As well as classics like Nancy Drew and The Famous Five, we have some wonderful kid detectives bringing mystery and day-saving antics to our shelves! Here are some of our favourites that all happen to be set in times past, from 1700s London to 1930s Hong Kong, and are all the start of their respective series.
We have the unstoppable Deepdean duo, Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells of the Wells and Wong Detective Agency, in the Murder Most Unladylike series. This series truly gets better as it goes on, with highlights being A Spoonful of Murder and Death in the Spotlight – but individual favourites may be particular to each reader.
Drama and Danger provides a gripping read starring another detecting pair – Lizzie Sancho and Dido Belle- and also offers an educational picture of 18th century London through the eyes of Black residents and real historical figures and events. We look forward to the second book in the Lizzie and Belle Mysteries!
Aggie Morton and her new friend Hector provide a charming take on some grisly crime scene investigating in The Body Under the Piano; their characters inspired by queen of crime-writing, Agatha Christie, and her fictional detective, Hercule Poirot.
Explore more from our catalogue in the list below:
The body under the piano / Jocelyn, Marthe
“A smart and charming middle-grade mystery series starring young detective Aggie Morton and her friend Hector, inspired by the imagined life of Agatha Christie as a child and her most popular creation, Hercule Poirot. For fans of Lemony Snicket and The Wollstonecraft Detective Agency. Aggie Morton lives in a small town on the coast of England in 1902. Adventurous and imaginative but deeply shy, Aggie hasn’t got much to do since the death of her beloved father . . . until the fateful day when she crosses paths with twelve-year-old Belgian immigrant Hector Perot and discovers a dead body on the floor of the Mermaid Dance Room!” (Adapted from Catalogue)
The detective’s guide to ocean travel / Greenberg, Nicki
“For as long as she can remember, Pepper Stark has wanted one thing: to join her father, the Captain, aboard the magnificent RMS Aquitania on a voyage to New York. She has never been allowed to set foot on her father’s ship, until now. From the decadent food to the star-studded passenger list, travelling First Class on Aquitania is every bit as glamorous as Pepper had imagined. And most dazzling of all is American stage sensation Perdita West, wearing the world-famous Saffron Diamond around her neck. When the priceless jewel disappears mid-voyage, Pepper unexpectedly finds herself entangled in the crime. With the Captain’s reputation at stake, Pepper and her new friends set out to solve the mystery. But finding a missing diamond isn’t so easy on Aquitania, where everyone has something to hide.” (Catalogue)
Murder most unladylike / Stevens, Robin
“Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong set up a secret detective agency at Deepdean School for Girls to solve the murder of their Science Mistress, Miss Bell.” (Catalogue)
If you enjoy the Murder Most Unladylike series, we recommend the spin-off based on Hazel Wong’s younger sister, May:
The ministry of unladylike activity / Stevens, Robin
“1940. Britain is at war, and a secret arm of the British government called the Ministry of Unladylike Activity is training up spies.
Enter May Wong: courageous, stubborn, and desperate to help end the war so that she can go home to Hong Kong (and leave her annoying school, Deepdean, behind forever). May knows that she would make the perfect spy. After all, grown-ups always underestimate children like her.
When May and her friend Eric are turned away by the Ministry, they take matters into their own hands. Masquerading as evacuees, they travel to Elysium Hall, home to the wealthy Verey family – including snobby, dramatic Nuala. They suspect that one of the Vereys is passing information to Germany. If they can prove it, the Ministry will have to take them on.
But there are more secrets at Elysium Hall than May or Eric could ever have imagined.” (Catalogue)
Premeditated Myrtle : a Myrtle Hardcastle mystery / Bunce, Elizabeth C
“When twelve-year-old aspiring detective Myrtle Hardcastle learns her neighor in quiet Swinburne, England, a breeder of rare flowers, has died she is certain it was murder and that she must find the killer.” (Catalogue)
Drama and danger / Williams, J. T.
“Twelve-year-olds Lizzie Sancho and Dido Belle are from different worlds – Lizzie lives in Westminster in her dad’s tea shop, while Belle is an heiress being brought up by her aunt and uncle at grand Kenwood House – but they both share a love of solving mysteries. And when their eyes meet in the audience of the Drury Lane theatre one night, both girls are sure they’ve seen something suspicious on stage. Lizzie and Belle soon find themselves on the trail of a mystery – and becoming best friends. But can they work out what’s going on in time to prevent a murder?”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)
Goldie Vance. Volume one / Larson, Hope
“Move over Nancy, Harriet, & Veronica. There’s a new sleuth on the block! Sixteen-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place. Her mom, who divorced her dad years ago, works as a live mermaid at a club downtown. Goldie has an insatiable curiosity, which explains her dream to one day become the hotel’s in-house detective. When Charles, the current detective, encounters a case he can’t crack, he agrees to mentor Goldie in exchange for her help solving the mystery.” (Catalogue)
Enola Holmes : the graphic novels, Book one / Blasco, Serena
“Fourteen-year-old Enola Holmes wakes on her birthday to discover that her mother has disappeared from the family’s country manor, leaving only a collection of flowers and a coded message book. With Sherlock and Mycroft determined to ship her off to a boarding school, Enola escapes, displaying a cleverness that even impresses the elder Holmes. But nothing prepares her for what lies ahead.” (Catalogue)