Riot Headline 10 Exciting Books to Read this Summer

Your Favorite Series Featuring Crime-Solving Kids

Cassandra Neace

Staff Writer

Cassandra Neace is a high school English teacher in Houston. When she's not in the classroom, she reads books and writes about them. She prides herself on her ability to recommend a book for most any occasion. She can be found on Instagram @read_write_make

nightmare city

This round of the Riot Recommendation is sponsored by Nightmare City by Andrew Klavan.

What should have been an ordinary morning is about to spiral into a day of unrelenting terror.

As a reporter for his high school newspaper, Tom is always on the lookout for an offbeat story. But from the moment he woke up this morning, his own life has been more bizarre than any headline could ever tell.

The streets of his town are suddenly empty and silent. A strange fog has drifted in from the sea and hangs over everything. And something is moving in that fog. Something evil. Something hungry. Closing in on Tom.

Tom’s terrified girlfriend Marie says the answers lie at the Santa Maria Monastery, a haunted ruin standing amidst a forest blackened by wildfire. But can he trust her? A voice that seems to be coming from beyond the grave is warning him that nothing is what it seems.

Only one thing is certain: with his world collapsing around him, Tom has only a few hours to recover the life he knew—before he, too, is lost forever in this nightmare city.


Who was the first pint-sized sleuth you stayed up all night reading? For some of us, it goes back to Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. For others, it all began with Flavia de Luce, or maybe Christopher from The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. Whether classic or contemporary, there’s something really charming and fun about reading a mystery story when it’s kids doing the gumshoe work.

We asked you to tell us about your favorite books and series about crime-solving kids. Here the titles that made your list:

The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin

Emil and the Detectives by Erich Kastner

Please Ignore Vera Dietz by A.S. King

The Famous Five, The Five Find-Outers and Dog, and The Secret Seven Series by Enid Blyton

Flavia de Luce Series by Alan Bradley

Virals Series by Kathy Reichs and Brendan Reichs

The Mysterious Benedict Society Series by Trenton Lee Stewart

Dead Is…Series by Marlene Perez

Deadly Cool Series by Gemma Halliday

Nate the Great Series by  Marjorie Weinman Sharmat

Encyclopedia Brown Series by  Donald J. Sobol

Emma Graham Mysteries Series by Martha Grimes

Enola Holmes Series by Nancy Springer

Mad Scientists’ Club Series by Bertrand R. Brinley

Cam Jansen Series by David Abraham Adler

A to Z Mysteries and Calendar Mysteries Series by Ron Roy

Bobbsey Twins Series by Laura Lee Hope (a collective pseudonym)

Hardy Boys Series by Frank W. Dixon (a collective pseudonym)

Nancy Drew Series by Carolyn Keene (a collective pseudonym)

Alfred Hitchcock and the Three Investigators Series, created by Robert Arthur Jr. (continued by other authors)

Trixie Belden Series, created by Julie Campbell Tatham (continued under the collective pseudonym Kathryn Kenny)

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