Museums in fiction

This month we're exhibiting stories that take place in museums of all sorts.

There are museums on 6 of the world’s continents. These institutions, private and public, curate objects from the mundane to the fabulous. These titles tell stories about those who work in the museums, the collections, and the museums themselves.

Digital book (DB), braille (BR), large print (LT), and audio described videos (DVD) copies of these titles are available from the Perkins Library or the Worcester Talking Book Library. Please contact the library to order any of these books.

Prepared by James Gleason

Deputy Director/Special Services Librarian

Perkins Library


by Jon Scieszka

DB 98984, Available as BARD Download

While on a field trip to a museum, Joe, Sam, and Fred use The Book and emerge in a different century. In their new time, they encounter robots, anti-gravity disks, and their own grandchildren. Sequel to Your Mother Was a Neanderthal (DB 40670). For grades 3-6 and older readers. 1995.

Download 2095, DB 98984


by Rachel Pastan

DB 78918, Available as BARD Download

An art curator reminisces about meeting her partner, wealthy Bernard Augustin, when he offered her the job at his contemporary art museum, the Nauk. Questions arise about the fate of the previous curator, Alena, who mysteriously disappeared two years previously. Some descriptions of sex. 2014.

Download Alena, DB 78918

The Amelia Six: An Amelia Earhart Mystery

by Kristin L. Gray

DB 100968, Available as BARD Download

Eleven-year-old Millie and five other girls, snowed in at Amelia Earhart Birthplace Museum in Atchison, Kansas, are on a scavenger hunt when the lights go out and Amelia’s aviator goggles go missing. For grades 4-7. 2020.

Download The Amelia Six, DB 100968

Aru Shah and the End of Time

by Roshani Chokshi

DB 90413, Available as BARD Download

While spending her autumn break at home, in the Museum of Ancient Indian Art and Culture, Aru tries to impress her visiting classmates and claims the museum’s Lamp of Bharata is cursed. Then she accidentally frees an ancient demon. For grades 3-6. 2018.

Download Aru Shah and the End of Time, DB 90413

Bluebonnet at the Ocean Star Museum

by Mary Brooke Casad

DBC 7215, Available as BARD Download

Bluebonnet, the armadillo, meets Red, a brown pelican, who urges her to follow a school group as they tour the Ocean Star Museum in Galveston and learn as they do about the offshore oil system, living on a drilling rig, and offshore history. For grades K-3. 2012.

Download Bluebonnet at the Ocean Star Museum, DBC 7215

by Katherine Hall Page

DB 66797, Available as BARD Download

Caterer Faith Fairchild helps her friend Patsy Avery, a trustee of a local museum. Patsy suspects someone has replaced a valuable painting with a forgery. Although Faith has promised her husband to stop her amateur sleuthing, she discovers the body of a young woman at the gallery. 2008.

Download The Body in the Gallery, DB 66797

La Conquista (The Conquest)

by Yxta Maya Murray

DB 58984 (Spanish language), Available as BARD Download

Sara Rosario González, de treinta años, trabaja en el museo Getty como restauradora de libros raros. Se obsesiona por un manuscrito del siglo XVI que pinta la historia de una princesa azteca esclavizada y enviada a Europa por Cortés. Mientras tanto, su querido Karl se aburre de esperarla y piensa casarse con otra. 2002.

Download La Conquista, DB 58984


by Paul Jenkins

DB 85539, Available as BARD Download

Insurance detective Will Morgan is hired by the curator of the Curioddity Museum to find a missing box of levity (the opposite of gravity). Will soon discovers a world of magic that can only be seen by learning to “un-look” at things. 2016.

Download Curioddity, DB 85539

Curiosity House series

by Lauren Oliver and H.C. Chester

DB 84553, Available as BARD Download

First two books, written in 2015 and 2016, in a series featuring four orphans with extraordinary abilities. In The Shrunken Head, the kids must find out who stole a valuable artifact in order to save their home, Dumfrey’s Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders. Includes The Screaming Statue. For grades 4-7. 2016.

Download Curiosity House series, DB 84553

The Da Vinci Code

by Dan Brown

DB 55735, DB 58957 (Spanish), BR 15406, Available as BARD Download

Professor Robert Langdon investigates the crime scene of the Louvre’s murdered curator. Joining him is French cryptologist Sophie Neveu. The clues left behind pit two Catholic societies against each other in search of the Holy Grail. Some violence and some strong language. Bestseller. 2003.

