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Mysteries

Inspector FlytrapInspector Flytrap
by Tom Angleberger, Cece Bell
Ages 6–9
Inspector Flytrap, a Venus flytrap detective, is wheeled around on a skateboard by his assistant, Nina the Goat. In their first case, Inspector Flytrap heads to the Art Museum to figure out why there is a mysterious glob on a recently discovered flower painting by Leonardo da Vinci. Other cases include “The Big Deal Muster of the Stinky Cookies” and “The Big Deal Mystery of the Missing Rose.” Quirky humor and a silly cast of characters add to the fun in this lavishly illustrated early chapter book.

SeerThe Seer of Shadows
by Avi
Ages 9–12
This scary ghost story, set in 19th century New York City, is narrated by 14-year-old Horace Carpentine, apprentice to a photographer intent on duping a wealthy client.

VermeerChasing Vermeer
by Blue Balliett
Ages 9–12
Petra and Calder, two bright sixth-graders, join together to find a missing Vermeer painting. This mystery sends them on a quest full of patterns, puzzles, as they investigate the meaning of art. (1st in series)

WrightThe Wright 3
by Blue Balliett
Ages 9–12
Sixth-graders Petra and Calder are joined by Tommy in this architectural mystery as they try to prevent the destruction that threatens Frank Lloyd Wright’s Robie House. (2nd in series)

CalderThe Calder Game
by Blue Balliett
Ages 9–12
Now in 7th grade, series heroes Petra, Tommy, and Calder participate in the Calder Game, trying to join five ideas or things that move in relationship to each other. This provocative mix of mystery, art concepts, and philosophy will appeal to motivated readers. (3rd in series)

Finding SerendipityFinding Serendipity
by Angelica Banks, Stevie Lewis
Ages 8–up
Tuesday McGillycuddy’s mother writes popular children’s books under the pen name Serendipity Smith. Tuesday is looking forward to the day her mother finishes her latest book so they can spend more time together. But then her mother mysteriously disappears, leaving behind only the words "The End" floating above her computer. Tuesday begins typing her own story, which magically transports her along with her dog Baxterr into a story tale world. With the help of her mother’s character Vivienne, Tuesday sets off to find her mother.

The Mostly True Story of JackThe Mostly True Story of Jack
by Kelly Barnhill
Ages 9–12
Jack’s parents are too caught up in the emotions of their divorce to pay attention to their son, so Jack is sent to spend the summer with his eccentric aunt and uncle in Hazelwood, Ohio. Used to feeling invisible and playing with imaginary friends, Jack is amazed to suddenly be the center of attention. He makes some real friends, is beaten up by the town bully, and fears the town’s richest man wants to see him dead. On top of all that, his aunt and uncle’s house seems to be possessed. This suspenseful mystery explores themes of the struggle between good and evil, and the power of love and sacrifice.

The Worst Class Trip EverThe Worst Class Trip Ever
by Dave Barry
Ages 8–12
Wyatt Palmer and his best friend Matt Diaz are off to Washington, D.C. with the rest of the 8th grade civics students from Culver Middle School in Miami. On the plane, Wyatt and Matt spot some suspicious passengers who have aerial photos of the White House and a backpack they are strangely protective of. Matt scoops up an electronic device that falls from the bag, and gets into trouble with both their teacher and the FSA. For the remainder of the trip the two boy, with the help of some of their classmates, track the bad guys, determined to save the president who just may be in danger. This suspenseful and hilarious book is a winner.

EnigmaEnigma
by Graeme Base
Ages 5–10
Bertie Badger arrives at his grandfather’s house expecting a magic show, but the magic props have all disappeared. Readers are encouraged to crack codes and find hidden pictures to solve the mystery, told in rhyming quatrains. A set of bonus challenges will keep kids, and their relatives, glued to the pages for weeks.

Sleuth on SkatesSleuth on Skates
by Clémentine Beauvais, Sarah Horne
Ages 7–11
Sesame Seade (11) roller skates around Cambridge University, searching for a mystery to solve. When Jenna Jenkins, a Cambridge student, ballerina, and aspiring journalist, goes missing, Sesame is delighted that her opportunity has finally arrived. With the help of her friends Gemma and Toby, Sesame skates off to solve the mystery. This hilarious novel is the first in a series.

RoyalsRaucous Royals:
Test your Royal Wits: Crack Codes, Solve Mysteries, and Deduce Which Royal Rumors are True
by Carlyn Beccia
Ages 9–12
This fascinating mix of costumed caricatures, interactive text, and quizzes encourages the reader to participate in history rather than just read about it. The combination picture book/graphic novel is sure to appeal to middle grade kids.

The Scandalous SisterhoodThe Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place
by Julie Berry
Ages 10–14
The students of St. Etheldreda’s School for Young Ladies in Cambridgeshire England have a problem — their stern headmistress Constance Plackett and her despised brother drop dead at the dinner table, apparently poisoned. The girls decide to pretend that everything is normal while hunting for the murderer. This hilarious Victorian farce is full of mystery, surprising plot twists, and a hint of romance.

