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The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma

(The Mysterious Benedict Society #3)

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  34,813 ratings  ·  1,627 reviews

Join the Mysterious Benedict Society as Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance embark on a daring new adventure that threatens to force them apart from their families, friends, and even each other. When an unexplained blackout engulfs Stonetown, the foursome must unravel clues relating to a nefarious new plot, while their search for answers brings them
Audio CD, 11 pages
Published October 27th 2009 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published October 6th 2009)
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Insert Name Here I wold recommend you to read the previous two books before reading this because the entire series is like a big puzzle and a lot of the pieces get rev…moreI wold recommend you to read the previous two books before reading this because the entire series is like a big puzzle and a lot of the pieces get revealed in the previous books. So, if you have not read the other books the plot may/will be very confusing.(less)
Vlada G. Kate's last name is Wetherall, so Milligan must be Mr. Wetherall.…moreKate's last name is Wetherall, so Milligan must be Mr. Wetherall.(less)

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Average rating 4.30  · 
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 ·  34,813 ratings  ·  1,627 reviews

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Start your review of The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #3)
Elisha Condie
Oct 25, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: childrens
I really loved the first book in this series, the second a bit less, and this third one by far the least.
It's got the same characters I loved before, but now they are no longer regular, clever kids - Sticky sits down to memorize the entire library catalog in case they need it, Reynie starts to have some mysterious sixth sense where he can sense something is wrong, and Constance, this one killed me-she's venturing into Obi-Wan Kenobi territory by reading minds and pulling Jedi mind tricks. My
Kate Willis
Once upon a time, I was ordering birthday gifts and this was on sale so I bought it for myself and lived happily ever after. The End.

This book got to travel around with me a bit more than books usually do which probably is a testament to how good it was. XD

I ate up every clever and heart-filled moment of this book. I especially enjoyed moments when the Society was working together and Constance’s backstory. (Seriously, wow. I never expected to get to know it, but when we did, it made soooo much
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
Ohhhh! I had forgotten how bittersweet that last chapter was and how I would always tear up! How wonderful it is that the long awaited fourth book is releasing tomorrow!
Kat Drennan-Scace

The third book in the Mysterious Benedict Society series, is pretty much perfect. We solve all sorts of mysteries like Constance's past and Number Two's real name while trying to stop Mr. Curtain at the same time.

I love how these books are so smartly written. He doesn't write down to children at all. There's so much conflict and a lot of it isn't even Big Bad conflict, it's bureaucracy and government red tape. They're, for lack of a better word, grown-up problems, the kind that make you really
Feb 09, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: youth, sci-fi
A fun, fast read, even for adults. However, I cannot pretend that it is anywhere as good as The Mysterious Benedict Society, or even quite as good as book #2, The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey. The situations are increasingly strained as far as believability, as well as being simply less weighty than the original book's. Certain elements - Mr. Benedict's narcolepsy at inopportune moments, Milligan's ridiculous tendency towards injury, etc - are becoming rather rote at this ...more
I really enjoyed this book in the series, especially since most of it took place in familiar places.
The friendship between the kids is my favorite part of these books. The way they look out for each other and always help out is awesome.
The characters are just so incredibly vivid. S.Q. being one of my favorites. And all the clever names, make the book so much cooler.
The ending of this book was so satisfying. I was surprised to hear there's another book out since it's been so long since this one
Shreya Karnati
Jan 29, 2021 rated it it was ok
Nothing really happened in this book. I have no clue where there is even another book in the series.
I definitely think this is my least favourite of the series, but it's still so nostalgic and so much fun! The character development in this one is top notch, and I'm ahhhhhh 🥺

I do want to note that the treatment of disability (in this whole series, but especially this book) is uh . . . iffy. It's my only real issue with the series, but it's definitely something to be aware of going in.
Mar 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
When Constance finds out that she is adopted, she runs away out of sadness. She can’t control her emotions, and can’t think of anything else to do. All the grownups in the house go out on a search party to find her, leaving Kate, Sticky and Reynie home alone. All seems well until a mysterious vehicle arrives at the house. They soon find out that Mr Curtain is out to capture them. The children attempt to run away. In the process, they find Constance but unfortunately get captured as well. They ge ...more
Dixie Thamrin
Nov 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jan 04, 2010 rated it did not like it
It just keeps getting more and more ridiculous. In a world where grown men electroshock small children, hit them on the head with pipes and threaten to break their legs, NO ONE THINKS TO BRING A GUN. What do they bring to combat electricity shooting masochists? Rubber gloves (that can defy physics and REPEL electricity. Yeah, I know, lame) and their other tool. A boomerang.

