Mysteries: Daring Detectives and Puzzling Plots

Ever since the days of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, children have enjoyed mystery stories. Mysteries can help develop problem solving skills and critical thinking. The wide variety of stories possible, from historical tales to gritty crime narratives, can entice even the most reluctant readers.

Note: Books with an * before them are part of a series.
Easy Readers and Picture Books

Adler, David
*Young Cam Jansen and the Lions’ Lunch Mystery. 2007.
On a field trip to the zoo, Cam Jansen uses her photographic memory to help solve what happened to Danny’s lunch.
[Education S-Collection: S. Ad593yl]

Cushman, Doug
*The Mystery of King Karfu. 1996.
The great detective Seymour Sleuth and his assistant Muggs journey to Egypt to search for a missing stone chicken, an important clue to the location of the Lost Treasure of King Karfu.
[Education Storage: Q.SE. C959MY]

Gosling, Gabby
The Top Secret Files of Mother Goose. 2004.
When “Mother Goose” tracks down the thief who stole the queen’s tarts, she runs into several nursery rhyme characters.
[Education S-Collection: Q. SE. G693t]

Sharmat, Marjorie Weinman
*Nate the Great, San Francisco Detective. 2000.
Nate the Great goes to San Francisco to solve a mystery with his cousin, Olivia Sharp, who is also a detective.
[Education S-Collection: S.Sh23na]

Wisniewski, David
Tough Cookie. 1999.
When his friend Chips is snatched and chewed, Tough Cookie sets out to stop Fingers. A parody of hard-boiled detective stories.
[Education Storage: Q. SE. W762t]

Yolen, Jane
Piggins. 1987.
During a dinner party, the lights go out and Mrs. Reynard’s beautiful diamond necklace is stolen, but Piggins the butler quickly discovers the real thief.
[Education Storage: SE. Y78P]
Middle Grade Level

Balliett, Blue
*Chasing Vermeer. 2004.
When strange and seemingly unrelated events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal.
[Center for Children’s Books: S. B213c]

Broach, Elise
Shakespeare’s Secret. 2005.
Named after a character in a Shakespeare play, misfit sixth-grader Hero becomes interested in exploring this unusual connection because of a valuable diamond supposedly hidden in her new house, an intriguing neighbor, and the unexpected attention of the most popular boy in school.
[Education S-Collection: S. B781s]

Sobol, Donald J.
*Encyclopedia Brown and the case of the jumping frogs. 2003.
Encyclopedia Brown, boy detective extraordinaire, solves ten new cases, including “The Case of the Miracle Pill,” “The Case of Nemo’s Tuba,” “The Case of the Lawn Mower Races,” and “The Case of the Air Guitar.” Solutions provided at the end of each chapter.
[Education S-Collection: S. So12ej]

Springer, Nancy.
*The Case of the Missing Marquess : an Enola Holmes mystery. 2006.
Enola Holmes, much younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes, must travel to London in disguise to unravel the disappearance of her missing mother.
[Education S-Collection: S. Sp83ca]

Van Draanen, Wendelin
*Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief. 1998.
Thirteen-year-old Sammy’s penchant for speaking her mind gets her in trouble when she involves herself in the investigation of a robbery at the “seedy” hotel across the street from the seniors’ building where she is living with her grandmother.
[Center for Children’s Books: S.D78sam]
Young Adult

Brooks, Kevin
The Road of the Dead. 2006.
Two brothers, sons of an incarcerated gypsy, leave London traveling to an isolated and desolate village, in search of the brutal killer of their sister.
[Center for Children’s Books: S. B791r]

Ferguson, Alane
*The Christopher killer: a forensic mystery. 2006.
On the payroll as an assistant to her coroner father, seventeen-year-old Cameryn Mahoney uses her knowledge of forensic medicine to catch the killer of a friend while putting herself in terrible danger.
[Education S-Collection: S. F381c]

Hoobler, Dorothy.
*The Ghost in the Tokaido Inn. 1999.
While attempting to solve the mystery of a stolen jewel, Seikei, a merchant’s son who longs to be a samurai, joins a group of kabuki actors in eighteenth-century Japan.
[Education Storage: S. H762g]

Nixon, Joan Lowery
Nightmare. 2003.
Emily is sent to a camp for underachievers where she discovers a murderer on the staff who might provide an explanation for her recurring nightmares.
[Education Storage: S.N654ni]

Plum-Ucci, Carol
The Body of Christopher Creed. 2000.
Torey Adams, a high school junior with a seemingly perfect life, struggles with doubts and questions surrounding the mysterious disappearance of the class outcast.
[Education Storage: S.P739b]

Sorrells, Walter
Fake ID. 2005.
After a lifetime of moving and assuming new identities, sixteen-year-old Chass begins to piece together the disturbing past that haunts her and her mother and which involves a mysterious tape, a deceased popular singer, and the secrets of several people in a small Alabama town.
[Education S-Collection: S. So695f]
Looking for more mysteries? Use the subject headings “mystery and detective stories” and “juvenile fiction” together in the online catalog.