The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki
The Baby-Sitters Club Wiki

Stacey and the Mystery at the Mall is the fourteenth book in The Baby-Sitter's Club Mystery series.

Back Cover[]

The Baby-sitters are all taking a class at SMS where they are assigned jobs at the Washington Mall. How cool — going to "school" at the mall!

But soon Stacey learns that some pretty bad things are going on there. Besides the regular shoplifting problems, expensive things are being stolen too. And then Stacey has a big scare when she's working at Toy Town.

Is it safe to shop at Washington Mall anymore? The Baby-sitters aren't sure — but they're going to make certain this mystery is solved!

Main Plot[]

The students of Stoneybrook Middle School are starting a new Short Takes class called Project Work, which means for 3 days a week for the next 6 weeks, each one will go out into the community after school & get to actually work with a business to get a feel for what the real world is like. The members of the BSC agree to try and get jobs at Washington Mall so they’ll be on the same schedule which works out: Kristy will be working with mall security, Jessi will be working at Cinema World, Claudia will be working at the Artist’s Exchange, Mallory will be working at BookCenter, Logan will be working at the takeout counter at Casa Grande, Mary Anne will be working at Critters, and Stacey will be working at Toy Town.

Stacey is excited about working at Toy Town; April, the woman who runs the story is very nice and the store has lots of neat toys, but there’s only one problem which April warns Stacey about which is shoplifting. When Stacey meets up with her friends during her break time, she learns that all of them have been given the same speech by their new bosses. Shoplifting happens during Stacey’s first week at Toy Town and she blames herself, but April assures her that it’s not her fault.

The next week, a display model of a Gamester disappears and the next day, the replacement model goes missing too. Right after the Gamester is taken, there is a commotion out in the mall. Stacey sees a bunch of people running by Toy Town, but nobody seems to know what’s going on. Then, she sees the police arresting a bunch of teenagers, one of whom that Stacey recognizes as having been in the store. Stacey runs and tells one of the police officers that she saw the kid in the store right before the Gamester disappeared and the kid has it.

With all the arrests that were made, everyone thinks that the shoplifting will stop, but little things such as toothpaste and children’s clothes are disappearing and also some larger items such as VCRs and camcorders have been taken, sometimes from locked storerooms. Stacey has a scare when she goes back to Toy Town’s stockroom to get something for a customer when she’s surprised by a man in a ski mask who orders her to be quiet before he runs out of the back entrance into the mall.

There is also some evidence that somebody’s been sleeping in the movie theater at night and using the kitchen at Casa Grande to cook. The girls think that it might be three grubby-looking kids whom they have seen all around the mall which would explain why the smaller items have been disappearing , but it doesn’t explain how & why the larger items are being stolen. The girls believe that Mr. Morton, the new mall manager might be responsible for that because he would know how to get around security to steal things without being seen and would have access to locked storage areas. They even saw him talking to the three kids on the security cameras.

At first, it seems as if the kids might be working for Mr. Morton, but then they think it’s more likely that they just found out about what Mr. Morton is doing. They believe the kids might be in danger and they decide to head to the mall right away to find them. After showing up at the mall, the girls (along with Charlie Thomas) give themselves two hours to find the kids. Just before time is up, they discover them sleeping on some mats in the back room of what will be the daycare center. The kids’ names are 12-year-old Mara, 8-year-old Kyle, and 6-year-old Brenda. The girls and Charlie take the kids to Friendly’s to get something to eat while Stacey notifies the police.

Sub Plot[]

The BSC is helping some of the store owners at Washington Mall open a daycare center. Lots of parents have been leaving their children in places like Toy Town and BookCenter while they go shopping & some of the employees themselves want to have a place to leave their kids while they're at work.

