In The Solitaire Mystery, Hans Thomas and his father set out on a car trip through Europe, from Norway to Greece - the birthplace of philosophy - in search of Hans Thomas's mother, who left them many years earlier. On the way, Hans Thomas receives a mysterious miniature book - the fantastic memoir of a sailor shipwrecked in 1842 on a strange island where a deck of cards has come to life. But how do these stories fit together? Who is the little man who keeps cropping up on their trip? And why must Hans Thomas learn about the distant past before he can understand his mother's more recent disappearance? Structured as a deck of cards - each chapter is one card in the deck - The Solitaire Mystery weaves together fantasy and reality, fairy tales and family history. Full of questions about the meaning of life, it will spur its readers to reexamine their own.