Gift Guide: For Kids Who Love Mystery & Intrigue

 

Have a budding sleuth or spy? Recommendations ranging from age 5-18.

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Midnight at the Barclay Hotel By Fleur Bradley, Xavier Bonet (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Fleur Bradley, Xavier Bonet (Illustrator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9780593202913
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - August 24th, 2021

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

When JJ Jacobson convinced his mom to accept a surprise invitation to an all-expenses-paid weekend getaway at the illustrious Barclay Hotel, he never imagined that he'd find himself in the midst of a murder mystery. He thought he was in for a run-of-the-mill weekend ghost hunting at the most haunted spot in town, but when he arrives at the Barclay Hotel and his mother is blamed for the hotel owner's death, he realizes his weekend is going to be anything but ordinary.

Now, with the help of his new friends, Penny and Emma, JJ has to track down a killer, clear his mother's name, and maybe even meet a ghost or two along the way.


The Case of the Curious Scouts (Secret Spy Society #2) By Veronica Mang Cover Image
$13.99
ISBN: 9780593204382
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - March 1st, 2022

Recommended for elementary readers (5-9 years old). 

After officially naming themselves the Petite Private Eyes, Peggy, Rita, and Dot are ready to take on a new assignment from the Lady Spies. The Fashion Twins, two local designers, have been robbed! When the girls go undercover to investigate, they find themselves joining a curious scout troop run by a mysterious scout leader. With the help of the Lady Spies and a feisty pet cheetah, will the girls crack the case and make some new friends?


Surfside Girls: The Secret of Danger Point By Kim Dwinell Cover Image
$14.99
ISBN: 9781603094115
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Top Shelf Productions - August 1st, 2017

Recommended for middle grade readers (9-12 years old). 

Things are getting weird in Surfside. Lately, Samantha's best friend Jade explodes into fits of giggles whenever she sees a boy, and it's throwing a wrench into the kick-back summer of surfing and hanging out that Sam had planned. But after swimming through a secret underwater cave, Sam starts to... see things. Like ghosts. And pirates. And maybe something even scarier! Can she and Jade get to the bottom of this mystery in time to save their town?


The Area 51 Files By Julie Buxbaum, Lavanya Naidu (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Julie Buxbaum, Lavanya Naidu (Illustrator)
$14.99
ISBN: 9780593429464
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Delacorte Press - September 13th, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

When Sky Patel-Baum is sent to live with her mysterious uncle, she didn't imagine she'd end up here: Area 51. A top-secret military base with a bajillion rules and so classified not even the president knows its secrets.

Also, it turns out the place is full of aliens. Lots and lots of aliens. But they prefer to be called Break Throughs, thank you very much.
As Sky sets out to explore her extraordinary new home with her pizza-obsessed pet hedgehog Spike, she meets her otherworldly next-door neighbor Elvis and his fluffy pup, Pickles. But something mysterious is afoot in Area 51. Some of the Break Throughs have gone missing... at the exact same time Sky arrived.

Where could they be? How can Sky and her uncle convince everyone they had nothing to do with the disappearance? And why does the macaroni and cheese at Area 51 Middle have eyeballs in it? New best friends Sky, Elvis, Spike, and Pickles try to crack the case, but the clock is ticking...


The Mysterious Benedict Society By Trenton Lee Stewart, Carson Ellis (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Trenton Lee Stewart, Carson Ellis (Illustrator)
$9.99
ISBN: 9780316003957
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers - April 1st, 2008

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

Are you a gifted child looking for special opportunities? Dozens of children respond to this peculiar ad in the newspaper and are then put through a series of mind-bending tests, which readers take along with them. Only four children--two boys and two girls--succeed. Their challenge: to go on a secret mission that only the most intelligent and inventive children could complete. To accomplish it they will have to go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened, where the only rule is that there are no rules. But what they'll find in the hidden underground tunnels of the school is more than your average school supplies. So, if you're gifted, creative, or happen to know Morse Code, they could probably use your help.


The Circus of Stolen Dreams By Lorelei Savaryn Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9780593202074
Availability: Backordered
Published: Viking Books for Young Readers - November 16th, 2021

Recommended for middle grade & young adult readers (10+ years old). 

After Andrea's brother, Francis, disappeared, everything changed. Her world turned upside down, and there was nothing she could do to right it. So when she discovers a magical dream world called Reverie in the woods near her home, Andrea jumps at the chance to escape her pain and go inside. But the cost of admission is high: Andrea must give up a memory in order to enter. And she knows exactly which memory she'd like to give up.

Once inside, Andrea discovers tent after tent of dreams come alive; she can fly on a gust of wind, brave swashbuckling pirates and search for buried treasure, reach for--and wish on--a tangible star, and much, much more. But Andrea soon realizes that not all of Reverie's dreams are meant to delight, and the Sandman behind the circus tents seems to have plans of his own. When Andrea finds a tent in which her brother's darkest nightmare has been brought to life, she realizes the dark truth: Reverie is not an escape; it's a trap.

