Vineland Public Library Children's Department
Recommended Books for Book Reports
Booklists, Grades 3 and up

MYSTERY AND DETECTIVE BOOKS

Books are located in the Juvenile Fiction section under the author's last name
unless otherwise noted.

  • Babbitt, Natalie, Goody Hall. Hercules Feltwright, a bumbling actor, comes to Goody Hall to be a tutor to the young master, Willet Goody. The boy soon announces that his father is not dead and interred in the family tomb. In trying to solve this mystery, Hercules uncovers strange family legends. Reading Level: 4th - 6th grade

  • Bawden, Nina, Kept in the Dark. Three children visiting their grandparents encounter a wicked grandson/half-cousin. David is holding all of them prisoner while Noel, Clara and Bosie’s father is in the hospital and their mother is with him. It is not safe to stay with David, but how can they escape? Reading Level: 5th - 8th grade

  • Bellairs, John, The Curse of the Blue Figurine. The terror for young Johnny Dixon begins when cranky eccentric Professor Childermass tells him that St. Michael’s Church is haunted by Father Baart, an evil sorcerer who mysteriously disappeared years ago. When Johnny finds a blue Egyptian figurine hidden in the church basement, he takes it home in spite of the warning note from Father Baart threatening harm to anyone who removes it from the Church. Reading Level: 5th grade and up

  • Brooks, Walter, Freddy the Detective. Freddy, the pig, and all the farm animals who live with Mr. Bean decide to imitate Sherlock Holmes. Freddy tries to prove the innocence of Jinx, the cat, who has been accused of stealing by the thieving rat, Simon. Reading Level: 3rd - 5th grade

  • Cameron, Eleanor, The Court of Stone Children. In a San Francisco museum of French art and furniture, Nina encounters the ghost of Dominique, a girl who lived in the nineteenth-century. Spurred on by the appearance of the ghost, Nina sets out to untangle a murder mystery which had remained unsolved since Napoleon’s day. Reading Level: 5th grade and up

  • Fleischman, Sid, Jim Ugly. After attending his father’s funeral, Jake tries to deal with his dad’s part timber wolf "one man dog," whom he calls Jim Ugly. Neighbors think him a sheep killer and want him shot. Jake decides to run away with the dog, and eventually uncovers a mystery involving stolen diamonds and a dead man who isn’t dead. Reading Level: 3rd - 5th grade

  • Garfield, Leon, Smith. Twelve-year-old Smith witnesses the murder of a visiting squire whose pocket he has just picked. Then he must use his wits to escape the murderess, who realizes that he has the documents that she wants. Reading Level: 5th grade and up

  • George, Craighead Jean, Who Really Killed Cock Robin? Eighth grader Tony Isidora follows a trail of environmental clues to try to figure out what ecological imbalances might have caused the death of the town’s best known robin. Reading Level: 5th - 7th grade

  • Giff, Patricia Reilly, Loretta P. Sweeny, Where Are You? Abby Jones, a would-be detective and her timid friend, Potsie, find a wallet belonging to Loretta P. Sweeny, with a note inside threatening to kill someone named Cindy on the Fourth of July. They are on the case trying to avoid the murderer and warn the victim-to-be. Reading Level: 4th - 6th grade

  • Hamilton, Virginia, The House of Dies Drear. A hundred years ago, Dies Drear and two slaves he was hiding in his house, an Underground Railroad station in Ohio, had been murdered. The house, huge and isolated, was fascinating, Thomas thought, but he wasn’t sure he was glad Papa had bought it — funny things kept happening, frightening things. Reading Level: 5th grade and up

  • Howe, Deborah, Bunnicula: a Rabbit-Tale of Mystery. When the Monroes find that their vegetables are being drained of juice and turning white overnight, they are at a loss to explain why. But Chester the cat believes that it is the work of a vampire rabbit and he enlists the help of Harold the dog to solve the mystery. Reading Level: 3rd - 6th grade

  • McHargue, Georgess, The Turquoise Toad Mystery. Twelve-year-old Ben Pollack joins a family friend on her archaeological expedition to the Arizona desert. He and his pet coatimundi, Frito, have more adventures than they anticipated, including scorpions in their tent and a gang of thieves who attack the dig in search of legendary treasure. Reading Level: 4th - 6th grade

  • Norton, Andre, Ride the Green Dragon. The Wayne family moves into the Vargen place, the former quarters of a circus company, designed to look like a castle. Very strange things happen to Tracy and Jared as they begin to unravel a series of mysteries that involves several generations. Reading Level: 5th - 7th grade

  • Raskin, Ellen, The Westing Game. A girl sneaks into the spooky old Westing Mansion and discovers the body of Samuel Westing. According to his will, sixteen people will be paired and given clues to a riddle. The first to solve the riddle will inherit the Westing fortune. Reading Level: 5th grade and up

  • Snyder, Zilpha Keatley, The Egypt Game. Melanie and her friend, April, convert an abandoned junk yard into an Egyptian temple where they have fun and "fit in" in a way they never can do at school. When it is revealed that a murderer is roaming the neighborhood, they have more excitement that they bargained for. Reading Level: 5th - 7th grade

  • Sobol, Donald, Encyclopedia Brown, Boy Detective. Leroy Brown knows a lot about everything, that’s why they call him "Encyclopedia" Brown. In this book he solves ten mysteries and the reader is invited to sleuth along with the detective. Reading Level: 3rd - 5th grade

  • Stevenson, Drew, The Case of the Horrible Swamp Monster. When Ray and Verna go to spooky Lost Swamp to film a monster movie for school, they don’t expect to find a real monster! When they develop the film, they see a shiny green thing rising out of the swamp and hobbling away. Reading Level: 4th - 6th grade

  • Titus, Eve, Basil of Baker Street. Basil of Baker street is the Sherlock Holmes of mice. With the help of his assistant, Dr. Dawson, he solves the mystery of the kidnapped children using scientific sleuthing methods he learned at the feet of the famous English detective. Reading Level: 3rd - 5th grade

  • Wiseman, David, Jeremy Visick. Twelve-year-old Matthew Clemons is given a class assignment to learn about the history of his town by investigating the families buried in the local cemetery. Matthew finds one that marks the death of a father and his three sons who all died when the Wheal Maid tin mine caved in on July 21, 1852. But the body of Jeremy Visick, age 12 was never found. Reading Level: 5th - 8th grade

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