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My Friend's Mystery (can you help solve it?)

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I had coffee with the girlfriends yesterday and one friend (I'll call her "Anne") told an interesting story. I'll tell it here... there seems to be an obvious answer but I hoping you guys can come up with some plausible, non-obvious answers, too.

Here's the story:

About 7 years ago, Anne's sister lived in England and got J.K. Rowling's signature on the first Harry Potter book, then gave Anne the book as a gift. The book is one of Anne's treasures although she has not yet read the series. Recently, Anne's 9-year-old child wanted to start reading the series, so she gave him the first book and tried to show him the autograph, but there is no longer an autograph in the book!

Confused, Anne examined the book, and although it looked exactly the same there was no doubt it is a different book since there's no autograph. Also, buried in the pages of the book, Anne found a receipt for the book's purchase dated two years ago. The receipt is from a local bookstore and has three other childrens' books listed. Anne's child does not own the other books, and has never owned those three books, and Anne is absolutely positive she has never bought the first Harry Potter book... why would she when she has an autographed copy at home?

Anne said she has a really bad feeling about this. She said she sometimes puts valuables away when kids are coming over, so she might have put it away but she knows for certain she never bought another copy of the book.

Since Anne has a child, she has had other kids and their moms over to her house many times. But this wasn't an impulse steal... someone really planned it and did a switch. Anne feels really lousy. Not only has one of her treasures been stolen, but it was done by a "friend" whom she had welcomed into her home.

If you have questions I will ask Anne and post them. But I'm wondering, what are your thoughts?
post #2 of 14
That's terrible if one of her friends has stole it

Had she left them alone in the room or the house at all?
post #3 of 14
It sounds like she didn't necessarily put the book anyplace special for safe-keeping; any chance that the book she picked up is in fact someone else's that they inadvertently left behind, and hers is still in the house somewhere?
post #4 of 14
Someone had to switch it, that is the only thing I can think of! That's sooooo sad. My apartment was burgled once, and that left me feeling "violated." But to have a friend be responsible?

BTW- was the receipt for cash? Because if a credit card was used, maybe the book store can look up their records?

Laurie
post #5 of 14
Question I have is did the mother tell any other mother/friend, etc. about having an autograph book? If so, then someone switched books when at the house - knew where they were and did it without you knowing.

That is so sad when you have people you think you trust steal something of value from you.

Would it be possible to have the author sign another book if she writes a letter to him about what happened?
post #6 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Question I have is did the mother tell any other mother/friend, etc. about having an autograph book? If so, then someone switched books when at the house - knew where they were and did it without you knowing.

That is so sad when you have people you think you trust steal something of value from you.

Would it be possible to have the author sign another book if she writes a letter to him about what happened?
Just to add first, the author is female Sorry Golden!

Back to the mystery...seems strange how the signature is there one moment and gone the next
post #7 of 14
That is a terrible thing to do to a friend! I am thinking someone did do this intentionally - and planned it!

Does she know who has the other books? If so, then she can confront them.
post #8 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosiemac View Post
That's terrible if one of her friends has stole it

Had she left them alone in the room or the house at all?
Yup, happens all the time, you leave the other mom in the living room while you go to the kitchen to get snacks, or you leave to check on the kids in the other room, or the kids are outside and the other mom needs to run inside to go the bathroom, etc.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Keycube View Post
It sounds like she didn't necessarily put the book anyplace special for safe-keeping; any chance that the book she picked up is in fact someone else's that they inadvertently left behind, and hers is still in the house somewhere?
Anne just called and I asked more questions... the receipt is FOUR years old, I misunderstood - and she said the receipt is dated 4 days before her son's birthday so maybe he got the book for his birthday? And maybe she put the autographed book away and put the new one in its place? She doesn't remember ever doing that but our memories are not perfect... But a novel like that would be a weird gift for a (then) 5-year-old, and the other books on the receipt would have been too young for him, and he's never owned those books anyway.

She's searching the house right now. She just cleaned her son's room two weeks ago and never saw the book but she's looking everywhere anyway.


Quote:
Originally Posted by LDG View Post
Someone had to switch it, that is the only thing I can think of! That's sooooo sad. My apartment was burgled once, and that left me feeling "violated." But to have a friend be responsible?

BTW- was the receipt for cash? Because if a credit card was used, maybe the book store can look up their records?

Laurie
That's a good idea, I will mention it to her. I don't know if it was for cash.


Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
Question I have is did the mother tell any other mother/friend, etc. about having an autograph book? If so, then someone switched books when at the house - knew where they were and did it without you knowing.

That is so sad when you have people you think you trust steal something of value from you.

Would it be possible to have the author sign another book if she writes a letter to him about what happened?
I asked the same thing, she said that she told very few people about the book so the list of those who knew was very short. The idea to get another signed is a very nice one... maybe I will try to do that for her if she doesn't find it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwideus View Post
That is a terrible thing to do to a friend! I am thinking someone did do this intentionally - and planned it!

Does she know who has the other books? If so, then she can confront them.
We both have an idea who it might be... one of the moms here is a HUGE HP fan and she's not the nicest person, either, chronic liar etc. but their kids are good friends and they play at each others' houses often. But she's trying to keep an open mind and assume everyone is innocent right now.


Thanks for the input! I'll keep you posted as I find out more.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Another question I had was how could the books be the same? I have the American series and they are obviously different than the Canadian series. I thought I read that they had different publishers depending on the country, but maybe the Canadian and British books are the same? The replacement was bought in a local bookstore (it was a paperback, btw.)

I'm glad I'm above suspicion (I didn't even know she had the book until yesterday) because she has to be wondering about all her friends right now. I told her, besides, she knows it wasn't me because I would have thought it through and would have scribbled a fake signature on the new book so she would never had noticed!
post #10 of 14
Hmm...How disgusting!

Yes, check for credit card record on the receipt, and have them look it up and communicate with the police. Whoever stole it should get into trouble for this, for sure!
post #11 of 14
would your friend know what printing it was and what edition? that info is on the titlepage in the front of the book. if it had all numbers between 0 and 9 and was signed that book is worth more than $1000 easily.
i'm no expert on it but i used to manage a bookstore and i go to lots of booksingings. if that book was easily accessible and somebody knew what to look for...........
post #12 of 14
If she thinks she know who took the book could she look for it the next time she's in that woman's house? Then if it's really there she could just switch it back. Of course, the woman may have it hidden away, possibly even in a safe deposit box if it's really valuable.

Is there any way to prove it's your friend's book? Was it signed specifically to her or just the signature?
post #13 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldyCat View Post
If she thinks she know who took the book could she look for it the next time she's in that woman's house? Then if it's really there she could just switch it back. Of course, the woman may have it hidden away, possibly even in a safe deposit box if it's really valuable.

Is there any way to prove it's your friend's book? Was it signed specifically to her or just the signature?
Hah! More likely would have SOLD it! I'm sure, on ebay or something.
post #14 of 14
I'm voting that she probably didn't misplace it...that one of the other moms took it. I hope that's not the case and that it turns up. But working in prison and jail has made me a suspicious minded somebody.
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