This book series is all the things I loved as a child put together: spies, jokes, and puzzles. I remember when I read the first book, I finished it in a matter of days. Since the last book came out, I’ve read through the entire series at least six times.
The series follows the lives of four really cool, super smart characters named Reynard Muldoon, Sticky Washington, Kate Wetherall, and Constance Contraire. They meet each other while taking a set of curious tests that were advertised in the newspaper. Later on the fascinating Mr. Benedict is introduced and he reveals the purpose of the tests.
My favorite aspect of these books is how Trenton Lee Stewart infuses logic puzzles in his writing and utilizes his robust vocabulary portray humorous situations. Each time I read the books I discovered a new hidden joke! The characters have so many dimensions and you can tell the plot was well thought out because there aren’t any clashes of information. Even though these books might appear childish, the writing level will appeal to everyone, and I’ve truly never come across a book series with such a unique plot. Plus there’s plenty of funny spying that goes on!
The order of the books is as follows:
The Mysterious Benedict Society
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner’s Dilemma
The Extraordinary Education of Nicholas Benedict (This book is technically a prequel, but it was published last. Personally I think it’s more interesting after reading the other books first because you understand more about Mr. Benedict.)
If you want more awesome puzzles just like in the reading books try The Mysterious Benedict Society: Mr. Benedict’s Book of Perplexing Puzzles, Elusive Enigmas, and Curious Conundrums. (I know, impressive name right?)