Sleuthing: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best kids books about sleuthing?

Well hello, Holmes! You’ve come to the right place to find a new case—we’ve rounded up our favorite books about sleuthing to help you hone your detective skills and figure out the many mysteries that lie ahead! Whether it’s who, how, what, or why, we have confidence that with your investigative skills, you can come to the correct conclusion before it’s too late!

Top 10 Books About Sleuthing

Hardy Boys 1: The Tower Treasure book
#1
Hardy Boys 1: The Tower Treasure
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

The Hardy Boys novels were a staple of my early reading, and I’ll love them forever. Many people were more familiar with the Nancy Drew series, but the Hardy Boys books are equally exciting and enjoyable detective books. Because the books are older, readers may encounter some unfamiliar words, like the yellow “jalopy” stolen by the same man who attempts to rob a ferry boat ticket office. Readers will enjoy the step-by-step problem-solving. The Hardy Boys novels are especially great for introducing young readers to the practice of deductive reasoning—the process of elimination widely popularized by Sherlock Holmes. The books are written by several different authors writing under a shared pen name, and some are certainly better than others. The Tower Treasure is one of the best.

The Hardy Boys series, first published in 1927, has sold more than 70 million copies! Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won’t want to miss! In The Tower Treasure, the first book in the incredibly popular, long-running series, Frank and Joe Hardy work together to solve a high-stakes jewel heist. A special treat for Hardy Boys fans and any reader who’s new to the series!

Catch That Cookie! book
#2
Catch That Cookie!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This is one of my boys all time favorite books! They love love love the adventure of the runaway gingerbread men cookies. This always brings an element of fun to our holiday season. We read it and make our own cookies that always seem to run away. Just like Marshall, my boys get to be detectives and try out their sleuthing for those cookies!

Solve the riddles to find the runaway gingerbread men in this funny and magical cookie hunt!

Marshall knows one thing for sure, despite what all the stories say: Gingerbread men cannot run. Cookies are for eating, and he can’t wait to eat his after spending all morning baking them with his class. But when it’s time to take the gingerbread men out of the oven . . . they’re gone! Now, to find those rogue cookies, Marshall and his class have to solve a series of rhyming clues. And Marshall just might have to rethink his stance on magic. Catch That Cookie! is an imaginative mystery, deliciously illustrated by Caldecott Medal winner David Small. It’s sure to inspire a new classroom tradition . . . and maybe even a few new believers!

The Thief Lord book
#3
The Thief Lord
Written by Cornelia Funke and illustrated by Christian Birmingham
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from The Book Snob Mom

I’ve loved everything I’ve read of Cornelia Funke’s and this book was no exception. The multiple and ever-unfolding layers of reality and truth combine with the magic of Funke’s storytelling (and the magic of the carousel) to create a compelling story full of adventure, intrigue (with lots of sleuthing and sneaking!) and the most important discovery of what family really means and who family really is.

The enchanting international bestseller with bonus back matter and a beautiful new cover!

Two orphaned brothers, Prosper and Bo, have run away to Venice, where crumbling canals and misty alleyways shelter a secret community of street urchins. Leader of this motley crew of lost children is a clever, charming boy with a dark history of his own: He calls himself the Thief Lord.

Propser and Bo relish their new “family” and life of petty crime. But their cruel aunt and a bumbling detective are on their trail. And posing an even greater threat to the boys’ freedom is something from a forgotten past: a beautiful magical treasure with the power to spin time itself.

Sloth Slept on book
#4
Sloth Slept on
Written and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This book is so clever. Such a fun story. The kids are so set to figure out what this animal is and where it came from and where it should go and they do lots of research. I love seeing the curiosity in children and their desire to find answers!

Who’s that sleeping in our tree? When a group of kids finds an animal happily napping in their backyard, they set out to discover what it is and where it belongs. As they search and search—never noticing the posters and articles about a sloth that’s fled the zoo—they finally discover the identity of the snoozing creature. When sloth wakes up, it’s in for a BIG surprise!

Andi Unexpected book
#5
Andi Unexpected
Written by Amanda Flower
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This story shows how grief is manifested in different ways, but how the two sisters and their guardian bonded together and strengthened one another in their difficult times. I also loved that the mystery was about Andi’s family history and linked to the great depression, both of which are great topics for readers to learn about. I loved following along in their sleuthing and detective efforts to figure out the answer to their mystery. :)

The first in a new middle-grade mystery series, in Andi Unexpected, twelve-year-old Andi Boggs, discovers evidence of her forgotten namesake, a missing relative, which leads her into a family mystery rooted in the Great Depression.

Basil of Baker Street book
#6
Basil of Baker Street
Written by Eve Titus and illustrated by Paul Galdone
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This intermediate read will put your sleuthing and detective skills at work!There are a few illustrations throughout, and it’s a fun, quick read. This would be a great read-aloud, too.

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?

Russell and the Lost Treasure book
#7
Russell and the Lost Treasure
Written and illustrated by Rob Scotton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Russell the sheep is determined to find the Lost Treasure of Frogsbottom. Equipped with his Super-Duper Treasure Seeker, Russell searches high and low, up and down, and in and out. Nothing! Finally, Russell finds an old chest! Could it be? Discover how Russell finds the most valuable treasure of all.

The Doll People book
#8
The Doll People
Written by Laura Godwin and Ann M. Martin and illustrated by Brian Selznick
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This adventurous story is full of facing fears, some sleuthing, and problem solving. Even though the cover may cause some boys to think it’s a “girl book,” I think this book is such a fun gender neutral book! When Annabelle Doll finds out she might have a missing Aunt Doll somewhere in the house, she decides to face everyone’s biggest fear: leaving the dollhouse to figure out what happened to her Aunt.

Annabelle Doll is eight years old-she has been for more than a hundred years. Not a lot has happened to her, cooped up in the dollhouse, with the same doll family, day after day, year after year. . . until one day the Funcrafts move in.

