Today we’ll be continuing our ongoing look at mystery series that are appropriate for children or young adults by authors who are usually thought of as mystery authors for adults.
I will begin with Joelle Charbonneau. She writes the Glee Club Mystery Series and the Rebecca Robbins Mystery Series for adult mystery readers. She also writes the Testing thriller series for young adults. The first mystery in this series is called The Testing, and it introduces us to Cia Vale, a gifted graduate who has been chosen to attend a program for potential leaders of the new civilization (post-war). (It was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Children/Young Adult mystery.) This sounds like a sci-fi mystery sereis that is aimed at young adults.
Jane Langton writes the Homer Kelly Mystery Series (for adults) which features a Harvard professor. Something I just very recently became aware of is that she is the same Jane Langton who writes the Hall Family Chronicles Mystery Series for children. These mysteries are geared for children in the fifth grade and up. The Diamond in the Window is the first in the series, and was nominated for the prestigious Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Juvenile mystery. The Fledgling is the fourth in the Hall Family Chronicles Series.
Victoria Laurie, author of the very popular paranormal Psychic Eye Mystery Series and the Ghost Hunter Mystery Series also writes a paranormal mystery series for children. The Oracles of the Delphi Mystery Series introduces us to Ian Wigbyin in the first book called Oracles of Delphi Keep. Ian and his sister (Theo) live in Delphi Keep orphanage, on the English southern coast. Ian and Theo find a special treasure box, and from there, they are on exciting adventures, solving mysteries with their group of friends.
Kathy Reichs, author of the Temperance Brennan (Bones) Mystery Series for adults writes the Virals Series for young adults. She wrote the first two by herself, but was then joined by her son, Brendan Reichs, for the rest. This series has, as its sleuth, Tory Brennan, the niece of Temperance Brennan (Bones). Virals (the first mystery in this young adults series) was nominated for the Agatha Award for Best Children/Young Adult mystery.
Penny Warner‘s Code Busters Club Mystery Series stands out even among fellow Agatha nominees, as it has won once and been nominated twice more – and it would be a bit surprising if she didn’t get at least a nomination this year for the fourth book! The first book in the series, The Secret of the Skeleton Key, introduces readers to Cody, Quinn, Luke, and M.E., the members of the Code Busters, as they try to decode a message left by a neighbor – a code that could just be an SOS! The Code Busters Club series includes a number of codes within the books themselves for children to solve, and provides answers in the back if you get stuck. The Code Busters series is most appropriate for children ages 9-12.
Finally, Nancy Means Wright is the author of both the Mary Wollstonecraft Mystery Series and the Ruth Willmarth Mystery Series, both series are for adult mystery lovers. She is also the author of the Northern Spy Mystery Series. Inspired by the Nancy Drew mysteries, Wright’s two children-appropriate mystery novels revolve around Zoe Elwood and the Northern Spy Club of Northern Vermont. The first book, The Pea Soup Poisonings, which won the 2006 Agatha Award for Best Children/Young Adult mystery, revolves around young Zoe’s attempts to get into the Northern Spy Club by solving the possible-murder of a friend’s grandmother after eating a bowl of pea soup. The 2nd mystery book is called The Great Circus Train Robbery, and it was nominated for the very prestigious Agatha Award for Best Children/Young Adult mystery.
This is the last of this mini-series of entries. Have I missed your favorite young adult or children’s mystery series? Let me know in the comments!