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Mysteries in kidlit

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I'm hoping to see a mystery genre board in the future, but in the meantime, I thought it would be cool to discuss the mystery genre in kidit.

My favorite types of mysteries are historical mysteries. I read The Caged Graves by Dianne K. Salerni (I reviewed it for SLJ) and just loved it. I'm currently working on a historical YA mystery set in 1955. It's a traditional mystery and I have a cast of suspects. My debut is a paranormal mystery romance. I like a puzzle to solve.

Are there any mystery lovers out there? What are your favorite authors, books, series? Anyone writing a YA/MG/chapter book mystery?
#1 - February 27, 2014, 10:38 AM
www.kimberlyggiarratano.com
Author of YA novel, Grunge Gods and Graveyards (Red Adept Publishing, 2014)

My debut is also paranormal mystery romance (YA).  Super fun to write, but definitely challenging as you have to know all the beats of the mystery and THEN track out all the beats to solving the mystery (at least that's how I did it). 


It's not YA but I love Janet Evanovich's work.  Always a fast ride, super funny, moments of really great tension.
#2 - February 27, 2014, 12:32 PM
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I can't seem to escape some kind of mystery or suspense element in whatever I write. I attribute it to a steady diet of Victoria Holt during my formative years.  :grin3
 
I'm also a huge Laurie R. King (the Mary Russell series) and Dorothy L. Sayers fan.
#3 - February 27, 2014, 12:44 PM
The Leland Sisters series: Courtship and Curses, Bewitching Season, Betraying Season (Holt BYR/Macmillan)
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Moon Over Manifest was one of my favorites! It had everything -- literary, mystery, historical -- and of course, gorgeous writing and plotting.
Vijaya
#4 - February 27, 2014, 12:53 PM
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Author of over 40 books and 60 magazine pieces

I've been trying to get into some adult mysteries, but I'm squeemish and don't like a lot of violence. I read A Place of Confinement (a Dido Kent mystery) by Anna Dean, which is a cozy mystery set during the early 19th century with a Jane Austen type heroine/sleuth. I totally got sucked into that.

I usually can guess the who in a mystery pretty quick, but I never guess the why. I love that.

Oh, I'm also reading Always Emily by Michaela MacColl, a YA historical mystery starring the Bronte sisters. I'm loving that too. I wish there were more YA historical mysteries.
#5 - February 27, 2014, 01:32 PM
« Last Edit: February 27, 2014, 01:33 PM by kimberlygg »
www.kimberlyggiarratano.com
Author of YA novel, Grunge Gods and Graveyards (Red Adept Publishing, 2014)

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My current favorites are the two TUPELO LANDING MGs by Sheila Turnage. SO GOOD! Great voice, funny, smart.
#6 - February 27, 2014, 01:54 PM
BLACKOUT -- available now
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Marissa, I read every Victoria Holt I could get my hands on in high school. Loved her.

I am a huge mystery fan. Kimberly, don't be afraid of adult mysteries. If you stick to the cozies, you should be all right. Some of my favorites are Dick Francis, Louise Penny, and Alan Bradley. I just finished the Flavia de Luce series by Bradley and it was just plain wonderful. I also like Dorothy Sayers and Agatha Christie.

My latest WIP is an upper MG mystery, which I got a full request for last week. Haven't heard back yet, but it was exciting.

Laurel
#7 - February 27, 2014, 03:06 PM

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Another mystery lover. I love a wide variety of books, but if I had to choose my top genre, it's mystery. I write them for upper MG.
#8 - February 27, 2014, 03:08 PM
Adventures of Jenna V. Series
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 :detective: I love mysteries, too. All types. I usually try to put a mystery element of some kind in my writing. My agent shopped a PB dummy of mine that was a hardboiled noir, but sadly no takers. I'd love to write some novel length kidlit mysteries.

#9 - February 27, 2014, 03:33 PM
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Ask, and sometimes you get what you ask for, Kimberly. :detective: I've moved this thread to the shiny new Mysteries board. :)
#10 - February 28, 2014, 12:40 AM
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 12:42 AM by Verla Kay »
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Thanks,  Verla. I'm like a crow: anything shiny and sparkly gets my attention.  ;D
#11 - February 28, 2014, 08:40 AM

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I'm a Janet Evanovich fan but for a cozy read I like the Beatrix Potter mysteries by Susan Wittig Allbert. 
For reference books: I love to peruse 'The Book of Poisons' by Serita Stevens and 'Forensics--a Guide for Writers' by D.P. Lyle
Favorite Medical Mystery (Non-fiction):  Woman with a Worm in Her Head: And Other True Stories of Infectious Disease by Pamela Nagami
I probably grossed you out with that last one, but it is fascinating and a bit CSI.
#12 - February 28, 2014, 11:38 AM

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I have a contemporary mystery series with Scholastic - but I'm reading a great historical MG Mystery right now. It's an ARC (out this spring, I think) of Megan Frazer Blakemore's THE SPY CATCHERS OF MAPLE HILL - set during the McCarthy era & great so far!
#13 - February 28, 2014, 12:11 PM
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OVER AND UNDER THE SNOW, Chronicle
MARTY MCGUIRE
CAPTURE THE FLAG
HIDE AND SEEK -Scholastic '13
WAKE UP MISSING- Walker, Fall '13

Ask, and sometimes you get what you ask for, Kimberly. :detective: I've moved this thread to the shiny new Mysteries board. :)


Hooray!!!!!!
#14 - February 28, 2014, 02:08 PM
www.kimberlyggiarratano.com
Author of YA novel, Grunge Gods and Graveyards (Red Adept Publishing, 2014)

I have a contemporary mystery series with Scholastic - but I'm reading a great historical MG Mystery right now. It's an ARC (out this spring, I think) of Megan Frazer Blakemore's THE SPY CATCHERS OF MAPLE HILL - set during the McCarthy era & great so far!