Book ScavangerBook Scavenger
by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman
Ages 9–14
Emily Crane (12) has lived all over the country. Her parents blog is called 50 Homes in 50 States. When the family moves to San Francisco, Emily is thrilled since that’s the home of Garrison Griswold, creator of the online game Book Scavenger where books hidden all over the country are located by solving clues within puzzles. But Griswold was recently attacked by thieves and is now in a coma, leaving the game in limbo. Emily and her new friend James discover an odd book that just may contain the only copy of Griswold’s new game.

WhatWhat I Saw And How I Lied
by Judy Blundell
Ages 12–up
This noir mystery is set in 1947. Evie (15) and her mother set off for Florida with her stepfather Joe. Evie falls in love with Peter, an army buddy of Joe’s. A suspicious boating accident forces Evie to re-examine her relationships with Peter, her mother, and her stepfather. This stylish novel has the atmosphere of a glamorous old movie.

MasterpieceMasterpiece
by Elise Broach, Kelly Murphy
Ages 8–12
Two very different families share a Manhattan apartment. Marvin the beetle follows his family’s rules about staying hidden from the humans, though he worries that the human family does not appreciate their 11-year-old son James. Tempted by the pen and ink set James receives for his birthday, Martin draws an intricate picture for James and then reveals himself as the artist. Before James can hide the drawing, his parents have discovered it and proclaim him a talented artist. Soon a museum curator is asking James to forge a Dürer miniature to catch a thief. The fast moving story and wonderfully detailed drawings will captivate young readers.

Missing on Superstition MountainMissing on Superstition Mountain
by Elise Broach, Antonio Javier Caparo
Ages 8–12
Simon, Henry, and Jack Barker have just moved from Illinois to Arizona, and their parents have warned them that Superstition Mountain is totally off limits. But when their cat goes missing, the three brothers chase after her and discover three human skulls. Joining up with their neighbor Delilah, the children research local history and folklore, preparing for a secret return to Superstition Mountain to solve the mystery of the skulls. This exciting novel is the first in a new series.

Treasure on Supersitition MountainTreasure on Superstition Mountain
by Elise Broach, Antonio Javier Caparo
Ages 9–12
Two weeks after their last adventure on Superstition Mountain, Henry, Simon, Jack, Delilah, and Josie the cat, continue their quest to find the hidden gold mine and discover who is trying to stop them. A sinister librarian, anonymous warnings, threatening rattlesnakes, and a terrifying rock slide make this sequel as exciting as the first book in the series: Missing on Superstition Mountain.

No Such PersonNo Such Person
by Caroline B. Cooney
Ages 12–up
Miranda (15) and her college-bound sister Lander are spending the summer with their parents on the Connecticut River. The two sisters see a water-skiing accident, but only Miranda notices that the motorboat driver intentionally steers the skier in front of a barge. Lander begins dating the motorboat driver though Miranda urges her not to trust him. A week later Lander is found on a boat carrying drugs with a gun in her hand and a dead body next to her. Lander is charged with murder, but Miranda is sure her boyfriend is the real culprit.

The Trouble with ChickensThe Trouble with Chickens: A J.J. Tully Mystery
by Doreen Cronin, Kevin Cornell
Ages 8–12
After seven years working as a search-and-rescue dog, J.J. Tully and retired to the country. Despite his considerable ego, J.J. agrees to help a mother hen find her missing chicks, in exchange for a cheeseburger. Working against J.J. is Vince the Funnel, who looks like a cross between a dachshund and a lamp because of the collar he is forced to wear. Fast-paced and funny, this illustrated book is perfect for readers making the transition between picture and chapter books.

These Shallow GravesThese Shallow Graves
by Jennifer Donnelly
Ages 12–up
It’s 1890 and rich and beautiful Josephine Montfort is expected to marry a suitable man as soon as she graduates from Miss Sparkwell’s School for Young Ladies in New York City. Secretly, Jo dreams of becoming a newspaper reported like Nellie Bly. When Jo’s father is found dead, presumably in an accident while cleaning his pistol, Jo knows he was far too smart to clean a loaded gun. She doesn’t believe the rumors of suicide either, and teams up with Eddie Gallagher, a young reporter, to discover the truth.

London EyeThe London Eye Mystery
by Siobhan Dowd
Ages 8–12
Ted and Kat take their cousin Salim to ride on the London Eye. While waiting in a long line, a stranger gives them a free ticket and Salim boards the ride. When his pod arrives back in half an hour, Salim is missing. Ted and Kat overcome their usual sibling friction to work together to solve the mystery. Ted, the endearing narrator, has an unnamed Asberger’s-like syndrome which adds an intriguing dimension to this clever puzzle.

The Golden DayThe Golden Day
by Ursula Dubosarsky
Ages 12–up
In 1967 Miss Renshaw takes her class from the Australian all-girls school on a field trip to a public garden. They meet a strange grounds keeper named Morgan who takes them into a cave to view ancient Aboriginal paintings. The 11 girls exit the cave, but Miss Renshaw and Morgan never reappear. The girls are questioned about the disappearance, but band together to keep part of the day secret. This chilling novel is told from multiple perspectives.

Buzz KillBuzz Kill
by Beth Fantaskey
Ages 12–up
Millie Ostermeyer (17), a reporter for her school newspaper, discovers the body of the head football coach “Hollerin’ Hank” Killdare. Millie is determined to scoop her rival Viv Fitch, while also clearing the name of her father, the assistant football coach and prime suspect in the murder of the detested coach. While Millie’s mother was dying of cancer, the two read Nancy Drew books together, and Millie is sure the detective skills she learned from Nancy Drew will help her track down the real killer. The off-beat Millie is assisted by quarterback Chase Albright, whose good looks and astounding vocabulary mask a secretive past.