Download The Da Vinci Code, DB 55735

Download Spanish, The Da Vinci Code, DB 58957

Download Braille, The Da Vinci Code, BR 15406

A Deceptive Clarity

by Aaron J. Elkins

DB 79137, Available as BARD Download

Chris Norgren, museum curator and Renaissance art expert, heads to Berlin to assist in mounting a sensational exhibit of recently rediscovered Old Masters looted by the Nazis. But Chris’s patrician, fastidious boss, after smelling a forgery in the lot, turns up dead the very next day. 1987.

Download A Deceptive Clarity, DB 79137

Deputy Defender

by Cindi Myers

LT 24783, Available as BARD Download

Deputy Dwight Prentice has secretly loved Brenda Stenson since they were teenagers. Now the auctioning off of a rare book has thrust the widowed museum curator into harm’s way. Keeping his Colorado town safe is the lawman’s most heartfelt mission. But protecting the innocent Brenda from a deadly threat will test Dwight’s limits as a law officer and as a man. 2018.

The Dummy Meets the Mummy!

by R.L. Stine

DB 95705, BR 22809, Available as BARD Download

After being put back to sleep and abandoned in an old museum, Slappy is brought to life and seeks revenge. But when the museum closes, Slappy and his newly risen friends are locked inside with Arragotus, an ancient mummy with his own vengeful plan. For grades 3-6. 2019.

Download The Dummy Meets the Mummy!, DB 95705

Download Braille, The Dummy Meets the Mummy!, BR 22809

Fancy Nancy at the Museum

by Jane O’Connor

JL 888

Although excited at the prospect of a fancy class trip to the art museum, the bumpy bus ride to get there leaves Nancy feeling anything but fancy. For grades K-3. 2008.

Fire Engine Dead

by Sheila Connolly

DB 82905, LT 14303, Available as BARD Download

When the entire collection of the Fireman’s Museum ironically goes up in flames, Nell Pratt discovers that one of the charred pictures isn’t the one that was originally exhibited. But getting to the bottom of the mystery is bound to get the sleuthing fundraiser burned. 2012.

Download Fire Engine Dead, DB 82905

Fluffy Meets the Dinosaurs

by Kate McMullan

BR 18968, Available as BARD Download

Fluffy, the class guinea pig, joins the students on a trip to the museum, where he carefully studies the exhibits and imagines tracing his ancestry back to the dinosaurs. For grades K-3. 1999.

Download Braille, Fluffy Meets the Dinosaurs, BR 18968

A Glancing Light

by Aaron J. Elkins

DB 36235, Available as BARD Download

Twenty-two months ago, in 1987, three art burglaries occurred in one night in Bologna, Italy. Now one of the stolen originals has surfaced in a shipment of art reproductions in Seattle. Chris Norgren of the Seattle Art Museum identifies the painting, and the Italian government asks him to help with the investigation. Soon, however, Chris is involved with the mafia and targeted for death. Some strong language. 1991.

Download A Glancing Light, DB 36235

A Glitter of Gold

by Liz Johnson

LT 26991

Anne Norris moved to Savannah, Georgia, for a fresh start, but now her pirate-tour business is flagging. When she discovers evidence of a shipwreck off the coast of Tybee Island, she knows it could be what she needs to stay afloat. She takes her findings to local museum director Carter Hale for confirmation. Carter has been searching for the location of the wreck detailed in the worn pages of an 18th-century diary, but convincing Anne to help him fill in the missing pieces of the puzzle is no easy task. But if they can find the lost ship, they may discover a treasure worth more than all the pirate gold in the world—love. 2019.

The Golden Calves

by Louis Auchincloss

DB 28386, BR 7487, DB available as BARD Download

A novel of art and ego, business and ethics, and love and power set in the offices of the fictitious Museum of North America in New York City. The museum needs a windfall bequest to make it a first-class institution, and places its hopes in wealthy, elderly collector Evelyn Speddon. Ambitious public relations man Mark Addams, promised a directorship if he can convince Miss Speddon to change her will, begins dating her ward. 1988.

Download The Golden Calves, DB 28386

The Keepsake

by Tess Gerritsen

DB 67723, LT 8931, Available as BARD Download

Boston medical examiner Maura Isles and homicide detective Jane Rizzoli team up to investigate modern-day murder victims preserved with ancient Egyptian techniques. Just as Isles and Rizzoli realize that a young archaeologist figures prominently in the case, the archaeologist disappears. 2008.

