Children's Mysteries

A mystery is a story about a crime or mysterious occurrence and the investigation that leads to its solution. Many children’s mysteries come in series.

*Indicates appropriate age

The 39 Clues: The Maze of Bones – Rick Riordan

During the reading of their grandmother’s will, Dan and Amy Cahill learn that their family is one of the world’s most powerful--and the source of that power is hidden around the world in the form of 39 Clues. The siblings are soon caught in a dangerous race in this interactive book. First in a series. 

JF Thirty-nine   Lexile: 610

*Ages 9-12

A to Z Mysteries – Ron Roy

A wacky and fun series about Dink Duncan and his two friends who solve mysteries. Each title in the series starts with a different letter in the alphabet. 

JF Roy Lexile: 410-590

*Ages 6-9

Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School series – Andrew Clements

Benjamin and his friend Jill follow clues to solve a mystery and save their school from being torn down. 

JF Clements   Lexile: 810-880

*Ages 7-10

Bones (Series) – David Adler

In this series, young detective Jeffrey Bones solves mysteries using his detective tools, logic and intelligence. A series with a mix of humor and kid related experiences. 

JF Adler   Lexile: 450         

*Ages 6-8

The Boxcar Children – Gertrude Chandler Warner

Four orphaned children run away and live in a boxcar until they are found by their grandfather. First in a series. 

JF Warner   Lexile: 490

*Ages 7-10

The Buddy Files: The Case of the Lost Boy – Dori Hillestad Butler

While searching for his mysteriously lost human family, Buddy the dog is adopted by another family and helps solve the mystery of their missing boy. First in a series.

JF Butler   Lexile: 450

*Ages 6-8

Bunnicula: A Rabbit-Tale of Mystery – Deborah Howe

Though scoffed at by Harold the dog, Chester the cat tries to warn his human family that their foundling baby bunny must be a vampire. 

JF Howe   Lexile: 700

*Ages 8-12

Calendar Mysteries – Ron Roy

Seven-year-olds Bradley, Brian, Nate, and Lucy make observations and gather clues to solve mysteries.

JF Roy Lexile: 410-510

*Ages 6-9

Cam Jansen – David Adler

In this series, Cam Jansen solves crimes with the help of her friend, Eric Shelton, and her photographic memory. There are multiple books in this series, including very easy readers. 

JF Adler   Lexile: 360-590

*Ages 6-9

Case of the Missing Marquess: An Enola Holmes Mystery 

Nancy Springer – Enola Holmes, much younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes, must travel to London in disguise to unravel the disappearance of her missing mother. Additional Enola Holmes mysteries are available as well. 

JF Springer   Lexile: 1020

*Ages 8-12

Chasing Vermeer – Blue Balliett

When strange and seemingly unrelated events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal. 

I FIC Balliett   Lexile: 770

*Ages 8-12

Chet Gecko (Series) – Bruce Hale

Grade school ain’t for sissies. Nobody knows this better than Chet Gecko, finest lizard detective at Emerson Hicky Elementary. This series follows Chet and his partner, Natalie Attired, in their investigations. 

JF Hale   Lexile: 410-580

*Ages 8-12

Dead Guys Talk: A Wild Willie Mystery – Barbara Joosse

In the dead middle of summer, the Scarface Detectives investigate their creepiest case yet when a mysterious client sends them to Oak Hill Cemetery, where Loonie Loraine is buried.

JF Joosse   Lexile: 400

*Ages 6-10

The Dollhouse Murders – Betty Ren Wright

A dollhouse filled with a ghostly light in the middle of the night and dolls that have moved from where she last left them lead Amy and her retarded sister to unravel the mystery surrounding grisly murders that took place years ago. 

I FIC Wright   Lexile: 670

*Ages 9-12

The Door to Time – Pierdomenico Baccalario

After moving from London to an old mansion on the English coast, eleven-year-old twins Jason and Julia discover that their new home has twisting tunnels, strange artifacts from around the world, and a mysterious, locked door. First in a series.