Big SplashThe Big Splash
by Jack D. Ferraiolo
Ages 10–14
Seventh grader Matt Stevens walks the mean hallways of Franklin Middle School in this clever and funny middle school noir. Tough guy Vinny Biggio and his gang of trigger girls and boys armed with squirt guns rule the campus until Matt decides to figure out who took down Nikki Fingers in this exciting mystery.

The Dunderheads Behind BarsThe Dunderheads Behind Bars
by Paul Fleischman, David Roberts
Ages 6–10
School is out for the summer and the Dunderheads are thrilled to be cast as extras in a movie starring teen idol Ashley Throbb-Hart. Unfortunately Miss Breakbone, their terrifying teacher, also lands an extra spot. When Spider is arrested for stealing a necklace, it takes the combined efforts of the whole Dunderhead gang to identify the real thief and clear his name. This delightful darkly comic mystery is the sequel to The Dunderheads.

MorgueThe Morgue and Me
by John C. Ford
Ages 12–up
Christopher Newell takes a summer job in the morgue before heading off to college and stumbles across $15,000 in cash and a dead body that the medical examiner has ruled a suicide despite multiple bullet wounds in the torso. Tina, a young reporter for the local paper, joins Christopher’s investigation and the two uncover blackmail and corruption going back for years. This dark teen novel holds its own as a mainstream mystery.

The Charmed Children of Rookskill CastleThe Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle
by Janet Fox
Ages 10–up
Katherine (12) and her two younger siblings are sent away from London along with a group of classmates to keep them safe during the bombings of the 1940s Blitz. Rookskill Castle, owned by a distant relative, is an ancient place in the Scottish highlands. But the castle appears to be haunted, and by something far more dangerous than ghosts. Kat believes that Lady Eleanor is hiding a Nazi spy, but when her classmates begin disappearing one by one she fears that the danger may be even older and more terrifying.

The Girl in the ParkThe Girl in the Park
by Mariah Fredericks
Ages 14–up
Rain and Wendy used to be best friends, but by their junior year of high school the two have grown apart. Rain, self-conscious because of her speech impediment, is an observer, and Wendy is an out-going party girl. When Wendy’s body is found in Central Park after a party, the tabloids and school gossips have a field day trashing Wendy. But Rain knows Wendy had secret depths, and puts herself in danger trying to protect her dead friend’s reputation in this haunting psychological thriller.

Escape TheoryEscape Theory
by Margaux Froley
Ages 14–up
Scholarship student Devon Mackintosh (16) has always felt a bit of an outsider in the ritzy Keaston School, a boarding school in California. Devon, hoping to add to her Stanford application, becomes the school’s first peer counselor, assuming that it will be a job in name only. But when popular Jason “Hutch” Hutchings dies in a presumed suicide, Devon’s therapy sessions with grieving students become intense. Haunted by her own past relationship with Hutch — he was the only one who accepted her freshman year — Devon decides that Hutch could never have killed himself and sets out to find his killer.

Dead End in NorveltDead End in Norvelt
by Jack Gantos
Newbery Medal 2012
Ages 10–up
Jack Gantos’s summer 1962 vacation plans take an unexpected turn when he is grounded “for life” by his bickering parents. But then his mother loans him out to a neighbor, and Jack finds himself typing obituaries of the strange and wonderful people who founded his small town. This funny and mysterious semi-autobiographic mix of fact and fiction is fast-paced and immensely entertaining.

DiamondThe Diamond of Drury Lane
by Julia Golding
Ages 10–14
Cat has lived in the Drury Lane Theater Royal ever since she was abandoned as a baby and taken in by Mr. Sheridan, the owner of the theater. After Cat sees Mr. Sheridan hiding a valuable diamond, she and her friends decide to help safeguard the treasure. Set in 1790s London, England, this thrilling mystery will keep readers glued to the pages. (first in a projected quartet)

Museum of Mary ChildThe Museum of Mary Child
by Cassandra Golds
Ages 11–up
Heloise is kept secluded by her stern god mother. When the lonely girl discovers a beautiful doll, Maria, hidden under the floorboards, she hides the doll from her godmother who prohibits play, beautiful things, and talk of love. When Maria is discovered, Heloise learns the dreadful truth about the museum adjoining her godmother’s cottage. This mysterious and creepy novel is enthralling.

Picture the DeadPicture the Dead
by Adele Griffin, Lisa Brown
Ages 12–up
When Jennie’s twin brother dies in the Civil War in 1864, Jennie feels his loss like a wound. A year later, her cousin Quinn arrives home to Massachusetts with the news that his brother Will, Jennie’s fiancé, is also dead. Quinn, who is much changed by the war, begins to court Jennie, who responds though she senses that something mysterious surrounds Will’s death. Jennie is haunted by both her dead brother and Will, and suffers a recurring sensation of being choked. Newspaper clippings, scrapbook entries, and black-and-white drawings illustrate Jennie’s first person narration in this effective gothic ghost story portraying a country recovering from the horrors and loss of war.

the Lie TreeThe Lie Tree
by Frances Hardinge
Ages 14–up
On the surface Faith Sunderly (14) is a dull and proper young lady, but she is secretly a budding scientist consumed with curiosity. Her father, Reverend Erasmus Sunderly, unexpectedly moves his family to a remove island to escape a scandal that threatens to destroy his reputation. Though the intellectual talents of girls and women are deprecated in Victorian society, Faith helps discover a mysterious tree that feeds upon lies, rewarding the liar with amazing visions. When her father is found dead, a presumed suicide, Faith is determined to clear his name and expose his murderer.

