Mystery abounds once again in the miniature Thorne Rooms at the Art Institute of Chicago.
Though their first adventure is over (The Sixty-Eight Rooms, 2010), Ruthie and Jack still possess the magical key that can shrink them down to fit into the tiny rooms at the museum. They know they should return it, but it’s difficult to walk away from that kind of power. Suddenly, objects start disappearing from the rooms. There is also a real-life art thief striking the city. Could the two be connected? Having established the magical premise in the first volume, this story jumps right into the action—but one would be hard pressed to say the narrative is action-packed. In this light read that tumbles along pleasantly enough, the pair also visit the World’s Fair in 1937 Paris, meeting a girl who may not escape the horrors of World War II, as well as the antebellum South, where they meet a young enslaved girl. These junkets provide a hint of tension but are quickly, and neatly, resolved, leaving readers poised for the next comfortable outing.
A blend of magic, history and mystery for patient readers who want to catch the crook but don’t necessarily need a good chase. (Fantasy. 8-12)