A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning book
#9
A Series of Unfortunate Events #1: The Bad Beginning
Written by Lemony Snicket and illustrated by Brett Helquist
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from The Goodfather

As a believer in home libraries, I love reading about the excitement the Baudelaire children feel when they visit the home library of Justice Strauss for the first time. And I especially love when they return to that home library to figure out what terrible scheme Count Olaf might be plotting to get to their family fortune and how they can outwit him at his own game. The terribly unfortunate but resilient Baudelaire orphans combined with the terrifically terrible villainy of Count Olaf make Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events such a memorable puzzler.

NOW A NETFLIX ORIGINAL SERIES Violet, Klaus, and Sunny Baudelaire are intelligent children. They are charming, and resourceful, and have pleasant facial features. Unfortunately, they are exceptionally unlucky. In the first two books alone, the three youngsters encounter a greedy and repulsive villain, itchy clothing, a disastrous fire, a plot to steal their fortune, a lumpy bed, a deadly serpent, a large brass reading lamp, a long knife, and a terrible odor. In the tradition of great storytellers, from Dickens to Dahl, comes an exquisitely dark comedy that is both literary and irreverent, hilarious and deftly crafted. Never before has a tale of three likeable and unfortunate children been quite so enchanting, or quite so uproariously unhappy.

Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of the Baskervilles book
#10
Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of the Baskervilles
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Delight your little one with the sounds and sights of a mysterious night in Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of Baskervilles: A BabyLit Sounds Primer. Alison Oliver’s bold illustrations correspond with Jennifer Adams’ clever, simple text to create pairings little bibliophiles will love to have read to them, such as “hounds howl,” “gates screech,” and “stairs creak.”

Books About Sleuthing and Detectives

Hardy Boys 1: The Tower Treasure book
#1
Hardy Boys 1: The Tower Treasure
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from Lemony Snickers

The Hardy Boys novels were a staple of my early reading, and I’ll love them forever. Many people were more familiar with the Nancy Drew series, but the Hardy Boys books are equally exciting and enjoyable detective books. Because the books are older, readers may encounter some unfamiliar words, like the yellow “jalopy” stolen by the same man who attempts to rob a ferry boat ticket office. Readers will enjoy the step-by-step problem-solving. The Hardy Boys novels are especially great for introducing young readers to the practice of deductive reasoning—the process of elimination widely popularized by Sherlock Holmes. The books are written by several different authors writing under a shared pen name, and some are certainly better than others. The Tower Treasure is one of the best.

The Hardy Boys series, first published in 1927, has sold more than 70 million copies! Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won’t want to miss! In The Tower Treasure, the first book in the incredibly popular, long-running series, Frank and Joe Hardy work together to solve a high-stakes jewel heist. A special treat for Hardy Boys fans and any reader who’s new to the series!

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
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This intermediate read will put your sleuthing and detective skills at work!There are a few illustrations throughout, and it’s a fun, quick read. This would be a great read-aloud, too.

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?

Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of the Baskervilles book
#3
Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of the Baskervilles
Written by Jennifer Adams and illustrated by Alison Oliver
board book
Recommend Ages: 2-4

Delight your little one with the sounds and sights of a mysterious night in Sherlock Holmes in the Hound of Baskervilles: A BabyLit Sounds Primer. Alison Oliver’s bold illustrations correspond with Jennifer Adams’ clever, simple text to create pairings little bibliophiles will love to have read to them, such as “hounds howl,” “gates screech,” and “stairs creak.”

Honorable Mentions
  1. What Really Happened to Humpty? - Detective Joe Dumpty rushes to investigate the mysterious circumstances under which his older brother, Humpty, fell from a wall on his first day as captain of the new Neighborhood Watch program.

  2. Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective - Leroy Brown, aka Encyclopedia Brown, is Idaville neighborhood’s ten-year-old star detective. With an uncanny knack for trivia, he solves mysteries for the neighborhood kids through his own detective agency. But his dad also happens to be the chief of the Idaville police department, and every night around the dinner table, Encyclopedia helps him solve his most baffling crimes. And with ten confounding mysteries in each book, not only does Encyclopedia have a chance to solve them, but the reader is given all the clues as well. Interactive and chock full of interesting bits of information—it’s classic Encyclopedia Brown!

  3. Whobert Whover, Owl Detective - Help Whobert Whover, Owl Detective, keep his woods safe in this hilarious who-who-dun-it.

  4. The Detective Dog - A rollicking rhyming picture book from bestselling author Julia Donaldson about a dog who uses her amazing sense of smell to solve mysteries. When Detective Dog Nell puts her nose to the task, there’s no mystery she can’t solve. Whether she’s tracking the missing shoe of her human, Peter, or locating some lost honeycomb, all Nell has to do is sniff, sniff, sniff and she’s hot on the trail. Besides solving mysteries, there’s something else Nell loves—listening to children read. Every Monday, Peter takes her to school where children tell her stories. One day, Nell and Peter arrive to find that all the books are gone. Who could have taken them? And why? There’s only one dog for the job, and Detective Dog Nell is ready to sniff out the thief!

Want to see 165 more children's books about sleuthing and detectives?

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Books About Sleuthing and Adventure

The Doll People book
#1
The Doll People
Written by Laura Godwin and Ann M. Martin and illustrated by Brian Selznick
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This adventurous story is full of facing fears, some sleuthing, and problem solving. Even though the cover may cause some boys to think it’s a “girl book,” I think this book is such a fun gender neutral book! When Annabelle Doll finds out she might have a missing Aunt Doll somewhere in the house, she decides to face everyone’s biggest fear: leaving the dollhouse to figure out what happened to her Aunt.

Annabelle Doll is eight years old-she has been for more than a hundred years. Not a lot has happened to her, cooped up in the dollhouse, with the same doll family, day after day, year after year. . . until one day the Funcrafts move in.

Russell and the Lost Treasure book
#2
Russell and the Lost Treasure
Written and illustrated by Rob Scotton
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Russell the sheep is determined to find the Lost Treasure of Frogsbottom. Equipped with his Super-Duper Treasure Seeker, Russell searches high and low, up and down, and in and out. Nothing! Finally, Russell finds an old chest! Could it be? Discover how Russell finds the most valuable treasure of all.