ClarityClarity
by Kim Harrington
Ages 14–up
Clarity “Clare” Fern (16) works for the family business doing psychic readings for summer tourists in Cape Cod. Clare can retrieve memories and emotions by touching objects, her mother can read minds, and her brother is a medium. When a tourist is found murdered, Clare is eager to help the police. When two more people are murdered, and her brother becomes a suspect, Clare realizes she needs to find the truth quickly before she becomes the next victim. (1st in a planned series)

SteeplejackSteeplejack
by A.J. Hartley
Ages 13–up
Ang Stonga (16) works as a steeplejack, cleaning and maintaining the towers and spires of Bar-Selehm, an alternative 19th-century South African city. On the same day her young apprentice is murdered, the city’s Beacon, an incredibly valuable piece of luxorite that shines a bright light from the highest tower, is stolen. A secret government agency hires Ang to find the killer, sure that the murder is connected to the theft. Ang’s investigation reveals a far-reaching conspiracy that could destroy the city. This intense thriller is the first in the Alternative Detective series.

Blank ConfessionBlank Confession
by Pete Hautman
Ages 12–up
Shayne Blank, a 16-year-old stranger, appears at the police station to confess to a murder. Detective Rawls, a veteran cop, listens to Shayne’s story about Mickey Martin, the smallest junior at Wellstone High, who discards a bag of drugs given to him for safekeeping by his sister’s drug-dealing boyfriend. This gripping story is told from both the viewpoints of Mickey, narrating the back story, and Detective Rawls, listening to the confession. Snappy dialog, skillful pacing, and great characters make this exciting mystery hard to put down.

Black Book of SecretsThe Black Book of Secrets
by F.E. Higgins
Ages 10–14
Young Ludlow Fitch, fleeing a terrible past, arrives in a peaceful village. Ludlow becomes the assistant to the mysterious pawnbroker who trades cash for people’s deepest, darkest secrets. It’s Ludlow’s job to record the secrets in the leather bound Black Book of Secrets. The vaguely Dickensian late 1800s atmosphere is the perfect backdrop for this historical fantasy.

Bone MagicianThe Bone Magician
by F.E. Higgins
Ages 10–14
Young Pin Carpue is left to survive on his own in the crime-ridden city of Urbs Umida when his father, a suspected murderer, disappears. Pin gets a job as a corpse watcher, standing guard in the morgue for three days to ensure that the deceased really are dead and not just sleeping. There he meets the Bone Magician who claims to be able to reanimate the dead to answer last questions from the living. This dark and funny fantasy is a companion volume to The Black Book of Secrets.

Department 19Department 19
by Will Hill
Ages 14–up
Jamie Carpenter’s father died a traitor when Jamie was 14. Now 16, Jamie is rescued by Frankenstein from vampires and taken to Department 19, the top-secret government organization founded by Dracula’s killers, dedicated to protecting mankind from the supernatural. When Jamie’s mother is kidnapped by vampires, Jamie sets off with Frankenstein and an untrustworthy vampire girl to rescue her. This non-stop adventure is part mystery, part classic horror story, and all thriller.

The Great TroubleThe Great Trouble: A Mystery of London, the Blue Death, and a Boy Called Eel
by Deborah Hopkinson
Ages 10–up
Eel is an orphan and a mudlark, combing through the filthy banks of the Thames for anything he can sell to earn enough to survive. 1894 London is a dangerous place during the cholera outbreak, but Eel is also pursued by his evil stepfather. Polluted air is blamed for the cholera epidemic, but Eel and his mentor Dr. Snow believe the disease is being spread through a local water pump. This exciting tale mixes mystery, science, medicine, and history.

Mr. and Mrs. BunnyMr. and Mrs. Bunny—Detectives Extraordinaire!
by Polly Horvath, Sophie Blackall
Ages 8–12
When 5th grader Madeline’s parents are kidnapped by the Grand Poobah of foxes, Madeline asks Mr. and Mrs. Bunny, a fedora-wearing pair of neophyte detectives, to track them down. This hilarious and witty adventure story, narrated by Mrs. Bunny and translated from Rabbit by Polly Horvath, is hopefully the first in a series.

VampireThe Reformed Vampire Support Group
by Catherine Jinks
Ages 12–up
The members of this group know they must admit their addiction and conquer it before they are staked, so they attend the hated meetings every Tuesday night. When one of the vampires is destroyed by a silver bullet, the group of misfits bands together to find the killer. Plot twists and character development combine to make this murder mystery a winner.

