93+ Children's Books About Mystery

Updated Jan. 19, 2019
Antoinette book
#1
Antoinette
Written by Kelly DiPucchio and illustrated by Christian Robinson
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

"Raised in a family of talented bulldogs, Antoinette the poodle wonders what makes her special. She gets the chance to prove herself and find what she's good at when puppy Ooh-la-la goes missing"--

Basil of Baker Street book
#2
Basil of Baker Street
Written by Eve Titus and illustrated by Paul Galdone
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Named one of “13 Detective Book Series You Obsessed over as a Kid” by Buzzfeed.com and the inspiration for a hit Disney film, the masterful Great Mouse Detective series is now available to a whole new generation of readers! Basil—the famous sleuth of mousedom—lives in the cellar of Sherlock Holmes’s house. A devoted admirer of the great detective, he has learned his craft by listening at the feet of Holmes himself. But will it be enough to help Basil solve his most baffling mystery yet? The Mystery of the Missing Twins is one of the strangest cases in Basil’s career. With only a few crumbs of clues with which to find answers, how is he ever going to figure out where Angela and Agatha are being kept—and, of course, who mouse-napped them! Will Basil’s mouse sleuthing skills be up to the task of finding the twins before it’s too late?

Two of Everything book
#3
Two of Everything
Written and illustrated by Lily Toy Hong
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

When old Mr. Haktak digs up a curious brass pot in his garden, he has no idea what use it can be. On his way home, Mr. Haktak decides to carry his coin purse in the mysterious pot. But when Mrs. Haktak’s hairpin accidentally slips into the pot and she reaches in to retrieve it, the magic of the pot is revealed. Not only are there two hairpins inside, but there are also two purses!

Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? book
#4
Who Ate All the Cookie Dough?
Written by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Kanga and her friends try to discover who ate all of her cookie dough.

Outfoxed book
#5
Outfoxed
Written and illustrated by Claudia Boldt
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-7

Harold is unlike any other fox. He hates eating chicken, for one thing. He much prefers reading detective novels. When Harold's father challenges him to catch a chicken as part of his initiation into adulthood, Harold is faced with a dilemma--should he obey his father and endanger the chicken's life, or do what his heart tells him is right? The latest title from award-winning illustrator Claudia Boldt, Outfoxed introduces a smart, independent-minded character in Harold the fox and is sure to become a bedtime favorite.

Mission Defrostable book
#6
Mission Defrostable
Written by Josh Funk and illustrated by Brendan Kearney
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Our favorite breakfast food friends are back and all bready for their next adventure! Can they save the fridge before all the food is iced? It's mission . . . defrostable. "And now with the two of you out of the fold, I've got my revenge and I'm serving it cold!" Brrr! There's a frost in the fridge--and it's hardened Pudding Pond and frozen Yogurt Falls. Agent Asparagus is on the case, and she begs Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast to join her superspy team. But when the enemy snatches Asparagus, Pancake and French Toast have only one dough man to turn to for help: the evil Baron von Waffle! Will he help them save the fridge . . . or are they doomed to become frozen food?

Museum Mystery Squad and the Case of the Hidden Hieroglyphics book
#7
Museum Mystery Squad and the Case of the Hidden Hieroglyphics
Written by Mike Nicholson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-9

Some people think that museums are boring places full of glass cases, dust and stuff no-one cares about: wrong! In a hidden headquarters below the exhibits there's a gang ready to handle dangerous, spooky or just plain weird problems: the Museum Mystery Squad. Techie-genius Nabster, mile-a-minute Kennedy, and sharp-eyed Laurie (along with Colin the hamster!) tackle the surprising conundrums happening at the museum. From moving prehistoric creatures and secret Egyptian code breaking to missing treasure and strange messages from the past, there's no brain-twisting, totally improbable puzzle the Squad can't solve.

Artie Conan Doyle and the Gravediggers' Club book
#8
Artie Conan Doyle and the Gravediggers' Club
Written by Robert J. Harris
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Before the world meets Sherlock Homes, twelve-year-old Artie Conan Doyle has his own mysteries to solve. Will Artie survive encounters with graveyards, hounds and ghosts in foggy Edinburgh? Or will his first case be his last?

