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 until 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
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!
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 mystery book!
Ms. Marsh’s reproducible guidelines are a real jewel. They
learned about copyright and ended up with their own book
they were so proud of!
“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.”
MASTERS OF DISASTERS
Copyright ©2008 Carole Marsh/ Gallopade International
All rights reserved.
Ebook edition Copyright ©2011
Carole Marsh Mysteries and its skull colophon and Masters of
Disastersare the property of Carole Marsh and Gallopade International.
Published by Gallopade International/Carole Marsh Books. Printed in the
United States of America.
Managing Editor: Sherry Moss
Senior Editor: Janice Baker
Assistant Editor: Mike Kelly
Cover Design & Illustrations: John Kovaleski (www.kovaleski.com)
Content Design: Darryl Lilly, Outreach Graphics
The Weather Channel is a U.S. federally registered mark of The Weather
Gallopade International is introducing SAT words that kids need to know
in each new book that 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
This book is a complete work of 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.
I love snow! I know a lot of people don't, especially
if they have to live in it all winter and fight it to get to work
and school. But I live in the sunny South and love to see
enough snow so that it actually covers the grass blades! I
collect snow pictures and photographs, especially those with
buffalo in them. I don't know why these appeal to me so, but
I also love all kinds of snow books, from children's
picture books to tales of the Old West on the snowy, lonesome
prairie. I even love bad snow stories, such as those of the
Great Blizzard of 1888, which struck New York and the
Northeast with such fury. A blizzard is when snow ceases to
be pretty and fun. Instead, it becomes treacherous and
dangerous—and even deadly.
My favorite "sad" snow story is about a farm couple
on the prairie. During a raging snowstorm, they headed, hand
in hand, to the barn to make sure their livestock was safe and
warm. On the way back to the farmhouse, their tightlyclasped
hands tore loose from one another. The poor farmer's
wife blew away! The blizzard raged on and on for days, and
the woman was not found until spring, a hundred miles away,
frozen to death against a barn.
A true story? It is said to be so, which is why I love
snow, but fear and respect blizzards! You might also enjoy my
book Winter, The "WOW!" Season, which tells more about
snow than you ever knew. In the meantime, curl up by a warm
fire with some cocoa and enjoy this book!
That's where I am,
Hey, kids! As you see, here we are ready to embark
on another of our exciting Carole Marsh Mystery
adventures. My grandchildren often travel with me all
over the world as I research new books. We have a great
time together, and learn things we will carry with us for
the rest of our lives!
I hope you will go to www.carolemarshmysteries.com
and explore the many Carole Marsh Mysteries series!
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,
Artemis Masters is an absentminded genius. He’s a scientist
at the top of his field in the early detection of natural disasters.
Everyone looks to him to solve the mysteries of nature…he
just needs someone to find his car keys, shoes and glasses!
Curie Masters, though only 11, has inherited her father’s
intelligence and ability to see things others don’t. She has a
natural penchant to solve mysteries…even if it means tangling
with those older and supposedly smarter than her.
Nick Masters, an 8-year-old boy who’s tall enough to pass as
12, likes to match wits with his sister and has her desire to
solve mysteries others overlook. While he’s the younger
sibling, he tends to want to protect his sister, and of course, be
the first to solve the mystery.
ooks in this series:
#1 The Earthshaking Earthquake
#2 The Treacherous Tornado Mystery
#3 The Horrendous Hurricane Mystery
#4 The Voracious Volcano Mystery
#5 The Behemoth Blizzard Mystery
#6 The Ferocious Forest Fire Mystery
Table of Contents
1 Fire in the Hole! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
2 The “Eyes” Have It . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .9
3 Rabbit Ears . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
4 The Great White Hurricane . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .25
5 Avalanche! What Avalanche? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .31
6 Ricocheting Sound Waves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
7 Oh, My Goodness! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45
8 Peek-A-Boo, I See You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .49
9 Walking Through Tar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .55
10 Blizzard of the Century . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .59
11 Bombs Away . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .65
12 Sensor Sabotage . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .67
13 Whiteout . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .73
14 Can A Guy Get A Light Here? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .79
15 Human Windshield Wiper . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .81
16 The Guests Have Arrived . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .91
17 I Can See Clearly Now . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .93
18 No More Snow! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .99
About the Author . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .103
Book Club Talk About It! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .104
Book Club Bring It To Life . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .106
Scavenger Hunt . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .108
Pop Quiz . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .109
Glossary . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .110
Blizzard Trivia . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .112
Winter Wonders . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .115
Tech Connects . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .118
“Ready?” Nick Masters shouted. “Fire
in the hole!”
