Our crime scene mysteries are a great way to spark your students' interest in the mystery genre, and there is a fantastic range of modern mystery fiction available for children and young adults. Here are some of our favourites:

Murder Most Unladylike

by Robin Stevens

At Deapdean School for Girls, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong have set up their own detective agency. But they are struggling to find any real crimes to investigate...

(Unless you count the case of Lavinia's missing tie. Which they don't.)

Then Hazel discovers the Science Mistress, Miss Bell, lying dead in the Gym. To add to the mystery, when she and Daisy return five minutes later, the body has disappeared. Now Hazel and Daisy not only have a murder to solve: they have to prove one happened in the first place. 

Determined to get to the bottom of the crime before the killer strikes again Hazel and Daisy must hunt for evidence, spy on their suspects and use all the cunning and intuition they can muster. 

But will they succeed? And can their friendship stand the test?

Arsenic For Tea

by Robin Stevens

Schoolgirl detectives Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are at Daisy's home, Fallingford, for the holidays. Daisy's glamorous mother is throwing a tea party for Daisy's birthday, and the whole family is invited, from eccentric Aunt Saskia to dashing Uncle Felix. 

But it soon becomes clear that this party isn't really about Daisy at all. Naturally, Daisy is furious.Then one of their party falls seriously, mysteriously ill - and everything points to poison.

With wild storms preventing anyone from leaving, or the police from arriving, Fallingford suddenly feels like a very dangerous place to be. Not a single person present is what they seem - and everyone has a secret or two. 

And when someone very close to Daisy looks suspicious, the Detective Society must do everything they can to reveal the truth . . . no matter the consequences.

First Class Murder

by Robin Stevens

Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are taking a holiday on the world-famous Orient Express - and it's clear that each of their fellow first-class passengers has something to hide. 

Even more intriguing: there is rumour of a spy in their midst. 

Then, during dinner, there is a scream from inside one of the cabins. When the door is broken down, a passenger is found murdered, her stunning ruby necklace gone.

But the killer has vanished - as if into thin air.

Daisy and Hazel are faced with their first ever locked-room mystery - and with competition from several other sleuths, who are just as determined to crack the case.

Jolly Foul Play

by Robin Stevens

As they return to Deepdean for a new school term, Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are faced with some big changes. 

For one, there's a new Head Girl, Elizabeth Hurst, and a team of Prefects- and these bullying Big Girls are certainly not good eggs. 

Then, after the fireworks display on Bonfire Night, Elizabeth is found - murdered.

Many girls at Deepdean had reason to hate Elizabeth, but who might have committed such foul play? 

Could the murder be linked to the secrets and scandals, scribbled on scraps of paper, that are suddenly appearing around the school? 

And with their own friendship falling to pieces, how will Daisy and Hazel solve this mystery?

Mistletoe and Murder

by Robin Stevens

It's Christmas, the snow is falling in Cambridge where the detective duo Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong are spending the festive period. 

But Hazel's hopes of relaxing amongst the beautiful spires, cosy libraries and inviting tea-rooms are dashed by the danger lurking in the dark stairwells of Maudlin College. 

Two days before Christmas, there is a terrible accident. 

 

At least, it appears to be an accident - until the Detective Society look a little closer, and realise a murder has taken place. 

Faced with several irritating grown-ups and fierce competition from a rival agency, they must use all their cunning and courage to find the killer (in time for Christmas Day, of course).

A Spoonful of Murder 

by Robin Stevens

When Hazel Wong's beloved grandfather passes away, Daisy Wells is all too happy to accompany her friend (and Detective Society Vice President) to Hazel's family estate in beautiful, bustling Hong Kong.

 

But when they arrive they discover something they didn't expect: there's a new member of the Wong family. 

Daisy and Hazel think baby Teddy is enough to deal with, but as always the girls are never far from a mystery.

Tragedy strikes very close to home, and this time Hazel isn't just the detective. She's been framed for murder! 

The girls must work together like never before, confronting dangerous gangs, mysterious suspects and sinister private detectives to solve the murder and clear Hazel's name - before it's too late . . .

Death in the Spotlight 

by Robin Stevens

Someone will take their final bow...

Fresh from their adventure in Hong Kong, Hazel Wong and Daisy Wells are off to the Rue Theatre in London to face an entirely new challenge: acting.

 

But danger has a nasty habit of catching up with the Detective Society, and it soon becomes clear that there is trouble afoot at the Rue.

Jealousy, threats and horrible pranks quickly spiral out of control – and then a body is found. Now Hazel and Daisy must take centre stage and solve the crime... before the murderer strikes again.

One Of Us is Lying

by Karen M.McManus

Five students go to detention. Only four leave alive. 

Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule. Sports star Cooper only knows what he's doing in the baseball diamond. Bad body Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime. Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks in her perfect life. And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won't ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. 

Investigators conclude it's no accident. All of them are suspects. Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you'll go to protect them.

