.”
“Do you think they eat our share when we’re sleeping?”
“That would explain why they’re always so strict about bedtime,” I said.
“And why they don’t like us getting out of bed and going to the kitchen to get a glass of water,” added Connor.
“We’ll have to do some—” I tried to think of the word. It started with a k or an o, and it was a great word that meant “secret.” I couldn’t think of it, so I said, “Secret investigating. If we put our heads together, we can solve this mystery.”
He made a frowny face. “Can we be our own clients?”
That summer Connor and I had become private investigators. We’d found the missing key to the library for Mrs. Robinson, recovered stolen diamond earrings for the Lees and discovered who had been playing pranks at the community theater.
Being a P.I. is a lot of fun! I like figuring out puzzles and putting clues together, and helping people solve their problems. Plus, we have a mascot. It’s an alligator, because I love them. Pluser, alligator rhymes with investigator. And I really like that!
“I think we can be our own clients,” I said. “But our case will have to wait. We have a more important job today.”
“You mean going to the baking contest,” said Connor. “And making sure we eat as many cookies and cakes as we can. I have to get in those three hundred cookies before Mom and Dad catch us.”
“No—well, yes, that’s true. But we’re also judges for the contest, so we need to make sure we’re fair about who we choose to win.” Judging the contest was a privillage privaledge privilege we were given for being so good at solving mysteries.
Every year Mrs. Hamilton runs a baking contest. She owns a great bakery in our neighborhood called Cake’n’Bake. The winner of her contest will have their dessert sold in her bakery for four months!
Connor pulled out the paper that listed all the rules for judging. He covered up the lines so I could only see one at a time.
I have dyslexia. That means I reverse letters and numbers, and sometimes they jump around. Seeing only one line at a time helps the words stay still. “We have to judge the best dessert. That means tasting the food—”
“That’ll be easy,” said Connor. “Nothing burned wins!”
Connor moved his hands so I could read the next line. “And we have to judge the dessert based on the presentation.”
I frowned. “What do you think that means?”
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