Great Books for Teens


YA Mysteries


Edgar Awards (best YA mysteries)

Top 10 Crime Fiction for Youth 2009: Booklist

Adult Mysteries for Teens from VOYA magazine

Abrahams, Peter. Down the Rabbit Hole.

Ingrid is in the wrong place at the wrong time--or at least her shoes are. Getting them back means getting involved in a murder investigation rivaling those solved by her idol, Sherlock Holmes.

     Behind the Curtain. (#2)
     Into the Dark (#3)

Anderson, M. T. The Game of Sunken Places.

When two boys stay with an eccentric relative at his mansion in rural Vermont, they discover an old-fashioned board game that draws them into a mysterious adventure.

Allison, Jennifer. Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator.

Intrepid ninth-grader Gilda Joyce invites herself to the San Francisco mansion of distant cousin Lester Splinter, where she uses psychic and detective skills to solve a mystery.

     Ladies of the Lake (#2)
     Ghost Sonata (#3)
     Dead Drop (#4)

Arnold, Tedd. Rat Life.

Todd goes from making beds at his family's motel to working at the drive-in theater when he meets young Vietnam vet Rat. When a dead body is found in the Chemanga River, Rat seems to be a part of the puzzle.

Balliet, Blue. The Calder Game.

When seventh-grader Calder Pillay disappears from a remote English village--along with an Alexander Calder sculpture to which he has felt strangely drawn--his friends Petra and Tommy fly from Chicago to help find him.

Balliett, Blue. Chasing Vermeer.
Balliett, Blue. The Wright 3.

Broach, Elise. Shakespeare's Secret.

Could Hero's Shakespearean name, a valuable diamond supposedly hidden in her new house, and the unexpected attention of the most popular boy in school all be connected in some mysterious way?

Colfer, Eoin. Half-Moon Investigations.

Twelve-year-old Fletcher Moon is a fully-licensed detective who, while investigating his first case, is framed for arson and must team up with his prime suspect to clear his name and find the real criminal.

Cooney, Caroline B. Code Orange.

While conducting research for a school paper on smallpox, Mitty finds an envelope containing 100-year-old smallpox scabs and fears that he has infected himself and all of New York City.

Cormier, Robert. Rag and Bone Shop.

Trent, an ace interrogator from Vermont, works to get a confession from an introverted twelve-year-old accused of murdering his seven-year-old friend in Monument, Massachusetts.

Cusick, Richie Tankersley. Walk of the Spirits.

Miranda moves to her grandfather's home in Louisiana where she discovers a special gift of communicating with spirits and must somehow find a way to bring the troubled souls peace.

Cross, Gillian.  Tightrope.

When she begins receiving threatening messages from someone who seems to know her every move, teenage Ashley comes to realize that she alone can end the stalker's reign of terror.

Duncan, Lois. Ransom.

A school bus is hijacked and the bus driver murdered -- can the five teenage students trapped with their kidnappers survive and get home safely?

    Duncan, Lois. Killing Mr. Griffin.
    Duncan, Lois. I Know What You Did Last Summer.

Dunlap, Susanne. The Musician's Daughter.

In eighteenth-century Vienna, fifteen-year-old Theresa seeks a way to help her mother and brother financially while investigating the murder of her father, a renowned violinist in Haydn's orchestra.

Feinstein, John.  Last Shot: A Final Four Mystery

After winning a sports reporting contest, eighth graders Stevie and Susan Carol are sent to cover the Final Four tournament, where they discover a blackmail plot.

     Vanishing Act (#2)

Ford, John C. The Morgue and Me.

Eighteen-year-old Christopher, who plans to be a spy, learns of a murder cover-up through his summer job as a morgue assistant and teams up with Tina, a gorgeous newspaper reporter, to investigate, despite great danger.

Giles, Gail. Dead Girls Don't Write Letters.

After Sunny's sister Jazz runs away and then is assumed dead after her apartment building burns to the ground, Sunny is left to cope. Then her family gets a letter from Jazz saying she is coming home. But how? Is Jazz really alive?

Green, John.  Paper Towns.

High School. Of course, Margo Roth Spiegelman would go missing right after bonding with Quentin on an all-night caper of epic proportions. Now it’s up to him to decipher the series of clues she left behind.

Hahn, Mary Downing. Closed for the Season.