Rescue in the Rockies book
#9
Rescue in the Rockies
Written and illustrated by Rita Feutl
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Janey, fourteen, is spending the holidays in the Rocky Mountains with her grandma and her grandma’s new beau, Charlie, who has brought along his grandson, Max. Mysteriously, Janey finds herself hopping back and forth between different time periods, all in the area of Banff, Alberta. And if that wasn’t enough to spoil a vacation, she also has to deal with Max and his grumpy moods. Eventually she discovers the reason for the time-traveling and for Max’s surliness. Together on one last trip, Max and Janey travel into the past and solve the mystery.

Judy Moody and Friends: Judy Moody, Tooth Fairy book
#10
Judy Moody and Friends: Judy Moody, Tooth Fairy
Written by Megan McDonald and illustrated by Erwin Madrid
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

By popular demand, Judy Moody herself steps into the spotlight in a story that is sure to have kids grinning — and believing. Judy and her friends are on the playground when Jessica Finch overhears a fifth-grader talking. What!? There’s no such thing as the Tooth Fairy? Can that big kid be right? Luckily, Judy Moody is on the case! All she needs is one loose tooth, a semi-reluctant little brother, a bathtub, a string, a toy motorboat, and . . . open wide, Stink! But what if the real Tooth Fairy is a no-show? Judy Moody fans will happily sink their teeth into this cavity-free caper full of surprises — and a little bit of magic.

The Giant Jumperee book
#11
The Giant Jumperee
Written by Julia Donaldson and illustrated by Helen Oxenbury
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Two of the world’s most celebrated picture book creators, Julia Donaldson and Helen Oxenbury, team up for the first time in this jaunty animal fable for fans of Room on the Broom and We’re Going on a Bear Hunt Rabbit arrives home one day to hear a loud voice coming from inside his burrow: “I’m the Giant Jumperee and I’m scary as can be!” shouts the stranger. Rabbit’s friends Cat, Bear, and Elephant come to help, but they’re no match for the mysterious, booming voice. But who is the Giant Jumperee? Find out in this new read-aloud classic from internationally bestselling author Julia Donaldson, beautifully brought to life by award-winning illustrator Helen Oxenbury.

Boil Line book
#12
Boil Line
Written by M.J. McIsaac
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Camp Clearwater is home to best friends Nate, Owen and Mercy. They practically grew up on the Starling River. But the summer they turn sixteen an incident forces the camp to close its doors. Mike Elliot, the river guide who taught the teens everything they know, is lost to the rapids. A tragic accident, everyone agrees. Except for Nate. Mike was the best kayaker he’d ever met. The smartest. The safest. He respected and loved the river, and as far as Nate is concerned, the river loved Mike back. If his instructor was pulled under by the Starling, then Nate is sure foul play was involved. To find the truth, Nate must face his greatest fears as he retraces Mike’s final run through the Black Hole, the most treacherous waters on the Starling.

Click! book
#13
Click!
Written and illustrated by Frank W. Dormer
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5

Things are not at all what they seem in this picture book mystery filled with rhyming wordplay. “It’s a perfect day to catch a cat,” muses a dog. But to his annoyance, all he seems to find are things that rhyme with cat. Rat. Bat. Gnat. Why can’t he catch a cat?! In a fascinating and delightful twist, we ‘click!’ to see the reason: the cat has been telling the story all along!

The Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery book
#14
The Turnkey of Highgate Cemetery
Written by Allison Rushby
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Flossie Birdwhistle is the Turnkey at London’s Highgate Cemetery. As Turnkey, it’s Flossie’s job to ensure that all the souls buried in the cemetery stay at rest. Not an easy job for a young ghost, but a task made especially difficult by World War II: London is being attacked every night by enemy bombers, and even the dead are unsettled. When Flossie encounters the ghost of a German soldier carrying a mysterious object that seems to exist in both the living and spirit worlds, she becomes suspicious—what is the officer up to? Before long, Flossie uncovers a sinister plot that could destroy not only her cemetery, but also her beloved country. Can Flossie and her ghostly friends stop the soldier before it’s too late? History collides with the supernatural in this exciting, ethereal mystery from Allison Rushby.

