Sweet Valley High #26: Hostage!

The moral of the story: Teenagers can solve crimes and track down dangerous criminals all by themselves!

The Big Deal: A celebratory “Our whole family is back from being kidnapped” party.


Liz is still worrying about Regina, so she drives over to the Morrows’ house. A strange woman answers the door and tells Liz that Regina isn’t there, but then Regina herself walks into the foyer. The woman pretty much kicks Liz out. Liz goes home, deciding on the way that she can’t tell her parents what’s going on because then they won’t let her go back to the Morrows’. But she does call the police. An officer goes to the Morrow house and meets the woman, who identifies herself as Claire Davis, Mrs. Morrow’s stepsister. The officer is just like, “Oh, okay.” He calls Liz back and kind of tells her to mind her own business.

Jessica comes up with the idea to have Bruce pose as a grocery delivery boy. She and Liz talk to Eddie, the regular delivery guy who first told Liz that Regina was back in town, and set everything up so that Bruce will take the delivery. They sneak a message in with the groceries. After Regina reads it, she writes a message back, tucks it in a compact and drops it out the window. We find out she’s being held hostage by a couple who wants a computer chip prototype her father invented. Or something. They have told her that her parents are being hidden, but that they’re fine.

Bruce and the twins find Regina’s note, in which she explains everything that’s happened. She doesn’t want them to call the police because the officer Liz called before made Claire nervous. She asks that they call Nicholas, who has been visiting a friend in San Francisco. Bruce calls him and tells him to come back to Sweet Valley. Nicholas and Liz drive to the Morrow house to check things out again and they see a car coming down the driveway. They pretend to be a couple on a romantic drive. This gives Nicholas the opportunity to kiss Liz. Very smooth. I don’t really get if they stopped in the middle of the road or if they kissed while the car was moving or what. Nicholas recognizes the driver of the other car as Phillip Denson, a guy Mr. Morrow had arrested for embezzlement about five years ago.

The kids find an address for Phil Denson and the four of them drive out to his house. There’s a teenager mowing the lawn, and Jessica works her magic on him and flirts with him until he tells her that his name is Mitch and that his father is indeed Phil Denson. Jessica asks him for a glass of water and peeks in the living room window while he’s inside. Mr. and Mrs. Morrow are tied up on the living room floor.

Back at Bruce’s, Nancy Drew and the gang try to figure out a part of Regina’s note that doesn’t make sense. Regina mentions that she’s been trying to figure out when Phil and Claire are going to have her go to Mr. Morrow’s plant to steal the microchip. She heard Claire say something that sounded like “Money is heaven,” but she doesn’t know what that means. I’m guessing she really said, “Monday at seven.” Regina’s hearing is only at eighty-five percent, you know. It takes the kids until page 79, and then it’s actually Jessica that figures it out, but they finally get it. Good work, Jess. They come up with a plan to save all the Morrows, then go to the beach to rest up for the adventure.

On Sunday morning, Jessica goes back to the Densons’ house and flirts with Mitch some more to try to find out where Phil is going to be the next night. She doesn’t get anywhere. On Monday morning, Denson makes Mr. Morrow call the plant and tell them he’s still in Switzerland meeting with clients who want to see the chip and that he’s sending Regina to the plant to get it.

So here’s the Scooby plan: Jessica and Bruce will take Nicholas’ Jeep to Phil Denson’s house. Nicholas and Liz will go to the plant. They’re sure Claire won’t do anything to hurt Regina while at the plant, so when Nicholas sees that Regina is safely inside, he’ll call the Jeep’s phone so Bruce and Jessica know it’s okay to rescue the Morrows and hightail it back to Sweet Valley. Liz will intercept Claire and Regina and stall them somehow, and that’s when Nicholas will FINALLY call the police like he should have a hundred pages ago. The only problem with this plan is that the kids have no idea where Phil will be during this whole thing.

Turns out Phil will be barreling down the street towards home just as Jessica is flirting with Mitch to distract him while Bruce is inside untying the Morrows. A commotion ensues and in the end Phil has a gun and nobody else does so I guess he wins. But when he points the gun at Jessica, Mitch freaks out and tries to grab it. Bruce takes the opportunity to rush everyone out of the house and into the Jeep.

