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What Kids Say About Carole Marsh Mysteries . . . “I love the real locations! Reading the book always makes me want to go and visit them all on our next family vacation. My Mom says maybe, but I can’t wait!” “One day, I want to be a real kid in one of Ms. Marsh’s mystery books. I think it would be fun, and I think I am a real character anyway. I filled out the application and sent it in and am keeping my fingers crossed!” “History was not my favorite subject till I starting reading Carole Marsh Mysteries. Ms. Marsh really brings history to life. Also, she leaves room for the scary and fun.” “I think Christina is so smart and brave. She is lucky to be in the mystery books because she gets to go to a lot of places. I always wonder just how much of the book is true and what is made up. Trying to figure that out is fun!” “Grant is cool and funny! He makes me laugh a lot!!” “I like that there are boys and girls in the story of different ages. Some mysteries I outgrow, but I can always find a favorite character to identify with in these books.” “They are scary, but not too scary. They are funny. I learn a lot. There is always food which makes me hungry. I feel like I am there.”

What Parents and Teachers Say About Carole Marsh Mysteries . . . “I think kids love these books because they have such a wealth of detail. I know I learn a lot reading them! It’s an engaging way to look at the history of any place or event. I always say I’m only going to read one chapter to the kids, but that never happens—it’s always two or three, at least!” —Librarian “Reading the mystery and going on the field trip—Scavenger Hunt in hand—was the most fun our class ever had! It really brought the place and its history to life. They loved the real kids characters and all the humor. I loved seeing them learn that reading is an experience to enjoy!” —4th grade teacher “Carole Marsh is really on to something with these unique mysteries. They are so clever; kids want to read them all. The Teacher’s Guides are chock full of activities, recipes, and additional fascinating information. My kids thought I was an expert on the subject—and with this tool, I felt like it!” —3rd grade teacher “My students loved writing their own Real Kids/Real Places mystery book! Ms. Marsh’s reproducible guidelines are a real jewel. They learned about copyright and more & ended up with their own book they were so proud of!” —Reading/Writing Teacher “The kids seem very realistic—my children seemed to relate to the characters. Also, it is educational by expanding their knowledge about the famous places in the books.” “They are what children like: mysteries and adventures with children they can relate to.” “Encourages reading for pleasure.” “This series is great. It can be used for reluctant readers, and as a history supplement.”

by Carole Marsh

Copyright ©2013 Carole Marsh/Gallopade International All rights reserved. Manufactured in Peachtree City, GA Ebook edition Copyright ©2013 Carole Marsh Mysteries™ and its skull colophon are the property of Carole Marsh and Gallopade International. Published by Gallopade International/Carole Marsh Books. Printed in the United States of America. Senior Editor: Janice Baker Assistant Editor: Susan Walworth Cover Design: John Hanson Content Design and Illustrations: Randolyn Friedlander Gallopade International is introducing SAT words that kids need to know in each new book we publish. The SAT words are bold in the story. Look for this special logo beside each word in the glossary. Happy Learning! Gallopade is proud to be a member and supporter of these educational organizations and associations: American Booksellers Association American Library Association International Reading Association National Association for Gifted Children The National School Supply and Equipment Association The National Council for the Social Studies Museum Store Association Association of Partners for Public Lands Association of Booksellers for Children Association for the Study of African American Life and History National Alliance of Black School Educators This book is a complete work of fiction. All events are fictionalized, and although the names of real people are used, their characterization in this book is fiction. All attractions, product names, or other works mentioned in this book are trademarks of their respective owners and the names and images used in this book are strictly for editorial purposes; no commercial claims to their use is claimed by the author or publisher. Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book. The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrightable materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