Two Can Keep a Secret

by Karen M.McManus

 

A perfect town is hiding secrets. Two teenagers are dead. Two murders unsolved. And a killer who claims to be coming back. 

Ellery's never been to Echo Ridge, but she's heard all about it. It's where her aunt went missing at age sixteen, never to return. Where a Homecoming Queen's murder five years ago made national news and where Ellery now has to live with a grandmother she barely knows, after her failed-actress mother lands in rehab.

Malcolm grew up in the shadow of the Homecoming Queen's death. His older brother was the prime suspect and left Echo Ridge in disgrace.

His mother's remarriage vaulted them to Echo Ridge's upper crust, but it could all change when mysterious threats around town hint that a killer plans to strike again. And the return of Malcolm's brother doesn't help matters. But his return is just a coincidence... isn't it?

Ellery and Malcolm both know it's hard to let go when you don't have closure. Then another girl disappears.

As they race to unravel what happened, they realise every secret has layers in Echo Ridge. The truth might be closer to home than either of them want to believe. And somebody would kill to keep it hidden.

Truly Devious

by Maureen Johnson

Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. "A place," he said, "where learning is a game."

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym "Truly, Devious." It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history. 

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder. 

The two interwoven mysteries of this first book in the Truly Devious series dovetail brilliantly, and Stevie Bell will continue her relentless quest for the murderers in books two and three.

The Vanishing Stair

by Maureen Johnson

 

Truly Devious case-an unsolved kidnapping and triple murder that rocked Ellingham Academy in 1936-has consumed Stevie for years. It's the very reason she came to the academy. But then her classmate was murdered, and her parents quickly pull her out of school. For her safety, they say. She must move past this obsession with crime.

Stevie's willing to do anything to get back to Ellingham, be back with her friends, and solve the Truly Devious case. Even if it means making a deal with the despicable Senator Edward King. And when Stevie finally returns, she also returns to David: the guy she kissed, and the guy who lied about his identity-Edward King's son.

But larger issues are at play. Where did the murderer hide? What's the meaning of the riddle Albert Ellingham left behind? And what, exactly, is at stake in the Truly Devious affair? The Ellingham case isn't just a piece of history-it's a live wire into the present.

The Secret Key

by Maureen Johnson

Meet thirteen-year-old Agatha Oddly - a bold, determined heroine, and the star of a stylish new detective series.

Agatha Oddlow has been a detective for as long as she can remember - she's just been waiting for her first big case. And nothing gets bigger than saving the City of London from some strange goings-on.

With a scholarship to the prestigious St Regis School, a cottage in the middle of Hyde Park, a room full of beloved sleuthing novels, and a secret key that gives her access to a whole hidden side of London, Agatha is perfectly poised to solve the mystery of what's going on. But just who can she trust when no one is quite who they seem...

The Racehorse Who Disappeared

by Clare Balding

Life is slowly getting back to normal for Charlie after her reluctant racehorse, Noble Warrior, won the Derby and saved her family from financial ruin.

 

But drama soon returns to Folly Farm when thieves break into the farmyard in the dead of night and kidnap Noble Warrior!

 

With the police baffled and no trace of the prizewinning thoroughbred to be found, Charlie launches her own investigation...

The Mysterious Benedict Society

by Trenton Lee Stewart

When a peculiar advertisement appears in the newspaper for children to take part in a secret mission, children everywhere sit a series of mysterious tests.

 

In the end, just four children succeed: Reynie, Kate, Sticky and Constance. They have three things in common: they are all honest, all remarkably talented and all orphans.

 

They must go undercover at the Learning Institute for the Very Enlightened where the only rule is that there are no rules. There they must work as a team to save not only themselves, but also the world outside the walls.

The Midnight Hour

by Benjamin Read & Laura Trinder

Emily's parents have vanished into the secret world of the Midnight Hour - a Victorian London frozen in time - home to magic and monsters.

Emily must find them in the city of the Night Folk, armed only with a packed lunch, a stowaway hedgehog and her infamously big mouth. With bloodthirsty creatures on her tail, Emily has to discover the truth to rescue her parents.

What family secret connects her to the Midnight Hour? And can she save both worlds before she runs out of sandwiches?

The London Eye Mystery

by Siobhan Dowd

 

11.32 a.m

Ted and his sister Kat watch their cousin Salim get on board the London Eye. The pod rises from the ground, high above the city.

2.02 a.m 

The pod lands and the doors open. Everyone exits - everyone but Salim.

Has he spontaneously combusted? (Ted's theory.)Has he been kidnapped? (Aunt Gloria's theory.) Is he even still alive? (The family's unspoken fear.) Even the police are baffled - so it's up to Ted, whose brain runs on its own unique operating system, to solve this mystery and find Salim. Teaming up with Kat, Ted follows a trail of clues across London - while time ticks dangerously by...