Characters in this book[]

Stacey's Family

BSC Members





  • Mr. Schubert – short takes math for real life teacher
  • Mr. Withum – short takes teacher for project work
  • Ms. Garcia – head of mall security
  • April Frenning
  • Mr. Williams, who manages the Cheese Outlet
  • Ms. Snyder, a salesperson at Lear’s
  • Mr. Morton
  • Rioko Kishi (mentioned)
  • Mr. Magee – theater manager
  • Mrs. Powers, the mother of the birthday girl
  • Sarah – part time worker at Toy Town
  • Lieutenant Irene Shay – policewoman from around Washington Mall
  • Mrs. Peabody -  social worker with Stoneybrook Social Services
  • Ms. Munro - Mallory's boss at the Bookcenter

Places in this book[]

Pop Culture and Real Life References[]

  • Barney
  • Little Red Riding Hood
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • The books The Little Red Hen, The Cat in the Hat, Tikki Tikki Tembo, Stone Soup, A Wrinkle in Time
  • Gap and Chanel
  • Shea Stadium and the Mets
  • Metropolitan Museum of Art
  • Swatches

Continuity and Inconsistencies[]



  • Logan had track tryouts on page 119 despite the tryouts being a plot point in Logan's Story, which was set before the events of this book.


  • Stacey considers becoming a trader on the stock exchange when she gets older and running a store. Mary Anne considers running an inn.
  • Mr. Withum is a new teacher.
  • The BSC has to make changes due to the jobs and Shannon is single-handedly running the BSC.
  • Kristy likes Special Dark Hershey's chocolate.
  • Shannon thinks Shea has a crush on her since he's been writing her poems. Buddy won a prize for his science project. The Perkins girls all have colds and Jamie Newton is in a play at his pre-school.
  • Claudia is an ace with the microfiche reader.
  • Kristy wears a skirt in this book.
  • Jobs include: Stacey at Toy Town, Claudia at The Artist's Exchange, Kristy is a mall cop, Logan at Casa Grande, Mallory at BookCenter, Mary Anne at Critters, Jessi at Cinema World.
  • Lear's might have been an alternative name to Sears, however Sears is mentioned in other books.


Mystery Books
#1 Stacey and the Missing Ring | #2 Beware, Dawn! | #3 Mallory and the Ghost Cat | #4 Kristy and the Missing Child | #5 Mary Anne and the Secret in the Attic | #6 The Mystery at Claudia's House | #7 Dawn and the Disappearing Dogs | #8 Jessi and the Jewel Thieves | #9 Kristy and the Haunted Mansion | #10 Stacey and the Mystery Money | #11 Claudia and the Mystery at the Museum | #12 Dawn and the Surfer Ghost | #13 Mary Anne and the Library Mystery | #14 Stacey and the Mystery at the Mall | #15 Kristy and the Vampires | #16 Claudia and the Clue in the Photograph | #17 Dawn and the Halloween Mystery | #18 Stacey and the Mystery at the Empty House | #19 Kristy and the Missing Fortune | #20 Mary Anne and the Zoo Mystery | #21 Claudia and the Recipe for Danger | #22 Stacey and the Haunted Masquerade | #23 Abby and the Secret Society | #24 Mary Anne and the Silent Witness | #25 Kristy and the Middle School Vandal | #26 Dawn Schafer, Undercover Baby-sitter | #27 Claudia and the Lighthouse Ghost | #28 Abby and the Mystery Baby | #29 Stacey and the Fashion Victim | #30 Kristy and the Mystery Train | #31 Mary Anne and the Music Box Secret | #32 Claudia and the Mystery in the Painting | #33 Stacey and the Stolen Hearts | #34 Mary Anne and the Haunted Bookstore | #35 Abby and the Notorious Neighbor | #36 Kristy and the Cat Burglar
Super Mysteries
#1 Baby-sitters' Haunted House | #2 Baby-sitters Beware | #3 Baby-sitters' Fright Night | #4 Baby-sitters' Christmas Chiller
Other Series
Baby-Sitters Club | Super Special | Portrait Collection | Readers' Request | Baby-sitters Club: Friends Forever | California Diaries | Baby-Sitters Little Sister | The Kids in Ms. Colman's Class