Detective and mystery stories

Hex Hall

By Rachel Hawkins

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"Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she is a witch. Her non-gifted mother has been supportive, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—a warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who exiles her to 'Hex Hall,' an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, fairies, and shape-shifters. By the end of her first day, Sophie has three new enemies, a futile crush on a warlock, a tagalong ghost, and a vampire roommate. Worse, Sophie soon learns that an unknown predator has been attacking students. As a series of blood-curdling mysteries converges, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her."
First of a series.

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Science Fair: A Story of Mystery, Danger, International Suspense, and a Very Nervous Frog

By Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson

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The president of a foreign country is plotting to infiltrate the science fair at Hubble Middle School in order to take over the United States government, but when Toby Harbinger, an ordinary student, makes up his mind finally to win the fair, the terrorists' plans go awry.
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Scat

By Carl Hiaasen

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Bunny Starch, the most feared biology teacher ever, is missing. She disappeared after a school field trip to Black Vine Swamp. And, to be honest, the kids in her class are relieved. But when the principal tries to tell the students that Mrs. Starch has been called away on a "family emergency," Nick and Marta just don't buy it. No, they figure the class delinquent, Smoke, has something to do with her disappearance. And he does! But not in the way they think. There's a lot more going on in Black Vine Swamp than any one player in this twisted tale can see. And Nick and Marta will have to reckon with an eccentric eco-avenger, a stuffed rat named Chelsea, a wannabe Texas oilman, a singing substitute teacher, and a ticked-off Florida panther before they really begin to see the big picture. That's life in the swamp, kids.
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The Case of Mistaken Identity

By Mac Barnett

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When Steve Brixton, a fan of Bailey Brothers detective novels, is mistaken for a real detective, he must elude librarians, police, and the mysterious Mr. E as he seeks a missing quilt containing coded information.
Part of a series.

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The Trouble with Chickens: A J .J. Tully Mystery

By Doreen Cronin

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A hard-bitten former search-and-rescue dog helps solve a complicated missing chicken case.
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Minnie and Moo: The Case of the Missing Jelly Donut

By Denys Cazet

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Cow friends Minnie and Moo search for a jelly donut thief who may have left behind a blue feather.
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In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff

In the Shadow of Gotham by Stefanie Pintoff

Set in the first decade of the 20th century, In the Shadow of Gotham, by Stefanie Pintoff, combines the atmosphere of a gothic novel with the more invigorating pace of a police procedural.  Simon Ziele has buried himself in a quiet town in Westchester County to escape the memory of his lost love. He was an up-and-coming detective in the New York City police force when tragedy drove him to seek a quieter position, far away from the violence of Manhattan’s darker quarters.

And yet, when the call came to investigate a murder at the home of one of Westchester’s finest families, Detective Ziele is drawn in by duty to find out who killed the lovely, young mathematics genius in such a shocking and brutal way before it happens again.

Death in Lacquer Red by Jeanne M. Dams

Death in Lacquer Red by Jeanne M. Dams

It’s 1900, and lovely, smart Hilda Johansson is one of many immigrants working as live-in servants to rich households in Southbend, Indiana. In Jeanne M. Dams’ Death in Lacquer Red, Hilda has a pleasant if strenuous life, working hard to save money to bring her other family members over from Sweden. She is being courted by a handsome Irish fireman who won’t let the fact that their families wouldn’t approve--he’s Catholic and she’s Lutheran--get in the way of the romance. Even so, a dead body in the lilac bushes does put a damper on their day out together.

Hoofbeats of Danger

By Holly Hughes

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In 1860, eleven-year-old Annie, who lives at the Red Buttes Pony Express station in the Nebraska Territory, asks Pony Express rider Billy Cody to help her find the person responsible for sabotaging her favorite pony Magpie.

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The Old Buzzard Had it Coming by Donis Casey

The Old Buzzard Had it Coming by Donis Casey

Harley Day was a mean, shiftless, good-for-nothing drunk. He regularly beat up on his wife and kids. So when he was found frozen to death in a snowbank outside his house, no one seemed to mourn. After all, The Old Buzzard Had It Coming--which is the title of the first Alafair Tucker mystery by Donis Casey.

Set in 1912, this book introduces Alafair Tucker, who lives with her husband and nine children on the Oklahoma frontier. It's an interesting look at frontier life at the beginning of the 20th century. Some of the details seem so modern, but much of the day-to-day life for a frontier ranching family seems like unbelievable deprivation and hardship 100 years on.