The Case of the Haunted Health Club by Carol Farley, 1991.
This is the third and last book in the Flee Jay and Clarice Mysteries.
The story begins with Flee Jay talking about how she fell in love with mystery stories when she was younger after she found a mystery for adults that had accidentally been shelved in the children’s section of the library. Although the book was about a murder where the body was hidden inside a snow man and really too scary for a girl her age, she was captivated by it, wondering what was going to happen next. It was a shame that the librarian caught her reading it, so she never got to find out how it ended. But, it does inspire her to find part of the solution to this mystery, a part that stumps even Clarice.
The mystery that confronts Flee Jay and Clarice this time concerns a fortune teller and her nephew. The fortune teller used to live in their town, and the girls’ parents even went to her to have their fortunes told when they were teenagers. Now, she’s returned along with her nephew in order to revive the health club that her late husband owned when they were living in this town. When the girls go by the health club to take a look at it, they find the fortune teller unconscious on the floor. She says that there must have been something in the tea she was drinking and that “the spirits” have been trying to convince her not to get involved with the health club.
Flee Jay thinks this is spooky, but Clarice doesn’t believe in spirits. In order to investigate further, the two girls accept part time jobs helping the fortune teller and her nephew to clean up the building so they can move in new exercise equipment. “The spirits” continue sending warnings in the form of red dye in the Jacuzzi and threatening messages. Clever Clarice uses logic to point out how most of these things were accomplished but is surprised when Flee Jay reveals something that she overlooked.
Although I like the first two books in the series better, the ending of this one makes it worth reading. Clarice may be the genius, but Flee Jay is a girl detective after all!