Chris's Reviews > The Wright Three

The Wright Three by Blue Balliett
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F 50x66
's review
Nov 10, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: boy-book, mystery, location-local

Summary from Amazon:

Spring semester at the Lab School in Hyde Park finds Petra and Calder drawn into another mystery when unexplainable accidents and ghostly happenings throw a spotlight on Frank Lloyd Wright's Robie House, and it's up to the two junior sleuths to piece together the clues. Stir in the return of Calder's friend Tommy (which creates a tense triangle), H.G. Wells's The Invisible Man, 3-D pentominoes, and the hunt for a coded message left behind by Wright, and the kids become tangled in a dangerous web in which life and art intermingle with death, deception, and surprise.

My Comments:

Loved the fact that the story took place in Chicago and involved one of the most famous architechs of all time - Frank Lloyd Wright and the Roby House. After that it gets silly and confusing. The Roby house is going to be cut into pieces with the pieces being shipped to different museums around the world. Perposterous! The side plot about the kids, "three is a crowd", and their jealousies in dealing with each other is somewhat interesting. This book contains the same characters as in Chasing Vermeer, which I didn't read. The Wright 3 are trying to solve a mystery about Wright and the Roby house, but instead of using detective skills they use pentaminos, dreams and hunches as their clues. There are way too many coincidences. Tommy just happens to find an important talisman of Wright's by digging in the Roby garden house. There are magical elements that are never explained. The house "breathes and shivers, shaking workmen off the roof. There is an Invisible Man plot that never goes anywhere. In the end, Tommy and his mother get to live in the Roby house as curators! That was not believable to me. There is an explanation of pentaminos and an interview with the author. The illustrations are good and contain hidden images of fish.

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