The small air cannon launched the
temperature probe into the air. A thin wire
attached to the back end of the probe trailed it
dutifully. As it reached its apex in the sky, it
arched back toward the ground two miles
downrange. After unpacking the snow around
it, Curie Masters, Nick’s older sister, removed
the wire spool from the launcher and attached
it to the test box.
2 The BEHEMOTH BLIZZARD Mystery
“Six down, one to go,” Curie said.
“Here’s the last one.”
Nick grabbed the probe and set it into
the snow next to the launcher. He reset the
launcher for its final blast of the day. He was
sending the probes two miles out and spacing
them two miles apart in a complete circle
around the mountain.
Curie, 11, hovered over her brother,
who was only eight years old but tall for his
age. Nick picked up the probe, opened a small
curved door on its body, and flipped a tiny
switch inside. A red light started to blink,
letting Nick know that the probe was
activated. He closed the door, set it in the
launch tube, and attached its wire spool to the
side of the launcher.
“Fire in the hole!” Nick shouted again.
The final probe hurled itself downrange.
Its nose, almost as pointed as a spear,
penetrated the snow about a foot. Curie
Fire in the Hole 5
quickly attached the last wire spool to the
“Let’s get inside the van,” Curie said,
slowly feeding out the wire spools as she
backed toward the van. “I’m getting cold.”
Nick opened the van’s door for his
sister. She quickly sat at her desk, removing
each wire from its spool and attaching it to
pre-labeled test leads on the control panel.
The kids heard a commotion at the back
of the van. Their father, Artemis Masters,
suddenly appeared, carrying one of his newly
designed SABER Sensors. Nick had thought
of the acronym. SABER stood for Snow And
Blizzard Early Response Sensor.
Artemis was a scientist who invented
devices to help detect natural disasters. With
his wild red hair and round glasses perched on
the end of his nose, Artemis looked more like
a mad scientist than the brilliant one he was.
“How are things coming?” he asked the
kids. Before either of them could answer, he
continued, “Have either of you seen my
6 The BEHEMOTH BLIZZARD Mystery
favorite pen? I seem to have misplaced it.” He
laid the sensor on Curie’s desk and began to
dig into the pockets of his white, oversized
“It’s in your shirt pocket, Dad,”
Artemis looked down at his shirt.
“Well, I’ll be a monkey’s uncle,” he said. “It
was right under my nose all this time.”
“We’re almost ready to take the
readings…” Nick said.
“No,” Curie said, as she tightened the
last lead down and connected the test box to
her laptop. She quickly booted up the custom
software program that Artemis and the kids
Nick recorded the information from the
computer’s digital indicators into another
program. “Okay, Dad,” he said. “We’ve got
our baseline readings.”
“Great!” Artemis answered, as he
sniffled. He pulled out a hanky and wiped his
Fire in the Hole 7
nose. “I hope I’m not getting a cold. You know
how I detest colds.”
Artemis scanned the faces of his two
extremely intelligent children. Nick was
named for Nicolaus Copernicus, the first
person to propose that the sun is the center of
the universe. Curie got her name from Marie
Curie, who was famous for her work on
radioactivity and a two-time Nobel Prize
winner. Although they were young, they were
scientists in their own right.
“Let’s head down to the bed and
breakfast hotel and get settled in,” Artemis
said, wiping his leaky nose again. “We’ll get
some dinner, and then start setting up the
SABER sensors first thing in the morning.”
“AHH CHOO!” Artemis let
out a loud sneeze. “I sure hope I’m not
coming down with something,” he added,
pushing back a lock of the wild mop of red hair
ringing the sides of his head.
Curie dragged her suitcase out of the
van’s storage compartment and set it on the
trailer tongue attached to the back of the van.
The trailer held three snowmobiles. She
scanned the area around the bed and breakfast
hotel where they were staying. It’s definitely
rustic, she thought, but the Adirondack
Mountain scenery is beautiful. The one thing
she noticed was that there were no unsightly
electric poles sticking out of the ground along
the roadside like dead, leafless trees.
Curie and Nick lugged their suitcases
up the old, rickety wooden porch stairs and
10 The BEHEMOTH BLIZZARD Mystery
into the foyer. They stopped just short of their
dad. He was engaged in conversation with an
older couple. From their accents, Curie
figured they must be Irish.
“Kids, I’d like to introduce you to Mr.
and Mrs. O’Malley,” Artemis said, as he set his
suitcase and laptop bag on the foyer floor.
“They are the proud owners of this
“What a fine lad and lass you have here,
Mr. Masters,” Mr. O’Malley said, handing the
room key to Artemis. “If there’s anything we
can be doing for you, please be letting
“Thank you,” Curie said, scanning the
interior of the old house. She could tell it
wasn’t as lavish as other places they had
stayed, but it did have a certain kind of
Mrs. O’Malley was frail looking and a bit
pallid, but Irish people were usually very fair-
The “Eyes” Have It 11
skinned. On the other hand, Mr. O’Malley was
quite a hardy man for his age.
