The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma (The Mysterious Benedict Society, 3)

by Trenton Lee Stewart

Other authorsDiana Sudyka (Illustrator)
Paperback, 2010






Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (2010), Edition: Reprint, 400 pages


When an unexplained blackout engulfs Stonetown, Benedict Society members Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance follow clues on an adventure that threatens to separate them from their families, friends, and even one another.


Original language


Original publication date


Physical description

400 p.; 7.6 inches

User reviews

LibraryThing member elenchus
Provides a clever outline of the original Prisoner's Dilemma, along with a twist on its solution / meaning given the four kids. Again the kids have a mission which necessitates they are separated from their elders, but this time Constance also is separated from the other three, leading to a motif
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in which at various points, they split up. Whether intended as an allegorical exploration of friendship and identity and security, or not, it plays nicely into dynamics typical of the kids' ages. Scenarios involve risk of losing friends, consequences of not supporting one's friends, and how to remain fair while seeking an authentic self.

Again the plot and puzzles emphasise both individual talent and collaboration. Emblematic is that final effort to help rescue Benedict, so in turn he can rescue them: Kate's lasso, Constance's mind reading / messaging, Reynie's plan, Sticky's solution to Curtain's original question "electromagnetic waves". It all seems too tidy written out this way, but on the page it unfolded in a quite satisfying way.
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LibraryThing member corydickason
This is perhaps my favorite in a series I love, because it focuses on the fascinating Constance Contraire. The Benedict Society books are perfect for kids who've run out of things at their age level to read, and need a brain stretcher.
LibraryThing member mdtwilighter
Reynie, Sticky, Kate, and Constance are back for the third and final installment in the Mysterious Benedict Society series. They and their families are living in Mr. Benedict's house, along with Number Two and Rhonda. The Whisperer is in Mr. Benedict's capable hands, but for how long before the
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evil Mr. Curtain tries to steal it back? The children are sent on a whirlwind adventure using all of their incredible skills, including some new ones. How will the battle of the minds end?
This book was so cute and charming. The children are so great to 'hang out' with and read about. Their minds work in such interesting ways and their personalities are so unique. This was just as good as the other two books in the series, and I thought, better than the second. Great for kids of all ages.
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LibraryThing member skier123
The children must embark on a scheme to escape the evil Mr Curtain and his dangerous associates.
LibraryThing member Megabaker
The final in the trilogy, always light, quick, and humorous.
LibraryThing member ashwey
I love this series and this was such a sweet close to it. It reminds me so much of A Series of Unfortunate Events, only less... unfortunate. A cute, light read for kids or adults.
LibraryThing member sweetiegherkin
Four precocious and adventurous children need to stay one step ahead of the evil Mr. Curtain who is perennially after them because of their knowledge of his evil invention known as the Whisperer. I unwittingly picked up the third (and apparently, final) book in the Benedict Society series, but it
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seems that it isn't necessary to read the other two books to understand it, although perhaps doing so would have helped with character development. The book reminds me of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events but not nearly as clever or funny. Still, it was an entertaining read and I think many children would enjoy the humor and adventure, provided that they have the attention span and patience to read a 400-page novel.
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LibraryThing member jlrobinson99
You can tell a kid's book is a winner when you finish reading it aloud to your kids at bedtime, then sneak off and devour a few more chapters by yourself! The adventures of The Mysterious Benedict Society have delighted and engaged my two boys (8 and 5) since we picked up the first volume in July.
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Now we are nearly done the third and I'm sad to see it end.
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LibraryThing member mommablogsalot
This is one of my new favorite series and the latest book definitely did not disappoint. I’m trying to decide if I think this might be the last in the series or if there will be more – either way I enjoyed it a lot.
LibraryThing member Dranea
The Mysterious Benedict Society is no longer a mystery to me. I am quite familiar with all of the members by now, and feel a loss at the end of this series. I have gone through quite a bit with each of them. I loved watching them all grow, mature, and develop.

This book was full of the same
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wonderful plot lines, heroism, mysteries, escapes, wit, humor, and friendship as the previous books. Mr. Curtain still tries to do his best to foil the good intentions of Mr. Benedict. The Society along with Rhonda, Milligan, Number Two, and Mr. Benedict wonder if they can stop him in time.

The ending of this book wraps up all of our unanswered questions without making them seem like a list of answers, the book is great until the final page turn. I look forward to reading the prequel to this series when it comes out, you can be sure I will be one of the first in line!
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LibraryThing member dgoo
I enjoyed this sequel although I felt it was not as good as the first Mysterious Benedict and slow in parts. This is a good novel for adults and kids around ages 5-12 to enjoy together. Mystery and adventure are thrown together with the themes of being loved and valued, being unique, fear of
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abandonment, wanting to fit in and others. Fans of Harry Potter, Lemony Snickett's books, and others like it will probably enjoy the Benedict Society.
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LibraryThing member skstiles612
Homer P. Figg is a story teller, as in fibs. The way he embellishes a story made me think of Tom Sawyer. His story takes place during the Civil War. He and his brother Harold live with their uncle because their mother is dead. He works them hard and feeds them little. Then the worst thing happens.
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He sells Harold to serve in the Union Army in the place of a rich mans son. Homer runs away determined to find and rescue his brother. Along the way he has several adventures. He ends up with a group who have decided to use his story telling abilities to uncover an underground railroad station. Homer is smart enough to use the stories to thwart their plans. For all of the humor found in the story it is tempered with the horrors he witnesses of the war. This was a good book that will have a place on my shelves. A good way to teach students some historical facts.
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LibraryThing member Elentarien
Quite enjoyed this last book. It wrapped things up nicely. No wondering if there might be another book. (Although I suppose there *could* be, I'm not left wondering, at least!) While some of the plot was blatantly obvious to the reader, it was still enjoyable to read.
LibraryThing member soybean-soybean
i liked the series. this last book however, i kept zoning out on.
LibraryThing member sriemann
Finished this in a few days... really enjoyed it. The extra details about Constance really added to the best parts of the other books, and since the best parts were kept (the teamwork, the interesting creativity used to get themselves out of seemingly 'no win' situations, the riddles) - the book
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was wonderful.

