Recently, I worked on pulling together a reading list for a mature “tween” patron who was interested in mysteries. The patron being a guy, I opted to build a list which consisted mainly of books featuring male protagonists. Age recommendations, from School Library Journal, are just that merely recommendations — to be used loosely. On the original document, I also included the location of each book and had a separate list of items in which we could interloan from other libraries.

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The Maze of Bones by Rick Riordan
First book in a series – 39 Clues
Recommended for grades 4 – 7
Summary: What would happen if you discovered that your family was one of the most powerful in human history? What if you were told that the source of the family’s power was hidden around the world, in the form of 39 clues? What if you were given a choice – take a million dollars and walk away … or get the first clue? If you’re Amy and Dan Cahill, you take the clue – and begin a very dangerous race.

Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett
First book in a series – Chasing Vermeer
Recommended for grades 5 – 8
Summary: When seemingly unrelated and strange events start to happen and a precious Vermeer painting disappears, eleven-year-olds Petra and Calder combine their talents to solve an international art scandal.

The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
Recommended for grades 4 – 9
Summary: Orphan, clock keeper, and thief. Hugo lives in the walls of a busy Paris train station, where his survival depends on secrets and anonymity. But when his world suddenly interlocks with an eccentric, bookish girl and a bitter old man who runs a toy booth in the station, undercover life, and his most precious secret, are put in jeopardy. A cryptic drawing, a treasured notebook, a stolen key, a mechanical man, and a hidden message from Hugo’s dead father form the backbone of this intricate, tender, and spellbinding mystery.

The Grimm Legacy by Polly Shullman
First book in a series – Grimm Legacy
Recommended for grades 6 – 9
Summary: New York high school student Elizabeth gets an after-school job as a page at the “New-York Circulating Material Repository,” and when she gains coveted access to its Grimm Collection of magical objects, she and the other pages are drawn into a series of frightening adventures involving mythical creatures and stolen goods.

Hoot by Carl Hiaasen
First book in a series
Recommended for grades 6 – 9
Summary: Roy, who is new to his small Florida community, becomes involved in another boy’s attempt to save a colony of burrowing owls from a proposed construction site. From the bestselling mystery novelist comes this story for younger readers. New to Florida, Roy is on the school bus when he spots the running boy–running away from the bus, carrying no books or wearing no shoes. Sensing a mystery, Roy sets himself on the boy’s trail, which leads him to potty-trained alligators, a fake-fart champion, and a renegade eco-avenger.

Heist Society by Ally Carter
First book in a series – Heist Society
Recommended for grades 6 – 10
Summary: A group of teenagers uses their combined talents to re-steal several priceless paintings and save fifteen-year-old Kat Bishop’s father, himself an international art thief, from a vengeful collector.

Shelter by Harlan Coben
First book in a series – Mickey Bolitar
Recommended for grade 9 and up
Summary: After tragic events tear Mickey Bolitar away from his parents, he is forced to live with his estranged Uncle Myron and switch high schools, where he finds both friends and enemies, but when his new new girlfriend, Ashley, vanishes, he follows her trail into a seedy underworld that reveals she is not what she seems to be.

Down the Rabbit Hole: An Echo Falls Mystery by Peter Abrahams
First book in a series – Echo Falls
Recommended for grades 6 – 9
Summary: Like her idol Sherlock Holmes, eighth grader Ingrid Levin-Hill uses her intellect to solve a murder case in her home town of Echo Falls.

Acceleration by Graham McNamee
Recommended for grade 8 and up
Summary: 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.

Don’t Turn Around by Michelle Gagnon
First book in a series — PERSEF0NE
Recommended for grade 8 and up
Summary: After waking up on an operating table with no memory of how she got there, Noa must team up with computer hacker Peter to stop a corrupt corporation with a deadly secret.

Trash by Andy Mulligan
Recommended for grades 7 – 10
Summary: Fourteen-year-olds Raphael and Gardo team up with a younger boy, Rat, to figure out the mysteries surrounding a bag Raphael finds during their daily life of sorting through trash in a third-world country’s dump.