Meanwhile, Liz is stalling Claire and Regina while Nicholas is on the phone arguing with the police. Apparently he managed to get the same officer who told Liz nothing was wrong at the Morrow house. The bastard actually puts Nicholas on hold and takes another call, then comes back and tells Nicholas they’re on their way because the other call was from Mr. Morrow. I guess he only believes adults. As soon as he’s off the phone, Nicholas “charges forward” and grabs Regina’s arm. Claire threatens to shoot. Just then the Jeep pulls up with Phil Denson’s car right behind it. Phil and Claire have them all at gunpoint, and just as Phil finishes his Evil Villain Speech, they all hear sirens approaching. Phil, Claire and Mitch are arrested and everyone else is invited to have pizzas at the Morrows and help plan “the biggest, most spectacular party that this neighborhood has ever seen!”

Setup for the next book: Ken Matthews is flunking English. If he does he’ll be kicked off the football team. And yes, this is brought up in the middle of conversations about the Morrows’ kidnapping. It looks like Ken is dating Suzanne Hanlon, some uptight know-it-all PBA member. Liz hopes Suzanne will be able to help Ken with his English.


“Jess is downstairs, calling Eddie Strong on the second line that our parents just had installed,” she added.

Gee, thanks for that extraneous information. I wonder if it will come in handy?

Nope, it sure didn’t.

Nicholas and Elizabeth were special friends.

I guess you could say that…

“It looks like Walter is giving Regina a package.”

Nicholas gasped. “The chip prototype!”

Um, yes. Are you surprised? Don’t you remember this being part of the plan?

The Cover: I’m consistently disappointed in Regina’s covers. She’s nowhere near as pretty as she’s supposed to be. And I don’t really get what’s happening here. “You see this rag? Well, if you don’t want to end up like this rag, you just do what I say.” Totally don’t get it.

Tags: , ,

  • Kate April 14, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    Chloroform! But she never gets knocked out with chloroform in the whole book! She seems to just be trotting around that house.


  • Sadako April 15, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Of course they don’t need adult help. Just like no one in the BSC world ever asked a grown up for help when they were solving mysteries/dealing with anorexia/being accused of cheating/dealing with a dance school phantom. Ask an adult? Why?!


    Anonymous Reply:

    They tried to talk to the police, but they didn’t take them seriously.


  • negab April 16, 2009 at 2:03 am

    I wish i got kidnapped as much as Jess and Liz and her friends did. Then maybe my life would be full of hey we just got rescued parties!!


  • ooops, that was me, megan, not negab April 16, 2009 at 2:03 am



  • nugirl77 May 5, 2009 at 4:49 am

    I agree Shannon: Regina Morrow was beautiful, absolutely stunning, on the cover of #18 Head Over Heels. I think it’s why I bought the book in the first place (OK, I was also curious about Bruce Patman being changed by LOVE!). Then I saw THIS cover – huge disappointment. She’s so Plain Jane. I resent shallow books that don’t present nicely! 🙂


  • Kylie90210 August 3, 2010 at 12:47 am

    This one was pretty good, even though it was sooo unrealistic. Poor poor Regina. I’ll say it again. Like she didn’t have enough against her in life.


  • sarieb September 29, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    The cover tagline “can anyone save regina morrow” is a little unfortunate considering that pesky cocaine incident that killed her. So I guess the answer would yes, until she sniffs some blow.


  • Angela2BPecked May 29, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    Regina looks like Lindsay Sloane from Sabrina the Teenage Witch.


  • Barbara July 29, 2012 at 3:42 am

    This has got to be the worst SVH plot ever.


  • Barbara July 29, 2012 at 6:38 am

    Worst SVH ever! I mean most of the plots require a suspension of disbelief but this was too much.


  • Natasha April 17, 2016 at 8:09 am

    Wait a second…Jess reads? And mysteries? I thought it was Liz who liked mysteries! But good for Jess for figuring out the code whereas her supposedly brainy sister couldn’t figure it out. God I hate generally hate Liz and her double standards.


  • Alex Kennedy February 27, 2017 at 8:45 am

    How often do these people get kidnapped in this series? To think that anyone would ever want them around and to think that people would actually pay to get them back. Like, when the cheerleaders get kidnapped when Jessica squits the quad. Then Liz gets herself kidnapped at one point. I think even Jessica gets kidnapped again when she goes to New York. Imagine Negligent Ned and Absent Alice. “What? Jessica kidnapped? We did not even know that she was missing.” Then they would check out the cookie jar, realise they do not have sufficient funds to get their darling daughter back and realise that they very much prefer to company of Prince Albert to their daughter. After all, he smells better, requires less maintenance, is not a bitch and is better to have around. Jessica W, becomes Jessica Who.


  • ladybria July 25, 2017 at 6:50 am

    there’s a 24 hour super market in sweet valley called Thrift Mart


  • Post a comment

    Threaded commenting powered by interconnect/it code.