20 Best Mystery Books For Kids (Popular & Award-Winning) 2024

These mystery books for kids are the best the genre has to offer. They’ll have both book enthusiasts and reluctant readers pleading to turn the page!

In 2021, the world locked down and school was canceled. But my son’s 2nd-grade teacher took to the internet to finish a read-aloud from class.

It was Nancy Drew.

Best mystery books for kids: featured image

As she recorded each chapter, my kids begged to listen. And for a while each day, we forgot about the uncertainty of the times. This simple act turned kids into mystery lovers. All from their teacher’s backyard.

Great Childrens Mysteries

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Now, follow the clues and get reading!

These kids mystery books also make for great audio book read alouds in the car. And many of them are part of a larger book series!

Best Mystery Books For Kids: 6 & 7 Year Olds

First, younger kids love these beginner mystery books!

1. A to Z Mysteries: The Absent Author by Ron Roy

*Over 8 million of this book series in print

A to Z Mysteries: Detective series

In this classic kid favorite, Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose embark on mystery adventures. They are perfect for early chapter book readers looking for more suspense!

Start with the first book in the series: The Absent Author. When a famous author goes missing, it’s up to the gang to find out why.

2. Nate the Great Series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat 

Nate the Great book series for 6-7 year olds

In the award-winning Nate the Great series, Nate is on the case to solve the mysteries in his
neighborhood. Using evidence and problem-solving skills, Nate helps his friend and solves the puzzle.

This is a great first detective mystery book for young readers who are ready for chapter books.

3. The Case of the Missing Cheetah by Veronica Mang

Secret Spy Society

The Case of the Missing Cheetah follows a group of curious young girls as they discover a secret society of female spies. Do the girls have what it takes to be spies too? Read to find out!

4. Nancy Drew: Sleepover Sleuths by Carolyn Keene

*Classic Best Seller

Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew: best mystery books series for kids, 8 year olds, 7 year olds, 6 year olds

When Deirdre invites Nancy and her friends over for a sleepover, Deirdre’s doll goes missing. Will Nancy be able to solve this mystery?

Follow Nancy as she solves the case with one thrilling adventure after another through the series!

5. The Haunted Library Series by Dori Hillestad Butler

*Award Winning Author

The Haunted Library

When Kaz is separated from his ghost family, he meets Claire, who lives above the town library. Claire can see ghosts. The two form a friendship and solve the mystery of who’s haunting the library.

Could it be someone Kaz knows?

Find the first Haunted Library book here >>

6. Super Detectives! (Simon and Chester Book #1) by Cale Atkinson

*New Graphic Novel Series For Fans of Dog Man & Bad Guys

Simon and Chester, detective adventure and mystery kids books

A ghost and a kid team up to become a mystery-solving duo (and eat snacks). Can they solve the mystery of a lifetime? Read the hilarious story to find out!

7. Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (Kids Mystery Books)

harriet the spy: Great books for 9 year olds to read

Harriet is a spy who uses her notebook to write down all of her observations about the world around her. But when the notebook goes missing and her words are suddenly out in the open, she must face who she’s been spying on. 

This novel is book one of the series!

Children’s Mystery Books: 8-10 Year Olds

Next, these mystery book chapter books get into more complex stories for kids.

8. Case Closed: Mystery in the Mansion by Laura Magaziner

Case Closed: Mystery in the Mansion

Case Closed is a fun puzzle book where the reader helps Carlos put together the clues to save his mom. In this unique thriller, YOU pick which suspects to talk to and which path to follow. Good luck cracking the case!

See Case Closed Here >>

9. Mystery in Rocky Mountain National Park: National Park Mystery Series, Book 1

*Secret Codes – Lost Landmarks – Hidden Clues

National Park Mystery Series: Children's mystery books series for 9 year olds, 10 year olds

Jake’s grandfather was trying to solve an old mystery when he died. He leaves behind secret codes, riddles, and maps that lead Jake and his friends into Colorado’s Rocky Mountain National Park. But they also find out they’re not the only ones searching.

Great for national park, mystery, and treasure hunt lovers!

Start the journey here.

10. The Feather Chase by Shannon L. Brown

The Feather Chase, fantasy

In The Feather Chase, two very different cousins have to spend the summer together. But their ho-hum summer turns into a thrilling mystery when they find a briefcase in the forest that hides a surprise. Now they must find a way to solve the case – together!

See The Feather Chase here >>

11. The Secret Lake by Karen Inglis

*A Modern Children’s Classic

best mystery books for 10 year olds

Stella and Tom move into a new London neighborhood and befriend a neighborhood dog. Yet, the dog keeps disappearing and returning.

