Under the Egg

What painting is under the egg?


That is the mystery “Theo” Theodora Tenpenny must solve when her grandfather’s dying words are “Look under the egg.” The problem would be easily solved if she had any idea what he was talking about. Under the Egg is a great art, mystery story that reminds me of Chasing Vermeer and the movie Monument Men. Theo’s mom is a bit “off” – not crazy, not slow, but rather extraordinarily gifted, and just not really in the reality of this world. She spends every waking moment in her bedroom trying to solve a mathematical equation for her  15 year old dissertation. That leaves Theo in charge of food, cleaning, fixing and trying to figure out how to stretch out less than $400 so they don’t get kicked out of their house on 18 Spinney Lane.

Once Theo realizes that the mysterious “under the egg” item is really a painting, and might be a masterpiece from Raphael, life gets really complicated.


The School of Athens is a fresco painted by Raphael between 1510 and 1511. It was painted on the wall of the library in the palace at the Vatican. The painting shows many of the philosophers of Ancient Greece including Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, Pythagoras, and Euclid.

Raphael, was one of the Renaissance painters from the early 1500’s, who was commissioned by Pope Julius II to paint some interior rooms in the Vatican. He is considered to be one of the great Italian painters. How could her grandfather have a Raphael in their house? Was it stolen? Was her grandfather really a thief?

Read Under the Egg by Laura Marx Fitzgerald to find out! If you love it, try also reading more art mysteries like Chasing Vermeer or The Calder Game by Blue Balliett.

Happy Reading! Mrs. Hembree

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