The May Queen MurdersThe May Queen Murders
by Sarah Jude
Ages 14–up
Ivy Templeton (16) loves the ancient traditions and time-honored superstitions of Roway’s Glen, a remote farming community in the Ozarks of Missouri, where her family has lived for generations. Ivy’s cousin Heather is her best friend, and Ivy thinks they share all their secret thoughts until the night Heather goes missing. Heather was crowned May Queen at the first May Day celebration in 25 years. Until this year the May Day celebration was not held, cancelled after Birch Markle killed a woman and disappeared into the forest before vanishing. Heather’s disappearance causes Ivy to investigate the secrets her best friend and beloved town have hidden from her.

GhostsNothing but Ghosts
by Beth Kephart
Ages 12–up
Katie (16) and her father are grieving the recent death of her mother. Her father, an artist who restores paintings, tries to lose himself in his work while pondering what color would be used to paint regret. Katie takes a summer job gardening for Miss Martine, the town recluse, and stumbles over clues about the mystery of Miss Martine’s abrupt withdrawal from the world. With her fellow teen worker Danny, and the help of the town librarian, Katie researches town history to solve the mystery and distract herself from her own grief.
 
Nooks & CranniesNooks & Crannies
by Jessica Lawson, Natalie Andrewson
Ages 8–12
Six English schoolchildren just about to turn 12 are summoned to a country estate by Countess Camilla DeMoss in 1907 to participate in a competition. Tabitha Crum, whose parents plan to abandon her to an orphanage, has only one friend — her pet mouse Pemberley. Tabitha, who loves mystery books and plans to work for Scotland Yard when she grows up, finds the competition perfectly suited to her talents.

Audacity JonesAudacity Jones to the Rescue
by Kirby Larson
Ages 8–12
Audacity Jones (11) is an orphan living in Miss Maisie’s School for Wayward Girls in Swayzee, Indiana, in 1910. Audie has a pet cat named Minivar, a good friend, and plenty of books to read, but longs for adventure. When Commodore Crutchfield whisks her off to Washington, DC, Minivar slips into the car. Audie isn’t sure she can trust the Commodore, and makes friends with a newsboy named Juice and his grandfather, who works in the White House stables. This clever historical mystery is the first in a planned series.

Invisibleinvisible i
by Stella Lennon
Ages 12–up
Callie, our narrator, Nia, and Hal are three unlikely allies who join forces to find 15-year-old Amanda who has vanished. Before disappearing, Amanda told each person a different story about her past and gave each a different animal totem. This intriguing mystery is the first in “The Amanda Project” series, written by different authors under the pen name Stella Lennon.

The Half Life of Molly PierceThe Half Life of Molly Pierce
by Katrina Leno
Ages 13–up
Molly Pierce (17) suffers from Dissociative Identity Disorder, characterized by frequent blackouts and memory loss. After witnessing a fatal motorcycle accident where the dying stranger seems to recognize her, Molly begins to remember pieces from her blackouts. She feels an unexplained attraction to the victim’s brother, which accelerates her memory and alternative identity called Mabel, and of events farther and farther back into their shared past.

Murilla GorillaMurilla Gorilla, Jungle Detective
by Jennifer Lloyd, Jacqui Lee
Ages 5–8
Murilla Gorilla has the job of figuring out who ate the banana muffins that Ms. Chimpanzee had baked to sell at the Mango Market. Murilla isn’t the most skilled detective — she can’t find her own backpack and badge and tends to fall asleep on the job. A perfect blend of mystery and humor will appeal to young readers eager to tackle a short chapter book.

Nobody’s SecretNobody’s Secret
by Michaela MacColl
Ages 12–up
Emily Dickinson (15) is restless growing up in 1845 Amherst, Massachusetts, seeing her daily round of chores as the path to a boring grown-up life as a housewife. She meets a handsome traveler who flirts with her, but refuses to give his name, so Emily calls him Mr. Nobody. When he turns up dead in her family’s pond, Emily is determined to find out his identity before he is buried in an anonymous grave. Lines from Dickinson’s poems open each chapter in this intriguing mystery, first in a planned series featuring literary figures as detectives.

Night TouristThe Night Tourist
by Katherine Marsh
Ages 10–up
Jack Perdu is a 9th grade classics prodigy. One evening Jack goes to New York City, a place he has not visited since his mother died there eight years ago. In Grand Central Station he meets Euri, a mysterious girl who offers to show him the train station’s secret places. Eight flights below, Jack realizes he is in New York’s ghostly underworld and hopes to meet his mother. The ghosts are suspicious of Jack, who becomes increasingly uncertain if he himself is dead or alive. This intricate adventure is a magical combination of modern characters, New York history, and classical mythology.

The Great Cake MysteryThe Great Cake Mystery: Precious Ramotswe’s Very First Case
by Alexander McCall Smith, Iain McIntosh
Ages 7–10
Precious Ramotswe, one of the nicest girls in Botswana, is a natural sleuth. When cakes and other treats go missing at her school, everyone suspects a plump boy, but he swears he’s not guilty. Precious believes him and sets out to track down the real culprit. Striking woodcut illustrations present a colorful view of the African setting. (A Number 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency Book for Young Readers)

The Incident on the BridgeThe Incident on the Bridge
by Laura McNeal
Ages 12–up
After Thisbe Locke (17) is wooed and then abandoned by Clay Moorehead, she becomes depressed and loses interest in school. She is last seen standing on the edge of the Coronado Bridge, a common suicide spot, before disappearing. The police decide it is a suicide, but Thisbe’s younger sister Ted doesn’t believe that Thisbe jumped off the bridge and begins her own search to find the truth along with the help of Fen, the new kid in town.