As they search for answers, they discover a tunnel that leads to a secret lake. And that they’ve somehow traveled back in time…

See The Secret Lake here >>

12. History’s Mysteries Curious Clues, Cold Cases, and Puzzles From the Past (National Geographic Kids)

Real-life mysteries that give you goosebumps!

History's Mysteries: Best mystery books for kids and teens: 4th grade list

What happened to the Mayan civilization? How did Stonehenge come to be? This book covers real-life mysteries that have left people scratching their heads for years!

See History’s Mysteries >>

Big fan of natural mysteries? Continue the series with History’s Mysteries: Freaky Phenomena.

13. Legend of the Star Runner by J. I. Wagner

Legend of the Star Runner

Timmi Tobbson and his friends only have 24 hours to discover the legend of a long-lost pirate ship buried in their city. However, they may find more than they expect aboard the Star Runner!

This unique series allows your child to become a sleuth by reading and finding clues to solve the puzzle.

14. The Boxcar Children Mysteries by Gertrude Chandler Warner

This classic, captivating series follows the adventures of the Alden kids as they discover and solve new mysteries. It’s a great read for kids who love mysteries or have ever wondered what it would be like to live with their best friends.

15. The Mystery of the Haunted House (Sycamore Street Mysteries) by Willow Night

*NEW Mystery Book For Kids

Mystery at the Haunted House: Kid mystery books to read

Noah’s little brother Josh can’t stop talking about the Haunted House. So, when they go to see it, they join forces with Olivia to find out more.

But when Josh goes missing, they must solve the mystery to get him back!

Get The Mystery of the Haunted House here >>

Related: Best Halloween Books For Kids

16. The Secret Zoo by Bryan Chick

The Secret Zoo: Best books for 10-12 year olds

The Secret Zoo is the first of this imaginative series. In a zoo, the animals begin acting strange. As though they are searching for something.

Megan notices the odd happenings first. But when she disappears, it’s up to her brother and friends to find her. What they discover when they sneak into the zoo surprises them all.

See it here >>

Mystery Books Kids: 9-12 Year Olds

Next, upper elementary and middle school readers especially love these kids mystery books!

17. Puzzled by P.J. Nichols

Mystery, fantasy, and suspense!

Puzzled mystery books for kids and teens, 11 year olds, 12 year olds

In this mystery adventure, Peter and his friends must figure out every confusing riddle and challenging puzzle. If not, they face terrifying and unthinkable results.

Try to solve the puzzles along with them!

18. Enola Holmes: The Graphic Novels: The Case of the Missing Marquess, The Left-Handed Lady, and The Bizarre Bouquets by Serena Blasco

#1 Best Seller in Children’s Mystery (Inspired by the books and Netflix film!)

Enola Holmes graphic novel mysteries

14-year-old Enola Holmes (the strong-willed sister of Sherlock Holmes) wakes on her birthday to discover that her mother is gone. She left only flowers and a coded message book. When she escapes from being shipped off to boarding school, nothing prepares her for what awaits.

See Enola Holmes here >>

Related: Kids Books That Teach Kindness & Friendship

Best Mystery Books For Teens

Finally, middle and high school teens can’t get enough of these mystery novels.

19. Shadow Jumper: A Mystery Adventure Book for Children and Teens by J.M. Forster


*Read and enjoyed by over 100,000 readers!

Shadow jumper: great mystery books for teens

Jack Phillips’s allergy to sunshine confines him to the shadows. He’s lonely and shadow jumping on rooftops makes him feel alive. But when Jack’s condition suddenly worsens, only his missing scientist dad has the answer.

As Jack and a new friend solve clues to the past, they uncover dark secrets at every turn.

Will Jack be able to find the truth in time? Find out here >>

20. Into the Dark: a Scary Mystery Book for Teens by CJ Loughty

*An intriguing blend of Harry Potter and horror!

Into the Dark

Her family tries to convince her she’s being silly, but Ella is certain that her new house is haunted. Then, a mysterious blackness appears on the walls.

She learns that the house has been cursed by the previous owner. A witch. But there’s a way to lift the curse. And perhaps she’s a witch too…

See Into the Dark >>

Best mystery books for kids: featured image

What’s Next?

Get kids hooked on reading with our best books by age lists!

Or check out a reading challenge idea you’ll love. Then, grab the free reading tracker too!

Good Kid Mystery Books You Can’t Put Down

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