Curie noticed lovely fresh flowers in
many of the rooms. They helped cover the
musty odor of the old house. Curie decided
she liked the place. It had a certain warmth
Nick hated the musty odor! It reminded
him of old things. Mr. and Mrs. O’Malley
seemed creepy. Plus, their accents sounded
fake, like they were trying too hard to sound
Irish. The house felt like something out of an
old horror movie. He thought he might find
eyeballs from one of the old portraits along the
walls following his every move. He glanced up
at a huge painting of a soldier. The eyes
looked real, not painted.
Mr. O’Malley noticed Curie’s laptop.
“I’m sorry, lass, but we don’t get telephone,
Internet, or cable service way out here,”
“Really?” Artemis asked. “But I made
my reservation online at your website.”
12 The BEHEMOTH BLIZZARD Mystery
“Yes, well,” Mr. O’Malley replied, “that
computer is not here. It’s me brother’s over in
Buffalo. We use a satellite phone for people
who call in their reservations instead of
“That’s all right,” Artemis said. “We
use a wireless satellite link for our
Mr. O’Malley smiled slowly. “Well,
then,” he said. “I’m sure you’d like to get to
The three Masters followed their host
as he shuffled up the staircase.
“These portraits were handed down
through my family for nigh onto 200 years,”
Mr. O’Malley said. “We almost lost all of them
during the great blizzard in the spring of 1888.
From what my grandfather told me, 400
people died in New York City alone.
“The entire Northeast from Maryland
to Maine felt the effects of the blizzard,” he
continued. “It immobilized everyone and
everything. Winds toppled telegraph poles,
The “Eyes” Have It 13
and snowdrifts covered houses. The
snowdrifts here were up past the second-story
windows, and the roof couldn’t hold the weight
of the snow. The whole thing caved in. My
great, great, granddad rebuilt the place and
managed to salvage most of the family
paintings. We haven’t had a blizzard that bad
Mr. O’Malley stopped at a room near
the end of the hall and unlocked the door.
“We’ll be serving dinner in about an hour,” he
said, handing the key to Artemis. “Will you be
Artemis started to say something, but
sneezed instead. “I think the children will be
down for dinner,” he said. “But I’m going to go
to bed early to try and head off this cold.”
“Well,” Mr. O’Malley said. “I’ll be
bringing up a fine bowl of me wife’s
homemade chicken soup for you. It will warm
your heart and heal your ills.”
“Thank you,” Artemis said.
14 The BEHEMOTH BLIZZARD Mystery
As Nick passed by the towering
portraits, he could swear that several of the
eyeballs in the paintings were following his
“I’m telling you, there’s something odd
about this place!” Nick said, as he hung his
coat in the tiny closet in the room he shared
with his sister. “I think we’re being watched.”
“Nick!” Curie said. “Why would
anybody want to watch us?”
“Exactly!” Nick said.
“Exactly what?” Curie asked.
“Ahh! Well,” Nick said, “I don’t know
exactly yet, but I will. I just hope they make
normal food, like cheeseburgers or pizza. I
don’t want any strange stuff like haggis
16 The BEHEMOTH BLIZZARD Mystery
“The Scots eat haggis,” Curie said,
looking at her watch, “not the Irish.
Speaking of which, it’s time to go down to
dinner. Why don’t you go ahead? I’m
going to check on Dad and make sure
he’s okay. I’ll meet you down there.”
“Okay,” Nick said. “But hurry up.
I don’t want to be stuck down there
talking to the creepy O’Malleys by myself.”
“They’re nice people,” Curie said, “so
stop picking on them.”
“Yeah,” Nick said, “I’ll do that as
soon as they stop creeping me out.”
Nick headed down the stairs toward
the dining room, but thought he heard
someone talking down the hall, at the
base of the stairs, in what looked like
an office. He tiptoed in that direction
as he instinctively tried to eavesdrop
on the conversation. The door was cracked
open a couple of inches.
RABBIT EARS 17
As he peeked through the opening,
all he could see was the back of a desk and
some blue and yellow cables hanging from it.
The funny thing was that he was hearing a TV
weather news report, but Mr. O’Malley had
said that they didn’t have cable at the house.
“Rabbit ears,” a voice behind Nick said.
Nick jerked upright. Mr. O’Malley was
standing behind him. “What are rabbit ears?”
Nick asked, trying to be nonchalant. For an
old man, he really moves quietly, Nick thought.
“Good grief, lad,” Mr. O’Malley said.
“Haven’t you ever seen an old movie where
they have a set of antennae on top of the TV?
