Saturday, October 11, 2008

First Clues Mysteries for Kids: Sally Lockhart and Screech Owls Mystery Series

First Clues: Mysteries for Kids

We've updated our website by adding one classic series of young adult mysteries and another long-running sports (hockey) series which latest book, published this past week, is a prequel.

Sally Lockhart: The Ruby in the Smoke

From 1985 through 1994, Philip Pullman wrote a series of four mysteries featuring (in the first book) 16-year-old Sally Lockhart. Set in the late 18th century in Victorian London, the independent young woman was plunged into adventure and intrigue in each book of the series.

Last month, Knopf reissued all four books in the series in new paperback editions: The Ruby in the Smoke (which takes place in 1872), The Shadow in the North (1878), The Tiger in the Well (1881), and The Tin Princess (1882).

Philip Pullman originally wrote The Ruby in the Smoke as a school play. He subsequently rewrote it into a novel for young adults, adding three sequels over the following 9 years. In 2006 the BBC produced a made-for-television movie based on the book starring Billie Piper as Sally Lockhart. (MBN note: is available on DVD.) The BBC aired a production of the second book in the series in 2007 and plans on adapting and filming the final two books.

The are recommended for young sleuths aged 12 and older.

A Screech Owls Prequel: The Kindergarten Caper

The Screech Owls are a junior hockey team located in the Canadian town of Tamarack. They find mystery and adventure as the play in tournaments around the country and around the world. The series is written by Roy MacGregor. The first book in the series, Mystery at Lake Placid, was published in 1995.

After 21 worldwide mysteries, a prequel to the series was published last week: The Kindergarten Caper. The kindergarten class of Lord Stanley Public School find themselves involved in their very first mystery at the same time as the gang -- Travis, Nish, Sarah and most of the other Owls -- take to the ice for the very first time. This is the story of why the Screech Owls became the Screech Owls, and how Nish went from the most disliked kid in school to, as he put it, “the hero” of the fledgling hockey team.

The are recommended for fans of sports mysteries aged 10 and older. Visit the team website at for more information about the books and players.

is pleased to provide information on nearly 100 mystery series for children and young adults. Each series is conveniently listed under three different age categories (New Sleuth, ages 4 to 7; Future Sleuth, aged 7 to 10; and Sleuth in Training, ages 10 and older). If you have a favorite mystery series you'd like to see added to our site, please contact us.

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Lance Wright owns and manages Omnimystery, a Family of Mystery Websites, which had its origin as Hidden Staircase Mystery Books in 1986. As the scope of the business expanded, first into book reviews — Mysterious Reviews — and later into information for and reviews of mystery and suspense television and film, all sites were consolidated under the Omnimystery brand in 2006.

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