One wonders if there will be more, or if this is it.
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LibraryThing member kgriffith
Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance come to life once more in the third installment of the Mysterious Benedict Society series. Del Roy does a fair job of involving the listener through inflection and the occasional chuckle at the antics of the broad cast of characters, though his ability to voice
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individuals falls flat. This fast-paced story describes the children's adventures as they attempt to thwart the evil Ledroptha Curtain. Stewart's quirky, intelligent dialogue allows for the characters' personalities to be determined easily from the start, though Roy's interpretation occasionally missteps and distracts from the narrative. His pacing also leaves something to be desired, as drawn-out phrases and lengthy pauses leave the listener impatient. (Audiobook reviewed for AudioFile Magazine, 2010)
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LibraryThing member learn2laugh
Was glad to see some resolution but felt this one was not on par with the first two. Still quite enjoyable.
LibraryThing member piersanti
The series is definitely getting better as there is less need to explain the characters and more time given to the actual story.
LibraryThing member lkmuir
When an unexplained blackout engulfs Stonetown, Benedict Society members Reynie, Kate, Sticky, and Constance follow clues on an adventure that threatens to separate them from their families, friends, and even one another.
LibraryThing member BraveNewBks
Definitely my favorite of the series, maybe because it was the one that finally stopped telling us so much about the children's particular quirky personalities and just let then be who they are. As such, it seemed a little (but just a little) like a successor to the Lemony Snicket novels, and
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that's as much as I can ask from these books.
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LibraryThing member cindywho
Actually this was a pretty good one for falling asleep to, because I found it a little flat and boring. The world seemed flat. The Disney style Winnie the Pooh voice of the narrator didn't help. Four more or less orphaned yet brilliant children are recruited for a mission to save the world from a
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mind control takeover. The bad guy has an academy on an island along with a mysterious way of transmitting messages over the television. It never quite fits together, nor is everything explained (though I may have been missing a part of a track and missed something because of that) I was happy to jump to the next audiobook I had queued up...
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LibraryThing member tshrope
This seems to be the weakest of the series so far. Although I still enjoyed it, it seems to have lost its fresh originality and there were more action scenes rather than brain teasers that I enjoyed so much in the previous 2 books. And I was getting a little bored with the characters and Constance
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positively annoying and grating. Still in all it was light entertainment to listen to while working on my needlepoint.
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LibraryThing member particle_p
This conclusion was okay and got the job done, but I was disappointed the series ended so soon and with such a wimpy climax. The first two books were superb and set the bar very high. Sadly, this book did not quite make it over.
LibraryThing member ownlittleworld
We begin the tale in prison. Or something like it. Due to the fact that the children and their families are being sought after by the cruel Mr. Curtain, it has been necessary to keep them concealed as much as possible. But they haven't remained idle in the process. Mr. Benedict, their teacher and
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benevolent keeper, has kept them on their toes by testing them with riddles, puzzles, and more importantly, the "Prisoner's Dilemma."

....Two suspects, partner in crime, are arrested by the police. The police have insufficient evidence for a conviction, and, having separated both prisoners, visit each of them to offer the same deal. If one testifies (defects from the other) for the prosecution against the other and the other remains silent (cooperates with the other), the betrayer goes free and the silent accomplice receives the full 10-year sentence. If both remain silent, both prisoners are sentenced to only six months in jail for a minor charge. If each betrays the other, each receives a five-year sentence. Each prisoner must choose to betray the other or to remain silent.....

But in this case, the prison sentence was replaced by dish duty for a house of 13. As usual, the foursome find a way to turn the situation to their benefit. But while mischievous activity is going on under the Benedict household, other sinister events are underway in the city of Stonetown. Determined to get his Whisperer back, Mr. Curtain has devised another evil plot to try, once again, to reign his terror and superiority over the world. But the Society is fast on his heels.

Another hightailed journey with Reynard "Reynie" Muldoon, Kate Wetherall, George "Sticky" Washington, and Constance Contraire: the nerdy fearsome foursome. The thing I love about this series is: it's never dull. There's always an adventure, always a new puzzle to be solved, and a clue to be figured out.

The camaraderie between the 4 friends is endlessly fun. Whether it's Reynie's knack to solve the unsolvable, Kate's penchant to take action, Sticky's unnerving ability to remember everything, or Constance's quirky habit of forming poem's about the most random things - they each contribute something unique to the book and bring out the best in one another.

Your brain will be teased with excitement and tossed with adventure. You'll experience suspense, dread, happiness - all whopped in to 391 pages. But it's more than just an adventure story, it's a tale about friendship and sticking together through thick and thin. Kinda leaves you with a warm, fuzzy feeling.

This book gave the series a sense of closure. Many unanswered plots and threads from the previews books were dutifully answered and did the series justice. Such a satisfying read, although not as good as the first one. A series/book to be enjoyed by everyone!
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LibraryThing member claidheamdanns
Every bit as fun as the first two. I especially liked Del Roy’s reading of these!




(345 ratings; 4.2)
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