Hi everyone, this week’s post is celebrating a trio of reads by author Deron Hicks. The series is called ‘A Lost Art Mystery’ and features the works of some of the masters. Well, friends, if you have heard of this series then I guess it won’t be a surprise, but if you are an art lover and enjoy a good mystery, then why not press the button below to find out more…
The first of this amazing series is titled The Van Gogh Deception. We start this book in Washington DC where we meet a young boy who has forgotten everything about himself. He was found sitting in the National Gallery in front of a Degas sculpture. The mystery of his identity and as to why he was sitting there leads to an adventure story like no other. Filled with detailed facts about the great artists such as Vincent Van Gogh, Claude Monet, and Leonardo da Vinci, the young boy and his new friend Camille must piece together the disjointed clues of his origins to stop one of the greatest art frauds ever attempted in this high-stakes museum mystery.
My review: Wow!! What an amazing first installment this was!! Peppered with interactive QR codes which when scanned revealed the paintings being described, Deron Hicks took me on a fascinating tour of the greatest art around Washington DC. After finishing his previous two middle-grade novels, this story really captured my heart. The story along with the characters felt more like a movie with street chases, bad guys around every corner, and the hilarious dialogue between the kids!! I’m really glad Deron Hicks was recognised for this story as I found out that this title had been nominated for the South Carolina Book Award, Junior Book in 2020.
The second book is called The Rembrandt Conspiracy and we’re hot on the heels of Art and Camille as they chase another mystery. This time featuring the works of Rembrandt. A lot has happened since the first story and the two have a stronger friendship and the parents are more involved in their lives. But something’s brewing at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. Although Art is sure of it, Camille has her doubts. Art’s only proof that a grand heist is about to take place is an iced mocha, forty-two steps, and a mysterious woman who appears like clockwork in the museum. Soon, though, the two find themselves on a harrowing chase through DC as they try to solve the conspiracy and save a billion dollar’s worth of paintings.
My review: This second story is as memorable as Hicks’ first one. We meet Art and Camille again as they find themselves plunged into another mystery involving some kind of art heist but this time in the museum where his father works: the National Portrait Gallery. Filled with his usual QR codes leading to famous art works, this action-packed adventure read will take you across Washington D.C. on the heels of this dynamic duo as they try to thwart some high-tech art thieves!! I really learned quite a bit about Rembrandt in this one and even went as far as checking out the landmarks on Google Earth!!
The last title is called The Crown Heist and this time we’re no longer in the US. Art and Camille are flying across the Atlantic to London to track down Camille’s estranged father. The duo end up following stranger and stranger clues and codes throughout the celebrated city to solve a riddle held in plain sight for centuries and worth a fortune. And it means doing so before the criminals who want to sell history to the highest bidder catch them. In this smart, unputdownable thriller, award-winning Deron Hicks once again readers the world of priceless art fascinating and alluring as he builds suspense masterfully, leaving readers guessing till the very end.
My review: Oh my goodness, this was something else!! Filled with his usual interactive QR codes and action-packed scenes, we’re chasing clues with Ant and Camille across London’s famous historical landmarks, all the while trying to reconnect with Camille’s estranged father. I liked the alternating chapters from the opposing viewpoint of events that her father and the bad guy experiences, it adds an interesting layer of the story. I thought I knew a bit of London’s history but this book gave an illuminating account of those hidden artworks around the Tower of London and captivated my interest. Of course I spent most of my time between searching up locations and the places described while laughing at the antics the kids get up to!! You’re going to have to read it to find out!!
All three of these get 5 ⭐ from me!!
There’s something about Hicks’ writing where you get that immersive feeling, as if you’re there with them. I suppose I have a tendency to imagine myself in places when the writing is this good!! I hope he continues on with his writing and creates more amazing worlds for us to explore capturing great art and the different formats it takes!!
Stay safe and keep reading