Amber HouseAmber House
by Kelly Moore, Tucker Reed, Larkin Reed
Ages 14–up
Sarah (15) and her family move to Amber House, a mansion that has been in the family for generations, after the death of her grandmother. With her new friend Jackson, Sarah searches for the treasure that is said to be hidden in the house, discovering that the house is full of ghosts and memories of the past. The two are drawn into a mystery that spans generations, a mystery only Sarah can solve before tragedy strikes again. This haunting gothic tale is the first in a planned series.

RuinedRuined
by Paula Morris
Ages 12–up
Rebecca Brown (15) is sent from New York City to live with her aunt in New Orleans while her father travels overseas for a year. Rebecca feels out of place at the snooty prep school. In fact, to the rich girls she is nearly invisible. Rebecca befriends Lisette, a ghost who has haunted the cemetery since her mysterious death 155 years earlier. This atmospheric ghost story captures the rich history of New Orleans, and doesn't shy away from issues of race, ethnicity, class, and culture.

TrashTrash
by Andy Mulligan
Ages 12–up
Raphael is a 14-year-old trash-picker in an unnamed 3rd world Latin American country. One day he finds a leather bag containing a wallet, a map, and a key. Raphael and his two friends are soon involved in exposing political corruption and abuse of the poor as they puzzle out a secret code and follow clues to a hidden cache of money. Realistic details of the lives of desperate children living in the dump provide a sobering background to this gripping adventure tale.

Lost BoyLost Boy
by Linda Newbery
Ages 8–12
Just after moving to Wales, Matt imagines a car crash and finds himself next to the grave of a boy with his initials. Soon he is involved in trying to solve the mystery of three lost boys while trying to fit into a village with well-kept secrets.

Vanishing GirlsVanishing Girls
by Lauren Oliver
Ages 14–up
Though completely different, sisters Dara and Nick are inseparable until the accident that left Dara scarred and created a rift between them. Nick tries to recreate their bond, but Dara vanishes on her birthday. At first Nick thinks Dara is just trying for attention, but the disappearance of another girl cause Nick to fear that something has happened to Dara. Alternating perspectives from both sisters before and after the accident along with blog and news reports from the media fill in the mystery.

The Crown AffairThe Crown Affair
by Jeanie Franz Ransom, Stephen Axelsen
Ages 6–9
Detective Joe Dumpty is back to investigate another nursery rhyme case. When Jack and Jill tumbled down the hill Jack’s crown went missing. Suspicion falls on the other Jack, the nimble and quick one, but his alibi holds up so Detective Dumpty heads off to the Spratt house to question yet another Jack, before visiting the beanstalk to interview another suspect. This funny companion to What Really Happened to Humpty? has plenty of puns to amuse the adults reading aloud.

Captain CoconutCaptain Coconut and the Case of the Missing Bananas
by Anushka Ravishankar, Priya Sundram
Ages 8–up
Captain Coconut so brilliant he often outsmarts himself. When four of Mrs Y’s bananas disappear, Captain Coconut must use his mathematical skills to identify the thief. Musical interludes punctuate the goofy narration, just right for readers ready to take on short chapters. Bright digital collage illustrations add to the fun.

CreepyCreepy Crawly Crime
by Aaron Reynolds, Neil Numberman
Ages 8–12
Joey Fly is an experienced private investigator with an eager young apprentice named Sammy Stingtail. The pair are hired by a clueless butterfly to find her missing diamond pencil box. Full of insect humor, puns, and nifty similes, this classic mystery will keep young readers glued to the pages. A graphic novel with a film noir look, this is the first in the Joey Fly, Private Eye series.

39 CluesThe 39 Clues: A Maze of Bones
by Rick Riordan
Ages 9–14
In this first of 10 books, orphans Amy and Dan Cahill take on the challenge of winning a fortune by collecting all 39 clues. They also hope to find their parents along the way. Unfortunately they are competing against the rest of the Cahill clan, many of whom are less than honorable. Riordan created the story arc for the series; authors will write also for the series. This fast-paced book has plenty of suspense, danger, and puzzles. Readers between the age of 6–14 can also create online accounts to play the online game and compete for $100,000 in prizes.

She Is Not InvisibleShe Is Not Invisible
by Marcus Sedgwick
Ages 12–up
Laureth Peak (16) is blind, but her father has taught her to look for recurring patterns in events and numbers. When her novelist father goes missing during a trip to Switzerland doing research about coincidence, Laureth is concerned. Then she receives an email from New York from someone claiming to have found her father’s notebook. Laureth’s mother doesn’t think there is a problem, so Laureth borrows her mother’s credit cards and journeys from their home in England to New York with her seven-year-old brother to see for her. This mystery thriller narrated from the perspective of an observant blind person is enthralling.