Bizzy Bear: Dinosaur Safari book
#3
Bizzy Bear: Dinosaur Safari
Written by Nosy Crow and illustrated by Benji Davies
board book
Recommend Ages: 0-3

On a visit to the Dinosaur Wildlife Park, Bizzy Bear discovers some interesting footprints. Where do they lead and to which dinosaur do they belong? Another exciting adventure for the world’s most intrepid bear!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Greenglass House - At Greenglass House, a smuggler’s inn, 12-year-old Milo, the innkeepers’ adopted son, plans to spend his winter holidays relaxing, but soon guests begin arriving with strange stories about the house, sending Milo and Meddy, the cook’s daughter, on an adventure. Simultaneous eBook.

  2. The Monster Sisters and the Mystery of the Unlocked Cave - When a quiet seaside town is suddenly overrun by hundreds of giant monsters, two young sisters are the only ones prepared to handle the situation. Using their keen interest in architecture, local history, folklore and gymnastics, the two girls attempt to not only stop the monsters’ rampage but also figure out why it’s happening. The story is set in Victoria, British Columbia, and the city’s impressive history and creepy folk- lore add intrigue to the proceedings, as more and more monstrous guests arrive on this unceded Lekwungen Territory. The Monster Sisters, Enid Jupiter and Lyra Gotham, are two young sleuths in the vein of Nancy Drew or Scooby-Doo, doing superheroic deeds while learning about colonialism on Indigenous land.

  3. Neverseen - Sophie battles the rebels—and recovers dark memories from her past—in this jaw-dropping fourth book in the bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series. Sophie Foster is on the run—but at least she’s not alone. Her closest friends from the Lost Cities have gone with her to join the Black Swan. They still have doubts about the shadowy organization, but the only way to find answers is to start working with them. And as they settle into their new lives, they uncover secrets bigger than anything they’d imagined. But their enemies are far from done, and unleash a terrifying plague that threatens the safety of an entire species. Sophie and her friends fight with everything they have—with new allies joining them—but every choice has consequences. And trusting the wrong person could prove deadly. In this game-changing fourth book in the Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must question everything to find a truth that will either save her world—or shatter it.

  4. Nightfall - A New York Times bestselling series A USA TODAY bestselling series A California Young Reader Medal–winning series Sophie and her friends face battles unlike anything they’ve seen before in this thrilling sixth book of the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series. Sophie Foster is struggling. Grieving. Scrambling. But she knows one thing: she will not be defeated. The Neverseen have had their victories—but the battle is far from over. It’s time to change tactics. Make sacrifices. Reexamine everything. Maybe even time for Sophie to trust her enemies. All paths lead to Nightfall—an ominous door to an even more ominous place—and Sophie and her friends strike a dangerous bargain to get there. But nothing can prepare them for what they discover. The problems they’re facing stretch deep into their history. And with time running out, and mistakes catching up with them, Sophie and her allies must join forces in ways they never have before. In this spectacular sixth book in the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling Keeper of the Lost Cities series, Sophie must uncover the truth about the Lost Cities’ insidious past, before it repeats itself and changes reality.

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Books About Sleuthing and Animals

Sloth Slept on book
#1
Sloth Slept on
Written and illustrated by Frann Preston-Gannon
board book
Recommend Ages: 3-5
Thoughts from Mom of Boys

This book is so clever. Such a fun story. The kids are so set to figure out what this animal is and where it came from and where it should go and they do lots of research. I love seeing the curiosity in children and their desire to find answers!

Who’s that sleeping in our tree? When a group of kids finds an animal happily napping in their backyard, they set out to discover what it is and where it belongs. As they search and search—never noticing the posters and articles about a sloth that’s fled the zoo—they finally discover the identity of the snoozing creature. When sloth wakes up, it’s in for a BIG surprise!

Who Ate All the Cookie Dough? book
#2
Who Ate All the Cookie Dough?
Written by Karen Beaumont and illustrated by Eugene Yelchin
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This eeny-meeny-miney-mo story had a fun twist as they were looking for who stole the cookie dough! Though I thought it was a bit repetitive, it was fun to have all of the different animals and I liked the silly monkey. Another fun addition is the lift-the-flap at the end to find the culprit!

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

A Piglet Named Mercy book
#3
A Piglet Named Mercy
Written by Kate DiCamillo and illustrated by Chris Van Dusen
picture book
Recommend Ages: 2-5

Mr. Watson and Mrs. Watson live ordinary lives. Sometimes their lives feel a bit too ordinary. Sometimes they wish something different would happen. And one day it does, when someone unpredictable finds her way to their front door. In a delightful origin story for the star of the Mercy Watson series, a tiny piglet brings love (and chaos) to Deckawoo Drive—and the Watsons’ lives will never be the same.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Giant Jumperee - 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.

  2. Marion and the Secret Letter - Taking a turn caring for the class pet hamster, Marion is devastated when the hamster goes missing and she receives an anonymous letter in her locker with clues leading to a mysterious scavenger hunt.

  3. The Sea Turtle Mystery - The Aldens are spending spring break on a beach, but they aren’t just soaking up the sun. They’re protecting an endangered species! Their job is to mark sea turtle nests so the eggs can be moved to a safe place to hatch, but someone is digging up the eggs without permission. Can the Boxcar Children figure out what’s going on and help save the sea turtles?

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Books About Sleuthing and Family

Andi Unexpected book
#1
Andi Unexpected
Written by Amanda Flower
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12
Thoughts from B is for Bookworm

This story shows how grief is manifested in different ways, but how the two sisters and their guardian bonded together and strengthened one another in their difficult times. I also loved that the mystery was about Andi’s family history and linked to the great depression, both of which are great topics for readers to learn about. I loved following along in their sleuthing and detective efforts to figure out the answer to their mystery. :)

The first in a new middle-grade mystery series, in Andi Unexpected, twelve-year-old Andi Boggs, discovers evidence of her forgotten namesake, a missing relative, which leads her into a family mystery rooted in the Great Depression.

The Boxcar Children book
#2
The Boxcar Children
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

The Aldens begin their adventure by making a home in a boxcar. Their goal is to stay together, and in the process they find a grandfather.