Who Could That Be At This Hour? By Lemony Snicket
First book in a series 
Recommended for grades 4 – 7
Summary: Thirteen-year-old Lemony Snicket begins his apprenticeship with S. Theodora Markson of the secretive V.F.D. in the tiny dot of a town called Stain’d By The Sea, where he helps investigate the theft of a statue.

Mistakes Were Made by Stephan Pastis
First book in a series – Timmy Failure
Recommended for grades 3 – 8
Summary: Meet Timmy Failure, the founder, president, and CEO of the best detective agency in town, probably the nation. And his lazy sidekick, Total, a 1,500-pound polar bear.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Catherine Edwards Sadler
First book in a series
Recommended for grade 7 and up
Summary: Magnificently illustrated with 12 powerful watercolors by award-winning artist Moser, “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes” features the complete text of the original collection of Doyle’s short stories and is an ideal introduction to the fascinating world of this mesmerizing detective.

Hardy Boys series by Franklin Dixon

Three Times Lucky by Sheila Turnage
Recommended for grades 4 – 7
Summary: Washed ashore as a baby in tiny Tupelo Landing, North Carolina, Mo LoBeau, now eleven, and her best friend Dale turn detective when the amnesiac Colonel, owner of a café and co-parent of Mo with his cook, Miss Lana, seems implicated in a murder.

Code of Silence by Tim Shoemaker
First book in a series – Code of Silence
Recommended for grades 6 – 8
Summary: When thirteen-year-olds Cooper, Hiro, and Gordy witness a robbery that leaves a man in a coma, they find themselves tangled in a web of mystery and deceit that threatens their lives.

Shadowlands by Kate Brian
First book in a series – Shadowlands
Recommended for grade 8 and up
Summary: Rory Miller had one chance to fight back and she took it. Rory survived and the serial killer who attacked her escaped. Now that the infamous Steven Nell is on the loose, Rory must enter the witness protection with her father and sister, Darcy, leaving their friends and family without so much as a goodbye. Starting over in a new town with only each other is unimaginable for Rory and Darcy. They were inseparable as children, but now they can barely stand each other. As the sisters settle in to Juniper Landing, a picturesque vacation island, it seems like their new home may be just the fresh start they need. They fall in with a group of beautiful, carefree teens and spend their days surfing, partying on the beach, and hiking into endless sunsets. But just as theyre starting to feel safe again, one of their new friends goes missing. Is it a coincidence? Or is the nightmare beginning all over again?

The Christopher Killer by Alane Ferguson
First book in a series – Forensic Mysteries
Recommended for grade 9 and up
Summary: On the payroll as an assistant to her coroner father, seventeen-year-old Cameryn Mahoney uses her knowledge of forensic medicine to catch the killer of a friend while putting herself in terrible danger.

Shift by Jennifer Bradbury
Recommended for grade 8 and up
Summary: When best friends Chris and Win go on a cross country bicycle trek the summer after graduating and only one returns, the FBI wants to know what happened.

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley
Recommended for grade 8 and up
Summary: Seventeen-year-old Cullen’s summer in Lily, Arkansas, is marked by his cousin’s death by overdose, an alleged spotting of a woodpecker thought to be extinct, failed romances, and his younger brother’s sudden disappearance.

The Dragon’s Tooth by N.D. Wilson
First book in a series – Ashtown Burials
Recommended for grades 5 – 8
Summary: When their parents’ seedy old motel burns down on the same night they are visited by a strange man covered in skeleton tattoos, Cyrus, Antigone, and their brother Daniel are introduced to an ancient secret society, and discover that they have an important role in keeping it alive.

The Monstrumologist by Rick Yancey
First book in a series – Monstrumologist
Recommended for grades 8 – 10
Summary: In 1888, twelve-year-old Will Henry chronicles his apprenticeship with Dr. Warthrop, a New Escientist who hunts and studies real-life monsters, as they discover and attempt to destroy a pod of Anthropophagi.

Eighth Grade Bites by Heather Brewer
First book in a series – Chronicles of Vladimir Todd
Recommended for grades 5 – 8
Summary: For thirteen years Vlad has kept secret that he is half-vampire, but when his missing teacher is replaced by a sinister substitute, he learns that there is more to being a vampire than he could have guessed.

