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.
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!
Enola is still living undercover determined NOT to let her older brothers Mycroft and Sherlock find her and enroll her in some kind of awful boarding school where she will spend her days tied up in an excrutiatingly uncomfortable corset learning positively boring things like needlework.
Instead, Enola lives in London in a shabby but comfortable boarding house passing herself off as Miss Meshle, the assistant to Dr. Leslie Ragostin, Scientific Perditorian – a finder of lost things. Actually, Enola is ALSO Dr. Leslie, so it is Enola who finds all the lost things…a mystery solver just like her brother Sherlock.
This time, the mystery is too close for comfort when Enola’s boarding house is ransacked and her landlady, old Mrs. Tupper, is kidnapped. Mrs. Tupper is a really nice old lady but doesn’t have a penny to her name. What in the world would anybody want old, deaf Mrs. Tupper for? Author: Nancy Springer