30 Years Ago . . . As a mother and an author, one of the fondest periods of my life was when I decided to write mystery books for children. At this time (1979) kids were pretty much glued to the TV, something parents and teachers complained about the way they do about web surfing and blogging today. I decided to set each mystery in a real place—a place kids could go and visit for themselves after reading the book. And I also used real children as characters. Usually a couple of my own children served as characters, and I had no trouble recruiting kids from the book’s location to also be characters. Also, I wanted all the kids—boys and girls of all ages—to participate in solving the mystery. And, I wanted kids to learn something as they read. Something about the history of the location. And I wanted the stories to be funny. That formula of real+scary+smart+fun served me well. I love getting letters from teachers and parents who say they read the book with their class or child, then visited the historic site and saw all the places in the mystery for themselves. What’s so great about that? What’s great is that you and your children have an experience that bonds you together forever. Something you shared. Something you both cared about at the time. Something that crossed all age levels—a good story, a good scare, a good laugh! 30 years later,

Carole Marsh

Hey, kids! As you see—here we are ready to embark on another of our exciting Carole Marsh Mystery adventures! You know, in “real life,” I keep very close tabs on Christina, Grant, and their friends when we travel. However, in the mystery books, they always seem to slip away from Papa and me so that they can try to solve the mystery on their own! I hope you will go to www.carolemarshmysteries.com and apply to be a character in a future mystery book! Well, the Mystery Girl is all tuned up and ready for “take-off!” Gotta go...Papa says so! Wonder what I’ve forgotten this time? Happy “Armchair Travel” Reading, Mimi

About the Characters Christina, age 10: Mysterious things really do happen to her! Hobbies: soccer, Girl Scouts, anything crafty, hanging out with Mimi, and going on new adventures. Grant, age 7: Always manages to fall off boats, back into cactuses, and find strange clues—even in real life! Hobbies: camping, baseball, computer games, math, and hanging out with Papa. Mimi is Carole Marsh, children’s book author and creator of Carole Marsh Mysteries, Around the World in 80 Mysteries, Three Amigos Mysteries, Baby’s First Mysteries, and many others. Papa is Bob Longmeyer, the author’s real-life husband, who really does wear a tuxedo, cowboy boots and hat, fly an airplane, captain a boat, speak in a booming voice, and laugh a lot! Travel around the world with Christina and Grant as they visit famous places in 80 countries, and experience the mysterious happenings that always seem to follow them!

Books in This Series #1 The Mystery at Big Ben (London, England) #2 The Mystery at the Eiffel Tower (Paris, France) #3 The Mystery at the Roman Colosseum (Rome, Italy) #4 The Mystery of the Ancient Pyramid (Cairo, Egypt) #5 The Mystery on the Great Wall of China (Beijing, China) #6 The Mystery on the Great Barrier Reef (Australia) #7 The Mystery at Mt. Fuji (Tokyo, Japan) #8 The Mystery in the Amazon Rainforest (South America) #9 The Mystery at Dracula’s Castle (Transylvania, Romania) #10 The Curse of the Acropolis (Athens, Greece) #11 The Mystery at the Crystal Castle (Bavaria, Germany) #12 The Mystery in Icy Antarctica #13 The Rip-Roaring Mystery on the African Safari (South Africa) #14 The Breathtaking Mystery on Mount Everest (The Top of the World) #15 The Mystery of the Onion Domes (Russia)

Table of Contents 1 Satin or Slimy Milk? 2 Butter and Bombs 3 Doll in Distress 4 Metro Mix-up 5 Friendship or Foeship? 6 Ivan the Terrible! 7 Chak-Chak Yakety-Yak 8 Baffling Babushka 9 Secretive Stars 10 Kremlin Gremlins 11 Baroque Eggs 12 Gorky Jam 13 War and Peace 14 Baffled at the Ballet 15 That’s One Big Red Square! 16 Talking Dead 17 Holy Fool 18 Ivan the Missing! 19 Palm Trees and Blue Shoes 20 Bobbling Bobsleds 21 Nesting Dolls and Necklaces 22 Life is Like an Onion About the Author Built-In Book Club: Talk About It! Built-In Book Club: Bring it to Life! Fascinating Facts Glossary

1 5 13 17 23 29 35 43 47 53 57 63 69 73 79 87 91 99 103 109 115 121 125 126 128 130 132



1 Satin or Slimy Milk? The alarm clock screamed in Christina’s ear. She made a wish and opened her eyes. Surely her predicament was just a nightmare. Cloudy light peeked through the blinds of her bedroom, and she squinted hopefully at her closet. “Oh, no!” she moaned in horror. “It’s still there!” Mocking Christina from across the room was the most beautiful dress she’d ever owned. Crystals around the satin neckline winked at her and its ruby red color flowed down into a tulle skirt that floated above the floor like a glamorous ghost.


