The Medusa Plot
|Preceded by||Vespers Rising|
|Followed by||A King's Ransom|
The Medusa Plot is the first book in the Cahills vs. Vespers series. The book was written by Gordan Korman and released on August 30, 2011. The story picks up two years after the original series The 39 Clues and is about the Cahills' attempt to save members of their family that have been kidnapped by following the instructions given by Vesper One.
The code that appears between pages 39 and 61 reads "The mother was murdered."
The book starts out with the kidnappings of Fiske Cahill, Reagan Holt, Natalie Kabra, Nellie Gomez, Alistair Oh, Ted Starling, and Phoenix Wizard. Then jumping back to Dan and Amy waiting for the school bus. Once on the bus, the bus driver tells the kids to get off as a truck in front has blocked the path. Afterwards armed men try to kidnap Dan and Amy but fail and run away when Dan covers them with oil and threatens to burn them.
Once home William McIntyre informs Dan and Amy of the kidnappings that have happened. Then the two receive a phone that demands that they go to Florence, Italy by the next day or one of the kidnapped will die. The text is sent by an unknown Vesper One. At this time McIntyre talks about the Vesper Council of Six and how they wish to complete Damien Vesper's Dream. He also tells Amy to address the Cahill family to prevent panic. Amy asks Ian Kabra and Sinead Starling to stay at the comm center in Grace's house and keep Amy and Dan posted while they are in Florence.
Once in Florence, Dan and Amy receive another text telling them to steal the painting "Medusa" by Caravaggio located in the Uffizi. With the help of Hamilton Holt and Jonah Wizard, the group succeeds in stealing the painting and giving it to the Vespers. However the Vespers say that it is a fake, shoot Nellie (though not fatal) and demand that the real painting is found in 96 hours (4 days) or else there will be the death of one hostage. With this in mind the group begins to go through papers in which Hamilton finds out that the Uffizi was once cleared out and the "Medusa" left the building during that time. With this information the group deduces that the painting is likely to be with Gregor Tobin.
Amy sends a text to Tobin with photos of an Egyptian statue, saying that they would like to hear Tobin's opinion on it. Tobin agrees, granting Dan and Amy access into his house. Inside they find the real "Medusa" and manage to steal it. Once safely away from Tobin, Amy sees that her phone has 20% battery left. She tells Ian and Sinead (back at Grace's house) about the problem asking them to get a new charger. Ian goes looking at a local shop and meets Amy's boyfriend Evan, identifies it as a DeOssie phone and that only very few people (among the military) have access to purchase it. With this info, Ian convinces Evan to come help the Cahills back at Grace's house citing the reason as "Amy needs you."
Back in Italy, Dan finds out that the wood canvas "Medusa" was painted on has words in Italian or Latin. Dan takes a photo and sends it to his online friend Atticus Rosenbloom. Atticus says the words talk about the Roman Colosseum. Together Dan and Amy meet Atticus and his older brother, Jake, at the Roman Colosseum and find the original copy of Il Milione. Atticus and Jake chase Dan and Amy because they will not give the copy to the world but instead keep it. Realizing that time is running low and Jake and Atticus will alert the authorities, Dan and Amy flee back to Florence.
In New York, Ian, Sinead, Hamilton, and Jonah go to the DeOssie factory where they find chargers. After looking around the factory the place explodes, causing the Cahills to end their investigation early. Sinead calls Dan and Amy to tell that the factory blew up, but the chargers are on the way. After the phone call they receive a text from Vesper One telling them to go the circus where the drop will be made. The siblings make the drop, only to find that Vesper One will not release the hostages unless Dan and Amy do another task in Lucerne, Switzerland. Angry, the two get ready for the trip ahead.
The Book opened to positive review with Quill & Quire calling it "An excellent start to an epic, new hunt." and Booklist calling it "[A] lean, easy-to-like thrill ride with guaranteed crowd-pleasing elements like secret societies, art heists, and heroes with unlimited cash and connections to fuel their around-the-world intrigue."