Mystery,  YA

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces (Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency #5) by Iain Reading


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Published: February 14th 2015

Read Date: March 4th 2018

Genre: Adventure / YA / Mystery

Pages: 238

Stars: 4.5/5

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Goodreads blurb_edited

Kitty Hawk and the Mystery of the Masterpieces is the eagerly anticipated fifth installment of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency book series. This series features the intrepid teenage seaplane pilot and amateur detective Kitty Hawk as she continues in the footsteps of Nancy Drew and Amelia Earhart on her epic flight around the world. 

After meeting up with an old friend in the eternal city of Rome, Kitty Hawk unexpectedly stumbles (almost literally) into a bizarre mystery involving creepy disembodied voices, secret hidden rooms, unbreakable mathematical codes, ominous chain-smoking strangers and an array of plundered artworks by such famous masters as Claude Monet, Camille Pissarro and Vincent van Gogh – all of it wrapped up and entwined in an enigmatic riddle hanging in plain sight right in front of everyone’s noses. 

With the help of friends both old and new, Kitty Hawk follows a trail of cryptic clues that leads her on a breathless tour across a quintessentially European landscape – from ancient Roman Italy to the darkest corners of Germany, Austria and beyond. 

As with the previous books in the series, this new installment is perfect for firing the imaginations of readers of all ages. Filled with fascinating and highly Google-able locations and history, this exhilarating adventure will have armchair explorers and amateur detectives alike anxiously following every twist and turn as they attempt to help Kitty Hawk try and solve the extraordinarily bizarre Mystery of the Masterpieces.


This is fifth and last book of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series. As title suggests and also from blurb, you can figure out that book revolves around mystery of art theft, stolen master pieces by famous Impressionist painters. In this book Kitty meets her friend Charlie who you might recognize from the first book of the series that took place in Yukon. Along with Charlie, Kitty explores streets of Rome, makes new friend who again in this book hires Kitty to solve mystery of some masterpieces that unexpectedly were found in this new friend’s house. One clue to another take her to Vienna, Nuremberg, Dachau, and Salzburg. Explore all this places with delicious food and loads of brain work in decoding cryptic codes given in creepy voices and chase the culprit all most of the Europe with Kitty Hawk in this book.


It’s so good to see Charlie back in this book. I was feeling just like Kitty, it was like meeting an old friend. I so missed his brothers too. If they were in this book it might have turned out unbelievably, extraordinarily, mind-bogglingly wonderful plot. (ok I steal these first 3 words from the book. It’s hard not to talk and act like you’re part of the book when you’re are at the end of the series) Charlie brought back the charm in the book. His story about his first impression and experience in Roam was hilarious. He was more acting in this book than talking, totally opposite of his role in first book. His explain-all-things and telling a story role was taken by Richard here whom Kitty met in previous book of the series. I was really surprised to see him back in this series too. I love this guy at the end. In fact all secondary characters were great. Played their part well, especially Matteo.

Kitty was as usual charming engaging narrator who did most of the smart work in the book. She was good amateur detective cleverly and maturely handling the case in the series that can mark impression in readers mind and heart.

What I liked_edited

I liked the beginning of the book which was different from previous book as author had directly started it with Kitty in Roam meeting Charlie rather than telling about her journey from Ireland to Roam. Her experience in Amsterdam on the way was narrated later in the story along with arts info. All characters felt so realistic in the real places with real information and facts. 

Plot was good and mystery was remarkable and author did it again, abundance of information. I loved the way whole plot was woven with the history of places, the famous places and food, and don’t even ask me about arts and music. I feel like I don’t know nothing. I learned lot about it along with famous artist and composures. I so loved Salzburg and picturesque description of that place. Most thought-provoking moment for both Kitty and readers of the book was their visit to Nuremberg and Dachau.

Author has apologized many time in book about mathematical explanation of decoding but I would like to say that it was so nice and easily described also so so important part of the mystery. If person like me who don’t like much math can enjoy reading those chapters then I’m sure anyone would love to read it.

Till the climax I couldn’t guess what was the main reason behind those radio transmissions for at Matteo’s apartment, how paintings ended up there, who stole those arts and why there was awful cigarette smelling guy on every trail Kitty was going. Author kept me reading the book by placing one clue after another until the conclusion and big revelation in climax with great explanation and info.

End and Epilogue was good but I felt there can be more to the story (i explained below). The extra good- to-know info was great with little extra details and telling what was fact in the story or not.

It’s really sad that good series ends but it will stay in my e-shelf and I would love to go back exploring world with Kitty again.

why not 5 stars_edited

In this book I felt end is taking too long to come. With each chapter from the climax I felt this will be the last but as I read the next chapter I felt it’s good it didn’t end and read the next one with same feeling till it actually ended. Another minor thing, I wanted expected seeing Kitty going back home in Tofino and there to end book with her parents. As I was not seeing that considering this as last book of the series, should I think there will be another book in the series? Well, that only author can tell and if it is so, I would so love to read it.


Overall, it was awesome adventurous mystery with loads of things to know and learn that readers of all age would love to read.


Author: Iain Reading

Iain Reading is passionate about Root Beer, music, and writing. He is Canadian, but currently resides in the Netherlands working for the United Nations.

Iain is the author of the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, The Wizards of Waterfire Series, and the dragon of the month club. To learn more, go to

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*** Note: I received review copy of this book from the author via Kelsey @bookpublicityservices, in exchange for an honest review. I am glad I got chance to read this book. ***

What do you think about the book and my review? Have you read this book already or any books by this author? Have you read something similar to this before? Share your thoughts in comment-box below.

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Hi, I'm Yesha, an Indian book blogger. Avid and eclectic reader who loves to read with a cup of tea. Not born reader but I don't think I’m going to stop reading books in this life. “You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”


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