What interesting detective stuff can my daughter read / watch ?
August 26, 2017 1:48 AM   Subscribe

My daughter (7 yo) craves detective stories. I'm looking for books, comics, movies recommendations to build a collection of material suitable for her age.
posted by nicolin to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (47 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
If she likes video games (and you're okay with them) the "Phoenix Wright" series of games are phenomenal for this, I can't recommend them enough.
posted by gloriouslyincandescent at 2:02 AM on August 26 [3 favorites]

Good old encyclopedia brown series.
posted by chasles at 2:12 AM on August 26 [17 favorites]

Nancy Drew? Not quite sure if totally age approriate for 7 yo.
posted by quinndexter at 2:23 AM on August 26 [7 favorites]

There have been some decent Nancy Drew series for younger kids published recently (Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew, I think is one). Encyclopedia Brown is decent. I'm a big fan of Cam Jansen books for this age; basically a girl EB but with a camera for eyes instead of an encyclopedic brain. Nate the Great books, maybe? Also out of print but readily available on Amazon (and beloved by 7 year old me), the Something Queer series by Elizabeth Levy.
posted by Knicke at 3:17 AM on August 26 [5 favorites]

Wikipedia Brown
posted by flabdablet at 3:23 AM on August 26

My 7 year old daughter likes the Nancy Clancy chapter books. (Nancy Clancy is a continuation of the Fancy Nancy series, by the way.) I actually don't know if she solves a mystery in all of them, but she does in this one and this one for sure.
posted by katie at 3:49 AM on August 26

I remember Murder, She Wrote being fairly gentle for a detective TV series if you can find old episodes on DVD/online/in syndication.
posted by terretu at 3:50 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Nancy Drew. The book series also has crossover novels with the Hardy Boys.
posted by GiveUpNed at 5:12 AM on August 26

Trixie Belden
posted by Ms Vegetable at 5:28 AM on August 26 [4 favorites]

Other old-school ones that might work are Bobbsey Twins and Boxcar Children.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 5:30 AM on August 26 [4 favorites]

I'll second Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown. Also check out the "Three Investigators" series by Robert Arthur - it's not so well known, but it's great and has a Homes-ian super logical teenage detective.
posted by cpatterson at 5:32 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]

The A To Z mystery series by Ron Roy is written for ages 6-9--it's all about a group of fictional kids solving mysteries. There are (naturally) 26 separate books plus some extra editions.
posted by bookmammal at 5:45 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

The Short Con
posted by chrisulonic at 5:47 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Bunnicula and its sequels are mysteries told from the point of view of the family dog who acts as the detective.

The Babysitters Club series which I and all of my friends consumed voraciously around age 8 has a mystery series but might be more interesting to her in a year or two.

I also second Bobbsey Twins and Boxcar Children.
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 5:48 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]

At that age, I loved the "Happy Hollisters" mysteries.
posted by belladonna at 6:44 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]

Harriet the Spy and The Long Secret are brilliant mysteries. They have some outdated stuff about class and race but certainly no more than Nancy Drew.

At 7, she may or have made the jump from little chapter books like the A to Z mysteries (still more than good enough if she hasn't read them yet) to the middle grade. If still in the younger chapter books, Inspector Flytrap by Tom Angleberger.

In the middle grade, Theodore Boone, Kid Lawyer are really pretty good.
posted by BibiRose at 6:59 AM on August 26

nthing Boxcar Children, Cam Jansen, Encylopedia Brown etc.

She might enjoy Two Minute Mysteries. I think this is the one I read when I was younger but you can find more by Googling or searching Two Minute (Three, Five, etc) Mysteries. There's a variety out there, some more age appropriate than others.
posted by Lay Off The Books at 7:13 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

I was that kid who preferred animals to people, so I loved the Basil of Baker Street mouse detective books.
posted by Squeak Attack at 7:27 AM on August 26

Lumberjanes Vol. 1: Beware The Kitten Holy!

It's somewhere between detective girl scouts and adventure story. Perfect for the age.
posted by canine epigram at 7:58 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Enid Blyton's Famous Five aren't detective stories as such but there is a lot of detective-type things going on - generally some camping trip or other summer holiday trip turns into an adventure, often involving criminals and/or treasure - its a bit scooby doo (they even have a dog).
A follow on from that would be Secret Seven which is about a detective club, I think the kids are a little older than in famous five
posted by missmagenta at 8:02 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]

Goldie Vance
posted by retrograde at 9:06 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Ellen Raskin's The Westing Game for when your daughter is a few years older or now if you read to her before bed.