The Mystery of the Onion Domes

It was a gift from her grandmother Mimi. She planned to wear it to her best friend’s birthday bash. Mimi said the occasion called for a knock-out dress in her favorite color. Of course, Christina had been to scads of birthday parties. But this one was going to have dancing and everything! For the first time she could dance with a boy who wasn’t her younger brother Grant. As much as she loved her life-long tag-a-long, she felt she’d outgrown some of the things that Grant still liked to do. Attending a dance would prove to everyone that she was no longer a little kid! But then the letter came. A Russian athlete named Alexandra had invited Mimi and Papa to visit her country and attend the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The young woman had explained that she was a huge fan of Mimi, who was a children’s mystery book writer. She said reading Mimi’s books as a child taught her the importance of never giving up and working hard to reach her goals. They had given her the courage to become an Olympic athlete. “Who knows?” Alexandra had written. “Maybe you will be inspired to write a mystery about Russia!” 2

Satin or Slimy Milk?

Mimi, who had always dreamed of traveling to Russia, was honored and overjoyed! Christina was excited for her grandmother until Mimi read the last line of the young woman’s invitation. “Please bring your grandchildren with you,” she wrote. “I can’t wait to show them Moscow!” Christina’s heart had turned a somersault in her chest. Like Mimi, Christina was excited by the idea of traveling to the largest country on Earth. But they would have to leave for Russia on the same date as the dance! Should she go to the greatest party of her life and miss a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Russia? Or should she go to Russia and miss the greatest party of her life? It was a no-win situation. Grant had jumped like a gymnast on Papa’s favorite ottoman when he heard the news. “That’s awesome!” he’d said. “I can’t wait to see cows made out of moss! I’ll bet they give green, slimy milk!” When she stopped laughing, Mimi had explained to Grant that Moscow was the capital of Russia, not a bovine mutant. 3

The Mystery of the Onion Domes

How could Grant talk about slimy milk when she had a gorgeous satin gown to wear, Christina had wondered. “What should I do?” she whined. “I know how disappointed you are,” Mimi had said, as she smoothed Christina’s shoulder-length brown hair and kissed the top of her head. “But it’s a decision only you can make. Making tough decisions is just part of growing up.” Christina punched her alarm clock angrily. “Time’s up!” it seemed to say. Mimi needed her decision this morning. She flopped back onto her pillow. Thirty more minutes won’t hurt anything, she thought. But before she could pull the covers over her head, she heard a sound like a bowling ball gone crazy. It was followed by a shrill scream,


2 Butter and Bombs Christina peeked cautiously out her door to see what the commotion was about. There was Grant, red-faced and panicked, with a battered blue football helmet on his head. Christina recognized it as the one he’d worn while playing pee-wee football two years ago. “What on earth are you doing?” she asked. “Just help me get this off!” Grant pleaded as he wrestled with the helmet. Christina pulled at the helmet. It wouldn’t budge. “It won’t come off!” she said. “How’s my brain gonna grow if I have to go through life with a helmet on my head?” Grant cried. “My head will explode!” 5

The Mystery of the Onion Domes

“I wish you’d thought of that before you managed to squeeze your head in there,” Christina replied. She braced her foot against the wall and pulled even harder. “My ears! My ears!” Grant screamed. “You’re pulling off my ears!” Mimi and Papa shuffled sleepily down the hall. “What is all this squealing?” Papa bellowed in his deep voice. “Sounds like a Texas Tornado picked up a pig farm!” Christina collapsed against the wall, exhausted. “Your grandson,” she explained, “has gotten himself into something he can’t get out of.” “Let me try,” Papa said. He rubbed his hands together then pulled on the battered helmet until Grant’s feet were off the floor and kicking in the air.

Grant shouted. “Let me handle this,” Mimi said, as she scurried to the kitchen. She quickly reappeared, blowing on a cup of steaming liquid.


Butter and Bombs

“I don’t need anything to drink,” Grant said. “I need to get this thing off my head!” “Think you can do a handstand?” Mimi asked. Grant looked puzzled, but steadied his head on the floor and rested his feet up on the wall. “Hold his legs steady, Christina!” Mimi said. She kneeled and gingerly poured the warm liquid inside the helmet. “Why do I suddenly want pancakes?” Grant asked after he sniffed the air. “Maybe it’s because I just poured butter on your head,” Mimi answered. Leave it to Mimi, Christina thought. She always knows what to do! “Ok, now stand him back up,” Mimi said. Christina giggled as the delicious-smelling golden liquid dripped lazily from under Grant’s helmet. “I knew there was a reason I like to call you ‘short stack’,” Papa teased. “Now,” Mimi instructed, “Papa and Christina, you grab his feet and pull while I hold the helmet.” “POP!” Grant’s head popped out of the helmet like a cork out of a bottle. 7

The Mystery of the Onion Domes

“Now, can you please explain why you were running down the hall in a football helmet at the crack of dawn?” Mimi asked. Grant wiped a stray drip of butter off his cheek and raked it across his tongue before answering. “Yummm,” he murmured. Then his clear blue eyes gazed right at Mimi. “We’re going to Russia, right?” he asked. “Yes,” Mimi replied impatiently. “Well,” Grant continued, “Papa said we’ll go through the Iron Curtain. I figured I better protect my head!” Papa covered his mouth so Mimi wouldn’t see him chuckle. “It’s true that while Papa and I were growing up, Russia was mostly cut off from the rest of the world,” Mimi said as she rubbed Grant’s head with a towel. “That’s why people referred to Russia as being behind an iron curtain. There never really was a metal curtain around the country.” “That’s right,” Papa agreed. “Now, the country is called the Russian Federation, or just Russia. Back then, Russia was called the Union of Soviet 8

Butter and Bombs

Socialist Republics. We called it USSR for short. The leaders of the USSR and the leaders of the United States didn’t trust each other. That time in history was known as the ‘Cold War.’ We were afraid they would attack us with nuclear bombs and they were afraid we might attack them.” “That’s right,” Mimi said. “At school, we hid under our desks to practice what to do in case of a bombing attack.” “The way we have tornado drills?” Christina asked. “Exactly,” Mimi answered. “I would’ve worn my helmet!” Grant said. “Are we still having a chilly war with Russia?” “No,” Mimi said. “The Cold War, which really wasn’t a war at all, started at the end of World War II. It ended in the early 1990s when new leaders came to power in Russia.”

Grant had just opened his mouth with another question when the doorbell rang. 9

The Mystery of the Onion Domes

“Who could be visiting this early?” Papa asked as he tied his robe around his waist and headed for the door. When he returned, he was balancing four boxes stacked higher than his head. He plopped them on the floor with a thud. “Whatever is in here weighs a ton!” Mimi looked worried. “I just hope it’s nothing breakable,” she said. “Or explosive!” Grant added. Each box was labeled with one of their names. Grant and Christina ripped theirs open like it was Christmas morning. “OOOH, it’s so soft,” Grant said as he tugged thick, brown fur from the box. “I think it’s a teddy bear. But where’s the head?” Christina rolled her eyes. “That’s no teddy bear,” she said, pulling a similar furry bundle from her box. “It’s a fur coat! And a fur hat!” Papa and Mimi modeled their floor-length Russian furs and let the furry hat flaps fall over their ears. “This feels sooooo luxurious,” Mimi cooed. She read the note that was in her box:


Butter and Bombs

for Thought youowwouyoldu nedoedn’t thneesede heavy your trip. I dknushanka hats in Peachtree fur coats ania, but you will certainly City, Georg here! need them Can’t wait to see you, Alexandra y P.S.Here’s a photo of me in m ushanka hat!


