The Peril of the Sinister Scientist
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Category: Chapbooks for Tweens
Author: Janet Ann Collins www.janetanncollins.com
eBook ISBN: 9781935137801; 1935137808
Paperback ISBN: 9781935137795; 1935137794

Imaginative Joshua Davidson thinks he might be a clone from the blood on the Shroud of Turin because a scientist who had worked on that experiment twelve years ago is pursuing him. But who is Joshua really? If he learns his true identity, will his life be changed forever?

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Book Excerpt:

Mrs. Frederick's car horn beeped and Mom opened the door. But instead of leaving, she gasped and slammed the door shut.

I almost choked on my cereal. "What's wrong?" I asked.

"I just saw Sindoni drive by in an old brown car. He's grown a mustache but I'm sure it was him. I got a good look at his face but I don't think he saw me."

"Don't worry Mom. You knew he'd get out of jail someday, but that doesn't mean he's coming to get you."

"It isn't me he"s after; it's you. I mean . . . . Oh, Joshua, you'd better not go to school today. No. You can't stay alone. But the boss will get mad if I don't show up and I can't afford to loose my job. Maybe you can stay with Alice."

"I don't need to stay with Kamar's mother like a little kid! Don't sweat it, Mom. Nobody would kidnap me between here and school with so many other kids around. I'll be fine."

"I guess you're right. You'll be safer where there are lots of people. Go on to school, but be careful. Come to the restaurant right away after you get out."

The horn honked again.

"I've got to go. Mrs. Fredericks is waiting. But promise me you'll be careful."

"Sure, Mom. But I don't get it. What does Sindoni want with me?"

"Oh, Josh, I'm sorry now that I never told you, but we were working on the experiment and you were.... I don't have time to explain now. I'll tell you everything after school. Bye."

Mrs. Fredericks blasted her horn for the third time, and Mom ran down the steps, slamming the door behind her.

Just like that! I was part of an experiment. I probably grew in a test tube and she hadn't even told me before. No wonder she would never answer when I asked about my father. When I remembered what Mom had told me about that Sindoni character and his experiments I got mad.

Long ago Mom used to work for Sindoni in an Arizona science lab that belonged to a millionaire. Mr. Money, that's what the people in the lab called the rich guy had gotten some blood from the Shroud of Turin, a thing that had been wrapped around Jesus Christ when they buried him. Sindoni tried to make a clone from the DNA in the blood. Mr. Money and Sindoni got arrested.

Mom left with me, and we kept going till she found a job at Fins, the seafood restaurant where she works now. We've been here ever since.

If Sindoni was after me I must be the clone! My birthday is on Christmas and my Mother"s name is Maria.

"If I'm a clone from the blood on his burial cloth, I must be Jesus Christ," I whispered.

(continued)