- Programs & Activities
- 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.
I FIC 39 Lexile: 610
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.
J FIC Roy Lexile: 410-590
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.
I FIC Clements Lexile: 810-880
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.
Beginning Reader Adler Lexile: 450
Book Scavenger – Jennifer Chambliss Bertram
Emily is excited about the chance to meet her literary idol, only to discover that he has been kidnapped. Can his own Book Scavenger game hold the clues to his disappearance?
I FIC Bertram Lexile 810
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.
J FIC Warner Lexile: 490
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.
J FIC Butler Lexile: 450
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.
I FIC Howe Lexile: 700
Calendar Mysteries – Ron Roy
Seven-year-olds Bradley, Brian, Nate, and Lucy make observations and gather clues to solve mysteries.
J FIC Roy Lexile: 410-510
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.
J FIC Adler Lexile: 360-590
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.
I FIC Springer Lexile: 1020
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
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.
I FIC Hale Lexile: 410-580
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.
J FIC Joosse Lexile: 400
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
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.
I FIC Baccalario Lexile: 610
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
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
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.
I FIC Mack Lexile: 850
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.
I FIC Carman Lexile: 870
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.
I FIC Konigsburg Lexile: 700
Friday Barnes, Girl Detective – R. A. Spratt
A genius girl detective discovers her ultra-exclusive boarding school is a hotbed of crime, from missing homework and stolen lemon tarts to a mysterious yeti haunting the school swamp
I FIC Spratt Lexile: 800
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.
J FIC Stilton Lexile: 450-720
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.
I FIC Erickson Lexile: 670-940
The Hardy Boys (Series) – Franklin W. Dixon
Detective brothers, Frank and Joe Hardy, work together to solve crimes.
I FIC Dixon Lexile: 610-730
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.
I FIC Barrett Lexile: 650
Inspector Flytrap (series) – Tom Angleberger
A talking Venus Flytrap, with the help of a omnivorous goat and a skateboard, solve neighborhood mysteries.
J FIC Angleberger Lexile 510
Jigsaw Jones Mystery (Series) – James Preller
Jigsaw and his friend Mila team up to solve a variety of mysteries.
J FIC Preller Lexile: 290-540
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.
I FIC Dowd Lexile: 640
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.
J FIC McCall Lexile: n/a
Mac B, Kid Spy (series) – Mac Barnett
The Queen of England calls on Mac B, the smartest boy in the class, to help solve mysteries surrounding the crown jewels.
J FIC Barnett Lexile: 460
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
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
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
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.
I FIC Wood Lexile: 1000
Nancy Drew Series – Carolyn Keene
Teenage detective, Nancy Drew, sets out to solve various mysteries in this series of books.
I FIC Keene Lexile: 660-780
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.
J FIC Sharmat Lexile: 370
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
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.
J FIC Sensel Lexile: 700
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
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.
I FIC Clements Lexile: 840
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
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.
I FIC Bosch Lexile: 690-810
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.
I FIC Buckley Lexile: 840
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.
I FIC Carman Lexile: 740-830
Spy School -Stuart Gibbs
Ben Ripley thinks his dream has come true when he is accepted into an exclusive spy school. He soon discovers that being a spy is harder than he thought, and much more dangerous.
I FIC Gibbs Lexile 740
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
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
Trixie Belden (series) – Julie Campbell
Thirteen-year-old Trixie Belden and her friends solve mysteries in small town America in the 1950’s.
I FIC Campbell
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
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.
I FIC Feinstein Lexile: 760
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
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.
I FIC Stead Lexile: 750
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
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
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