When thirteen-year-old Logan and his family move into a run-down old house in rural Virginia, he discovers that a woman was murdered there and becomes involved with his neighbor Arthur in a dangerous investigation to try to uncover the killer.

Hamilton, Virginia. House of Dies Drear.

An African-American family tries to unravel the secrets of their new home which was once a stop on the Underground Railroad.

Haven, Paul. Seven Keys of Balabad.

Oliver's journalist father and art-historian mother love living in the ancient, war-torn country of Balabad, but Oliver is homesick for New York City until he gets caught up in a centuries-old mystery involving stolen artifacts and buried treasure.

Holmes, Barbara Ware. Following Fake Man.

During his summer in Maine, twelve-year-old Homer, together with his new friend Roger, is determined to find the truth about himself, his long-dead father, and a mysterious costumed man.

Jinks, Catherine. The Reformed Vampire
Support Group.

Fifteen-year-old vampire Nina has been stuck for fifty-one years in a boring support group for vampires, and nothing exciting ever happens-- until one of the members is murdered and the others must try to solve the crime.

Madison, Bennett.  Lulu Dark Can See Through Walls.

When someone steals her purse and her identity, high-school junior and reluctant girl sleuth Lulu Dark investigates.

Lulu Dark and the Summer of the Fox (#2)

McNamee, Graham. Acceleration.

Stuck working in the Lost and Found of the Toronto Transit Authority for the summer, seventeen-year-old Duncan finds the diary of a serial killer and sets out to stop him.

Moloney, James. Black Taxi.

When Rosie agrees to take care of her grandfather's Mercedes while he is in jail, she gets more than she bargained for, including finding herself in the midst of a jewel heist mystery.

Northrop, Michael. Gentlemen.

High School. When three teenage boys suspect that their English teacher is responsible for thier friend's disappearance, they must navigate a maze of clues, fraying friendships, and violence before discovering the truth.

Parker, Robert B. The Boxer and the Spy.

Fifteen-year-old Terry, an aspiring boxer, uncovers the mystery behind the unexpected death of a classmate.

Priestly, Chris. Death and the Arrow.

After his friend Will, a pickpocket in London in 1715, is murdered as part of a series of mysterious deaths, fifteen-year-old Tom Marlowe asks his friend Dr. Harker to help find the killer.

Pullman, Philip. The Ruby in the Smoke.

In search of clues to the mystery of her father's death, 16-year-old Sally Lockhart ventures into the shadowy underworld of Victorian London. Pursued by villains at every turn, the intrepid Sally finally uncovers two dark mysteries--and realizes that she herself is the key to both.

Roberts, Willo Davis. Twisted Summer.

Fourteen-year-old Cici hopes for a romantic summer at her family's Michigan cabin, but instead finds herself trying to solve a murder which occurred in town the previous year.

Runholt, Susan. Mystery of the Third Lucretia.

A visit to an art museum draws best friends Kari and Lucas into an international forgery scheme with a previously unknown Rembrandt at its center.

Springer, Nancy. Case of the Missing Marquess. (Enola Holmes Mystery)

Enola Holmes, much younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes, must travel to London in disguise to unravel the disappearance of her missing mother.

Sturman, Jennifer. And Then Everything Unraveled.

Delia's mother is declared dead after her ship disappears on the way to Antarctica, but when Delia arrives in New York to live with an aunt she has never met, she begins trying to figure out what really happened to her mother.

Werlin, Nancy. Black Mirror.

Convinced her brother's death was murder rather than suicide, sixteen-year-old Frances begins her own investigation into suspicious student activities at her boarding school.

Werlin, Nancy. The Killer's Cousin.
After being acquitted of murder, seventeen-year-old David goes to stay with relatives in Massachusetts, where he finds himself forced to face his past as he learns more about his strange young cousin Lily.

Wynne-Jones, Tim. The Uninvited.

After a disturbing freshman year at New York University, Mimi is happy to get away to her father's remote Canadian cottage-- until she discovers a stranger living there who has never heard of her or her father and now is convinced that Mimi is responsible for leaving sinister tokens around the property.

Wynne-Jones, Tim. The Boy in the Burning House.
Trying to solve the mystery of his father's disappearance from their rural Canadian community, fourteen-year-old Jim gets help from the disturbed Ruth Rose, who suspects her stepfather, a local pastor.