The AmateursThe Amateurs
by Sara Shepard
Ages 14–up
It’s been five years since Helena Kelly was murdered, and her killer still hasn’t been caught. Younger sister Aerin, still consumed by grief, posts a request for help on the Case Not Closed (CNC) online forum that specializes in cold cases. Seneca Frazier (18) and Maddy Wright (19) answer, and join Aerin in the hunt for new evidence, uncovering secrets that Helena was concealing. (first in a new series)

As Red as BloodAs Red as Blood
by Salla Simukka
Ages 13–up
Lumikki Andersson (17) visits the darkroom at her prestigious school in Finland and finds thousands of Euros covered in fresh blood. Living alone in a studio apartment far from her home and parents, Lumikki has been totally focused on studying rather than making friends, but the gruesome discovery leads to an alliance with Eliza, the spoiled daughter of a local narcotics officer, as they try to trace the origins of the money. This intense mystery is the first in the Snow White Trilogy.

Friday BarnesFriday Barnes, Girl Detective
by R.A. Spratt, Phil Gosier
Ages 8–12
Friday Barnes (11) is used to being invisible. Ignored by her parents, theoretical physicists. Friday reads detective novels and watches Agatha Christie films. With the reward earned by solving a bank robbery, Friday sends herself to an exclusive boarding school. She shrugs off the taunts of the pampered students and begins to solve a series of crimes ranging from disappearing homework to a Yeti who haunts the nearby swamp. This hilarious novel is the first in a series.

WilsonWilson and Miss Lovely:
A Back-to-School Mystery
by John Stadler
Ages 4–8
After his first week of school, Wilson is enthusiastic about his new teacher. But something is wrong. The school bus never arrives, and the school is empty. Wilson goes through his normal school routine, completing his math and science lessons alone, sending himself to the principal’s office when he misbehaves, but he grows more and more worried. Fold-out flaps reveal a first green foot with claws, and then more details until the surprise conclusion. A bit scary, but funny and sweet.

SpyologySpyology:
The Complete Book of Spycraft
by Dugald A. Steer
Ages 8–12
It's 1958 and Agent K, a British spy, reveals his secret techniques in a manual for new recruits. As he pursues the evil Operation Codex, Agent K sets challenges and reveals clues. Included are a magnifying glass, a code-breaker, and a secret compartment in the spine.

Murder Is Bad MannersMurder Is Bad Manners
by Robin Stevens
Ages 10–up
Hazel Wong, a shy new girl from Hong Kong, and Daisy Wells, an outspoken English beauty, are best friends at the Deepdean School for Girls, bonded by their love for detective fiction and the intelligence they try to hide from their classmates in 1930s England. The two form the secret Wells & Wong Detective Society, and open their first big case when one of their teachers dies under mysterious circumstances.

The Romeo and Juliet CodeThe Romeo And Juliet Code
by Phoebe Stone
Ages 8–12
In the middle of WWII, eleven-year-old Felicity’s parents send her from the dangers of England to the safety of her father’s family in Maine. When her Uncle Gideon begins to receive mysterious letters in her father’s handwriting from Portugal, Felicity and her new friend Captain Derek set out to crack the code of the letters and figure out what is being hidden from her. Themes of culture shock, adaptation, and perseverance are explored in this romantic mystery.

The Harlem CharadeThe Harlem Charade
by Natasha Tarpley
Ages 8–12
Jin (12) helps her Korean grandparents run their corner store in Harlem, and is fascinated by Alex, an African-American girl who is ashamed of her family’s wealth and does secret good deeds. Jin orchestrates working with Alex on a school project, alone with Elvin, whose grandfather was recently attacked and is in a coma. The three join forces to figure out who attacked him, sharing Harlem landmarks and history with Elvin, who just moved from Berkeley, California.

Trouble Is a Friend of MineTrouble is a Friend of Mine
by Stephanie Tromly
Ages 12–up
Zoe Webster (16) is living with her mother in upstate New York after her parents divorce. Philip Digby, a loner neighbor, convinces Zoe to help him look for Marina Miller, a missing classmate. Digby’s sister also vanished eight years earlier, and Digby is convinced the new kidnapping is connected to his sister’s disappearance. Digby is annoying but brilliant, and Zoe can’t seem to say no to him, and the pair are soon joined by the high school quarterback, a cheerleader, and a science genius. This funny mystery is a winner.

Three Times LuckyThree Times Lucky
by Sheila Turnage
Ages 10–up
Moses LoBeau washed ashore in Tupelo Landing, North Carolina eleven years earlier. The newborn baby girl was rescued by the Colonel, a stranger who can’t remember anything of his own past. The two are taken in by Miss Lana, the owner of the Tupola Cafe. Mo loves Miss Lana and the Colonel, but is curious about her own past, sending regular messages in bottles to her “Upstream Mother.” Then a detective arrives investigating a murder with a connection to Tupelo Landing, and Mo and her best friend, Dale Earnhardt Johnson III, set out to find the truth and protect Miss Lana and the Colonel.

The Ghosts of Tupulo LandingThe Ghosts of Tupelo Landing
by Sheila Turnage
Ages 10–up
Sixth grade has started, and Mo LoBeau and her friends have been assigned to interview the town’s elderly residents in preparation for the town’s 250th anniversary. Then Miss Lana, Mo’s guardian, makes an accidental bid and ends up owning a dilapidated inn that appears to be haunted. So the Desperado Detective Agency (Mo and her friend Dale) open up a paranormal division to solve the mystery of the ghost’s identity. This funny mystery is the sequel to Three Times Lucky.

