Friday Barnes #11: Last Chance – R.A. Spratt

‘Do you know anything about the Mona Lisa?’

Fun fact Friday knows the Mona Lisa was stolen in 1911 and recovered two years later. Uncle Bernie tells Friday something she didn’t already know; new evidence suggests it’s possible the painting that was returned to the Louvre all of those years ago was a forgery. Off to Paris we go!

‘Since when did Interpol start recruiting teenagers?’ he asked snidely.

‘Since adult behaviour became so ridiculous,’ suggested Friday, looking from him to her colleague restrained on the ground.

Friday Barnes, my favourite girl detective, is a clumsy, socially awkward genius with a best friend who’d rather be sleeping. Melanie’s sleep to page ratio was smaller than usual in this book. Between the allure of free pizza and their time spent undercover as art students, maybe Melanie simply didn’t have time to reach her usual quota of shut-eye.

Oh, and Ian’s in Paris, too. He’s starting to irritate me but Friday still enjoys his company and his kisses. Meanwhile, I haven’t caught up with Friday being old enough to have a boyfriend.

‘I guess if you can find radiation romantic, then there is hope for you after all.’

I miss seeing her solving all manner of mysteries for the students and staff of Highcrest Academy but our Friday is growing up. Although she’s a teenager now, she’s still the Friday I’ve loved since I was introduced to her eleven books ago, “fluent in science nerd” but directionally challenged.

Each time I catch up with Friday, there are a bunch of smaller mysteries to solve as we figure out the primary one. It doesn’t seem that long ago that I feared I’d investigated alongside Friday for the final time. I love that I’ll be able to spend more time with her soon. I only wish this series existed when I was a kid.

I’m most looking forward to receiving my invitation to Binky and Ingrid’s wedding.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Once Upon a Blurb

Crime is afoot in the city of love!

Someone stole the Mona Lisa. Okay, it was over a hundred years ago, but a recently uncovered letter reveals that the thief forged a copy. That means that the painting in the Louvre now is a fake. And the real Mona Lisa could be anywhere! 

Friday Barnes needs to find the truth – and the real painting. She’s going undercover as an art student, along with her partner-in-crime-solving, Melanie, and her staggeringly good-looking boyfrenemy, Ian. 

As they watch the comings and goings of France’s most famous art gallery, they see some very strange things. Amid digital pickpockets, guerrilla graffiti and projectile perfume, Friday soon discovers that the Paris art scene is a hotbed of crime.

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