Mystery

Jennifer H. and Leah E.

History of Mystery Novels

  • The Adventures of Caleb Williams (1794)
  • Murders in the Rue Morgue (1841)
  • Leavenworth Case (1878)
  • A Study in Scarlet (1887)
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920's - Golden Age)
  • I, The Jury (1947)
  • Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys (1930's+)
  • Beat Not the Bones (1954)
  • Nate the Great (1972)
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What is a Mystery?

  • Characters: Detectives vs. Suspects
  • Clues: who did it?
  • Distractions
  • Structure: introduction, body, and conclusion
  • Read more: CLICK HERE

Why do students read mysteries?

  • Strong plot lines
  • Predictability of plot and characters
  • Characters have a clear identity
  • Suspense
  • Bravery and risk taking
  • Covers

Types of Mystery

  • Caper
  • Amateur Sleuth
  • Furry Sleuth
  • Private Eye
  • Series
  • Crime
  • Whodunit
  • Locked room/Puzzle
  • Cozy

Must Read Mystery Series

  • Encyclopedia Brown
  • Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys
  • Boxcar Children
  • A to Z Mysteries
  • Cam Jansen
  • Goosebumps

Other Mystery Titles

  • Three Times Lucky
  • The 39 Clues
  • Green Glass House
  • The Westing Game
  • Where Are My Books
  • Mrs. Lemoncello's Library Olympics
  • Ace Lacewing Bug Detective
  • Who Pushed Humpty Dumpty?
  • Hold Fast
  • The Great Trouble

Lesson Ideas for Teaching Mystery Novels in Your Library

  • Read a short mystery and stop before the end. Have students do a quick write prediction of ending.

  • Preview the problem in the story that needs to be solved.

  • Read two picture book mysteries and compare and contrast the details in each.

  • Conduct a mini research project to build background knowledge on topic or setting.