Monday, August 8, 2011

Red Blazer Girls

I'm thrilled to own the newest Red Blazer Girls mystery, The Mistaken Masterpiece, just out in hardcover. In January 2010, Kate Gartner at Random House asked me to illustrate covers for this fabulous series. It was fun to collaborate on a project that's geared towards middle school readers. Each book is about a group of 7th graders who attend a Catholic girls school in Manhattan. When they're not doing homework, they run a detective agency, searching for missing items of great value. Every story is like a treasure hunt, where the brainy sleuths must solve literary, mathematical and visual puzzles to locate the missing artifact.

Each cover has a similar design. The coveted object in the title is highlighted in a colorful circular drawing. Mystery and intrigue are emphasized in a reverse black and white drawing below the arch.

Reading a 300 page manuscript can be a daunting task for an illustrator. But the author, Michael Beil, writes thoroughly engrossing books. My daughter Abigail and I are both big fans of The Red Blazer Girls series. Can't wait for the next installment!

It was fun to visualize the authors description of this mistaken masterpiece.

I used a parchment paper background for the Vanishing Violin artwork
I researched medieval-era Christian jewelry to design this ring.
Here's one design direction I explored for this series. I scanned the fabric from my own red blazer to create the background texture.
Kate liked the boldness of this reverse black and white style.

my very first audio book cover.
My daughter put this Red Blazer Girls book in its proper context!


  1. Very cool...well done as usual Dan!

  2. Thanks Muriel, I'm thrilled to be starting work on the 4th book in this great series today!