Ali Cross’s best friend Gabe is reported missing and Ali, son of a famous detective, decides to investigate for himself. Ali quickly gets in over his head and is warned away from the investigation “for his own good”. Read the first installment in this kid sleuth’s story in Ali Cross by James Patterson.
For more fast-paced mysteries featuring kid detectives, try Framed by James Ponti. Florian Bates is the FBI’s 7th grade consulting detective. He and his friend Margaret tangle with a crime syndicate to unravel the biggest art heist in United States history. This is an action packed mystery that is full of humor.
The Parker Inheritance, by Varian Johnson, is a treasure hunt, historical-fiction, suspenseful type of mystery novel. When Candice and her mother temporarily move into her grandmother’s house, Candice finds an old letter from her deceased grandmother to her and the first clue to a puzzle. The story shifts from present day Candice and her neighbor digging into the mystery, to a flashback of the city’s history of injustice in the 1950s. Readers will be absorbed to the very last page.
For a mystery set in nature, try Squirm by Carl Hiassen. Billy flies from Florida to Montana to find his dad. When he arrives there he finds his dad’s new wife and his step-sister, Summer, but his dad is gone. Billy discovers that his father is off on a wild goose chase, hunting down a rich poacher. Fans of Hiaasen’s work will enjoy the connections to the natural world, and the perils within it.
Finally, Max Einstein: The Genius Experiment by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein features a 12 year old homeless orphan/science genius. Max is kidnapped by thugs and swept across the world where she escapes and meets a group of genius children dedicated to solving world-changing problems. Don’t worry, there is more of Max in further installments of her thrilling science mystery!
Be sure to check out our recommendations page for even more curated librarian picks. Happy reading!