The Mistaken Masterpiece
Review: Sophie St. Pierre already has her hands full — she's recovering from a broken nose while petsitting a honest-to-goodness movie star's dog — when her parish priest asks her and her friends to authenticate a painting that has been in his family for generations in The Mistaken Masterpiece, the third mystery in this series for tween readers by Michael D. Beil.
Father Julian shows the girls a painting he believes is by modern artist Pommeroy that he wants to sell, the proceeds of which will allow his parents to travel during their retirement. He tells them that the painting was given to his great-grandfather by the artist as payment for some work he had done on his house. Unfortunately, Pommeroy was widely copied and several paintings, possibly based on unfinished work at the time of his death in 1961, were completed by someone else … and therefore of little value. Father Julian needs to have the painting authenticated but is at a loss as to how to proceed, giving the Red Blazer Girls their latest case.
The Mistaken Masterpiece is told from the perspective of Sophie, and is a delight to read. It takes a little long to get to the actual case, what with Sophie breaking her nose swimming in a pool (of all places), and, despite looking like a raccoon with two black eyes, having the opportunity to meet Nate Etan (OMG!), the heartthrob playing the role of James Blancpain, a vampire in the adaptation of a popular teen book, which is filming in New York City. But once Father Julian gets the girls started, it is nonstop action following them as they devise a clever scheme to date the Pommeroy painting and expose someone, who is trying to obtain it for much less than it is worth.
A Lexile measure has not (yet) been assigned for The Mistaken Masterpiece, but the first book in the series, The Ring Of Rocamadour, which is likely to be comparable, has a value of 720L.
Acknowledgment: Random House provided a copy of The Mistaken Masterpiece for this review.
Review Copyright © 2011 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Secret Cellar
Knopf (Hardcover), October 2012
ISBN-13: 9780375867415; ISBN-10: 0375867414
Location(s) referenced in The Mistaken Masterpiece: New York City
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The Mistaken Masterpiece by Michael D. Beil — A Red Blazer Girls Mystery
Publication Date: June 2011
List Price: $16.99