The Wim Wom from the Mustard Mill book
#3
The Wim Wom from the Mustard Mill
Written by Polly Peters and illustrated by Roberta Angeletti
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-7

What is a Wim Wom? It will eat beans, steal socks, and wipe its nose on coats, but what does it look like? Join the children as they try to imagine it form the clues their parents and grandparents give them. Eventually they decide that the Wim Wom does doesn’t really exist…or does it?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Trapped! - Florian Bates—the only kid on the FBI Director’s speed dial and several international criminals’ most wanted lists—must save his friend from being framed for a crime he didn’t commit in this hilarious third novel in the Framed! series. Middle school is hard. Solving cases for the FBI is even harder. Doing both at the same time, well that’s just crazy. But that doesn’t stop Florian Bates! Along with his best friend, and Watson to his Sherlock, Margaret, Florian’s making the case that kids can do anything. When Florian and Margaret’s FBI supervisor, Marcus Rivers, is accused of a crime, it’s up to this mystery solving duo to jump into action and clear his name, because Marcus is more than their boss—he’s family. The case involves one of Marcus’s first investigations for the FBI and a Russian spy ring. However, when the spy they are chasing learns what they’re up to, the tables are turned, and Marcus finds himself implicated in a variety of crimes, including theft, corruption, and espionage. For Florian and Margaret, it just got personal. They’re going to catch the spy and clear Marcus’s name…even if they have to break into (and out of) the Library of Congress to do it.

  2. Wormwood Mire - This spine-tingling sequel to Withering-by-Sea sees Stella sent away to the moldering old family estate, where she discovers two odd cousins—and a mystery. Eleven-year-old Stella Montgomery has always wondered about her family. What happened to her mother? And could she have a long-lost sister somewhere? Stella’s awful Aunts refuse to tell her anything, and now they have sent her away to the old family home at Wormwood Mire, where she must live with two strange cousins and their governess. But dark secrets slither and skulk within overgrown grounds of the house, and Stella must be brave if she’s to find out who—or what—she really is…

  3. A Hitch at the Fairmont - An intrepid boy teams up with Alfred Hitchcock himself in this rollicking mystery rife with action, adventure, intrigue, and all the flavor of film noir. After the mysterious death of his mother, eleven-year-old Jack Fair is whisked away to San Francisco’s swanky Fairmont Hotel by his wicked Aunt Edith. There, he seems doomed to a life of fetching chocolates for his aunt and her pet chinchilla. Until one night, when Aunt Edith disappears, and the only clue is a ransom note written…in chocolate? Suddenly, Jack finds himself all alone on a quest to discover who kidnapped Aunt Edith and what happened to his mother. Alone, that is, until he meets an unlikely accomplice—Alfred Hitchcock himself! The two embark on a madcap journey full of hidden doorways, secret societies, cryptic clues, sinister villains, and cinematic flair. Including an author’s note about the real Hitchcock and an appendix of film references, this “fine read” is a “love letter to all that Hitchcock stood for” (Kirkus Reviews).

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Books About Sleuthing and Moving

Book Scavenger book
#1
Book Scavenger
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Just after twelve-year-old Emily and her family move to San Francisco, she teams up with new friend James to follow clues in an odd book they find, hoping to figure out its secrets before the men who attacked Emily’s hero, publisher Garrison Griswold, solve the mystery or come after the friends.

The Secret of the Shadow Bandit book
#2
The Secret of the Shadow Bandit
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Kelsey’s dad has a new job and that means a new house—on the same property as a castle! Kelsey, Becca, and Leo can’t wait to explore, but what they find might lead to their most intricate case yet. How are an abandoned tree house, a wad of cash, a missing heirloom, and a mysterious creature roaming the grounds all connected? The Curious Cat Spy Club is determined to find out!

The Trail of the Ghost Bunny book
#3
The Trail of the Ghost Bunny
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Kelsey and her family have moved into an abandoned B&B that they’re fixing up. It’s a beautiful place and it even comes with its own bunny…but it also seems to come with its own ghost. With the help of their new bunny friend, Kelsey and her friends and CCSC clubmates Becca and Leo investigate the true source of the mysterious on-goings at the B&B. This story closes out the series in a satisfying way, and includes a very light ghost plot that feels seasonally appropriate. And animal fans will be thrilled to see plenty new animal capers, including the return of the lovable dogs from book 5, Dog-Gone Danger.

Honorable Mentions
  1. Jigsaw Jones: The Case of the Golden Key - Featuring friendship, school, family, and a diverse community, these early illustrated chapter books from James Preller have it all. When a new kid moves into town, he brings with him a mystery as big as his house! Reggie Armitage the III has found a box with a list of codes and a golden skeleton key—but he has no idea what the key opens or how to crack the code. It’s a good thing 2nd-grade sleuths, Jigsaw Jones and Mila Yeh, are investigating The Case of the Golden Key. James Preller’s wry, witty, Jigsaw Jones books are once again available to inspire the next generation of young readers, featuring both new titles and classroom classics!

  2. William Wenton and the Impossible Puzzle - Also published in English as: William Wenton and the luridium thief.

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Books About Sleuthing and Friendship

Stuart Little book
#1
Stuart Little
Written and illustrated by E.B. White
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A hardcover edition of this treasured story, for which Garth Williams’s original black-and-white line drawings for the jacket of Stuart Little have been colorized by the celebrated illustrator Rosemary Wells. Stuart Little is no ordinary mouse. Born to a family of humans, he lives in New York City with his parents, his older brother George, and Snowbell the cat. Though he’s shy and thoughtful, he’s also a true lover of adventure. Stuart’s greatest adventure comes when his best friend, a beautiful little bird named Margalo, disappears from her nest. Determined to track her down, Stuart ventures away from home for the very first time in his life. He finds adventure aplenty. But will he find his friend?

Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza book
#2
Lou Lou and Pea and the Bicentennial Bonanza
Written by Jill Diamond and illustrated by Lesley Vamos
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

BFFs Lou Lou Bombay and Peacock Pearl are busy preparing for the Bicentennial Bonanza, their city’s two-hundredth birthday bash! And this year, the party will take place in their beloved neighborhood of El Corazón. With a baking contest, talent show, and a new gazebo planned, the community can’t wait to celebrate the founders (and historical BFFs), Diego Soto and Giles Wonderwood. But when Vice-Mayor Andy Argyle claims the festivities belong to Verde Valley, using a mysterious diary as evidence, Lou Lou and Pea smell trouble. Will the friends be able to uncover the secrets of their city’s founding, and bring the Bonanza back to El Corazón?