It's like a bad episode of MacGyver. "Oh no, MacGyver, there's only 35 seconds on the bomb. What will you do? It's ok, I ju
Hafsa Sabira
Nov 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
As much as I have enjoyed the first two novels in this series, I have felt exactly the opposite for this one. I simply can't recognize the characters I fell in love with. They become different in this book.

Sticky: Memorizes library catalogues.
Reynie: Depelops sixth sense.
Kate: Becomes The Flash.
Constance: Becomes a mind reader.

Even though many unexplained mysteries unfold in this novel, the rest is pretty much boring. The part till Constance's past being revealed was so dragged on that it took
I just... really appreciate these books, okay?

(Also, THANK GOODNESS Milligan is retiring. I appreciate your choice to avoid death.)
Feb 18, 2017 rated it liked it
(Note: If you are planning to read this book and update on Goodreads, the updating format will be a bit strange. It will say that there are only nine pages in the book, meaning that you can only update one Goodreads page when you have really read about forty-three and a half pages in the actual book. This will make more sense once you read the book.)

Actual Review: I liked this book. I felt like the new plot was interesting, with the Stonetown blackout and all. But, I did have some problems, as
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
This was a great ending to the series! I loved the way they finished the book! If anyone likes mystery and/or action I would recommend them reading this book. These books are about a group of four kids, Kate, Reynie, Sticky, and Constance, who all in their own way are very different. Kate carries a bucket full of tools and supplies that uses sometimes, Reynie is very good at noticing small details and solving riddles, Sticky has an almost perfect memory and is very intelligent (he isn't smart in ...more
May 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
It's ooovvvveeeerrr.... :( I will greatly miss these characters. I know, I know, I can just re-read it, but it's never the same is it?

This third installment of the Mysterious Benedict Society's adventures was nearly as good as the first book. I love the characters so much. They need to make a movie, a good movie. Anyways, this book was really great. I especially liked how everything wrapped up at the end. Though some of it was a little too perfect of a happy ending I'm happy that the characters
not me crying over a children's book,, ...more
Nov 16, 2009 rated it liked it
The Prisoner's Dilemma is the third book in the Mysterious Benedict Society series.

For those not in the know, The Mysterious Benedict Society is a children's series by Trenton Lee Stewart. It follows the escapades of four specially gifted children as they work with their mentor, the wise and benevolent Nicholas Benedict, to thwart the plans of his evil twin brother, Ledroptha Curtain.

I think it’s easily the best new series to hit children’s lit since the Ramona books by Beverly Cleary (that’s r
Star Shining Forever
Now THIS is the Mysterious Benedict Society we know and love! No plodding travel, disobedient kids, and scarcity of riddles. Just our favorite characters saving the world the way they do best!

The opener is an enthralling real-life Prisoners Dilemma, with the Society locked in 2 attic rooms. Recapping and hashing through it brings to light that the children are all naturally loyal, possibly with the exception of the still cranky Constance, that Kate's physical prowess can still get them out of ju
May 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
In this supposedly last book of the MBS series, I thought it was very clever how the title was incorporated into the story. Mr. Benedict continues to try and stimulate the superior intellects of his young charges, and is always giving them clever mind games and puzzles to solve. In the opening pages, the four kids are divided into two teams and presented with a "Prisoner's Dilemma"--they are given 3 scenarios with different consequences, and each team must decide not only which scenario they wou ...more
I enjoyed this one so much, as always. Such an amazing book and series! This book has been the perfect ending to the Mysterious Benedict Society trilogy and series for so long, and I love it. It's strange but awesome to know that later this month, it will no longer be the last one.

