Review: Pieces and Players by Blue Balliett

pieces and players by blue balliett

From the NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author of CHASING VERMEER, THE WRIGHT 3, and HOLD FAST

THE PIECES
Thirteen extremely valuable pieces of art have been stolen from one of the most secretive museums in the world. A Vermeer has vanished. A Degas has disappeared. And nobody has any idea where they and the other eleven artworks might be . . . or who might have stolen them.

THE PLAYERS
Calder, Petra, and Tommy are no strangers to heists and puzzles. Now they’ve been matched with two new sleuths — Zoomy, a very thin boy with very thick glasses, and Early, a girl who treasures words . . . and has a word or two to say about the missing treasure.

The kids have been drawn in by the very mysterious Mrs. Sharpe, who may be playing her own kind of game with the clues. And it’s not just Mrs. Sharpe who’s acting suspiciously — there’s a ghost who mingles with the guards in the museum, a cat who acts like a spy, and bystanders in black jackets who keep popping up.

With pieces and players, you have all the ingredients for a fantastic mystery from the amazing Blue Balliett.

Description taken from Goodreads.


The first two books in this series would’ve been enough to make me read all of Blue Balliett’s mysteries… forever. They were that good. I never thought that I would enjoy reading an art mystery, but Blue Balliett managed to make it all interesting. The third book was okay, nothing spectacular and actually quite similar in terms of plot to the first two books.

Everyone, this is that scorned “art mystery” that I had thought the first two books would be.

Plot-wise, things aren’t all that bad. I actually enjoyed seeing things progress, and I loved all of the characters together. The pacing and the narration were what really threw me off. There were way too many repetitive themes and for a while, things were just going in circles. I thought that the characters were realistic and funny in the previous books of the series, but in this one they were one-dimensional and none of them grew at all.

Fans of this series may want to read the book just for the sake of finishing it, and I would probably encourage them to, only because some people may not find the writing style as much of a drag as I did. However, I would only recommend reading this one for the really enthusiastic fans of Balliett. For everyone else, the first two books in this series are amazing, especially for mystery fans. 2 stars.

pg count for the hardback: 320

Series: Chasing Vermeer #4

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