E.L. Konigsburg's From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E.. Frankweiler

Bruce Coville's Nina Tanleven series
posted by Constance Mirabella at 9:24 AM on August 26 [2 favorites]

Also, the Alvin Fernald series by Clifford B. Hicks. I loved them when I was a child.
posted by Constance Mirabella at 9:32 AM on August 26

A series of unfortunate events?
Matilda or witches by Roald Dahl?
posted by speakeasy at 9:40 AM on August 26

All the Wrong Questions series by Lemony Snicker. Not sure of her reading level.
posted by Temeraria at 10:12 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

You might want to vet it to be certain (I don't have kids) but In Sight Junior is a new mystery podcast for all ages spun off from the excellent senior podcast of the same name. The adults supervising it have a load of kids between them and are very thoughtful on the main podcast, so I'd assume their judgement on age-appropriateness is good!
posted by carbide at 10:44 AM on August 26

The Milo and Jazz Mysteries by Lewis B. Montgomery (Mara Rockliff)

For something a little more advanced there's The Wells and Wong Mysteries by Robin Stevens

If she is a strong reader you could also try the Friday Barnes mysteries and the Mysterious Benedict Society (which I wouldn't categorize specifically as a mystery but it has a lot of mysterious clues and such).
posted by donut_princess at 10:52 AM on August 26

Nancy Drew also has some point and click detective adventure games for PC. They can be purchased on Steam or BigFish games as well. They're aimed at the pre-teen/teen market I think, so she might need help with some of the harder puzzles, but she might enjoy the storylines.
posted by katyggls at 10:57 AM on August 26 [1 favorite]

If she's a strong reader, Margery Sharp's The Rescuers. Technically, adventure more than mystery, but I think the two categories overlap for many readers.
posted by ALeaflikeStructure at 11:45 AM on August 26

Nthing Encyclopedia Brown. I read all of those I could get my hands on when I was seven. They're also short, so she can read a few and get instant gratification.
posted by holborne at 11:46 AM on August 26

The Vesper Holly series by Lloyd Alexander has a teen girl detective/adventurer protagonist, but is written for a 9-12 year old audience.
posted by Wavelet at 12:14 PM on August 26

Sherlock hound is a really lovely cartoon that's great for that age
posted by Ausamor at 12:33 PM on August 26

A lot of my favorites (Bunnicula, The Westing Game, Lumberjanes, etc.) have been mentioned here, but I particularly have to second the recommendation for the Phoenix Wright games. (As a bonus, being text-based visual novels they'll help strengthen reading skills as much as a book - they basically are books, just illustrated on a computer screen and with some visual puzzle-solving added.)
posted by waffleriot at 12:58 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

Some of the volumes aren't easy to find anymore, but take a look at the Detective Conan manga (usually published as "Case Closed" in the English-speaking world). It's all about a boy detective and his friends solving crimes, plus for an early reader the graphic-novel form might be fun.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 1:12 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

The mysterious Benedict society is a good detective series for the younger crowd. It's got adventure, mystery, and also a fair bit of humor for that crowd.
posted by shesaysgo at 9:02 PM on August 26 [1 favorite]

If you can get your hands on The Adventures of the Black Hand Gang, I would highly HIGHLY recommend it.
posted by Sassyfras at 9:23 PM on August 26

A to Z mysteries are good, also Harriet the Spy (probably better for reading together at this point).
posted by ruhroh at 10:49 PM on August 26

I remembered another favorite!
Ghostwriter was an amazing PBS show from the early 90s that follows a group of kids who solve mysteries and also taught vocabulary, spelling, and prosocial values (in a seamless way). It looks like there are some episodes available on YouTube or maybe you can find DVDs at the library.
posted by Waiting for Pierce Inverarity at 4:53 AM on August 27

Try the Guinea PIG, Pet Store Private Eye graphic novel series. They are funny and perfect for a seven-year-old.
posted by the_blizz at 6:33 AM on August 27

When You Reach Me and Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead
The Calder Series by Blue Balliett
Seconding All the Wrong Questions series by Lemony Snicket
posted by soelo at 8:18 AM on August 27

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh.
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 9:38 AM on August 27

Warning, Encyclopedia Brown has not aged well. Lots of casual racism.
posted by bq at 6:54 PM on August 27

Thanks a lot !
posted by nicolin at 1:26 AM on August 28

Lots of good recommendations above, I'll add one I didn't see: Lantern Sam and the Blue Streak Bandits.
posted by togdon at 10:36 AM on August 28

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