Xander and Xena Holmes are spending a year in London with their family. While the kids are sitting on the steps of their hotel, a stranger passes by, presses a paper into Xena’s hand and says, “it fades fast.” The paper says “…I speak for the whole Society for the Preservation of Famous Detectives (SPFD) when I say that we are thrilled beyond words to welcome you to England, the home of your ancestors.” The kids manage to read the rest of the note (which tells them about a meeting place and a password) before the ink fades and the paper is left blank.
Not kids to pass up a mystery, they head to the meeting place, a neighborhood pub, and take a chance revealing the password to a waitress. The waitress freezes, startled, and then leads the kids to a back room…and locks them in! What have they gotten themselves into? The locked room is really a doorway into the SPFD. The kids discover that Sherlock Holmes is their great-great-great grandfather and they are given a casebook of his unsolved cases. The cases are old, the book contains 100-year-old secrets. Are the mysteries too old to solve? Not for the descendents of Mr. Sherlock Holmes, the worlds greatest detective. Author: Tracy Barrett
And if you like this one, try #2: The Sherlock Files The Beast of Blackslope. In this one Xander and Xena are investigating a bigfoot kind of beast terrorizing a village again after being absent for several years. Why is the beast back?
In The Mystery of the Third Lucretia, Kari and Lucas use disguises during their surveillance so that their suspect will (hopefully) not notice them lurking around.
The girls are in London with Kari’s mom, a teen magazine journalist. They have tagged along to do some sightseeing but also stumble across an international art forgery mystery. I liked their story because they do a lot of legwork and piecing together clues – more like what I would expect a real detective to do. There are no fancy lab tests or expensive gadgets. These two use their brains, simple disguises, their listening skills, their memories and their instincts to solve the mystery.
Halli Sveinsson lives in Medieval times (warrior/knights, castles, sword fighting) in a valley divided into 12 family groups, or Houses, each descended from one of 12 heroes who long ago fought the troll-like Trows and drove them out of the valley. The 12 Houses share a peaceful existence in the valley gathering once a year to trade stories and brag about their own Hero’s bravery and strength. Each House is sure their Hero is the best one.
Halli lives in the House of Svein and he’s tired of living in his older brother’s shadow. He’s so bored he makes his own adventures playing pranks on unsuspecting family members. He can’t wait for the once a year Gathering that is just a few days away – at last something exciting will be happening!
During the Gathering, one of Halli’s pranks goes bad, setting in motion a series of events that reignites a feud between Houses that has been lying dormant for generations. Now a futigive, Halli is on the run for his life. He finds a hiding place in the House of Arne where Aud – a girl he met at the Gathering, lives. Wanting some excitement of her own, Aud joins Halli and his pursuit of adventure and glory. But glory has a price when these two unsuspecting heroes find themselves the new leaders in a fight to keep their valley and the people they care about safe. Author: Jonathon Stroud (he wrote The Bartimaeus Trilogy)
Ryan is stuck at home recovering from a broken leg. This is his journal. Ryan is keeping the journal because something scary has happened and writing in the journal helps him deal with his lingering fear.
Despite the accident and the broken leg, Ryan and his best friend Sarah Fincher are determined to investigate the strange things that happen in their hometown of Skeleton Creek. The two friends have been forbidden to see each other – they get into too much trouble when they are together. But they find a way to keep in touch through secert e-mail messages.
Sarah is still out looking for clues. She sends Ryan video clips of her ongoing investigation. As you read Ryan’s journal, he tells you when Sarah has sent him a new video. He gives you the url and password you need to go on the internet and watch the video. (You can really do this – her videos are really there on the internet.) Sarah’s video clips are pretty creepy and Ryan sounds very scared in his journal. Going back and fourth between the book and the videos draws you in to their experience and why they feel so unsettled about what they have discovered.
Ryan and Sarah have uncovered something important in Skeleton Creek…and the adults don’t want to talk about it. Author: Patrick Carman Series: Skeleton Creek
Theodosia spends most of her time in her dad’s museum that is filled with artifacts her mom digs up in Egypt. But Theo is a wreck! She’s constantly worried about her parents, who are so busy they sometimes forget to feed her, and what’s worse, they have no idea their artifacts are cursed. Theo is so concerned about the curses, she’s developed her own curse removing kit and sleeps in a sarcophagus (mummy’s coffin) for safety. If sleeping in a coffin makes sense…you’re really scared!
Theo’s mom returns from a dig with an amulet inscribed with curses that could destroy the British Empire. Like Indiana Jones, Theo is up against some powerful Germans that want to use the cursed amulet as a weapon against England. Theo fights back using her gutsy attitude, ancient texts, her curse-removing kit, some well connected allies, and brains…a recipe for adventure! Author: R.L. LaFevers
Theo is back removing curses in The Staff of Osiris. Theo might be able to detect ancient curses but she isn’t the only girl with special powers. Emmy can shrink, Molly can hypnotize people and Gilda, well, Gilda sees dead people!