The Body of Christopher Creed by Carol Plum-Ucci
First book in a series – Steepleton Chronicles
Recommended for grade 8 and up
Summary: Chris Creed grew up as the class freakthe bullies’ punching bag. After he vanished, the weirdness that had once surrounded him began spreading. And it tore the town apart. Sixteen-year-old Torey Adams’s search for answers opens his eyes to the lies, the pain, and the need to blame someone when tragedy strikes, and his once-safe world comes crashing down around him.

Rat Life by Tedd Arnold
Recommended for grades 6 – 10
Summary: After developing an unusual friendship with a young Vietnam War veteran in 1972, fourteen-year-old Todd discovers his writing talent and solves a murder mystery.

The Dark Days of Hamburger Halpin by Josh Berk
Recommended for grade 8 and up
Summary: When Will Halpin transfers from his all-deaf school into a mainstream Pennsylvania high school, he faces discrimination and bullying, but still manages to solve a mystery surrounding the death of a popular football player in his class.

Paper Towns by John Green
Recommended for 9 and up
Summary: One month before graduating from his Central Florida high school, Quentin “Q” Jacobsen basks in the predictable boringness of his life until the beautiful and exciting Margo Roth Spiegelman, Q’s neighbor and classmate, takes him on a midnight adventure and then mysteriously disappears.

Snatched by Pete Hautman
First book in a series – Bloodwater Mysteries
Recommended for grades 7 – 11
Summary: Too curious for her own good, Roni, crime reporter for her high school newspaper, teams up with Brian, freshman science geek, to investigate the beating and kidnapping of a classmate.

Getting the Girl: A Guide to Private Investigation, Surveillance, and Cookery by Susan Juby
Recommended for grade 9 and up
Summary: Ninth-grader Sherman Mack investigates the “Defilers,” a secret group at his British Columbia high school that marks certain female students as pariahs, at first because he is trying to protect the girl he has a crush on, but later as a matter of principle.

The Boxer and the Spy by Robert G. Parker
Recommended for grades 9 – 11
Summary: Fifteen-year-old Terry, an aspiring boxer, uncovers the mystery behind the unexpected death of a classmate.

The Death Collector by Justin Richards
First book in a series – Department of Unclassified Artifacts
Recommended for grades 6 – 10
Summary: Three teens and a curator of unclassified artifacts at the British Museum match wits with a madman determined to use unorthodox methods to reanimate the dead, both humans and dinosaurs.

The Weirdo by Theodore Taylor
Recommended for grades 6 – 9
Summary: Chip Clewt, whom people have named the “weirdo,” is determined to protect the Powhatan swamp from the local hunters. “An eloquent debate pitting human and animal rights against each other is both informative and moving as this murder mystery/love story/environmental thriller weaves its uncommon spell. Deftly drawn characterizations, from the admirable to the loathsome, and an engrossing journalistic format are two of the many strong points that make this timely and compelling novel a winner.”—Publisher’s Weekly

Nobody by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
Recommended for grade 7 and up
Summary: Fifteen-year-old Claire Ryan has always felt invisible, always lived beyond people’s notice, which causes trouble when she instantly connects with seventeen-year-old Nix, who really can become invisible and has been sent to assassinate her.

SilverFin: A James Bond Adventure by Charlie Higson
First book in a series – Young James Bond
Recommended for grades 6 – 9
Summary: Prequel to the adventures of James Bond, 007, introduces the young James when he is just starting boarding school in England and is about to become involved in his first adventure.

Death Cloud by Andrew Lane
First book in a series – Young Sherlock Holmes
Recommended for grades 6 – 9
Summary: In 1868, with his army officer father suddenly posted to India, and his mother mysteriously “unwell,” fourteen-year-old Sherlock Holmes is sent to stay with his eccentric uncle and aunt in their vast house in Hampshire, where he uncovers his first murder and a diabolical villain.

Guys Read: Thriller edited by Jon Scieszka
Summary: A collection of short mystery/thriller stories by various authors.