JF Baccalario   Lexile: 610

*Ages 8-12

Encyclopedia Brown Boy Detective– Donald Sobol

Ten brief cases allow the reader to match wits with ten-year-old crime-buster, Encyclopedia Brown, as he locates stolen jewels, retrieves a stuffed tiger, and more. Solutions included. Part of a series.

JF Sobol   Lexile: 750

*Ages 7-10

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library – Chris Grabenstein 

Twelve-year-old Kyle gets to stay overnight in the new town library, designed by his hero (the famous gamemaker, Luigi Lemoncello), with other students but finds that come morning he must work with friends to solve puzzles in order to escape.

I FIC Grabenstein   Lexile: 720

*Ages 8-12

The Fall of the Amazing Zalindas: Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars – Tracy Mack

The ragamuffin boys known as the Baker Street Irregulars help Sherlock Holmes solve the mysterious deaths of a family of circus tightrope walkers. 

JF Mack   Lexile: 850

*Ages 8-12

Floors – Patrick Carman

Ten-year-old Leo’s future and the fate of the extraordinary Whippet Hotel, where his father is the maintenance man, are at stake when a series of cryptic boxes leads Leo to hidden floors, strange puzzles, and unexpected alliances. First in a trilogy.

JF Carman   Lexile: 870

*Ages 8-12

From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler – E.L. Konigsburg 

Twelve-year-old Claudia and her brother Jamie run away to New York and take up residence in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. There she sees a statue so beautiful she wants to discover its maker. The first clue is the statue’s former owner, an unusual old woman named Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler. 

JF Konigsburg   Lexile: 700

*Ages 8-12

Geronimo Stilton (Series) – Geronimo Stilton

Geronimo Stilton, a journalist for the Rodent’s Gazette, is a nervous, mild-mannered mouse who keeps getting involved in far-away adventures. 

JF Stilton   Lexile: 450-720

*Ages 7-10

Half-Moon Investigations – Eoin Colfer

Fletcher Moon, nicknamed "Half Moon" because of his shortness, must track down a conspiracy or be framed for a crime he did not commit. 

I FIC Colfer   Lexile: 620

*Ages 10- 12

Hank the Cowdog (Series) – John R. Erickson

Hank the cowdog is the Head of Ranch Security and solves mysteries on the cattle ranch where he lives.

JF Erickson   Lexile: 670-940

*Ages 7-10

The Hardy Boys (Series) – Franklin W. Dixon

Detective brothers, Frank and Joe Hardy, work together to solve crimes. 

JF Dixon    Lexile: 610-730    

*Ages 8-14

The Hundred-Year-Old Secret – Barrett, Tracy

Xena and Xander Holmes, an American brother and sister living in London for a year, discover that Sherlock Holmes was their great-great-great grandfather when they are inducted into the Society for the Preservation of Famous Detectives and given his unsolved casebook, from which they attempt to solve the case of a famous missing painting. 

JF Barrett   Lexile: 650

*Ages 8-12

Jigsaw Jones Mystery (Series) – James Preller

Jigsaw and his friend Mila team up to solve a variety of mysteries.

JF Preller   Lexile: 290-540

*Ages 7-10

The London Eye Mystery – Siobhan Dowd

When Ted and Kat’s cousin Salim disappears from the London Eye ferris wheel, the two siblings must work together--Ted with his brain that is "wired differently" and impatient Kat--to try to solve the mystery of what happened to Salim. 

JF Dowd   Lexile: 640

*Ages 8-12

Max and Maddy and the Bursting Balloons Mystery – Alexander McCall

When a famous millionaire asks young detectives Max and Maddy Twist to investigate who is sabotaging an international balloon race for charity, they find themselves competing against world-renowned balloonists--and one old nemesis. 

JF McCall   Lexile: n/a

*Ages 7-9

Moon Over Manifest – Clare Vanderpool 

Twelve-year-old Abilene Tucker is the daughter of a drifter who, in the summer of 1936, sends her to stay with an old friend in Manifest, Kansas, where he grew up, and where she hopes to find out some things about his past. 