The Mystery of the Onion Domes

“We look like the three bears,” Grant said, pawing his hands in the air and growling. “With those blonde curls, you look more like Goldilocks!” Christina said. She laughed until she realized she might not even be wearing her coat at all. Mimi saw her face fall. “Even if you decide not to go with us, the coat will look beautiful with your new dress,” Mimi said. “Why don’t you go to your room and try it on?” In her room, Christina plunged her hands into the warm coziness of the deep pockets. Nestled in the left pocket was something very hard and smooth. Christina rolled it between her fingers. It was about the size of Papa’s thumb. Christina nervously pulled the mysterious object from her pocket and gasped in amazement.


3 Doll in Distress “It has a face!” Christina exclaimed. Made of wood, the object in her pocket was a tiny, eggshaped doll with a flat bottom. Sad, miniscule blue eyes peered from beneath a fringe of blonde bangs. The rosebud mouth was tightly sealed like it refused to tell a secret. A red scarf dotted with yellow and blue flowers was tied under the dainty chin. An emerald apron covered a sky-blue dress. “So how does the coat look with your dumb old dress?” asked Grant as he blundered into Christina’s room scratching his greasy head. “Grant, look at this!” she exclaimed. “It was in my coat pocket. I think it’s a Russian nesting


The Mystery of the Onion Domes

doll. They call them matryoshka dolls. They usually come in sets with one doll inside another.” Grant examined it. “Maybe it’s a gift from Alexandra,” he suggested. Some butter still lingered on Grant’s fingers as he turned the tiny doll. It slipped from his hand and bounced across the floor. “Oh, Grant, you broke it!” Christina cried. A seam had opened in the doll’s middle. Sticking out was a tiny strip of paper like a message in a fortune cookie. “What is that?” Christina murmured. She carefully unrolled the paper. “The writing is too tiny,” she said. “Hand me the magnifying glass.” Christina strained to read the writing. “Oh, I can’t read it! There are letters, but it’s not English. It must be Russian.” “I’ll get Mimi,” Grant said. “She has a RussianEnglish dictionary.” “No!” Christina cried. “You know Mimi hates it when we get mixed up in a mystery. I’m sure she won’t mind if you go and borrow it.”


Doll in Distress

Still in his fur coat, Grant waddled back with the book, looking like an overweight bear. Christina found each of the strange words and jotted down the English meanings: et to a secr s g in r re in and Lives a . s l l Circles o he d ep! ollow t will we r keep. F e h t o the m danger

Christina looked sadly at her party dress and sighed. Her decision was made. There would be other dances, but now there was a mystery to solve—a mystery that could save someone’s life! Christina was going to Russia!


uper-sleuth siblings Christina and Grant take the trip of a lifetime to Russia to witness the Winter Olympics in Sochi. When the kids come across a tiny clue in a big fur coat, and Mimi and Papa get separated from them on a speeding train, the family’s travel plans go haywire! The mystery in Moscow really heats up when the kids meet up with Ivan the Terrible, get called to the Kremlin, and rock and roll in Red Square. What on earth could the “Great Bear” have in store for them next? Don’t miss the thrills, chills, bobsled spills, and a surprise ending in this Olympic-sized mystery!

RL 3–5 007–014

“The new Carole Marsh Mystery we’ve all been waiting for!”

$7.99 US

ISBN-13: 978-0-635-10914-9 50799

9 780635 109149


10430 10775


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Mystery of the Onion Domes (Russia)  

What could be more thrilling than a family trip across the globe? How about a spur-of-the-moment mystery at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Soch...

Mystery of the Onion Domes (Russia)  

What could be more thrilling than a family trip across the globe? How about a spur-of-the-moment mystery at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Soch...

Profile for gallopade

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