Download The Keepsake, DB 67723

The Last Templar

by Raymond Khoury

DB 61938, Available as BARD Download

During a showing of Vatican treasures at New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, horsemen dressed as Knights Templar attack and steal precious artifacts including an encoder. FBI agent Sean Reilly and archaeologist Tess Chaykin investigate while Catholic Church authorities worry about the consequences. Violence and strong language. Bestseller. 2005.

Download The Last Templar, DB 61938

The Legend of the Slain Soldiers: An Elena Oliverez Mystery

by Marcia Muller

DB 23633, Available as BARD Download

Elena Oliverez, director of the Museum of Mexican Arts in Santa Barbara, is frantically preparing for Fiesta Week and the influx of tourists when she receives a desperate call from her mother. A neighbor, historian Ciro Sisneros, has been killed. Her mother insists he was murdered to prevent him from writing the truth about Chicano workers slain in 1935. Elena chases clues and the effort nearly costs her life. Some strong language. 1985.

Download The Legend of the Slain Soldiers, DB 23633

A Memory of Muskets: A Chloe Ellefson Mystery

by Kathleen Ernst

DBC 8205, LT 21316, Available as BARD Download

Civil War reenacting at the State Historic Site of Old World Wisconsin, sets the scene for book number 7 in the Chloe Ellefson Mystery series. Crimes past and present are solved in this cozy murder mystery. 2016.

Download A Memory of Muskets, DBC 8205

The Moffat Museum

by Eleanor Estes

DB 22556, Available as BARD Download

Jane Moffat decides to open a family museum in the barn behind the Moffat’s little gray house at Twelve Ashbellows Place in Cranbury, Connecticut. Her special museum will contain things that have been important to one, some, or all of the Moffats. And it will be the first and only museum in the entire town. For grades 3-6 and older readers. 1983.

Download The Moffat Museum, DB 22556

Murder at the National Gallery

by Margaret Truman

DB 44805, BR 11218, Available as BARD Download

Luther Mason, curator at the National Gallery for more than twenty years, is finally getting the Caravaggio exhibit he has dreamed of. But Luther also has other visions—he plans to keep one of the original paintings and substitute a forgery. Some violence. Bestseller. 1980.

Download Murder at the National Gallery, DB 44805

Download Braille, Murder at the National Gallery, BR 11218

Murder in the Smithsonian

by Margaret Truman

DB 19987, Available as BARD Download

Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Dr. Lewis Tunney is keynoting a Smithsonian exhibition. But before he can deliver his address, Tunney is stabbed with a sword that once belonged to Thomas Jefferson. The famed scholar is dead, a precious medal is missing, and the list of suspects includes several notables. Captain Hanrahan and Tunney’s feisty fiance, Heather, investigate the murder. 1983.

Download Murder in the Smithsonian, DB 19987

Museum Morph

by Michi Fujimoto

JL 6320

Join Spider-Man’s Little special helpers as they help our friendly wall-crawler keep the city safe in this action-packed board book. For preschool-grade 2. 2002.


by Douglas Preston and Lincoln Child

DB 42361, DBG 16602 (Spanish), BR 19235, Available as BARD Download

In September 1987, all members of an Amazon expedition were killed. A box of relics survived and has finally arrived at the New York Museum of Natural History, where the contents will be part of a new exhibit. But first the staff must deal with the brutal murders of two young boys in the museum’s basement. Graduate student Margo Green thinks all the deaths are connected. Violence and strong language. 1995.

Download Relic, DB 42361

Download Spanish, Relic, DBG 16602

Download Braille, Relic, BR 19235

State Fair

by Earlene Fowler

DB 91173, LT 10968, Available as BARD Download

Attending the San Celina Mid-State Fair, Benni Harper’s enjoyment of the fair’s activities are put on hold after the theft of a quilt intended for a special exhibition and the discovery of a corpse in the Piebald Family Farm Exhibit. 2010.

Download State Fair, DB 91173

Sign up today.

Get next month’s Recommended Reads straight to your inbox!


Releases from the Perkins Library Recording Studio

Read more

A Little Witch in All of Us: Witchy Reads for Spooky Season

Read more

Works in Translation: Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Marrakesh Treaty

Read more