Sunday, August 9, 2015

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces by Iain Reading

Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery
Source: I received a copy to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

This is by far my favorite of all of the Kitty Hawk books. Kitty Hawk finds herself in Rome as she makes her way around the world in her De Havilland Beaver seaplane. She meets up with her friend Charlie and once again finds herself involved in a mystery.  This time she makes some new friends in Rome. While in their house she is admiring some paintings hanging on the wall in their father's house.  She recognizes one of the as being a painting that was stolen from a museum in Amsterdam. Mateo and Vega her new friends call their sister who brings an art expert. She declares that all of them are original pieces of art. One is a Van Gogh, one a Pissaro, and one a Monet.  None of them have any idea where their father could have possibly gotten them.  They call the police and spend a sleepless night waiting for the police to show up the next day.  When they return from dinner the next night Charlie hears a noise. As he proceeds down the hall a portion of the wall springs open and someone runs out, knocking everyone over. None of them knew of the secret room.  One mystery is solved when they hear the voice again and realize it is coming from a radio.  Growing up in the house Mateo often told of hearing a scary voice. Because of his great imagination no one believed him. The room and radio backed up to his bedroom.  That is the least of the mysteries.  This book will take them into multiple places in Germany.  Will they find the answers they are looking for to help Mateo and his sisters learn about their deceased father's part in all of this?  You will need to read this to find out.  I love mystery books and this one involved code breaking. For this, Kitty will call on her friend Richard who we met in the last book Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the RMS Titanic. He will help her break the code.  For me one of the fun things, even though she gives the answer in the book was working the code. I loved it.  There was even a musical code that was related to the people involved. I actually went to my computer and opened a virtual piano to play the codes so that I could hear the songs.  I had so much fun, and learned so much from this book.  That might be why this is one of my students' favorite series on my mystery shelf.  Pick up this series and travel the world and have a mysterious adventure with Kitty Hawk and her friends.  You won't regret it. This is the best mystery series out there that actually teaches history in a fun way.


  1. This series sounds similar to the Blue Balliett books: Chasing Vermeer, The Wright 3, The Calder Game. Not historical, but introduces kids to art and architecture, and they all have different kinds of codes and puzzles in them.

    I love the idea of a kid flying her own plane! The Submarine Outlaw series by Philip Roy has a teen who builds his own submarine and travels around the world in it, and it's a lot of fun.

  2. It is similar to the Blue Balliett Books. I've only read "River Odessey" by Philip Roy. This series has been one of my student's favorite mystery series.