Beth's Reviews > The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma

The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma by Trenton Lee Stewart
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's review
Nov 16, 2009

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Read in December, 2009

Here’s the third (and, it seems, last) installment of The Mysterious Benedict Society series! I can’t say I liked it as much as the first, but I liked it better than the second.

Good stuff: we learn more about Constance’s character and talents, Kate shines in the action scenes, loose ends are tied up and happy endings abound.

Stuff I wished there was more of: puzzle-solving (in general) and Sticky (I felt like he was totally just along for the ride, hardly given a moment to shine besides just a couple of instances that lasted a paragraph apiece).

Stuff that could have been condensed: probably more of those action scenes. The climax lasted a fourth of the book at least. (You know I’m not much for action scenes, though.)

I also thought it was a little strange that the book was about “the Prisoner’s Dilemma,” which is mentioned in the first chapter as an exercise for the children. Then, when they are in prison during the climax of the book (oops — small spoiler), there’s not much time in the midst of all the action to mull over any “dilemmas.” Did I miss something? Or am I expecting too much, wanting the book to come full-circle?

At any rate, this is a fine series — even if it did run out of steam a bit toward the end for me.

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