Category Archives: mystery series

Happy 2015!

Hello, Sweeteas,

Happy 2015!

My reading goal for the year is to read 1-2 books per week, which is between 54 and 108 books per year. I read 60 books in 2014, which means I met my goal but didn’t do as well as in years past. (I normally read between 80-100 books per year.) I’m going to try to do better this year.

My favorite book of 2014 was The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches: a Flavia De Luce Novel by Alan Bradley***** (BL: 6.5; Pts: 12.0). (I wrote about this mystery series on February 14, 2014. The post is titled “Flavia, Flavia.”) We have the first book in this series–The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie–in our library, and the rest will be joining it soon. A new installment (the 7th!) titled As Chimney Sweepers Come to Dust is is being published this week. I can’t wait to read it!

Today I’ll tell you about the book Greenglass House by Kate Milford **** (BL: 5.4; Pts: 15.0):

The story takes place over the winter holidays in a remote mountain inn (Greenglass House) that’s frequented mainly by smugglers. The inn’s owners, their 12-year-old son Milo, their employees, and several mysterious guests are trapped in the ancient house as a result of a snowstorm. The problem is not just the snow, but that someone is stealing the guests’ belongings. It’s up to Milo and his new-found friend Meddy to solve, not just the robberies, but also a mystery having to do with the house itself.

The mystery-solving story line is interesting by itself, but there are three other elements that make this novel a truly remarkable read. 1) Milo is an adopted Asian boy dealing with personal issues regarding his adoption. 2) Milo and Meddy solve the mysteries while playing an elaborate and empowering RPG (role-playing game). 3) The book has a thrilling surprise ending.

Greenglass House will be in our collection by the end of the week. If you’d like to read it, you can place it on “hold.”

“Daughter of Eve from the far land of Spare Oom where eternal summer reigns around the bright city of War Drobe, how would it be if you came and had tea with me?” — From The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

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Summer of Sleuths

Hello, sweeteas,

Summer break is almost here! The summer is great for reading–and perhaps solving– a mystery or two. Here are a few delightful reads:

1- Mysteries in Our National Parks Series by Gloria Skurzynski

2- Sammy Keyes Mystery Series by Wendelin Van Draanen

3- The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

4- When You Reach Me and Liar and Spy by Rebecca Stead

5- Young Sherlock Holmes Series by Andrew Lane

6- The Enola Holmes Mysteries by Nancy Springer

7- The Echo Falls Mysteries by Peter Abrahams

8- The Calder Game Mysteries by Balliet Blue

9 – The Game of Sunken Places by M.T. Anderson

10- Gilda Joyce: Psychic Investigator Series by Jennifer Allison

11- Half-Moon Investigations by Eoin Colfer

12- The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman

13- Nancy Drew Mystery Series by Carolyn Keene

14- The Hardy Boys Mystery Series by Franklin W. Dixon

and my favorite:

15- Flavia de Luce Mystery Series by Alan Bradley

The following site has more great mystery titles:

Happy sleuthing!

“Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.” –Catherine Douzel

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Flavia, Flavia

Hello, sweeteas,

Here’s the brutal truth: you will not find all the books you want to read (or should read) in your school library. The solution? Visit your local public library. If you can’t find the book you’re looking for, you can put in on “hold” or request it from another library. And don’t forget that you can also check out ebooks and audiobooks.

But I also have good news: We will be getting new books very soon. Look for them on our display shelves.

Now on to my book recommendation:

The Flavia de Luce Mysteries is an example of an awesome series you should read (so if you can’t find it in the school library, look for it in the public library). The books are marketed for adults, but the main character is an 11-year-old girl. I’ve written about Flavia before, but because she’s so amazing, I want to present her to you all over again:

For those of you who love sophisticated and quirky murder mysteries, I present the Flavia de Luce Mysteries by Alan Bradley: The Sweetness at the Bottom of the PieThe Weed That Strings the Hangman’s BagA Red Herring Without Mustard, I Am Half-Sick of Shadows, Speaking from Among the Bones, and the latest installment: The Dead in Their Vaulted Arches.

Flavia is a heroine you will absolutely love. She’s an 11-year-old “aspiring chemist with a passion for poison,” and she’s a devilishly intelligent sleuth. But she’s also a child struggling to deal with tragic family issues  and trying to understand the darkness and pain left over in the world after WWII. She’s clever, funny, ingenious, and ingenuous, with a penchant for getting in and out of trouble in outlandish ways.

Not only will you love Flavia, you’ll find yourself caring for all the people she loves, especially for her father and Dogger, the family’s mysterious butler. These stories have a lot of depth and emotion and both the setting and language are simply enchanting. Flavia’s adventures have made me laugh, cringe, cheer, and cry. Have you ever hugged a book? I’ve hugged a few of these books, especially the last two.

Enough said. Click on the following link to The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie, look inside the book, and listen to an excerpt.

And enjoy the book trailer:

Happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂

“As he drank, I remembered that there’s a reason we English are ruled more by tea than by Buckingham Palace or His Majesty’s Government: Apart from the soul, the brewing of tea is the only thing that sets us apart from the great apes–or so the Vicar had remarked to Father…” –Alan Bradley, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie

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Filed under middle grade and YA books, mystery series