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The Mystery of the Third Lucretia (Kari + Lucas Mysteries, #1)
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The Mystery of the Third Lucretia (Kari + Lucas Mysteries #1)

3.74 of 5 stars 3.74  ·  rating details  ·  609 ratings  ·  105 reviews
If it hadn't been for Lucas's photographic memory, they might not have remembered the man. It had been almost a year since she and Kari had noticed him copying the famous Rembrandt painting in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts. But now in the National Gallery in London, they're sure it's the same guy, copying another Rembrandt. What is going on?

The International Herald Tri...more
Hardcover, 278 pages
Published April 17th 2008 by Viking Juvenile (first published January 1st 2008)
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Gilda Joyce by Jennifer AllisonGilda Joyce by Jennifer AllisonGilda Joyce by Jennifer AllisonGilda Joyce by Jennifer AllisonThe Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt
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Community Reviews

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Emmet O'Neal Library- Children's Department
This is a really great mystery about two inquisitive, smart girls that travel the world and solve a mystery along the way. Gotta love a mystery that includes traveling to places like London and Amsterdam. The first book in Kari + Lucas Mystery Series. Great for fans of Nancy Drew!
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
This is a really great mystery about two inquisitive, smart girls that travel the world and solve a mystery along the way. Gotta love a mystery that includes travel to places like London and Amsterdam. First in a series. Great for middle schoolers!
Carl Brookins
A really thoughtful and intelligent book for young teens, mid teens and adults, if you like following bright sassy kids on their adventures. I do and I learn something when i read Runholt's stuff. You will too.
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Sasha Hernandez
I enjoyed reading this book. I had a lot of questions while i was reading it, but my questions were answered through the book. I think you will really enjoy it.
The Mystery of the Third Lucretia
Susan Runholt
Puffin Books/Penguin Young Readers
345 Hudson St; New York, NY 10014
978-0-670-06252-2, $6.99, 2008

This book is about two 14 year old girls who are best friends, Kari Sundgren and Lucas Stickney. It starts off with the girls at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts Museum and they first notice a man with an easel painting a Rembrandt painting. Kari being the curious one leans in for a closer look and the man shouts go away. His action...more
Have you ever been to an art museum and seen aspiring artists trying to copy their favorite paintings? That’s exactly what best friends Kari and Lucas (she’s a girl, yes) witness on their trip to the Minneapolis Institute of Arts except this guy is really good at it. He’s suspicious too, shooing people away from his secluded spot in the corner where he paints. A year later when the girls visit an art museum in London, the same mysterious man is working on the same painting … but while wearing a...more
Robert Kent
Do you like a good mystery, Esteemed Reader? A hint of danger and some heart-pounding adventure? Unless you have some sort of special heart condition or a neurological disorder, I’ll assume that you do. And therefore you are going to love Susan Runholt’s Kari + Lucas Mysteries. The ninja loves them and is looking forward to future additions.

So we’re going to change things up a little bit this week. Instead of reviewing one book, I’m going to review two books in one post. Why? Well, I don’t revie...more
Linda B
What happens when 14 year old girlfriends, Kari and Lucas, show a little too much curiosity around a mysterious artist in a Minneapolis art museum? What happens is an international mystery and intrigue happening around them. Kari and Lucas are delightful characters who are fun, smart, talented and curious. Their adventures take them overseas when Kari’s mother takes a job that allows them to travel with her.

The dialog is spot-on for the age of the characters, and I could almost hear their voice...more
Sue Leatherman
International intrigue, disguises, art museums, and a red light district, what do all of these have in common? They are all part of the mystery adventure for two 14-year-old girls, Kari Sundgen and Lucas Stickney.

Kari and Lucas are best friends who are drawn together by their love of art. One afternoon, they are strolling through the Minneapolis Institute of Art when they notice a young man standing by an easel in the Rembrandt Room painting a copy of one of Rembrant's Lucretia paintings. Kari l...more
I've been a voracious reader since I was a little girl. I never leave the house without a book & it's a great big crisis if I finish my book before I have to do something like ride BART. I like a lot of the same kinds of books now that I did when I was kid - fantasy, fairy tales, & mysteries.

One of the hardest things when I was growing up was finding books with strong heroines. I can count the number of books that fit that bill for me on one hand: Harriet the Spy, From the Mixed-up Files...more
Kari and Lucas are best friends and aspiring artists. An incident with a nasty art gallery visitor working on a painting in the Minneapolis Institute of Arts would have been forgotten if not for Lucas’ photographic memory. While travelling in London the girls witness a similar encounter, but the man looks different. The girls determine that Gallery Guy is disguising himself to work in different galleries, but they do not know why. They find their answer when a long-lost Rembrandt painting is dis...more
This is a nifty book. It's smart, funny, fierce, and has great characters and locations. The narrator's voice is very current in tone without being elaborately hip (a dead giveaway of a grown-up author who's trying too hard or who's selling her audience short). I would heartily recommend it for any teen interested in art, travel, books about friendship, or even intrigue.

However, although there was nothing wrong with the book, it didn't hold my interest as an adult reader. I don't think this mean...more
"This is the story of how two teenagers from Minnesota lived a tale of adventure involving a woman from ancient Rome, a seventeenth-century painter, forgery and murder, abduction and rescue, disguises and deductions, two continents, three museums, four countries, a criminal hideaway, and two nuns from Amsterdam's famous Quarter."
-The Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt

I was intrigued by this book from the start. Books with museums, child detectives, art fraud and adventures have alway...more
Jennifer Wardrip
Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for

Kari's mother works for a magazine that sends her to Europe at least once a year to write stories. Usually, they manage to bring along Kari's best friend, Lucas. Together the girls sometimes play tourist while Kari's mother works. Occasionally, they help her with her articles.

One trip to London proves to become a very different sort of trip than any of them imagined. While at the National Gallery, Kari and Lucas see an artist working near a Rembran...more
I read this quarter 3:
It was a very very good book. It had every thing you would want: likable charictors, mystery, and a horrible bad guy. It was so good. It got me addicted on the first chapter.

Kari and Lucas are BFF and go on lots of trips together. This is because Kari's mom is a writer for the news paper and goes all over. Lucas's parents are mean rich slobs. (Lucas is a girl) Lucas has a photo graphic memory, so when they see a guy at two different museums a year apart she recognizes him....more
Bev Hankins
I got onto The Mystery of the Third Lucretia by Susan Runholt courtesy of the Follow That Blurb Reading Challenge. This is a middle grade mystery which stars two fourteen year old girls who are best friends and interested in art. Kari Sundgren has a mom who writes for a magazine which sends her on assignments to other countries. Lucas Stickney comes from a wealthy family who doesn't mind if she flits off on these journeys with Kari and her mom. The mystery begins when the girls are at the Minnea...more
This book was alright...there's nothing spectacular about it. The mystery is fun but becomes a bit cumbersome after no thrilling developments occur during the second half of the book. The word "meep" also started to really grate on my nerves. Every time one of the characters said this I wanted to throw them out a ten-story high window. Honestly, I think I prefer actual expletives to substitutes that are reminiscent of the Road Runner. But I digress. The end did get slightly exciting, but I was h...more
3 1/2 stars. Enjoyable mystery that was fun and informative about art and the world without being too preachy. My main quibble was that it was written like it could be okay for younger children (the cover also looks young), but the content often skewed more towards 7-9th graders, as the author touches on rape a couple of times in a frank manner and the two characters at one point dress up as prostitutes in the Red Light district in Amsterdam (though they don't specifically say that is what they...more
Kari and Lucas realize something fishy is going on when they see the same man wearing a disguise, painting Rembrandts in two different galleries half way around the world. They decide to go undercover and investigate themselves as no adult would take two American teenagers seriously.

I love the concept of this book. It was like a modern-day Nancy Drew mystery except with travel and art. I loved the characters, they were well developed and Runholt depicted a teenage girl so perfectly, nuances, te...more
Jan 28, 2009 Kat rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: YA mystery fans
I picked this book up when I was working at the children's library. The cover art looked very appealing, and the premise promising. It sucked me in after a few pages, and I found myself not wanting it to end.

