Detective fiction has gone beyond cream buns and jolly jinxes … although they are a good place to start. The theme of this week’s Top Ten Tuesday is ten books on my TBR from one genre. I have chosen ten middle-grade detective books I would give my ginger beer to read.
Historical and fantasy settings abound. The reason for this is simple. Most crimes can be solved with modern technology. Never mind forensics. The average 12 year-old has a wealth of information at their finger tips which would destroy the pace of a good plot. You’ll notice how many terrible storms cut off all power in modern day detective fiction. Ridiculously remote locations can also be a gem, for their backward connectivity. Some authors blend modern day worlds with fantasy sub-plots for the same reason.
What I love about this list is the range of characters. Gone are the days when all child detectives had wealthy parents. Rose Muddle was plucked from the warehouse. Mold was abandoned as a baby, and raised by a healer. Poppy Pym started life in the circus. There is also a huge range of ‘maguffins’ – that is, the shiny, elusive thing our protagonists are searching for – from videos of Bigfoot, to missing friends, something tangible usually sets the protagonists on their trail towards the truth.
- Bigfoot, Tobin and Me – Melissa Savage
- Mold and the Poison Plot – Lorraine Gregory
- Black Cats and Butlers (Rosie Raventhorp Investigates )- Janine Beacham
- Serafina and the Black Cloak – Robert Beatty
- If you Find This – Matt Baker
- Beetle Boy – MG Leonard
- Rose Campion and the Stolen Secret – Lyn Gardner
- The Guggenheim Mystery – Robin Stevens/Siobhan Dowd
- Poppy Pym and the Pharoah’s Curse – Laura Wood
- The Amber Pendant (The Rose Muddle Mysteries) – Imogen White