The Darkdeep book
#15
The Darkdeep
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When a bullying incident sends twelve-year-old Nico Holland into Still Cove’s icy waters, Tyler, Emma, and Opal rush to his rescue—and discover a mysterious island. Though the island appears uninhabited, the kids know something about it is not right. And then they stumble upon an abandoned houseboat filled with curiosities, a dark secret churning in its depths. As the group delves into this new clubhouse, their lives intertwine in weird, dangerous ways. Something ancient has awakened . . . and it can detect not only their dreams, but also their darkest imaginings. Can they face the shadowy secrets lurking within their own hearts? Told from two alternating POVs, this pulse-racing tale starts a thrilling series about friendship and believing in yourself—and each other.

The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book VI book
#16
The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: Book VI
Written by Maryrose Wood and illustrated by Eliza Wheeler
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

For fans of Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events and Trenton Lee Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society, here comes the final book in the Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place, the acclaimed and hilarious Victorian mystery series by Maryrose Wood. Unhappy Penelope Lumley is trapped in unhappy Plinkst! Even the beets for which Plinkst is inexplicably famous fail to grow in this utterly miserable Russian village. Penelope anxiously counts the days and wonders how she will ever get back to England in time to save all the Ashtons—who, she now knows, include herself and the Incorrigible children, although their precise location on the family tree is still a mystery—from their accursèd fate. Her daring scheme to escape sends her on a wildly unexpected journey. But time is running out, and the not-really-dead Edward Ashton is still on the loose. His mad obsession with the wolfish curse on the Ashtons puts Penelope and the Incorrigibles in dire peril. As Penelope fights her way back to her beloved pupils, the three brave Incorrigibles endure their gloomy new tutor and worriedly prepare for the arrival of Lady Constance’s baby. Little do they know the danger they’re in! In this action-packed conclusion to the acclaimed series, mysteries are solved and long-lost answers are found. Only one question remains: Will Penelope and the Incorrigibles find a way to undo the family curse in time, or will the next full moon be their last?

The Sky Phantom book
#17
The Sky Phantom
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Nancy goes to Excello Flying School in the Midwest to take lessons, while her friends Bess and George perfect their horseback riding. But soon the young sleuth is confronted with the mystery of a hijacked plane and a missing pilot. Then the rancher’s prize pony, Major, is stolen. Nancy becomes a detective in a plane and on horseback to track down the elusive sky phantom and the horse thief. A lucky find – a medal with a message to be deciphered on it – furnishes a worthwhile clue. Romance is added to mystery when Bess becomes interested in a handsome cowboy. Readers will spur Nancy on as she investigates a strange magnetic cloud, hunts for the horse thief, and finally arrives at a surprising solution.

The Strange Message in the Parchment book
#18
The Strange Message in the Parchment
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A sheep farmer receives a mysterious telephone call shortly after he buys a series of pictures painted on parchment. “Decipher the message in the parchment and right a great wrong,” the voice says. Puzzled, the owner asks Nancy to help. With Junie, his daughter, Nancy tracks down a kidnapper and a group of extortionists. Is there a connection between the message in the parchment and a boy artist on another farm? And who is responsible for the atmosphere of fear in the neighborhood? After several harrowing experiences, Nancy begins to tighten the net around a ruthless villain and calls on the assistance of her friends Ned, Burt, Dave, Bess and George to bring his nefarious scheme to a dead end.

The Secret of the Forgotten City book
#19
The Secret of the Forgotten City
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Gold! There are rumors that long ago a treasure was hidden in a city now buried under the Nevada desert. Nancy and her friends plan to join a dig sponsored by two colleges to hunt for the gold. Before she starts, the young sleuth receives an ancient stone table with petroglyphs on it. With this amazing clue, however, come a threat and danger from a thief who also wants the treasure. One harrowing adventure after another besets Nancy, Bess, George, Ned, Burt, and Dave in 102-degree temperatures as they pursue Nancy’s hunches above and below ground. They are assisted by a fine woman and a young geology student, but both are unwilling participants in a strange plot. In the end Nancy and Ned nearly lose their lives, just after she has discovered the priceless hidden treasure of gold.

