Without giving anything away, Petra and Calder are two students at a school on a university campus. Their teacher is very in to letting them explore their own interests and designing their own learning experiences. When a famous Vermeer painting not only goes missing, but is in danger, Petra and Calder dive into the mystery with enthusiasm and a little bit of adventure.
I think that this book will appear to a lot of different types of readers. The mystery crowd, obviously, will be shoe-ins for enjoying this title. Calder's math and logic focused perspective could draw in readers who would normally rather solve a sudoku puzzle than pick up a book. Additionally, it is a rare book that can equally capture the interests of the mathletes and artists amongst middle school readers - but the art history elements of this story definitely appealed to me and made me want to go out and learn a little more about Vermeer.
Excellent job all around, Balliett. I'm looking forward to reading The Wright Three next.