I am totally adding this to my To Read shelf on Goodreads.

I am reviewing what appears to be a historical mystery called Prisoner of Night and Fog by Anne Blankman for BookPage and I am so excited to get started. Seems right up my alley.
#15 - February 28, 2014, 02:11 PM
www.kimberlyggiarratano.com
Author of YA novel, Grunge Gods and Graveyards (Red Adept Publishing, 2014)

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My current favorites are the two TUPELO LANDING MGs by Sheila Turnage. SO GOOD! Great voice, funny, smart.

Yes! I've got the 2nd book setting in my cart on B&N, just waiting for a discount coupon for being a member to come my way. I love the voice in this series.
#16 - February 28, 2014, 05:03 PM

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One of my favorite YA mysteries is The Silence of Murder by Dandi Daley Mackall.


I'm currently working on a YA psychological thriller.

Yvonne
#17 - February 28, 2014, 05:15 PM
« Last Edit: February 28, 2014, 05:18 PM by Yvonne Ventresca »
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It's hard for me to resist the pull of a mystery. I guess it's the old "curiosity killed the cat" thing, but I want to know the answer, have things resolved, whatever. It gets me every time.
#18 - March 01, 2014, 08:06 AM

I love seeing these recs. I have a YA contemporary mystery on submission to agents and am writing a third contracted adult mystery. Since history seems to pop up in everything, my new tag line is "I write mysteries flavored with history."
#19 - March 01, 2014, 06:38 PM
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Quote
I write mysteries flavored with history.
Quote


I like this.
#20 - March 02, 2014, 07:52 AM

Thanks Pons!!
#21 - March 02, 2014, 08:22 AM
PERFECT ENEMIES
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Cozy mystery writer for ANNIE'S FICTION

www.penmad.blogspot.com

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I read a lot of mysteries and am in the midst of writing mysteries.  Sidetracked right now...


However, my reading lists on my blog has lots of mysteries both kids and adults listed on it.  You may have to glean some of the kid's mysteries out of the rest of the kids books, but most are not that hard.


 :trench
#22 - March 02, 2014, 06:56 PM
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I write mysteries too, although I've been doing mostly historical fantasy lately.
Thank you for the rec on Always Emily! I loved her Prisoners in the Palace!
A couple mysteries series I enjoyed (these are not super new):
The Enola Holmes series (Natalie Springer)
Down the Rabbit Hole (Peter Abrahams)
#23 - March 03, 2014, 12:54 PM
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One of my FAVOURITE mystery series is the Toby Peters series by Stuart M. Kaminsky. A great mix of noir and humour with a shot of old Hollywood glamour. I read them in my early teens and they definitely made an impression.
#24 - March 07, 2014, 09:41 PM
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Sorry - not a kidlit mystery series. But definitely informed the kidlit mysteries that I'm working on now. As far as kidlit ones, an oldie but a goodie: I totally inhaled the entire Nancy Drew series when I was about 10.
#25 - March 07, 2014, 09:44 PM
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HOWARD WALLACE, P.I. - SHADOW OF A PUG (Sterling, Fall 2017)

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My first MS was a contemporary mystery. It's currently shelved but I look forward to returning to it to fine tune it. I love a good mystery!  :yup

Like Yvonne, my current WIP is a YA thriller, and it's so much fun to write.  :typing

I'm definitely going to check out some of these book recs. Thanks, everyone.
 
#26 - March 08, 2014, 12:51 AM
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I'm so glad there is a mystery board now! I've wondered why there wasn't one before, but had just assumed there wasn't enough interest or something. Good thing somebody else decided to ask. :)

I've been working on a MG mystery for several years now, although these past couple of years I've mostly just been studying other peoples' work and trying to improve my own skills before attempting a full length story again.

My favorite mysteries are cozies and I love all the classic things like hidden passages, coded messages and spooky happenings. Nancy Drew is a favorite, of course, and especially since I discovered the original text versions. I also love Sherlock Holmes, and Agatha Christie. I grew up watching Murder, She Wrote on TV, and now am working on collecting the whole series on DVD. I've also enjoyed reading a few of the books based on the show.  :trench

I love mysteries with animals in them, such as the Cat Who series, although I can't seem to get into ones where the animals actually talk. I also enjoy themed ones, such as baking or tea rooms or pizza. And I love grandmotherly types that solve mysteries or spy, like Mrs. Peabody and Miss Marple.

As for Children's mysteries, I love American Girl and their old History Mysteries series, too. Another historical mystery series I enjoyed reading was about Theodosia Throckmorton. I love her name, and that she's so smart. And gets to live in an Ancient Egypt museum and knows magic. Another fun character is Gilda Joyce, Psychic Investigator. I recently read the Ghost Sonata book, and loved the whole idea of a song being a message from a ghost that I even started jotting down my own ideas of messages from beyond the grave for a future story.  :invisible
#27 - March 12, 2014, 11:37 PM

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I love cozies, too. I haven't read or even heard of some of the kid mysteries you mentioned. I'm looking forward to reading them. Thanks for the recommendations.
#28 - March 13, 2014, 08:19 AM

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I am a huge fan of Wendelin Van Draanen's Sammy Keyes mystery series, which blurs the lines between MG and YA, and of Mac Barnett's Brixton Brothers series, which is more MG. Both are very funny and packed with clues, action, and plot twists.
#29 - July 01, 2014, 03:21 AM

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