Last in a Long Line of RebelsLast in a Long Line of Rebels
by Lisa Lewis Tyre
Ages 10–up
In the summer of 1999, Lou Mayhew (12) learns that her beloved 175-year old home in Zollicoffer, Tennessee, right next to her father’s junkyard, is due to be torn down through the process of eminent domain to build new city offices. Isaac, the star of the high school football team who works weekends for her father, has just learned that he was not awarded a scholarship to the University of Tennessee because of the coach’s prejudice. With the help of her friends, Lou works to find a way to save her home and get Isaac to UT by solving a Civil War mystery and locating a cache of missing gold.

Moon over ManifestMoon Over Manifest
by Clare Vanderpool
Newbery Medal 2011
Ages 9–12

In 1936, while her father is away on a railroad job, 12-year-old Abeline Tucker spends the summer in her father’s hometown of Manifest, Kansas. Based on her father’s stories, Abeline expects something magical, and is disappointed to find only a worn out old town. But Abeline is determined to find out what her father was like at her age, and explores the past through stories and newspaper columns. When she finds a hidden cigar box full of old letters, Abeline and her new friends are quickly involved in a spy hunt, eager to unveil the secrets of the past.

LootLoot
by Jude Watson
Ages 8–12
March McQuinn (12) has lived a live of ease as the son of a very successful cat burglar until the day his father falls to his death during a burglary. With his dying breath, March’s father reveals that March has a twin sister Jules, who has been traveling with their aunt’s street performance group. They two unite and use their father’s cryptic notes to reclaim seven cursed moonstone gems once stolen by their father and earn the reward of seven million dollars.

The ShadowsThe Shadows
by Jacqueline West
Ages 9–12
Soon after Olive Dunwoody (11) and her mathematician parents move into an old Victorian house, Olive realizes that something isn’t right. She discovers that wearing a pair of spectacles allows her to enter the unsettling paintings into Elsewhere, where she meets Morton (9), who tells her about the secrets the house and the previous owner are hiding. With the help of three talking house cats, Olive begins to patch together a series of clues she hopes will help her save those living inside the paintings from their dark fate. This deliciously creepy novel is the first in a series: The Books of Elsewhere.

Where Things Come BackWhere Things Come Back
by John Corey Whaley
Ages 14–up
Cullen Witter (17) is bored to death living in the small town of Lily, Arkansas until the summer before his senior year. Then the Lazarus woodpecker, long thought to be extinct, allegedly reappears, and his younger brother Gabriel goes missing. Meanwhile, Benton Sage, a young missionary in Africa loses his faith and leaves Ethiopia for the University of Atlanta. Told in alternating chapters, the two stories narrated from two completely different viewpoints gradually converge into the surprising and disturbing finale of this darkly humorous thriller.

The Space Between TreesThe Space between Trees
by Katie Williams
Ages 14–up
Evie (16) is an outsider with a vivid imagination she uses to make her lonely life in a small midwestern town livable. When Zabet McCabe, a childhood friend, is murdered, Evie finds herself involved in a story even she couldn’t imagine. Zabet’s reckless and emotionally unstable best friend Hadley becomes obsessed with finding Zabet’s murderer, and drags Evie into her investigation. Evie’s honesty and unwise decisions make for some difficult reading, but this dark coming-of-age story beautifully portrays the anguish of those who don’t fit in with their peer group.

Incorrigible ChildrenThe Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book I: The Mysterious Howling
by Maryrose Wood
Ages 8–12
Penelope Lumley, a 15-year-old educated at the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, has just accepted her first post as governess. The three children in her charge were found running wild in the woods, and are now living in a barn on the estate of Lord Frederic Ashton. More animal than human, Alexander keeps his younger siblings in line with gentle nips while Beowulf chases squirrels and Cassiopeia barks. First in a new series, this cleverly funny book will have readers clamoring for the next.

Blink & CautionBlink & Caution
by Tim Wynne-Jones
Ages 14–up
Blink has been living on the streets ever since he ran away from his abusive step-father. While trying to steal leftover food from room service in a hotel, he witnesses a fake kidnapping of an oil executive. Caution is on the run from her abusive drug-dealing boyfriend, and trying to deal with her guilt over the accidental shooting of her brother. The two teens try their hands at blackmail, and are quickly caught up in racial and environmental issues that they can’t fix in this compelling noir crime novel.

Boy NobodyBoy Nobody
by Allen Zadoff
Ages 15–up
The unnamed 15-year old protagonist in this spy adventure lost his identity when his parents were murdered and he was kidnapped. Raised to be an assassin, he befriends the children of the powerful, wrangles an invitation to visit their homes, and kills their parents. His current assignment is to infiltrated a private school with the mission to kill the mayor of New York City. His attraction to the mayor’s daughter causes him to wonder about the true purpose of the secretive agency that has trained him.

MarinaMarina
by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Ages 12–up
Oscar Drai (15) leads a dreary life in a boarding school in 1979 Barcelona, Spain. During his free time, Oscar explores the city and follows the sound of music into an old dilapidated house. The eccentric German owner frightens Oscar and he flees, accidentally taking a watch with him. When he returns the watch, he meets the mysterious Marina, who invites Oscar to come with her to a cemetery to watch a cloaked woman who regularly leaves a red rose on an unmarked grave. While trying to solve the mystery of the unknown woman, Oscar and Marina discover the story of hereditary disease, murder, and unspeakable scientific experiments that took place many years earlier.