Rave Reviews Log: Mysteries & Suspense

January 06, 2009


By Elise Broach
Rating: 4 1/4 stars

In this fun mystery, Marvin is a black beetle living with his family in a cupboard in the Pompaday's apartment. On the Pompaday's older son James' birthday, Marvin wishes to give James a gift for he is by far their favorite of the family. But when he crawls up onto James' desk, he finds the pen and ink set James' father had given at a gift. Marvin dips his feet in the ink and is suddenly inspired to draw a picture. Marvin is further inspired the next morning to reveal himself to James. Marvin's family is horrified by his contact with humans, but James becomes Marvin's friend. Marvin's picture, which James has to take credit for, becomes a sensation in the family, and when James' artist father shows it to a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, suddenly James and Marvin are up to the ears in intrigue. The curator thinks James is a good enough artist to produce a fake of a picture by Durer. She has an elaborate plan to have the fake stolen, where hopefully they can trace it to the three other lost Durer drawings. James and Marvin have to scramble to be able to give Marvin the chance to copy the artwork. But when the real Durer and not the fake somehow gets stolen, can a beetle and a boy do anything to find a priceless work of art? Written with a light touch and plenty of suspense, readers will thoroughly enjoy the character of Marvin and his foray into the art world. Good fun! Fans of the film Ratatouille or of Broach's previous book, Shakespeare's Secret, will enjoy this story.


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