Marianne Musgrove

When Lucy accidentally scratches Dad’s brand new car, one small mistake turns into an enormous fib involving Lucy’s best friend, Harriet, Lucy’s worst enemy, Jacinta, a telepathic camel and a guinea pig with an escape plan. Is it time for Lucy the Lie Detector to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? Just like in Lucy the Good, you’ll be snorting with laughter as you read about the irrepressible, the outrageous, the one and only… Lucy van Loon!LLD_Teachers_Notes


Chapter One

'How about that one?' said Lucy, pointing at a car parked in their street.

She looked over her shoulder to see if anyone was watching.

Her best friend, Harriet, got out a ruler and held it up against the tyre. 'Just as I thought. More than thirty centimetres away from the kerb.' She shook her head disapprovingly. 'Some people have no respect for the law.'

Lucy and Harriet were playing traffic cops, their favourite game that summer holidays. Lucy had taped a piece of blue cellophane onto an empty margarine container and tied it to the front of her bicycle, just like a police siren. The girls had metal jam jar lids for badges and Lucy had borrowed a cap from Mum's work. Mum was a tram driver so her cap was blue and looked like a real police officer's.

'I'm fining them fifty dollars,' said Harriet, taking a square of card out of her pocket. She wrote on it and slipped it under the windscreen wiper. Since she knew all the road rules, it was her job to write out the tickets.

Lucy wasn't so good at remembering rules. Her favourite part was zooming up and down on her bike, crying nee-nar nee-nar nee-nar like a police car.

Hoping to discover a criminal committing an actual crime, Lucy peered up and down Berry Street. Her short, messy pigtails stuck out beneath her cap like two little fountains.

A familiar car cruised past and turned right into Bottle Lane.

'Mr Polkinghorne didn't indicate!' she cried.

'Quick! Get him!'

The two girls jumped on their bikes and gave chase.

'He's getting away!' cried Lucy. She narrowed her eyes and pedalled extra hard.

Lucy imagined catching up to their neighbour and arresting him. She and Harriet would bring him to the local police station. 'You've got a remarkable daughter,' the police officer would say to Mum and Dad. 'We'd like to give the girls a medal and make them junior police officers.' Lucy would take the medal to school and show it to Jacinta Preston. Jacinta would be so jealous. She'd beg to hold it and, depending on how she felt, Lucy might – or might not – let her.

When Lucy and Harriet reached the end of the road, the car was far away. Since they weren't allowed to leave Berry Street, they had no choice but to let him escape.
'We need a camera,' said Harriet, 'so we can get proof next time.'

'I'll get one from home.'

Lucy turned her bike around and raced off. She was still daydreaming about the look of envy on Jacinta's face when she sped into her place. Unfortunately, she'd completely forgotten about her parents' new car parked in the driveway.
'Whoa!' she cried, hanging onto the handle bars. The bike wobbled wildly as she hurtled down the path between the car and the fence. There was a nasty scraping sound as Lucy and her bike toppled over.

After brushing the dirt and stones off her hands and knees, Lucy straightened up. Only then did she see the long scratch running down the side of Mum and Dad's brand new Toyota.

'Uh-oh,' she said.

Excerpted from Lucy the Lie Detector. Copyright © 2010 by Marianne Musgrove. Excerpted by permission of Random House Australia. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.