Those are rabbit ears. They pick up the local
TV stations. Dinner will be served in the
dining room, laddie. Follow me.”
Curie knocked gently on her father’s
door. “Come in,” she heard him say. When
she peeked into the room, she saw him lying in
18 The BEHEMOTH BLIZZARD Mystery
bed with a thermometer in his mouth. She
walked over and took it out.
“It says you have a low-grade
temperature of 100.8 degrees,” Curie said.
“It’s good you decided to go to bed early. How
was Mrs. O’Malley’s chicken soup?”
Artemis made a face. “I wish I knew,
but I really couldn’t taste it,” he said. “This
cold’s got my taste buds out of whack!”
“Well, hopefully, you’ll feel better
tomorrow,” Curie said. “But if you aren’t,
don’t worry. Nick and I can handle putting out
the SABER Sensors.”
“Are you sure?” Artemis said, seeing
the confident look on his daughter’s face.
“Okay, but I hope I’m feeling up to going with
you. I was looking forward to trekking around
on the snowmobiles.”
“Dad, what do you think about Mr. and
Mrs. O’Malley?” Curie asked.
“What do you mean?” he asked, feeling
his pajama pocket and then running his hand
over the nightstand looking for his glasses.
RABBIT EARS 21
Curie moved them from the top of his
head down onto his nose. “Nick thinks there’s
something strange about them,” she said.
Artemis smiled. “You know Nick,” he
said. “He’s always looking for a mystery.”
Curie thought for a moment. “Yeah!
He does tend to do that, doesn’t he?” she said.
“But, sometimes, he’s right on the money. We
should probably keep a close eye on the two
of them, just to be safe.”
Nick found a seat just as Curie strolled
into the dining room. “So, what are you
children doing up here with your father?”
Mr. O’Malley asked, dumping a blob of mashed
potatoes on his plate.
“Our dad is a scientist,” Curie said.
“His specialty is weather-related disasters. He
was hired by a group of ski resorts in the area
to come up with a way to create an early
warning system for blizzards.”
22 The BEHEMOTH BLIZZARD Mystery
“For blizzards?” Mrs. O’Malley said,
almost choking on a forkful of corn. “Why
would they be wanting to do that?” she asked.
“Well,” Nick said, preparing to sample
the slice of pork roast on his plate, “if they
know when a blizzard is coming, they can
prepare better for it, which will save them
money. They’ll be able to notify the resort’s
guests so they can get out before the passes
get clogged with snowdrifts. Then they can
reduce their personnel to minimum staffing.”
Nick noticed Mrs. O’Malley looking
over at Mr. O’Malley. She didn’t seem happy.
“Wouldn’t the resort make more money
by keeping the people stranded at the resort?”
Mr. O’Malley asked.
“What they make in money, they lose in
unhappy guests,” Curie observed. “In the long
run, that costs them money. Think about it.
If you had to pay a lot of money to sit around
for days during a blizzard and never got a
chance to go skiing, you would probably blame
your misfortune on the resort and its staff.”
RABBIT EARS 23
“That’s not very logical,” Mrs.
“You’re right,” Curie said. “But as my
dad always says, people are often emotional
instead of logical.”
“True,” Mr. O’Malley said. “But how
can you be detecting blizzards?”
“Actually,” Curie said, “it’s simpler than
you might think, but the cost may be more
than anyone wants to pay.”
“Yeah!” Nick said, taking a drink of hot
apple cider. “That’s why all the resorts are
banding together so they can split the costs.”
“There are many factors that go into
detecting a blizzard,” Curie said. “From the
barometric pressure, which shows the
pressure of the atmosphere, to wind speed and
the amount of moisture in the clouds,
plus much more. Our dad has invented a
sensor,” she continued, “called a SABER
Sensor, or Snow And Blizzard Early
Response Sensor, that compiles all that
information with other data brought in
24 The BEHEMOTH BLIZZARD Mystery
from satellite signals, like surrounding
weather patterns, and other stuff.”
“Tomorrow,” Nick said, “we’re going to
place the sensors in specific locations around
the area so we can run our final tests before
it’s approved for use by the resorts. The
group of individual SABER Sensors will send
their information to a computer, which
analyzes all the data to determine if a blizzard
“How many of these sensors will you be
putting out?” Mr. O’Malley asked.
“In order for the software to compile
the data properly, we need to have a minimum
of 24 sensors reporting back to us,” Curie said.
“Okay,” O’Malley said, putting his
napkin on the table. “You lost me at
He stood up and pushed his chair to the
table. “You kids be careful out in that snow
tomorrow. There are a lot of dangerous things
out there, and it’s very easy to get hurt,” he
added. “Sometimes, it’s not good to be so
intrepid in your pursuits.”