One of my favorite aspects of the series is seeing the children and their families work as an inseparable team, relying on each other and working together. I love how they choose each other as best friends and surrogat
Oct 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
In their third adventure, the Society (and powerful machine known as the Whisperer) are under heavy guard at Mr. Benedict's house. The government wants the machine, as does the nasty Mr. Curtain, who is not above kidnapping the children to get it. Fearing the worst and frightened by her new mental powers, Constance runs away; it is then that Curtain’s Ten Men strike, and the children are on their own, hoping to save the day.

As with the previous entries in this series, I enjoyed immensely the mi
Rachel T 3
Oct 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
THIS WAS SO GOOD WoWIE! I had to lay in bed for about an hour and stare at a wall because I was so sad it ended.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Four and a half stars, actually.
The wit so prevalent in the first book has diminished and is almost non-existent.
The plot significantly improved from book 2. Even though I never quite figured out what exactly Mr. Curtain was planning (maybe I was just reading too fast for my brain to register the necessary details), it still was good. *spoiler/* I did NOT see the trap baited with clues coming! */spoiler*
Constance is back to her normal self, as is Reynie.
I mentioned that Milligan is amazing.
Dana Schnitzel
May 27, 2021 rated it really liked it
Because the season was busy, this book took me much longer to read than I anticipated, though it was no less enjoyable than its other companions. In this installment, the story begins with all children under the same roof, along with their respective parents, Mr. Benedict, Number Two, and Rhonda--and the notorious machine finally in their possession. Mr. Benedict is even using it to set the world right! But Mr. Curtain and his Ten Men will stop at nothing to recapture his creation and hold the c ...more
Mar 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I know this book may not objectively deserve five stars, but I just *clenches fist* love this series so much. It feels like home.
Oct 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun conclusion to this wonderful series.
Megan Miller
Sep 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I perhaps spent a good bit more time reading this today than I ought to have. There are dishes to be washed and meals to be cooked, after all!

But alas, remembering grown-up things while reading Mysterious Benedict Society is harder than it seems.

These are good adventures. I will read them to my children someday and we will talk of the mishaps and mayhem. We will make friends anew with the golden characters and learn the bittersweet feeling of happy endings and moving on.
Jul 23, 2012 rated it it was ok
I was sadly disappointed by this book. In book one and two all of the characters grow and mature in someway or another. However, in this final installment I felt that there was very little maturing at all. I loved Constance in the other books, her actions seemed appropriate for her age and she even grew up quite a bit. However, in this final book she's four years old and she acts like she is once again a two year old. It would have been fine if he had left her age at three-I can fathom a three y ...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
For The Children? 6 16 Feb 14, 2016 12:35PM  
Climax 5 6 Dec 20, 2015 06:21PM  
external conflict 11 4 Dec 20, 2015 06:15PM  
Constance's internal conflict 5 11 Dec 09, 2015 08:25AM  
Dialogue in the book 27 9 Dec 03, 2015 08:40AM  

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Trenton Lee Stewart is the author of the award-winning, bestselling Mysterious Benedict Society series for young readers; The Secret Keepers, also for young readers; and the adult novel Flood Summer. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Letters to the author may be sent to:

Trenton Lee Stewart
PO Box 251358
Little Rock, AR 72205

Other books in the series

The Mysterious Benedict Society (4 books)
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #1)
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #2)
  • The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Riddle of Ages (The Mysterious Benedict Society, #4)

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“Now listen, we need to be quiet as mice. No, quieter than that. As quiet as . . . as . . .”
“Dead mice?” Reynie suggested.
“Perfect,” said Kate with an approving nod. “As quiet as dead mice.”
“You've read half the books in this house? This whole house?"
"Well, approximately half." Sticky said. "To be more accurate, I suppose I've read more like" - his eyes went up as he calculated - "three sevenths? Yes, three sevenths."
"Only three sevenths?" said Kate, pretending to look disappointed. "And here I was prepared to be impressed.”
More quotes…