Will Andrea and her new friend Penny have what it takes to find Francis, figure out what's really going on in Reverie, and break free from this nightmarish dream world?

A wonderfully inventive, deliciously creepy debut novel that is sure to linger in readers' minds long after the last thrilling page has been turned.


Murder on the Orient Express: A Hercule Poirot Mystery (Hercule Poirot Mysteries #10) By Agatha Christie Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780062073495
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: William Morrow Paperbacks - January 18th, 2011

Recommended for young adult readers (13+ years old). 

Just after midnight, the famous Orient Express is stopped in its tracks by a snowdrift. By morning, the millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside. One of his fellow passengers must be the murderer.

Isolated by the storm, detective Hercule Poirot must find the killer among a dozen of the dead man's enemies, before the murderer decides to strike again.


Spy School By Stuart Gibbs Cover Image
$8.99
ISBN: 9781442421837
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers - April 2nd, 2013

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

Ben Ripley may only be in middle school, but he's already pegged his dream job: CIA or bust. Unfortunately for him, his personality doesn't exactly scream "secret agent." In fact, Ben is so awkward, he can barely get to school and back without a mishap. Because of his innate nerdiness, Ben is not surprised when he is recruited for a magnet school with a focus on science--but he's entirely shocked to discover that the school is actually a front for a junior CIA academy. Could the CIA really want him?


By the Time You Read This I'll Be Gone (Murder, She Wrote #1) By Stephanie Kuehn Cover Image
$12.99
ISBN: 9781338764550
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Scholastic Press - October 4th, 2022

Recommended for young adult readers (13=17 years old). 

Killers walk among us. Statistically, at least one of them knows your name...

Beatrice Fletcher is obsessed with unsolved murders in her small town of Cabot Cove, Maine like her great-aunt Jessica, the famous mystery writer. But when her best friend Jackson goes missing, this time the mystery is personal.

Then Jackson fails to show up for a late night meet-up, and instead, Bea stumbles upon three students from the elite Broadmoor Academy: overly-friendly and slightly vicious Leisl, her aloof twin brother, Leif, and Carlos, who knows more about, well, everything than he's letting on. They're worldly, secretive, and big on playing games like tenace, the hush-hush Broadmoor tradition where anything or anyone can be a clue to future fame and fortune, and players will stop at nothing -- including murder -- to get ahead.

If Bea wants to find Jackson, she too must join the game and play to win. Everyone in Cabot Cove has secrets, and it's up to Bea to ferret them out before it's too late in this thrilling modern update of the classic television show.


Drew Leclair Gets a Clue By Katryn Bury Cover Image
$16.99
ISBN: 9780358639602
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Clarion Books - March 1st, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (9-12 years old). 

Drew Leclair knows what it takes to be a great detective. She's pored over the cases solved by her hero, criminal profiler Lita Miyamoto. She tracked down the graffiti artist at school, and even solved the mystery of her neighbor's missing rabbit. But when her mother runs off to Hawaii with the school guidance counselor, Drew is shocked. How did she miss all of the clues?

Drew is determined to keep her family life a secret, even from her best friend. But when a cyberbully starts posting embarrassing rumors about other students at school, it's only a matter of time before Drew's secret is out.

Armed with her notebooks full of observations about her classmates, Drew knows what she has to do: profile all of the bullies in her grade to find the culprit. But being a detective is more complicated when the suspects can be your friends. Will Drew crack the case if it means losing the people she cares about most?


The Parker Inheritance (Scholastic Gold) By Varian Johnson Cover Image
$7.99
ISBN: 9780545952781
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Arthur A. Levine Books - June 25th, 2019

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

Twelve-year-old Candice Miller is spending the summer in Lambert, South Carolina, in the old house that belonged to her grandmother, who died after being dismissed as city manager for having the city tennis courts dug up looking for buried treasure--but when she finds the letter that sent her grandmother on the treasure hunt, she finds herself caught up in the mystery and, with the help of her new friend and fellow book-worm, Brandon, she sets out to find the inheritance, exonerate her grandmother, and expose an injustice once committed against an African American family in Lambert.


Greenglass House: A National Book Award Winner By Kate Milford, Jaime Zollars (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Kate Milford, Jaime Zollars (Illustrator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9780544540286
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Clarion Books - November 1st, 2016

Recommended for middle grade readers (10-12 years old). 

At Greenglass House, a smuggler's inn, twelve-year-old Milo, the innkeepers' adopted son, plans to spend his winter holidays relaxing but soon guests are arriving with strange stories about the house sending Milo and Meddy, the cook's daughter, on an adventure.


Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians (Alcatraz Versus the Evil Librarians #1) By Brandon Sanderson, Hayley Lazo (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Brandon Sanderson, Hayley Lazo (Illustrator)
$8.99
ISBN: 9780765378958
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Starscape - May 3rd, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (8+ years old). 

On his thirteenth birthday, foster child Alcatraz Smedry receives a bag of sand which is immediately stolen by the evil Librarians who are trying to take over the world, and Alcatraz is introduced to his grandfather and his own special talent, and told that he must use it to save civilization.


