MATILDA'S MASTERPIECE by Mary Anderson

MATILDA'S MASTERPIECE

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The would-be detective of Matilda Investigates (1973) continues her relentless pursuit of crime and her petulant expression of feminist outrage while Jonathan, her even more single-minded (and less believable) ten-year-old brother, not only cooks and cleans, enthusiastically, for the motherless family, but also launches his own home decorating business. Matilda's latest case falls into her lap on the very day that her father gives her facetious permission to investigate whatever ""high class crime"" she comes across: her class takes a field trip to the Brooklyn Museum and, with the other visitors, they're all held for questioning on the sudden disappearance of a Degas. The solution tumbles by just as fortuitously, for though the frightened old man Matilda trails as a suspect turns out to be only a pathetic refugee without papers, she does come across the real Degas and its thief (selling ostensible fakes) at a neighborhood fair. In the end Matilda not only solves the case for the NYPD art expert, she also arranges for the poor old man to get a permanent visa, has the two men over for a turkey feast she doesn't have to cook, and gets a $5,000 reward to boot. The pace is fast and smooth but the story is just plain silly, and the sentiment scarcely adheres.

Pub Date: March 9th, 1977
Publisher: Atheneum