The follow up to The London Eye Mystery, The Guggenheim Mystery is the story of Ted Sparks (he’s 12 years and 281 days old, with seven friends) and the most unusual theft of a painting. Here author Robin Stevens gives us the lowdown and tells us four things we need to know.
The Guggenheim Mystery is the sequel to Siobhan Dowd’s The London Eye Mystery. Siobhan always wanted to write the sequel – but sadly she passed away very suddenly, before she could begin to work on it. Her Trust asked me if I’d be interested to write it in her stead, and I said YES (very enthusiastically!). Then I realised that I had a real-life mystery on my hands. All I knew about the book, and all Siobhan had left behind her, was that three-word title. From that clue, I had to work out what story Siobhan had been planning to write …
2. Who, and what?
The Guggenheim Mystery’s narrator is Ted Spark. He is a boy who sees the world very differently to the rest of his family – his brain works on a different operating system to everyone else’s, and that makes him an excellent detective. He’s very kind, and very thoughtful, and a brilliant hero.
Ted has to work with his sharp-witted, creative sister Kat, and his confident, practical-joker cousin Salim, to solve the mystery of who stole a painting from the Guggenheim Museum … before his aunt Gloria is put in prison for the crime. Gloria is a bit dramatic and might seem guilty – but she’s absolutely innocent. Ted, Kat and Salim just have to prove it!
As soon as you see the Guggenheim Museum, you understand why Siobhan chose to set her second mystery there. The clue she left me was actually very helpful! It’s absolutely the opposite of the traditional idea of a museum – it’s built on a spiral pattern, a very different museum to suit Ted the different detective. I liked the idea of Ted, who knows and loves London, on holiday in New York. I knew that nothing would be how he expects it to be, and that would upset him. This book is all about Ted facing new challenges and learning to deal with surprises!
The Guggenheim Mystery might seem quite different to my Murder Most Unladylike Mysteries – it’s set in 2007, not the 1930s, and it’s an art heist, not a murder mystery! But it is still a mystery plot, about a group of brilliant young detectives – and that’s what I love to write most in the world! I had to deal with CCTV cameras, mobile phones and the internet (which all make the plot much more complicated!), but mysteries are mysteries, and people are people, no matter what part of history you live in.
I’ve tried to write a book that feels like a mix of my books and Siobhan’s – I think that anyone who loves Murder Most Unladylike or The London Eye Mystery will love The Guggenheim Mystery. I certainly loved writing it!