Lia Park and the Missing Jewel By Jenna Yoon Cover Image
$17.99
ISBN: 9781534487932
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Aladdin - May 3rd, 2022

Recommended for middle grade readers (8-12 years old). 

Twelve-year old Lia Park just wants to fit in. Her parents work with a mysterious organization that makes them ridiculously overprotective. Lia's every move has been scrutinized since she was born, and she'd love to have the option of doing something exciting for once. So when she gets invited to the biggest birthday party of the year--and her parents say she can't go--Lia sneaks out.

But her first act of rebellion not only breaks her parents' rules, but also an ancient protection spell, allowing an evil diviner spirit to kidnap and ransom her parents for a powerful jewel that her family has guarded for years. With just the clothes on her back and some very rusty magical skills, Lia finds herself chasing mysterious clues that take her to her grandmother's home in Korea.

From there, she has to make their way to the undersea kingdom of the Dragon King, the only person who knows where the powerful jewel might be. Along with her friend, Joon, Lia must dig deep and find courage to stand up for those who are weak--and become the hero her parents need.


The Agathas (An Agathas Mystery #1) By Kathleen Glasgow, Liz Lawson Cover Image
$18.99
ISBN: 9780593431115
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Delacorte Press - May 3rd, 2022

Recommended for young adult readers (14+ years old). 

Last summer, Alice Ogilvie's basketball-star boyfriend Steve dumped her. Then she disappeared for five days. She's not talking, so where she went and what happened to her is the biggest mystery in Castle Cove. Or it was, at least. But now, another one of Steve's girlfriends has vanished: Brooke Donovan, Alice's ex-best friend. And it doesn't look like Brooke will be coming back...

Enter Iris Adams, Alice's tutor. Iris has her own reasons for wanting to disappear, though unlike Alice, she doesn't have the money or the means. That could be changed by the hefty reward Brooke's grandmother is offering to anyone who can share information about her granddaughter's whereabouts. The police are convinced Steve is the culprit, but Alice isn't so sure, and with Iris on her side, she just might be able to prove her theory.

In order to get the reward and prove Steve's innocence, they need to figure out who killed Brooke Donovan. And luckily Alice has exactly what they need--the complete works of Agatha Christie. If there's anyone that can teach the girls how to solve a mystery it's the master herself. But the town of Castle Cove holds many secrets, and Alice and Iris have no idea how much danger they're about to walk into.


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Lucy Clark Will Not Apologize By Margo Rabb Cover Image
$11.99
ISBN: 9780062322418
Availability: In stock at Brooklyn or Jersey City -- click for more details
Published: Quill Tree Books - July 12th, 2022

Recommended for young adult readers (13-17 years old). 

Lucy Clark has had it. After being bullied one too many times, Lucy retaliates. But when the fallout is far worse than she meant it to be, she gets sent to Manhattan to serve as a full-time companion to the eccentric Edith Fox.

Edith is glamorous and mysterious--nothing like Lucy expected. Though Edith's world of hidden gardens and afternoon teas is beguiling, there's one other thing about her that makes her unlike anyone Lucy has ever met...she thinks someone is trying to kill her.

And it's up to Lucy to find out who it is.


Madame Badobedah By Sophie Dahl, Lauren O'Hara (Illustrator) Cover Image
By Sophie Dahl, Lauren O'Hara (Illustrator)
$18.99
ISBN: 9781536210224
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: Walker Books US - April 7th, 2020

Recommended for elementary readers (5-8 years old). 

There's a strange new guest at the Mermaid Hotel -- a very old lady with a growly voice, bags stuffed with jewelry and coins and curiosities, and a beady-eyed pet tortoise. Mabel, whose parents run the hotel, is suspicious. Who is this "Madame Badobedah" (it rhymes with "Oo la la") who has come to stay indefinitely and never has any visitors? To find out, Mabel puts on her spy costume and observes the new guest. Conclusion? She must be a secret supervillain hiding out from the law. The grown-ups think Madame Badobedah is a bit rude -- and sad -- but when she invites "dahlink" Mabel for a cup of forbidden tea and a game of pirates, the two begin a series of imaginary adventures together, and Mabel realizes that first impressions can sometimes be very wrong. Conjuring two quirky heroines that young readers will love, Sophie Dahl adds her talented voice to a grand tradition of books that celebrate the alliance of the old and young in the face of humdrum adults, while Lauren O'Hara's illustrations are as packed with intriguing details as Madame Badobedah's suitcases.


InvestiGators By John Patrick Green Cover Image
$9.99
ISBN: 9781250219954
Availability: Available from our distributor; usually Ships in 1-5 Days
Published: First Second - February 25th, 2020

Recommended for middle grade readers (7-10 years old). 

With their Very Exciting Spy Technology and their tried-and-true, toilet-based travel techniques, the InvestiGators are undercover and on the case! And on their first mission together, they have not one but two mysteries to solve! Can Mango and Brash uncover the clues, crack their cases, and corral the crooks--or will the criminals wriggle out of their grasp?