I FIC Vanderpool   Lexile: 800

*Ages 9-13

Murder is Bad Manners– Robin Stevens

Hazel Wong is from Hong Kong and has come to boarding school in England.  She is befriended by one of the most popular girls in her grade, Daisy Wells, and they form a secret detective agency.  When Hazel finds the body of one of their teachers lying in the gymnasium they know they have their first big case.

I FIC Stevens, Lexile: 910

*Ages 10-14

The Mysterious Benedict Society – Trenton Lee Stewart

After passing a series of mind-bending tests, four children are selected for a secret mission that requires them to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. First in a series.

I FIC Stewart   Lexile: 890

*Ages 8-12

The Mysterious Howling –Maryrose Wood

Fifteen-year-old Miss Penelope Lumley, a recent graduate of the Swanburne Academy for Poor Bright Females, is hired as governess to three young children who have been raised by wolves and must teach them to behave in a civilized manner quickly, in preparation for a Christmas ball. First in a series.

JF Wood   Lexile: 1000

*Ages 8-12

Nancy Drew Series – Carolyn Keene

Teenage detective, Nancy Drew, sets out to solve various mysteries in this series of books. 

JF Keene   Lexile: 660-780

*Ages 8-14

Nate the Great – Marjorie Sharmat

Nate the Great and his cousin Olivia are on the case.  No mystery is too small for these pint sized detectives.

JF Sharmat   Lexile: 370

*Ages 6-9

Ottoline and the Yellow Cat – Chris Riddell 

A string of daring burglaries has taken place in Big City, and precious lapdogs are disappearing. Who is behind this crime wave? Ottoline Brown and her best friend, Mr. Munroe, are on the case!  

JF Riddell   Lexile: 760

*Ages 8-12

The Parker Inheritance – Varian Johnson

Candice has moved in to what used to be her grandmother’s home for the summer. There she meets the neighbor boy, Brandon, and together they start to investigate rumors of a hidden treasure and the circumstances surrounding an 

event many years ago that had brought disgrace on her grandmother.  

I FIC Johnson   Lexile 610

*Ages 10-13

Reality Leak – Joni Sensel

Train noises without trains and mysterious explosions baffle the residents of South Wiggot as eleven-year-old Bryan and his friend Spot try to connect the strange happenings with the town’s newest industry and its president, Mr. Keen. 

JF Sensel   Lexile: 700    

*Ages 10-12

The Red Blazer Girls– Michael D. Beil 

Four girls who attend a private school are asked by an old lady to solve a 20-year-old mystery that will lead them to the hiding place of a valuable historical and religious artifact. Of course, there are those who try to stop them. The girls use their wits, and their considerable academic knowledge to solve the puzzle.

I FIC Beil,  Lexile 730

*Ages 11-14

Room One – Andrew Clements

Ted Hammond, the only sixth grader in his small Nebraska town’s one-room schoolhouse, searches for clues to the disappearance of a homeless family.

JF Clements Lexile: 840     

*Ages 8-12

Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief – Wendelin Van Draanen

Thirteen-year-old Sammy’s penchant for speaking her mind gets her in trouble when she involves herself in the investigation of a robbery at the "seedy" hotel across the street from the seniors’ building where she is living with her grandmother. First in a series. 

I FIC Van Draanen   Lexile: 840

*Ages 10-14

The Name of the Book is a Secret – Pseudonymous Bosch

Adventurous detectives, Cass, an ever-vigilant survivalist, and Max-Ernest, a boy driven by logic, try to solve mysteries revolving around a secret.

JF Bosch   Lexile: 690-810

*Ages 9-12

The Sisters Grimm Book One: Fairy Tale Detectives – Michael Buckley

You would think that living in a town of fairy tale characters would be a dream come true, but for orphans Sabrina and Daphne Grimm life is one fantastic mystery after another. First in a series. 