The Danger Gang and the Isle of Feral Beasts! book
#3
The Danger Gang and the Isle of Feral Beasts!
Written by Stephen Bramucci and illustrated by Arree Chung
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Ronald Zupan and the rest of the Danger Gang are back for their second rip-roaring adventure, perfect for fans of Indiana Jones and Lemony Snicket, fully illustrated by Arree Chung. “The ride of a lifetime.” —Matt de la Peña, Newbery Award-winning author on The Danger Gang and the Pirates of Borneo! Ronald Zupan, his quick-witted fencing partner Julianne Sato, and his trusty butler Jeeves are off on another adventure. This time, they’re trying to rescue the movie star Josh Brigand—who was kidnapped from his latest film premiere by the dreaded Liars’ Club. As the Danger Gang races to save their friend, they face off with a poisoning poet, a band of Roman candle-wielding thugs, and thousands of feral foxes. When their skills of deduction are put to the ultimate test, will Ronald and his pals be able to stick together long enough to rescue Josh and defeat the Liar’s Club once and for all? Fully illustrated by picture book talent Arree Chung, this hilarious, high-action series is a must-have for all adventurers.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Curious Cat Spy Club - No one at school knows that Kelsey, Becca, and Leo are secretly friends. They have nothing in common—until they rescue three kittens and form a club to help animals through volunteering, spying, and solving mysteries. In the first book of this series, Kelsey helps catch a runaway zorse (horse + zebra) with the help of another girl from school named Becca. The two are walking home when they happen upon a litter of kittens trapped in a dumpster and Leo Polanski is the only person around who can help get them out. The three unlikely friends decide to work together to help solve animal crimes with their secret club!

  2. Jigsaw Jones: The Case of the Bear Scare - Featuring friendship, school, family, and a diverse community, these early illustrated chapter books from James Preller have it all. Is there a bear loose in the woods by Jigsaw Jones’ town? For once this second-grade detective and his partner Mila Yeh might be out of their depth! One way or another, these too young sleuths will get to the bottom of who, or what, is growling and snapping in those woods. James Preller’s wry, witty, Jigsaw Jones books are once again available to inspire the next generation of young readers, featuring both new titles and classroom classics!

  3. The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case - Acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg continues her hilarious middle-grade twist on Sherlock Holmes as detective duo Shelby and Watson tackle their trickiest case yet—going undercover . . . as figure skaters! Being friends with a super sleuth isn’t easy, especially when she’s nine years old, four feet tall, and full of attitude. But for eleven-year-old John Watson, being friends with Shelby Holmes is just the adventure he’s looking for. After Watson’s online journal chronicling his and Shelby’s case-closing abilities attracts the attention of a newspaper reporter, the pair becomes a small “media sensation” in their Harlem neighborhood. So it’s no surprise (at least, to Shelby!) when the article lands them a new client—a figure skating coach whose star athlete, Jordan Nelson, is receiving strange, threatening messages, written entirely in code. There’s no one better to crack the cipher than dynamic duo Shelby and Watson! But to gather information, Shelby decides that they’ll have to go undercover . . . as an award-winning pair skating team. Can they use the laws of physics and their acting skills to maintain their covers and figure out who’s sending Jordan such strange messages before it’s too late?

  4. Snazzy Cat Capers - “I want to be Ophelia when I grow up!! And I want Oscar to be my BFF—Best Fishy Friend! Snazzy Cat Capers is fabulous, funny and fin-tastic fun with illustrations that pounce off the page.” —Mo O’Hara, New York Times bestselling author of the My Big Fat Zombie Goldfish series Life is short. Diamonds are fur-ever. Internationally famous cat burglar Ophelia von Hairball V adores jewels—the only thing she loves more is a challenge. She’s never met a safe she couldn’t crack. Now the Furry Feline Burglary Institute (FFBI) offers her the ultimate caper: steal the giant Himalayan diamond and win their top award! There’s a catch! The FFBI sends an enthusiastic inventor to help Ophelia…but this cat works alone, and Oscar Fishgerald Gold smells fishy. Can the smartest, stealthiest, and snazziest of cats learn to work with a fintastic sidekick and prove she’s still the world’s most purr-fect burglar? Adventure, heists, and teamwork abound in this fun, witty middle grade read brimming with cat-tastic black-and-white illustrations. Includes graphic novel-style pages! An Imprint Book “Classy bad girl Ophelia is as funny as she is furry…she’s the pussycat love child of James Bond and Zsa Zsa Gabor, and who can’t love that?” —Kirkus Reviews

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Books About Sleuthing and Rescue

The Mystery of the Zorse's Mask book
#1
The Mystery of the Zorse's Mask
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

When a mysterious stranger claims to own Becca’s beloved zorse, Zed, something seems suspicious. Besides, if this person is Zed’s real owner, the Curious Cat Spy Club fears he might be responsible for abusing Zed in the past. Kelsey, Becca, and Leo are determined to uncover the truth before they have to give Zed away. But when a daring rescue attempt puts Kelsey in danger, does the CCSC have enough spy skills to save her or are they in over their heads?

Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery book
#2
Big Trouble: A Friday Barnes Mystery
Written by R. A. Spratt and illustrated by Phil Gosier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The mystery hits close to home when Friday learns her mother has been kidnapped. But she’s distracted by other happenings at school: a new VIP student (a Norwegian princess!) has just arrived and a master thief called the Pimpernel is causing chaos across campus. Can Friday crack the case of her missing mother, reign in a royal brat, and unmask the elusive Pimpernel?

No Rules: A Friday Barnes Mystery book
#3
No Rules: A Friday Barnes Mystery
Written by R. A. Spratt and illustrated by Phil Gosier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the fourth book of the Friday Barnes Mystery series, can Friday Barnes prove Ian’s innocence, find the Highcrest Academy prankster, and save her school? If it involves running, then probably no, but if not . . . Friday’s on the case!

