By: Hanna Dworkin
Calder and Petra, who live in Hyde Park, are neighbors. One day, while walking to school, they become friends. Later, A Lady Writing (a painting by Vermeer) is stolen while in transit from Washington D.C. to Chicago.
Also, in New York, a kid named Frog was kidnapped.
The person who stole the painting said he/she stole it because some paintings done by Vermeer weren't actually done by him.
Calder and Petra are determined to find her after Petra has a dream about the painting.
Petra finds a book called Lo! by Charles Fort in Powell's bookstore.
The kids look all around for the painting, using blue M&Ms, their neighbor (Mrs. Sharpe), and there crazy 6th grade teacher (Ms. Hussey) to help solve the crime.
Calder works at a used bookstore called Powell's. When making a delivery to Mrs. Sharpe, he saw The Geographer, another one of Vermeer's works. Later, Mrs. Sharpe, Petra, and Calder had tea.
Calder and Petra look all around in places like Mrs. Sharpe's house, the university, the school basement, but they don't become successful until they go to Delia Dell hall.
Many strange coincidences happen with the number 12. There are 12 pentominoes in a set, and Calder and Petra turning 12 on 12/12. Later, Petra and Calder learn that the painting is on the 12th staircase at Delia Dell Hall.
The person who stole the painting, it turns out, was Fred. Fred was Tommy's stepdad. Calder and Tommy were best friends, until Tommy moved to New York. Frog was Tommy's neighbor, and he was found in Washington D.C.
The real reason Fred (real name Xavier Glitts) stole A Lady Writing was because someone offered him $60,000,000 for it.
The letters were all a set up, but Mrs. Sharpe, Ms. Hussey, and Mr. Watch (owner of Powell's bookstore) all received the letters.
Petra Andalee loves to read and write. She wears classes, and has curly black hair in the shape of a triangle. She has a huge family, and her house is often chaotic. Most of the time, Petra's socks won't be matching. Petra will most likely be with Calder Pillay, and her favorite book is Lo! by Charles Fort.
Calder Pillay loves to solve puzzles. He always has pentominoes with him, and he's always solving clues. Calder hates to write, and prefers to look at pictures. His best friend is named Tommy, and you will most likely see him with Petra as well. Calder has black hair, and may come off shy at first.
Mrs. Sharpe is a very old woman. She has high cheek bones, and almost always has her white hair held up in a tight bun. Her late husband, Leland Sharpe, was murdered while investigating Vermeer's work. Mrs. Sharpe greatly enjoys reading books (especially mysteries) and having tea.
Another theme of Chasing Vermeer is to never give up. After Calder and Petra found the wrong painting in the basement, they didn't give up, but they kept looking and looking until they found A Lady Writing.