21 Must-Read Mystery Books for Kids

Are you looking to ignite your child’s imagination and pique their interest in the thrilling realm of mystery novels? Look no further! Here are 21 must-read mystery books that will keep kids on the edge of their seats, captivated by engaging characters and intricate storylines.

1. “The Westing Game” by Ellen Raskin

A unique mystery about sixteen potential heirs competing against each other to inherit a wealthy man’s fortune.

2. “Nancy Drew” series by Carolyn Keene

This timeless collection follows the adventures of everyone’s favorite teenage sleuth, Nancy Drew, as she solves mysteries in her hometown.

3. “The Boxcar Children” series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

The Alden children work together to solve various mysteries in their community while living independently in a boxcar.

4. “The Hardy Boys” series by Franklin W. Dixon

Brothers Joe and Frank Hardy use their detective skills to investigate thrilling cases and dangerous villains.

5. “Encyclopedia Brown” series by Donald J. Sobol

Young Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown assists his father, a Police Chief, in solving perplexing cases that confound the officers in their small town of Idaville.

6. “A Wrinkle in Time” by Madeleine L’Engle

Follow Meg Murry on a quest through space and time to find her missing father while battling an evil force.

7. “Coraline” by Neil Gaiman

Coraline steps through a mysterious door and finds herself in an eerie alternate world where she must confront her fears to save her family.

8. “Holes” by Louis Sachar

This multi-layered story connects seemingly unrelated events, following a boy wrongly accused of theft as he searches for redemption at Camp Green Lake.

9. “Chasing Vermeer” by Blue Balliett

Two children work together to unravel a mystery involving a stolen painting and an unsolved historical crime.

10. “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler” by E.L. Konigsburg

A sister and brother run away to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where they discover a long-hidden secret about a famous statue.

11. “The Mysterious Benedict Society” by Trenton Lee Stewart

A group of gifted children take on secret missions to save the world from an unknown but dangerous force.

12. “Greenglass House” by Kate Milford

Young Milo must solve a home-grown mystery when strange things begin occurring during his winter break in his historic family inn.

13. “The Secret Files of Fairday Morrow” by Jessica Haight & Stephanie Robinson

Fairday Morrow faces supernatural occurrences as she deciphers riddles and uncovers her family’s spine-tingling past.

14. “Moon Over Manifest” by Clare Vanderpool

Abilene Tucker discovers mysteries hidden in her father’s past while staying in the town of Manifest during the Great Depression.

15. “Escape from Mr. Lemoncello’s Library” by Chris Grabenstein

Twelve lucky children win an overnight visit to an elaborate new library designed by a renowned game-maker, leading them on an incredible adventure full of challenges and riddles.

16. “The Invention of Hugo Cabret” by Brian Selznick

Hugo, an orphan living within Paris’ railway station walls, becomes determined to unlock the mysterious secrets of his father’s past with the help of an eccentric girl named Isabelle.

17. “Nancy Drew” series by Carolyn Keene

Follow the iconic teenage detective Nancy Drew as she solves cases and uncovers secrets in the fictional town River Heights in this classic series.

18. “The Hardy Boys” series by Franklin W. Dixon

Brothers Frank and Joe Hardy solve cases in their hometown of Bayport in this timeless series full of action and suspense.

19. “The Boxcar Children” series by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Join the Alden siblings as they embark on adventures and discover new mysteries while living in their boxcar home.

20. “A Series of Unfortunate Events” by Lemony Snicket

This darkly humorous children’s book series follows the captivating journey of the Baudelaire orphans through a series of heart-wrenching mysteries.

21. “The Westing Game” by Ellen Raskin

In this captivating standalone novel, sixteen heirs are tasked with solving the murder of eccentric millionaire Samuel Westing.