The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma

I am a bit sad now that I've finished Trenton Lee Stewart's The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Prisoner's Dilemma. I get the feeling that it may the last Mysterious Benedict Society book. *woe*

I can't even remember how I stumbled on to the very first Mysterious Benedict Society novel but I suspect it was Leila at Bookshelves of Doom who probably wrote about it and caught my attention. I instantly became smitten with the adventures of Reynie, Kate, Sticky and Constance. The puzzles reminded me of being a kid and reading Encyclopedia Brown books but instead of flipping to the bad to find out the answers they were part of the narrative and the story just kept chugging along slendidly. We've followed them through the dangers of the Institute and worked along with them as they tried to save Mr. Benedict who was in the clutches of his evil brother Mr. Curtain.

When The Prisoner's Dilemma starts the children and their families are living with Mr. Benedict and are being protected by government agents. The children aren't allowed to leave the house, except the odd excursion into the backyard. The adults are only allowed out every couple of weeks for Errand Day and they never know in advance when they will be. All the adults work together on the children's education, which being the brilliant children that they are does not consist of typical classroom work. Meanwhile Mr. Benedict is working with the Whisperer to try to cure his narcolepsy and generally save the world. Government agents are getting twitchy and it's suspected that some are working for the dark side Mr. Curtain. Or maybe some of them just want to use the Whisper for their own nefarious schemes ("Frodo, I mean I use the ring for good. I swear."). Can the children stop the evil plans and save everyone, including themselves?

The only slightly disappointing thing I found with The Prisoner's Dilemma is that there were not as many word puzzles. Oh yes, there were still the sticky situations that they got themselves into and had to find their own unique ways out of, but there were not as many clues and hints this time. At least, I didn't think so but maybe it's just been so long since I read the other two books that I think they are more filled with puzzles than they actually are.

I haven't read anywhere that this is the last Mysterious Benedict Society book, I'm just going on my own suspicions. It could easily end here and end well. There's potential for the series to continue but there was a certain finality about the end of this one and I don't think that it will. I can't deny that there's a lot to be said for ending a series at the right time but I won't lie, if this is the last book I'm going to miss reading the adventures of Reynie, Kate, Sticky and Constance.

See also:
The Mysterious Benedict Society
The Mysterious Benedict Society and the Perilous Journey