Rosemary Well's When No One Was Looking is a suspenseful story
of a girl's ambition, friendship, and love of tennis, that takes
her to the top. Although she is not beautiful, rich, or good in
school, fourteen year old Kathy Bardy has a natural talent for
tennis. One day, Kathy loses a match against Ruth Gumm that should
have been simple for her. The next day Kathy finds out that Ruth is
dead. Although Julia, Oliver, and Kathy's parents try to comfort
her, Kathy feels guilty for wishing Ruth was dead the other night.
Because of Ruth's death, Kathy has problems concentrating, and she
starts lazing off. Kathy's will, spirit, and love from her friends
takes her to the New England championships.
Kathy loves tennis. She finally finds something that she is
good at, and practically makes her into a celebrity. Kathy is told
by many people, including Marty her tennis instructor, that she has
got what it takes to make it to the top. When Kathy plays against
Ruth, she becomes annoyed because it should have been a simple
match. When she finds out ruth is dead, people accuse Kathy of it,
and kathy even blames herself. Kathy proves she was at the ball
game the night of the murder. She regains her confidence, and works
her way up to the top.
Julia and Kathy have been best friends since they were in
first grade. Because of Julia's wealth, she is different, and is
treated just that way. Kathy would defend her when she used to get
picked on. Since then, Kathy and Julia are inseparable. They have
such a good relationship, that they would do anything to stop the
other from getting hurt.
Ruth Gumm has no special talent when it comes to tennis, she
is just okay at the sport. When Kathy competes with her, she
expects it will be a snap, but she actually loses. Annoyed by the
match, Kathy wishes Ruth was dead. The next day, she finds out Ruth
was drowned in the pool. Some suspect Kathy of the murder, and
because of some clay (that appeared to be from a tennis court)found
on the floor surrounding the pool, investigations are done. It
turns out the clay is molding clay, and Kathy proves she was at the
game. Finally, after hard detective work by Kathy, she discovers
that Julia put extra chlorine in the pool to distort Ruth's vision.
Kathy doesn't tell Julia that she knows, but she sympathizes with
Julia and tries to imagine the guilt Julia must be feeling. After a
while, the murder case is forgotten, but Julia and Kathy's
friendship is not.
The mystery When No One Was Looking is proof that where there
is a will to accomplish something, talent to do it with, and the
help of the ones who love you, you can conquer the world.