Chasing Vermeer

Chasing Vermeer

Blue Balliett

Language: English

Pages: 304

ISBN: 0439372976

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This bewitching first novel is a puzzle, wrapped in a mystery, disguised as an adventure, and delivered as a work of art.

When a book of unexplainable occurences brings Petra and Calder together, strange things start to happen: Seemingly unrelated events connect; an eccentric old woman seeks their company; an invaluable Vermeer painting disappears. Before they know it, the two find themselves at the center of an international art scandal, where no one is spared from suspicion. As Petra and Calder are drawn clue by clue into a mysterious labyrinth, they must draw on their powers of intuition, their problem solving skills, and their knowledge of Vermeer. Can they decipher a crime that has stumped even the FBI?

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seemed to be showing off, thumbing his nose at the authorities. Ms. Hussey said nothing to Petra that morning about the note she had pocketed the day before. Maybe she hadn’t even read it, Petra thought with relief. Class began with a discussion about the thief’s latest ad. Ms. Hussey asked, “Why do people assume the thief is just one person? I mean, couldn’t this be a group?” She was absentmindedly twisting her ponytail around and around one thumb. Calder raised his hand. “Don’t the police

explain that we’re making a plan of the building for school.” Calder didn’t sound as confident as he was trying to feel. “Let’s get out paper and pencils so it looks like we’re really working on something,” added Petra. Armed with materials, they crept closer. It was hard to see into the darkened doorway. They paused outside, listening, then peered around the corner. There was no one in sight. They tiptoed down a long corridor that curved to the left and then to the right. Swinging doors

and was used when people celebrated without worries; they were loud with joy. Jubie puffed up with pride. “Loud! With! Joy!” he shouted. People’s names often affect who they become, Dashel explained. “Take your mother’s name,” he said. “The word summer makes thoughts of happiness and perfection pop up in most folks’ minds. You know: fireflies, bugs humming in the trees, barbecue with friends on a day by the lake, lots of sun and gentle blue sky. Just like this gorgeous, promising woman here!”

piece of his set of pentominoes. How about: Art is the truth that tells a lie? Maybe all of life was about rearranging a few simple ideas. Calder, smiling at the chalkboard, now squirmed in his chair with excitement at the thought. If he could just get to those simple ideas, with a little practice, he’d be a cross between Einstein and the mathematician Ramanujan — or maybe Ben Franklin — “Calder?” He was twisted sideways in his chair, his arm resting on his head. His pentominoes had somehow

liked to read when he ate, and he was on page four of a new novel. Book in hand, he answered the door. His spaghetti and meatballs were cold by the time he remembered them. He sat at the table for a long time, looking first at the letter and then out at the moon. Was this a joke? Who would go to the trouble of writing and sending such a letter? It was printed on expensive stationery, the kind you buy if you want to be impressive. Or pretentious. Should he feel flattered? Suspicious? What did

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