Title: Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #5)
Author: Iain Reading
2015 – YA – Mystery
Source: Book Publicity Services
The Premise: Kitty’s journey around the world brings her to Rome, where she explores the ruins, devours great meals, and makes new friends. While at the home of those new friends, Kitty recognizes a painting on the wall as a long-lost masterpiece, sparking an investigation into a decades-old ring of art dealers.
The Opening Line: It was the creepiest thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life.
Thoughts: This series continues to delight me. This time around, Kitty’s in Rome. The adventure starts almost immediately as she stumbles onto a secret that could upturn the art world. Of course, the villainous group of art dealers that stretches back to World War II doesn’t want any kind of uproar, so from the very beginning there is conflict as both groups (art dealers, Kitty and friends) strive against each other. The art dealers want to be left alone to continue their collecting, while Kitty and friends want to solve the mystery and figure out how a trusted father fits into the whole thing.
One thing I noticed is that there was much less emphasis on her flight in this book, which I’m okay with. I love Kitty as fictional tour guide, so she can continue to hang out in Europe as long as she likes! These are the portions of the books that I love, the sections where she’s learning about the city and I get to glean facts as she discovers off-the-wall history and more. For instance, I had never heard of numbers stations, with which groups broadcast bits of code over the radio to pass along messages. Even today, they’re alive and well and still mysterious. Isn’t that fascinating?
I hope Kitty has more adventures in store, but even if I never get the pleasure of reading another Kitty Hawk book, I am better for the experience and opportunity to read the first five. These are great mysteries with a heavy dose of culture and friendship and a wide age appeal.