Hector Fitzbaudly leads a privileged life. He lives in a mansion with his father, wears stylish, expensive clothes and goes to the best school. He and his father are free to spend as much time and money as they wish on their magnificent butterfly collection.
One night, Hector’s father receives a mysterious guest…and from that night forward Hector’s life begins to unravel. The mysterious man knows something about Hector’s father. Hector’s father is willing to pay a steep price to keep the man quiet.
The stress of the secret extracts an even bigger price when Hector’s father drops dead from a heart attack and leaves Hector to deal with the fact that their fortune is actually gone. Turned out into the street, Hector sets off on his own. He has nothing…except a burning desire for revenge against the mysterious one-eyed guest that Hector blames for his father’s death and for the loss of his father’s fortune. The one-eyed man might be smart, he might be devious, he might have a sinister plan, but Hector is smart too. He can be devious. He can come up with a plan.
Hector follows the one-eyed man to the home of Lady Mandible. Lady Mandible hires Hector to live at the mansion and raise butterflies, giving Hector the opportunity to sneak around at night hoping to find out more about the one-eyed man. Hector discovers some unsavory information about “Lady” Mandible. She collects all kinds of gruesome art and she paints some pictures herself…with blood!
Creepy enough for you? How about this: her guest, the one-eyed man, well, he collects eyeballs. Glass ones, but still…eyeballs. If you like the deliciously macabre (that means shockingly offensive), then you’ll love reading about Lady Mandible. She’s Cruella DeVil without the puppies, and she’ll stop at nothing to get exactly what she wants.
Hector gets quite a dose of sinister and has to decide what to do with his desire for revenge. Should he play the same game as Lady Mandible and the Eyeball Collector…or is there a sweeter revenge? Author: F.E. Higgins
The Eyeball Collector is a gothic story. That means the mood of it is dark and gloomy; very mysterious with strange events and people. F.E. Higgins wrote The Black Book of Secrets and The Bone Magician & The Eyeball Collector. These are not sequels of each other..but characters and places are shared between all the books. If you like them, try The Wolves of Willoughby Chase or The House With the Clock in its Walls. But read early. With the lights on.
Another great mystery in the series The Boy Sherlock Holmes. Still stung by having Inspector Lestrade and Scotland Yard take credit for his sleuthing, young Sherlock is determined to find another case to make his name as a great detective.
When a beautiful rich girl vanishes in broad daylight without a trace…no witnesses…no ransom note…no nothing, Sherlock knows this is the case that will prove his worth. The problem? Where to start. After 2 1/2 months of waiting a ransom note is finally delivered to the girl’s family and revealed by Inspector Lestrade, a note Sherlock scrutinizes from afar. When Lestrade holds the note up, the sun shines through the paper. Sherlock notices a faint watermark on the paper – this is his first clue. (A watermark is a picture or logo impressed on paper when the paper is made. It is very faint, in fact, you can’t see it until the paper is held up to the light. The watermark lets the buyer know who manufactured the paper.)
As usual Lestrade is none to happy to have Sherlock around. To make things really interesting, Lestrade’s son becomes Sherlock’s reluctant ally and Irene Doyle remains Sherlock’s reluctant friend. Sherlock still can’t find the nerve to apologize to her and continues to believe that he is better off without her as an ally, a sleuthing partner, or a friend. Like Mr. Incredible, he works alone. Sometimes, geniuses can be really dumb! Author: Shane Peacock
Cass and Max-Ernest from The Name of This Book is Secret are back in another sense-filled adventure as members of the secret Terces Society. Cass and Max-Ernest have been inducted into the Society as agents keeping the world safe from the evil Midnight Sun, people who will stop at nothing (even murder!) to carry out their plans to live forever. Their previous adventures involved the senses of smell and sound. This time around, it’s taste, and what tastes better than chocolate? Nothing!
Cass’s mom is obsessed with the blind chef Señor Hugo and is invited to one of his exclusive dinner parties. Cass and Max-Ernest come along and are suprised to learn that at these parties the guests dine in complete darkness so that they can focus on their sense of taste. Partway through dinner Cass gets a feeling something isn’t right and when she shines a contraband light, she and Max-Ernest realize that all of the tables in the restaurant are empty and Cass’s mom is nowhere to be found. Señor Hugo has kidnapped Cass’s mom and is demanding the legendary Tuning Fork for her safe return. Somehow, he knows about Cass and Max-Ernest and The Terces Society. What is the Tuning Fork and what does the chef want to do with it? You can bet that The Midnight Sun and the creepy Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais are in on it too. Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
Here are the first two in the Secret Series with Cass and Max-Ernest: The Name of This Book is Secret and If you’re Reading This It’s Too Late and book #4 This Isn’t What It Looks Like. If you like these, you might also like the rest, each are about kids having incredible adventures, but without wands or dragons or spells. These kids fly airplanes, shrink, hypnotize people, solve puzzles and more.
Kari and Lucas from The Mystery of the Third Lucretia are back for another international mystery. This time they are in Scotland where Kari’s Mom has an assignment interviewing a teen prodigy – a touring pianist all of 15 years old.
Kari and Lucas are excited to meet the famous Seneca Crane. Yes, she’s beautiful. Yes, she’s talented. Yes she’s traveled all over the world…but Seneca turns out to be just a normal kid who happens to have mad piano skills.
Seneca reveals the disciplined life she leads and how difficult it is to trade a normal kid life for life touring the world playing music with and for grown-ups. Seneca is frustrated with her overprotective Mom, her strict tutor and her new Stepfather. The three of them barely let Seneca out of their sight. Kari and Lucas make it their job to show Seneca what regular teens do and convince Seneca’s Mom to let them take Seneca sightseeing around Edinburgh. The three friends have a great time together and look forward to more Scottish adventures after Seneca’s concert performance.
After the concert, everyone waits outside Seneca’s dressing room but she doesn’t appear. A search of the room reveals a ransom note – Seneca doesn’t need rescued anymore from her overprotective Mother…she needs rescued from kidnappers!
Kari and Lucas are on the case in their signature clue-busting style. They are resourceful, gutsy and determined. They rely on their sharp memories and their keen powers of deduction to sort out the clues and get on the trail of the kidnappers. I can’t wait for Book #3 Adventure at Simba Hill which will come out next. Simba Hill takes place in Africa. Author: Susan Runholt
Miranda is in the sixth grade and lives in an apartment building in New York City. The school year is moving along pretty much like any other until the Friday Miranda comes home from school and discovers her apartment door unlocked…and the spare key missing from its secret hiding spot. Miranda’s mom is immediately concerned and has the lock on the door changed.
On Monday, Miranda discovers a note hidden in her backpack:
M, This is hard. Harder than I expected, even with your help. But I have been practicing, and my preparations go well, I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own. I ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter. Second, please remember to mention the location of your house key. The trip is a difficult one. I will not be myself when I reach you.
If the spare key was stolen on Friday, why would someone ask where it was hidden on Monday? It’s already gone. Weird. As Miranda’s mom says, “Someone with the key wouldn’t have to ask where the key is. It makes no sense.”
What’s weirder is Miranda keeps fiinding more notes, and the second one starts out “Miranda” not “M,” so the notes are definately for her. The writer of the notes knows things no one else should know. And then the notes start to mention things that haven’t happened…yet. When the notes start to predict what happens later, that’s when things start to get really interesting.
This story is a puzzle. It’s the kind of story you want to read again to catch how all the puzzle pieces fit together. The author had me really guessing until the very end. Author: Rebecca Stead 2010 Newbery Medal Winner