Honorable Mentions
  1. Kelsey the Spy - Kelsey can’t resist collecting secrets in her spy notebook—just like her hero, Harriet the Spy. When she learns Leo has been hiding something from the group, she writes his secret in her notebook as well. But Kelsey accidentally brings her Notebook of Secrets to school and loses it. Everything she’s collected about classmates, friends, and family could be released into the world! When she receives a ransom note, she tries to solve the mystery on her own but soon realizes she needs everyone in the CCSC to rescue the notebook, help a homesick 130-year-old Aldabra tortoise, and unmask a thief. A surprise ending changes Kelsey’s life in a way she never imagined.

  2. The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match - Acclaimed author Elizabeth Eulberg continues her hilarious middle-grade twist on Sherlock Holmes as detective duo Shelby and Watson face a culprit who might be able to do the impossible—outsmart Shelby. Eleven-year-old John Watson never expected his first friend in his new Harlem neighborhood to be Shelby Holmes, a nine-year-old, four-foot-tall supersleuth whose incredible smarts are outweighed only by her big attitude. But it turns out that solving mysteries with Shelby is just the adventure that aspiring writer John needs. On John’s very first day of school in New York, Shelby deduces that their new science teacher, Mr. Crosby, is in trouble. But as Shelby and John dig deeper to expose the truth, they discover there might be someone unexpected involved . . . Someone determined to outsmart Shelby Holmes. Can Shelby and John uncover the truth before the case goes from puzzling to downright dangerous? Don’t miss the rest of the Great Shelby Holmes series: The Great Shelby Holmes The Great Shelby Holmes Meets Her Match The Great Shelby Holmes and the Coldest Case

  3. Mission Defrostable - 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?

  4. Password to Larkspur Lane - Blue bells will be singing horses! This strange message, attached to the leg of a wounded homing pigeon, involves Nancy Drew in a dangerous mission. Somewhere an elderly woman is being held prisoner in a mansion, and Nancy is determined to find and free her. Meanwhile, the young detective’s close friend, Helen, begs her to solve a second mystery. Helen’s grandparents, the Cornings, are frightened by a sinister wheel of blue fire that appears after dark in the woods outside their home at lonely Sylvan Lake. When Nancy discovers the significance of the eerie signal, she also learns that her two mysteries are connected.

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Books About Sleuthing and Science

To Catch a Thief book
#1
To Catch a Thief
Written by Mandy Hartley
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

In the first book of the DNA Detectives series Annabelle and Harry’s pet dog, Milly goes missing. After putting up posters and waiting on their parents they don’t know what to do. But when a number of their friend’s pets also vanish the children think the perpetrator is their next door neighbour and set out to prove it.

A Hint of Hydra book
#2
A Hint of Hydra
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Thirteen-year-old chef Lailu Loganberry must stop a war between the elves and scientists in this follow-up to A Dash of Dragon, which Kirkus Reviews calls “a recipe for success.” It’s the Week of Masks, a festival held to chase away evil spirits. But Lailu doesn’t have time to worry about demons. She has bigger fish to fry—or rather, griffons, now that she’s been asked to prepare a mystical feast for the king’s executioner, Lord Elister. Unfortunately Lailu’s meal is overshadowed by the scientists’ latest invention: automatons, human-shaped machines that will respond to their masters’ every order. Most people are excited by the possibilities, but the mechanical men leave Lailu with a bad taste in her mouth. Even worse, the elves still blame the scientists for the attacks on them weeks ago, and Lailu worries that the elves might be cooking up revenge. So when she and her sorta-rival-turned-almost-friend Greg stumble across the body of a scientist, the elves are the prime suspects. With help from Greg, her best friend Hannah, and the sneaky, winking spy Ryon, Lailu has to discover the truth behind the murder, and soon—because hostilities between the elves and the scientists are about to boil over faster than hydra stew. And just ask any chef: war is bad for business.

The Case of the Barfy Birthday book
#3
The Case of the Barfy Birthday
Written by Michele Torrey and illustrated by Barbara Johansen Newman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-11

Fifth graders Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey use their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve cases which involve food poisoning, missing terns, a haunted treehouse, and a pig in a pit.

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Exact Location of Home - Kate Messner pens a new moving tale of family and friendship about a tech-savvy boy searching for his father during tough times. Kirby “Zig” Zigonski lives for the world of simple circuits, light bulbs, buzzers, and motors. Electronics are, after all, much more predictable than most people—especially his father, who he hasn’t seen in over a year. When his dad’s latest visit is canceled with no explanation and his mom seems to be hiding something, Zig turns to his best friend Gianna and a new gizmo—a garage sale GPS unit—for help. Convinced that his dad is leaving clues around town to explain his absence, Zig sets out to find him. Following one clue after another, logging mile after mile, Zig soon discovers that people aren’t always what they seem . . . and sometimes, there’s more than one set of coordinates for home. An important story of love and hope that will capture readers’ hearts, The Exact Location of Home is another must read from beloved author Kate Messner.

  2. The Case of the Crooked Carnival - Fourth-graders Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey combine their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve cases involving a crooked carnival barker, a mysterious ghost, an alien plant species invading wildlife habitats and a wobbly bridge. Original.

  3. The Case of the Mossy Lake Monster - Fourth-graders Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey combine their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve a variety of cases involving a hungry cat, endangered penguins, a fish-stealing monster, and a dirty election. Includes a section of scientific experiments and activities.

  4. The Case of the Graveyard Ghost - Drake Doyle and Nell Fossey, who are now in fifth grade, continue to combine their detective and scientific investigation skills to solve a variety of cases, involving a noisy laundry chute, a ruined flower show, and a ghost.

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Books About Sleuthing and School

Evil Spy School book
#1
Evil Spy School
Written by Stuart Gibbs
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Recruited into an evil spy organization after being expelled from the CIA’s spy school, 12-year-old Ben works as an unofficial undercover agent while mastering bad-guy techniques and investigating clues about an imminent plot. Simultaneous eBook.

Under Suspicion: A Friday Barnes Mystery book
#2
Under Suspicion: A Friday Barnes Mystery
Written by R. A. Spratt and illustrated by Phil Gosier
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Friday Barnes, girl detective, is… under arrest?!

Getting arrested was the last thing Friday expected after solving the swamp-yeti mystery at her boarding school. But she better clear her name fast! She’s got new cases to investigate, like a scandalous quiche bake-off, a decades old mystery buried in her school’s backyard, and why the new boy, Christopher, is being so nice to her.

More adventures and intrigue ensue in Under Suspicion: A Friday Barnes Mystery, the second book in the illustrated Friday Barnes mystery series, starring a genius detective with the brains (and social skills) of Sherlock Holmes.

Talent Show Tricks book
#3
Talent Show Tricks
Written and illustrated by Franklin W. Dixon
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Detective brothers Frank and Joe must figure out who is sabotaging their school talent show in the fourth book in an all-new, interactive Hardy Boys chapter book mystery series.

Frank and Joe Hardy are excited to compete in the annual Bayport Elementary Talent Show. Frank is going to work behind the scenes, and Joe wants to show off his sweet juggling skills.

But during the first rehearsal, strange things start to happen—their friend’s trumpet is filled with bubbles, someone’s backing track is switched to croaking frogs, and a strategically placed batch of hair dye gives one of their classmates a bad hair day to remember. Can Frank and Joe figure out how to stop the pranks before the curtain falls early on the show?

Honorable Mentions
  1. Girl Detective: A Friday Barnes Mystery - Imagine if Sherlock Holmes was an eleven-year-old girl! When Friday Barnes, girl genius, solves a bank robbery, she uses the reward money to send herself to Highcrest Academy, the most exclusive boarding school in the country—and discovers it’s a hotbed of crime! Soon she’s investigating everything from disappearing homework to the terrifying Yeti haunting the school swamp. But the biggest mystery yet is Ian Wainscott, the handsomest (and most arrogant) boy in school who inexplicably hates her. Will the homework be found? Can they ever track down the Yeti? And why is Ian out to ruin her?

  2. Spy School - Twelve-year-old Ben Ripley leaves his public middle school to attend the CIA’s highly secretive Espionage Academy, which everyone is told is an elite science school.

  3. Tank & Fizz - When their school bus veers off course while taking the kids from Gravelmuck Elementary on a field trip, monster detectives Tank and Fizz witness a crime that brings them snout to snout with Rockfall Mountain’s oldest monster, the ancient dragon Firebane Drakeclaw. Thieves have stolen the Crown of Peace, which keeps the monster clans of the Dark Depths from fighting, and Tank and Fizz saw the whole thing. Now the detectives must track down the thieves and find the crown or their whole class will become dinner for one very hungry dragon! The Case of Firebane’s Folly is the fourth book in the Tank & Fizz series about two crime-solving monsters living under a mountain.

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Books About Sleuthing and Stealing

Marty Frye, Private Eye: The Case of the Stolen Poodle book
#1
Marty Frye, Private Eye: The Case of the Stolen Poodle
Written by Janet Tashjian and illustrated by Laurie Keller
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Book 2 in the Marty Frye young chapter book mystery series by bestselling author-illustrator team Janet Tashjian and Laurie Keller In this new collection of mysteries from bestselling author-illustrator team Janet Tashjian and Laurie Keller, everyone’s favorite poet detective is back in action. When the school nurse’s equipment is stolen, Marty tracks it down. When special candy disappears from the store, Marty finds the culprit. And most importantly, when a friend’s poodle goes missing, Marty comes to the rescue. But can he still manage to make up rhymes while he solves new crimes? The poet detective continues to make up rhymes and solve new crimes, in this second book in the illustrated Marty Frye, Private Eye series for young readers. A Christy Ottaviano book Titles in the Marty Frye, Private Eye series: Marty Frye, Private Eye: The Case of the Missing Action Figure Marty Frye, Private Eye: The Case of the Stolen Poodle More from Janet Tashjian: The Einstein the Class Hamster series: Einstein the Class Hamster Einstein the Class Hamster and the Very Real Game Show Einstein the Class Hamster Saves the Library The Sticker Girl series: Sticker Girl Sticker Girl Rules the School The My Life series: My Life as a Book My Life as a Stuntboy My Life as a Cartoonist My Life as a Joke My Life as a Gamer My Life as a Ninja My Life as a Youtuber More from Laurie Keller: The Adventures of Arnie the Doughnut: Arnie, the Doughnut Invasion of the Ufonuts The Spinny Icky Showdown The Scrambled States of America: The Scrambled States of America The Scrambled States of America Talent Show Do Unto Otters Open Wide Grandpa Gazillion’s Number Yard Birdy’s Smile Book Toys! Fooled You!

Midnight Reynolds and the Agency of Spectral Protection book
#2
Midnight Reynolds and the Agency of Spectral Protection
Written by Catherine Holt
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Twelve-year-old Midnight Reynolds has a huge secret—she’s a spectral protector, someone who helps ghosts cross over into the afterlife. Alongside her best friend Tabitha, Midnight is busy juggling the wilds of middle school with her undercover ghost-hunting job. When mysterious and dangerous robberies start happening in their small town, all signs point to some sort of spectral manipulation, and Midnight’s boss asks her to take over the investigation. Can Midnight find the culprit and stop them before the spectral energy endangers their town? This series has twists and turns galore for budding mystery lovers, all seen through the lens of a lovable and smart heroine. And the positive female friendships and hysterical writing will keep series fans coming back for more.

The Case of the Stolen Drumsticks (Detective Paw of the Law: Time to Read, Level 3) book
#3
The Case of the Stolen Drumsticks (Detective Paw of the Law: Time to Read, Level 3)
Written and illustrated by Dosh Archer
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Detective Paw and Patrol Officer Prickles reunite for The Case of the Stolen Drumsticks! Vinnie “The Crash” McClaren’s drumsticks disappear right before the Battle of the Bands! Can Detective Paw and Patrol Officer Prickles find the culprit before the show? Young readers can learn about police procedures and detective work as they follow along with Detective Paw and try to solve the case themselves!