JF Buckley   Lexile: 840

*Ages 7-13

Skeleton Creek series – Patrick Carman

Ryan investigates strange occurrences in his hometown with the help of video clips from Sarah, a fellow detective. The reader may view Sarah’s videos on a website by using the links and passwords found in the text.

JF Carman   Lexile: 740-830

*Ages 8-12

Sly the Sleuth and the Food Mysteries – Donna Jo Napoli

Sly uses her detective skills to help her friends solve the case of something fishy, something cooking, and something seedy.

JF Napoli   Lexile: 300 

*Ages 8-10

South by Southeast – Anthony Horowitz

Fourteen-year-old Nick and his bumbling detective brother Tim Diamond investigate a mystery involving international spies and assassins. 

I FIC Horowitz   Lexile: 570

*Ages 8-12

Theodore Boone: Kid Lawyer – John Grisham

With two attorneys for parents, thirteen-year-old Theodore Boone knows more about the law than most lawyers do. But when a high profile murder trial comes to his small town and Theo gets pulled into it, it’s up to this amateur attorney to save the day. First in a series.

I FIC Grisham   Lexile: 790

*Ages 9-12

Three Times Lucky–Sheila Turnage

Saved from a flooded river during a hurricane Moses is taken in and raised by a quirky but lovable couple who own a diner in a small town in North Carolina.  Things in that town get pretty interesting when there is a murder and Mo’s friend, Dale, becomes a suspect.

I FIC Turnage, Lexile 560

*Ages 10-13

Trouble with Chickens– Doreen Cronin

J.J. used to be a rescue dog, but now lives as an "outdoors" dog on a farm.  He tries to keep his rescue skills alive by protecting the other farm animals.  When a mother hen comes to him and explains that one of her babies has gone missing, J.J. is on the case.

JF Cronin, Lexile 570

*Ages 6-10

Vanishing Act – John Feinstein

Eighth-grade sports reporters Susan Carol and Stevie reunite at the U.S. Open tennis championships where they investigate the mysterious disappearance of a top Russian player. 

JF Feinstein   Lexile: 760

*Ages 8-12 

The Westing Game – Ellen Raskin

The mysterious death of an eccentric millionaire brings together an unlikely assortment of heirs who must uncover the circumstances of his death before they can claim their inheritance. 

I FIC Raskin   Lexile: 750

*Ages 10-14

Whales on Stilts – M.T. Anderson

Racing against the clock, shy middle-school student Lily and her best friends must foil the plot of her father’s conniving boss to conquer the world using an army of whales. 

JF Anderson   Lexile: 760

*Ages 10-14

When You Reach Me – Rebecca Stead

As her mother prepares to be a contestant on the 1970s television game show, "The $20,000 Pyramid," a twelve-year-old New York City girl tries to make sense of a series of mysterious notes received from an anonymous source that seems to defy the laws of time and space.

JF Stead   Lexile: 750

*Ages 9-12

Who Could That Be at This Hour? – Lemony Snicket

Thirteen-year-old Lemony Snicket begins his apprenticeship with S. Theodora Markson of the secretive V.F.D. in the tiny dot of a town called Stain’d By The Sea, where he helps investigate the theft of a statue. First in a series.

I FIC Snicket   Lexile: 870

*Ages 9-12

Wonderstruck: A Novel in Words and Pictures – Brian Selznick

Having lost his mother and his hearing in a short time, twelve-year-old Ben leaves his Minnesota home in 1977 to seek the father he never knew in New York City, and meets there Rose, who is also longing for something missing from her life. Ben’s story is told in words; Rose’s in pictures.

I FIC Selznick   Lexile: 830

*Ages 8-12

York: The Shadow Cipher – Laura Ruby

Tess and Theo Biedermann, and their neighbor, Jamie Cruz, live in one of the historic Morningstarr buildings in an alternate New York City.  When an upstart developer threatens to pull down Tess and Theo’s apartment building, the twins team up with Jamie in one last effort to solve an ancient mystery and save their home.

I FIC Ruby, Lexile 780

*Ages 9-13