chasing_vermeer_cover.jpgChasing Vermeer was written by Blue Balliet. The Wright 3 is the sequel and most of the characters are the same.

This book is about Calder Pillay and Petra Andalee, two friends that live in Chicago, Illinois. Petra and Calder live in the same neighborhood. Tommy Segovia used to live right across the street from Calder and they were best firends. Then, Tommy had to move away.

One day, their teacher, Ms. Hussey, and two other strangers, get a strange, unaddressed letter that tells them that the author of the letter has taken one of Vermeer's famous paintings, A Lady Writing, and will only return when an age-old mistake was corrected. The author said that supposedly certain people had painted works of art and they were claimed to be painted by Vermeer. The author of the letter wanted to correct this and get the paintings to be claimed under the correct artist's names.

The pair do lots of research during the book, on The Lady Writing, and, of course, Vermeer. In the end, Tommy's mother's boyfriend turned out to be the thief. He wrote the letters to the three people at the beginning and all the letters addressed to the city of Chicago that told everyone about the "mistake". He stole the painting for someone who wanted it to sell it for the great amount it was worth. He told everyone via letter that got published in the newspaper that the "mistake" was not corected quickly enough and said he had burned the painting, when he really had hidden it until he could ship it on a train to the person paying him for it. When Calder and Petra went into a museum where the clues they had gathered led them to where the painting was hidden, they found it and planned on taking it to the museum where it belonged and to tell everyone about the hoax. The snag in their plan was that the thief was hanging around outside the museum, guarding the painting. Since the pair had broken into the museum, the thief realized that they had the painting when he heard the alarms go off and saw the kids running from the building with something like a painting covered in a velvet covering.

The thief chases the kids around but soon is caught and sent to prison. All of the clues fall together at the end and the painting is returned safely to the museum.