The Last Chance Hotel

by Nicki Thornton

In the kitchen of the Last Chance Hotel the loudest sound you were usually likely to hear was the gentle bubble of a lone egg coming to the boil. But today, the air was alive with yells from Henri Mould, the balding head chef, bent double with old age, barking out orders as he hobbled around the kitchen.

Seth is the oppressed kitchen boy at the remote Last Chance Hotel, owned by the nasty Bunn family. His only friend is his black cat, Nightshade. But when a strange gathering of magicians arrives for dinner, kindly Dr Thallomius is poisoned by Seth's special dessert.

A locked-room murder investigation ensues - and Seth is the main suspect. The funny thing is, he's innocent. Can he solve the mystery and clear his name, especially when magic's afoot?

Kat Wolfe Investigates

by Lauren St.John

Kat Wolfe loves her new home in idyllic Bluebell Bay, especially as it comes with a resident wildcat. But when she starts pet-sitting for pocket money, she finds that beneath the town's perfect surface lie some dark and dangerous secrets...

After a pet owner vanishes from his clifftop mansion, Kat turns to her new friend, Harper Lamb, for help.

What began as mystery-solving holiday fun quickly turns deadly for Wolfe and Lamb. Can they count on their unruly animals to save their lives?

Kat Wolfe Takes the Case

by Lauren St.John

When a landslide on the Jurassic Coast reveals a rare `dragon' dinosaur, best friends Kat Wolfe and Harper Lamb are thrilled, especially when stars and scientists come flocking to sleepy Bluebell Bay.

But after they begin investigating a suspicious death, events spiral quickly out of control for detectives Wolfe and Lamb. Worse still, Kat's wild cat is in trouble. Can they solve the mystery - and save the cat's life - before it's too late?

Girl in the Window

by Penny Joelson

Nothing ever happens on Kasia's street. And Kasia would know, because her illness makes her spend days stuck at home, watching the world from her bedroom window.

 

So when she sees what looks like a kidnapping, she's not sure whether she can believe her own eyes . . . there was a girl in the window opposite - did she see something too?

 

But when Kasia goes to find her she is told the most shocking thing of all. There is no girl! 

A Study in Charlotte

by Brittany Cavallaro

Jamie Watson has always been intrigued by Charlotte Holmes; after all, their great-great-great-grandfathers are one of the most infamous pairs in history. But the Holmes family has always been odd, and Charlotte is no exception.

She’s inherited Sherlock’s volatility and some of his vices—and when Jamie and Charlotte end up at the same Connecticut boarding school, Charlotte makes it clear she’s not looking for friends.

But when a student they both have a history with dies under suspicious circumstances, ripped straight from the most terrifying of the Sherlock Holmes stories, Jamie can no longer afford to keep his distance. Danger is mounting and nowhere is safe—and the only people they can trust are each other.

The Last of August

by Brittany Cavallaro

Jamie and Charlotte are looking for a winter break reprieve in Sussex after a fall semester that almost got them killed. But nothing about their time off is proving simple, including Holmes and Watson’s growing feelings for each other.

When Charlotte’s beloved Uncle Leander goes missing from the Holmes estate—after being oddly private about his latest assignment in a German art forgery ring—the game is afoot once again, and Charlotte throws herself into a search for answers. 

So begins a dangerous race through the gritty underground scene in Berlin and glittering art houses in Prague, where Holmes and Watson discover that this complicated case might change everything they know about their families, themselves, and each other.

The Case for Jamie

by Brittany Cavallaro

It’s been a year since the shocking death of August Moriarty, and Jamie and Charlotte haven’t spoken.

Jamie is going through the motions at Sherringford, trying to finish his senior year without incident, with a nice girlfriend he can’t seem to fall for.

Charlotte is on the run, from Lucien Moriarty and from her own mistakes. No one has seen her since that fateful night on the lawn in Sussex—and Charlotte wants it that way. She knows she isn’t safe to be around. She knows her Watson can’t forgive her.

Holmes and Watson may not be looking to reconcile, but when strange things start happening, it’s clear that someone wants the team back together. Someone who has been quietly observing them both. Making plans. Biding their time.

Someone who wants to see one of them suffer and the other one dead.

A Question of Holmes

by Brittany Cavallaro

Charlotte Holmes and Jamie Watson finally have a chance to start over. With all the freedom their pre-college summer program provides and no one on their tail, the only mystery they need to solve, once and for all, is what they are to each other.  

But upon their arrival at Oxford, Charlotte is immediately drawn into a new case: a series of accidents befell the theater program at Oxford last year, culminating in a young woman going missing on the night of a major performance.

The mystery has gone unsolved; the case is cold. And no one—least of all the girl’s peculiar, close-knit group of friends—is talking. 

When Watson and Holmes join the theater program, the “accidents” start anew, giving them no choice but to throw themselves into the case. But as the complicated lines of friendship, love, and loyalty blur, time is running out—and tragedy waits in the wings.

A Good Girl's Guide to Murder

by Holly Jackson

The case is closed. Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it. 

 

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the crime, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn't so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic for her final project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth . . . ?