In this standalone companion to The Van Gogh Deception, Art and Camille team up once again to solve a large museum theft, using one of the biggest heists in history to help them solve the case.
Something’s brewing at the National Portrait Gallery Museum in Washington, D.C. twelve-year-old Art is sure of it. But his only proof that a grand heist is about to take place is iced mocha, forty-two steps, and a mysterious woman who appears like clockwork in the museum.
When Art convinces his best friend, Camille, that the heist is real, the two begin a chase through D.C. to uncover a villainous scheme that could be the biggest heist since the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum theft in 1990. With a billion dollars’ worth of paintings on the line, the clock is ticking for Art and Camille to solve the conspiracy.
Three months after they stopped what would’ve been the greatest art fraud of all time, Art and Camille are once again on the trail of another mystery involving famous paintings for a new exhibit that Art’s dad is partly in charge of. They believe that the paintings are going to be stolen, thanks to a mysterious woman that takes the same walk throughout the museum at the same time every day. And Art believes it’s in connection to an art theft that happened almost exactly 30 years previous, and the same famous artists are being targeted.
This book isn’t quite as action packed as its predecessor, but it’s still good. It has more of a lowkey spy feel to it, and the stakes don’t seem to be as high (at least, no one is out to kill Art and Camille this time). There’s some good twists to the mystery that were well played. However, this time there weren’t many chapters with the other side of what was happening (aka: the thieves) which was something I enjoyed in the previous book. Though I suppose it does add more to the mystery of it all.
What’s cute in this story is you see how close Art and Camille have gotten since Art and his dad settled in D.C. They both look out for each other and even when they risk getting into trouble, decide to help the other because of their friendship. After all, once you escape a bunch of bad guys trying to kill you once, you’re bonded for life.
Overall, I did enjoy this book, though I wasn’t as wrapped up in the mystery like the previous one. The reason for that was the fact that we know who Art is this time and he does too. The amnesia in the first novel was definitely the hook of that story. Still, this was a great follow up and I can’t wait to see what mystery Art and Camille unravel next!
Rating: 4/5 stars