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Books for young detectives

There's something really special about a good detective novel, and we all love a good mystery! Enjoy the vintage backdrop of the Nancy Parker series, take on a new perspective with autistic narrator, Ted, in The London Eye Mystery, or delve into a bit of classic mystery with Sherlock Holmes. If you know a budding super-sleuth, our selection of detective books for children is the perfect source of Christmas gift inspiration.

Picture books for young detectives


Timothy Knapman, Holly Clifton-Brown
Detective McWoof likes to think he's a great detective. He's always sniffing for cases to solve. The problem is that he sometimes misses the most obvious clues - so it's a good job he has a trusty assistant, Wanda, to keep him scampering in the right direction! Together they will leave no case unsolved, and no bone unchewed . . .
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Download a Detective McWoof Activity Sheet [PDF]

Mystery books for 9+ year olds


Julia Lee
Nancy Parker has recently been engaged in her first position - as a housemaid for the very modern Mrs Bryce. It's not Nancy's dream job (she'd rather be investigating crimes like they do in her beloved six-penny thrillers) but as Mrs Bryce starts to entertain her new neighbours with lavish parties, it becomes clear that something strange and interesting might be afoot.
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Julia Lee
Maidservants, Mystery, and Murder! Everyone's favourite housemaid-detective is back. Now Nancy has a new job working at Oxcoombe Grange. It's great except for one thing - Nancy is convinced the house is haunted! Encouraged by her old friend, Ella Otter, the pair set out to conduct a ‘scientific investigation’, uncovering some surprising secrets and putting themselves unwittingly in danger along the way
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Astrid Lindgren
A super sleuth like Kalle Blomkvist is always looking for the next case to crack. So when a mysterious stranger arrives in town he finds the perfect excuse to start an investigation, one that will draw him and his friends into a thrilling case of theft and deception.
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Astrid Lindgren
It’s one year on since Master Detective Kalle Blomkvist solved the case of the great jewel robbery, and once again his sleepy little town is shaken by a dreadful crime. Mysterious circumstances surround the discovery of a dead body, and super sleuth Kalle must use all of his cunning to solve his first ever murder case.
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Activities:
Read an extract from the book
Learn to speak Kalle’s secret Robber Language
Kalle’s rules for dealing with a highly mysterious person

Siobhan Dowd
Told from the perspective of Ted, an autistic 12-year old, this story is part detective puzzle and part exploration of family relationships. As Ted and Kat watch their cousin Salim board the London Eye he turns and waves. But half an hour later, when the ride has ended and everyone troops off - no Salim. Where could he have gone? How on earth could he have disappeared into thin air? Since the police are having no luck finding him, it's down to Ted and Kat to solve the mystery.
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Books for 11+ year olds


Arthur Conan Doyle
Sherlock Holmes is a brilliant detective but even he is perplexed by the Baskerville case. Called in to help the Baskerville family, Sherlock and Doctor Watson are soon picking up clues. But can they discover the truth behind the fearsome legend of the beast with blazing eyes and dripping jaws? This mystery is a perfect gift for any fans of TV’s Sherlock looking to discover the origins of this great detective.
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Books for teenagers


Joss Stirling
Ember Lord is facing charges for the murder of her father. She was found at the scene of the crime, holding the murder weapon, and refuses to explain herself. The incredible final instalment of Joss Stirling's Young Detective Agency series, a companion novel to Stung , Shaken , and the award-winning Struck -romantic thrillers that will make your heart skip a beat.
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Next: Books for magic and fantasy fans