Nancy Drew 51: Mystery of the Glowing Eye book
#20
Nancy Drew 51: Mystery of the Glowing Eye
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

When Nancy Drew eagerly agrees to help her lawyer father solve the mystery of the glowing eye, she has no way of knowing that it will involve the kidnapping of her close friend Ned Nickerson. A puzzling note in Ned’s handwriting set Nancy and her friends Bess and George on a hazardous search for a bizarre criminal. From their base of operations, the Emerson College campus, the three girl detectives and Ned’s college pals follow a maze of clues to locate the kidnapper’s hideout and rescue Ned. Not only is Nancy greatly worried about Ned, but also she is alarmed by the high-handed methods of a woman lawyer who tries to take the case away from her. Readers will follow Nancy’s exciting adventures as she unravels this dangerous web of mystery.

The Double Jinx Mystery book
#21
The Double Jinx Mystery
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A bird of ill omen is mysteriously left on the Drews’ front lawn. Did the person who put it there do so with the intent of jinxing Nancy and her father? This strange incident involves Nancy in her famous father’s case concerning a rare bird farm threatened with destruction to make room for a high-rise apartment house complex. People who are opposed to the ruthless take-over of the farm are being made the victims of jinxing by bad luck symbols and other threats to their safety. Even Nancy and her friend Ned Nickerson become targets! Nancy soon realizes that helping honest people to overcome their superstitions and fears can be as challenging as tracking down criminals. The young detective’s thrilling adventures will keep the reader in breathless suspense from the first page to the last.

The Secret of Mirror Bay book
#22
The Secret of Mirror Bay
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Aunt Eloise Drew invited Nancy and her friends to Mirror Bay Bide-a-Wee cabin near Cooperstown, New York, for a visit and a chance to solve the mystery of the woman who glides across the water. Upon their arrival, Nancy becomes mixed up in a vacation hoax and is nearly arrested for fraud. On the wooded mountain near the cabin further exciting events await Nancy and the other girls. In the deep forest, a weird luminescent green sorcerer appears who threatens to cast an evil spell on anyone investigating his strange activities. In a dangerous twist of circumstances Nancy finds that solving one mystery helps to solve another. What happens when the young detective and her friends uncover a cleverly concealed criminal operation?

The Mysterious Mannequin book
#23
The Mysterious Mannequin
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The strange disappearance of a young Turkish client of Mr. Drew’s and the gift of an Oriental rug with a coded message woven into its decorative border start Nancy on a difficult search for a missing mannequin. What happened to the attractive figure that Farouk Tahmasp used in the display window of this rug shop? Who is trying to keep Nancy from finding it – and why? Tracking down the intricate trail of clues takes Nancy and her friends Bess and George, Ned, Burt, and Dave to Turkey. Their sleuthing leads them to the Grand Bazaar in the exotic city of Istanbul, where Bess mysteriously disappears. Suspense mounts when Nancy encounters a vengeful enemy at an ancient underground reservoir. Events move swiftly as Nancy and her friends try to solve this challenging mystery!

Shadow Island book
#24
Shadow Island
Written by Nancy Deas, Mike Deas and illustrated by Mike Deas
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

With nowhere left to live after losing his parents and working his way through a long list of relatives on the mainland, Ollie finds himself at his grandpa’s house in Sueño Bay, “home of the supernatural.” Miserable and intending to get away from the earthquake-prone, rain-soaked island on the next bus out of town, Ollie’s getaway plans are altered abruptly when he and three classmates discover something they shouldn’t have in a trailer in the woods. The four unlikely friends come together in a mystery involving supernatural creatures, a ticking clock and one angry gym teacher to save themselves, the creatures and Sueño Bay from a darkness that is infecting the island. If they succeed, will Ollie finally find a place to call home?

The Thirteenth Pearl book
#25
The Thirteenth Pearl
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Nancy is asked to locate a stolen pearl necklace that is unusual and very valuable. She soon learns that strange and dangerous people are responsible for the theft. They harass her at home and intensify it when she and her father go to Japan, until they finally manage to kidnap Nancy and her friend Ned Nickerson when she returns to River Heights. Through clever sleuthing, Nancy is able to penetrate the rites of an amazing group of pearl worshippers, some of whose members are far from devout, and she uncovers underhanded dealings of certain employees of World Wide Gems, Inc., a tremendous international jewelry company. Readers will love accompanying Nancy, disguised as a Japanese girl, in this adventure in Tokyo.

Have a suggestion for a book to add to this list? Send an email to [email protected]!