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Sign of the Twisted Candles - Another exciting mystery begins for the young detective when her friends Bess and George ask her to investigate a rumor that their wealthy great-granduncle, Asa Sidney, is virtually a prisoner in his own mansion. But solving the mystery and befriending Carol Wipple, the sixteen-year-old foster daughter of the caretakers of the old mansion, nearly costs Nancy the friendship of Bess and George. It takes all of Nancy’s sleuthing ability as well as diplomacy to save it.Nancy braves one danger after another to bring to justice the swindlers who are stealing Asa Sidney’s fortune. With only the sign of the twisted candles to guide her, Nancy uncovers hidden treasure and an amazing letter that ends a family feud and brings unexpected happiness to Carol.

  2. The Clue of the Leaning Chimney - Nancy Drew and her friend Bess discover that a rare and valuable Chinese vase has been stolen from the pottery shop of Dick Milton, a cousin of Bess. Dick had borrowed the vase from his Chinese friend, elderly Mr. Soong, and he is determined to repay Mr. Soong for the loss. He tells Nancy that if he can find “the leaning chimney,” he will be on the track of a discovery which will solve his financial problems. Nancy finds the leaning chimney, but it only leads her into more puzzles. Can there be any connection between the vase theft – one of a number of similar crimes – and the strange disappearance of the pottery expert Eng Moy and his daughter Lei?

  3. Nancy Drew 25: The Ghost of Blackwood Hall - When Mrs. Putney seeks Nancy Drew’s help in recovering her stolen jewelry, the search for the thieves takes the teen-age detective and her friends Bess and George to the colorful French Quarter of New Orleans. But the quest is hampered by the strange behavior of Mrs. Putney, and two young women who are being victimized by so-called spirits. How can Nancy fight these unseen perpetrators of a cruel hoax? And how can she help the gullible victims when the spirits warn them not to have anything to do with Nancy?

  4. Jigsaw Jones: The Case of the Vanishing Painting - Featuring friendship, school, family, and a diverse community, these early illustrated chapter books from James Preller have it all. It’s the biggest—okay the most stressful—night of the year . . . Parents’ Night! And Geetha Nair’s painting has just gone missing. The stakes are high, but Jigsaw Jones and Mila Yeh have never encountered a mystery they couldn’t solve. Can they track down their friend’s art in time for the most important show of the year? James Preller’s wry, witty, Jigsaw Jones books are once again available to inspire the next generation of young readers, featuring both new titles and classroom classics!

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Books About Sleuthing and Ghosts

Boo Crew (Nancy Drew Clue Book) book
#1
Boo Crew (Nancy Drew Clue Book)
Written by Carolyn Keene and illustrated by Peter Francis
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Help Nancy and her friends find the truth behind a haunted theater in the tenth book in the interactive Nancy Drew Clue Book mystery series. The hit TV show Twinkle Little Stars is coming to River Heights to audition contestants for their upcoming Halloween show. They’ll choose talented kids from all over the country to compete for prizes. Nancy, Bess, and George are dressing up as witches and are planning to create a special potion onstage for the judges. The recently renovated Heights Theatre has opened its doors for the auditions. The old theatre had been abandoned for fifty years but is now restored to its original beauty. But on the day of the auditions, everything seems to go wrong; the girls’ cauldron over bubbles, a werewolf mask makes its owner sneeze, spider webs fall on the dancers. That’s when the clue crew learns the Heights Theatre is rumored to be haunted—people say ghosts are the reason it stayed empty for so long. But Nancy knows better than to believe in ghosts. She’s sure that the culprit is of the human variety. Then Bess sees monsters dancing around a piano playing on its own—the keys moving but no is playing it. Could the rumors be true? Is the Heights Theatre really haunted? It’s up to the clue crew—and you—to find out!

Revenge of Superstition Mountain book
#2
Revenge of Superstition Mountain
Written by Elise Broach and illustrated by Aleksey & Olga Ivanov
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

In the third and final book in this action-packed trilogy, the Barker brothers and their good friend Delilah secretly climb up to Superstition Mountain one last time. There are still mysteries to solve—is the creepy librarian really the ghost of Julia Thomas from a century before? What was their uncle Hank’s role in discovering the gold mine? Can they still get into the gold mine after the avalanche that nearly crushed them? Does their cat, Josie, have mysterious powers? And, most of all, who is trying to kill them?

Hidden Staircase #2 book
#3
Hidden Staircase #2
Written by Carolyn Keene
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

A special treat for Nancy Drew fans, and any reader who’s new to the series! We’re releasing a stunning new edition of an old favorite: The Hidden Staircase, the second book in the incredibly popular, long-running series. It’s the same exciting mystery that readers have fallen in love with for more than 80 years—Nancy Drew has to find the mysterious ghost that seems to be haunting Twin Elms, and make sure no more prized possessions disappear under her nose. Now with a brand-new look, this is an edition that collectors won’t want to miss!

Honorable Mentions
  1. The Haunted Bridge - Mr. Drew is on the trail of an international ring of jewel thieves and asks Nancy to assist him. The trail leads to a summer resort area. Before Nancy has a chance to start work on her father’s case, a golf caddy tells her a frightening tale–in the dense woods nearby is an old wooden footbridge guarded by a ghost! Intrigued by the caddy’s story, Nancy decides to investigate. Several riddles confront the young detective as she attempts to solve the mystery of the haunted bridge and track down a woman suspected of being a key member of the gang of jewel thieves.

  2. Nancy Drew 14: the Whispering Statue - Once again, Nancy faces two puzzling mysteries at once! The first concerns a valuable collection of rare books that Mrs. Horace Merriam commissioned anart dealer to sell–has he swindled her instead? The second mystery revolves around the baffling theft of a beautiful marble statue. To solve both mysteries, the famous young detective disguises herself and assumes a false identity. Despite these precautions, danger stalks Nancy’s every move. An attempted kidnapping, a nearly disastrous sailboat collision, and an encounter with a dishonest sculptor are just a few of the exciting challenges that Nancy is faced with as she gathers evidence against a clever ring of art thieves.

  3. The Haunting on Heliotrope Lane - Nancy’s classmate, Willa, is convinced something is terribly wrong with her friend Izzy. Nancy and her friends must try to figure out why Izzy is acting strangely after visiting a haunted house. Is Izzy possessed by the ghost of Heliotrope Lane?

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