The two heroines make a formidable team as they try to uncover the mystery surrounding a strange disguised man who they run into at no less than two art museums spanning two continents.

Part teen lit, part mystery, this book was an engaging read. Even though it's classified as children's/YA f...more
Best friends Lucas and Kari are touring the Minneapolis Institute of Arts when they spy a strange man copying one of the Rembrandt paintings, marked by his strong accent as he tells a boy to "Go aw-aay!" The girls almost forget about him, until, on a trip to London with Kari's journalist mother, they see an oddly similar man painting at the National Gallery. Is there a connection between the two galleries? And is Gallery Guy up to no good? Only these teen detectives can solve the mystery!

This is...more
Kari and her best friend, Lucas, think they're on to something. At home in Minneapolis, they encounter a rude, gruff man in the art museum. He's copying a Rembrandt painting and sneers "Go away" when anyone gets too close to his liking. Imagine their surprise when a while later they see the same man in a London museum--but this time in disguise. Kari and Lucas don't exactly know what's going on, but they know something is. And they're determined to get to the bottom of it.

I really, really liked...more
The Mystery of the Third Lucretia is a somewhat contrived but fun art mystery sleuthed (is that a word?) by two teenage girls who happen to: (a) be amazing artists; (b) stumble upon unbelievable opportunities to do a ton of international traveling; and (c) encounter art criminals everywhere they go. Like I said: somewhat contrived, but fun.

The friendship between the two girls reminded me a little bit of the friendship between the two girl detectives in an older book, The Ghost in the Third Row...more
IndyPL Kids Book Blog
In The Mystery of the Third Lucretia, Kari and Lucas use disguises during their surveillance so that their suspect will (hopefully) not notice them lurking around.

The girls are in London with Kari’s mom, a teen magazine journalist. They have tagged along to do some sightseeing but also stumble across an international art forgery mystery. I liked their story because they do a lot of legwork and piecing together clues - more like what I would expect a real detective to do. There are no fancy lab t...more
I really need to stop reading mediocre mysteries because I have to see what happens even if I don't really like the characters or the writing. This one wasn't too bad, but I felt like there was way too much tell and not enough show. While I'm usually happy to suspend disbelief, I couldn't get over how perfectly arranged everything seemed with the girls and their families and how it allowed them to do certain things, and I really didn't get the out-of-the-blue summaries of romantic interests off-...more
Gwen the Librarian
Kari is shocked by a rude comment made by a man painting at an easel in her local art museum. When she goes to a London museum, she sees the same man, but in disguise, painting there too. He’s trying hard to hide what it is he’s painting and that combined with the disguise makes Kari suspicious. What is he painting? Could he be forging one of Rembrandt’s paintings? Kari and her friend Lucas decide to solve the mystery and it takes them from Minneapolis to London to Paris and Amsterdam. While the...more
Fun teen mystery. Kari and Lucas (girls) are best friends in Minnesota. They see a man copying a Rembrandt at the art Museum in MN. Later they see the same man in disguise copying a Rembrandt in at the London Art Gallery. They start their own detecting trying to view what he is drawing. Finally when a previously unknown Rembrandt is going to be unveiled in Amsterdam they persuade Kari's magazine writer mom they must go to see it. Great description of the art museums and the countries they visit....more
Overall a clean, wholesome mystery, but I didn't care for this one. I seem to be in the minority, but I felt that the narrative and interest level seriously fades after the exposition. The two protagonists are very smart and capable, however the only mystery that seems to arise is after they make seemingly snap judgments (i.e. a gruff man MUST be a bad guy and beautiful widows of ugly men MUST be murderers)and are then proven correct. There are no surprises, except for the fact that a build up t...more
I wanted to like this book, I really did. However, it was just okay. I liked Kari and Lucas, but the writing frequently took me out of the story. Runholt tends to explain what is about to happen, then it actually happens. I'd much prefer for the action to just happen without any preview or warning.

I love YA/MG mysteries and highly recommend The Red Blazer Girls series by Michael D. Beil. The characters are great, the mysteries are layered and intriguing and they are well written. I may read the...more
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