The Living Portrait (Judy Bolton #18)

By Margaret Sutton

Another enjoyable Judy Bolton! There are some great scenes between Judy and Peter. And Judy’s brother, Horace, was showcased a bit too. Some of Roberta’s behavior was frustrating but it was all accounted for later. It is a very clever little mystery with lots of clues for young readers to follow and solve even ahead of Judy, which can be a treat for mystery fans. In fact, Judy behaves a little out of character in this one. For an adult reader, she is very slow to catch on to the fact that the portrait was switched out with a copy and slow to get out of bed to investigate an intruder. To Margaret Sutton’s credit, though, she has Judy own her mistakes and makes a point of Judy being embarrassed at herself. She also tears off following Peter to a trap he has set for a dangerous criminal and almost gets her and Monica, an innocent bystander, shot. But once again, Judy owns her thoughtlessness. This is what is so great about Judy Bolton. She is not always level-headed, competent, and wise. In this one we even have a little temper tantrum and a hint of sulking. As a reader, you sometimes want to yell at her, but the weaknesses and faults are usually acknowledged and dealt with.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

July 20, 2020

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