Thursday, February 11, 2016


Mystery lovers start early.  Beginning with Nate the Great, Cam Jansen & Encyclopedia Brown through Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, young readers  sleuth along with their favorite detectives or solve the case in stand-alone stories.  Both the Mystery Writers Association and Malice Domestic recognize that juvenile mysteries represent a valid category and award prizes in Children’s and Young Adult every year.  This year’s nominees for books published in 2015 offer cozy and gritty, sleuths from today and yesteryear (even one dog) and puzzles most ingenious. 

Edgar Award nominees – sponsored by the Mystery Writers’ Association
Best Juvenile

Well-known children’s author Avi, who is known for his award-winning historical fiction and animal adventures, also writes mysteries.  This time it's 1951, and twelve-year-old Pete Collison is a regular kid in Brooklyn, New York, who loves Sam Spade detective books and radio crime dramas. But when an FBI agent shows up at Pete's doorstep, accusing Pete's father of being a Communist, Pete is caught in a real-life mystery. Could there really be Commies in Pete's family?

If You Find This by Matthew Baker
When the grandfather he never knew is released from prison suffering from dementia, eleven-year-old Nicholas, a mathematical and musical genius, tries to save the family's home by helping search for heirlooms Grandpa claims to have buried.

The Shrunken Head by Lauren Oliver
The author of popular paranormal suspense for teens and adults throws in a mystery in her new series The Curiosity House. Orphans Philippa, Sam, Thomas, and Max  must find out who stole a valuable artifact in order to save to save their home, Dumfrey's Dime Museum of Freaks, Oddities, and Wonders.

The Blackthorn Key by Kevin Sands
In 1665 London, fourteen-year-old Christopher Rowe, apprentice to an apothecary, and his best friend, Tom, try to uncover the truth behind a mysterious cult, following a trail of puzzles, codes, pranks, and danger toward an unearthly secret with the power to tear the world apart.

Eleven-year-old Footer and her friends investigate when a nearby farm is burned, the farmer murdered, and his children disappear, but as they follow the clues, Footer starts having flashbacks and wonders if she is going crazy like her mother, who is back in a mental institution near their Mississippi home.

Best Young Adult
Endangered by L.R. Giles
When Lauren (Panda), a teen photoblogger, gets involved in a deadly game, she has to protect the classmates she despises.

A Madness So Discreet by Mindy McGinnis
Near the turn of the nineteenth century, Dr. Thornhollow helps teenaged Grace Mae escape from the Boston asylum where she was sent after becoming pregnant by rape, and takes her to Ohio, where they put her intelligence and remarkable memory to use in trying to catch murderers.

The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury
For four years sixteen-year-old Twylla has lived in the castle of Lormere, as the Goddess embodied, whose touch can poison and kill, and hence the Queen's executioner--but when Prince Merek, her betrothed, who is immune to her touch returns to the kingdom she finds herself caught up in palace intrigues, unsure if she can trust him or the bodyguard who claims to love her.

The Walls Around Us by Nova Ren Suma
Orianna and Violet are ballet dancers and best friends, but when the ballerinas who have been harassing Violet are murdered, Orianna is accused of the crime and sent to a juvenile detention center where she meets Amber and they experience supernatural events linking the girls together.

Ask the Dark by Henry Turner
To keep his family in their home, fourteen-year-old juvenile delinquent Billy Zeets does odd jobs to raise money, but when he tries to locate a missing schoolmate for the reward, Billy inadvertently makes himself the target of a serial killer.

Agatha Award Nominees – sponsored by Malice Domestic
Best Children’s /Young Adult
Pieces and Players by Blue Balliett
This series of  Chicago based, art themed mysteries continues when thirteen high-value pieces of art are stolen from a secret museum, Calder, Petra, and Tommy are grouped with two new companions to solve puzzles that are complicated by the clever Mrs. Sharpe.

Need by Joelle Charbonneau
In this exploration of the dark side of social media, and government control and manipulation, the teenagers in a small town are drawn deeper and deeper into a social networking site that promises to grant their every need--regardless of the consequences.  Be careful what you wish for – you might just get it.

Andi Unstoppable by Amanda Flower
Andi Boggs and her best friend Colin Carter return to solve another mystery in her adopted small town home.   School has begun for the two Killdeer middle-schoolers, and their science teacher has a great idea. He is a birder and wants his class to share in the fun. In a birding group with Colin and her biggest school rival, Ava, Andi sets out to be the first student in class to spot the elusive Kirtland's Wrabler...but end up spotting the town's resident ghost instead! Good clean fun harking back to Nancy Drew type mysteries.

Bowser is a mutt, just adopted by eleven-year-old Birdie Gaux and her grandmother, but when they all get home to Grammy's bait and tackle shop in the bayou they discover that their prize stuffed marlin has been stolen--so Bowser decides to investigate, and things quickly become complicated and dangerous. Spencer Quinn has also written the bestselling Chet and Bernie  mysteries for adult dog lovers and, as PeterAbrahams, the award-winning Echo Falls mysteries

Fighting Chance by B.K. Stevens
When his coach and mentor is killed at a tae kwon do tournament, seventeen-year-old Matt Foley suspects that it was not a tragic accident, but deliberate murder, and investigates himself. 

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