Step back in time with these historical mystery books. The list is subdivided by reading level. Please remember that these grade levels are only approximations and are not intended to limit the reader. Unless otherwise noted, books are arranged on the shelves by the author’s last name in the sections below.
A= Title also available on audiobook
P= Title also available on Playaway
J FICTION (Grades 3-6)
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
by Arthur Conan Doyle
A collection of Sherlock Holmes mystery adventures including: "A Scandal in Bohemia," "The Red-headed League," and "The Adventure of the Speckled Band." This is a great introduction to the world’s most famous fictional detective. 342 pgs.
The House of Dies Drear by Virginia Hamilton A
A black family tries to unravel the secrets of their new home which was once a stop on the Underground Railroad. 279 pgs. (Also look for: The Mystery of Drear House.)
O’Dwyer & Grady Starring in Acting Innocent
by Eileen Heyes
It is 1932 in New York City. Eleven-year-old Billy teams up with his new costar Virginia to do his best to prove that his friend and mentor did not commit murder.
118 pgs. (Look for the sequel: O’Dwyer and Grady Starring in a Tough Act to Follow.)
Mystery Series to Enjoy (Grades 3-6)
American Girl History Mysteries (J HIS) A
Join these girls in mysterious situations including the Pony Express trail in 1860, San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake, and Louisiana during the War of 1812.
American Girl Mysteries (J AME)
Join Felicity, Josefina, Kaya, Kit, Molly, and Samantha as they solve different mysteries.
Cascade Mountain Railroad Mysteries by Anne Capeci
In a small Pacific Northwest town in 1926, a crate of dynamite is missing. Fourth-grader Billy and his friends try to figure out what happened.
Mandie by Lois Gladys Leppard
Travel around the world with Mandie Shaw and her friends as they become involved in exciting adventures around the turn of the 20th century.
JH FICTION (Grades 6-8)
The True Princeby J.B. Cheaney
Newly apprenticed to Shakespeare's theater company, Richard and Kit are drawn into a series of crimes involving the members of Queen Elizabeth's court.
The Case of the Cat with the Missing Ear
by Scott Emerson
It is 1887 and San Francisco is populated by dogs. Molly Kirkpatrick comes to Mr. Samuel Blackthorne for help in finding her missing brother. It seems like a straight-forward case, but the trail leads to an increasingly convoluted web of deceit that involves a mysterious and possibly deadly cat with just one ear. 236 pgs.
The Diamond of Drury Lane : A Cat Royal Adventure by Julia Golding
Drury Lane Theater in 1790’s London is the only home that orphan Catherine (“Cat”) has ever known. She agrees to help safeguard a hidden diamond in the theater, but is drawn into intrigues and mysteries. 424 pgs. (Look for other titles featuring Cat.)
Duel: A Mysteryby David Grossman
It is 1966 in Jerusalem, and elderly Mr. Rosenthal receives a threatening letter accusing him of stealing a painting and challenging him to a duel. Twelve-year-old David needs to find who really stole it before someone gets hurt. 112 pgs.
Sent by Margaret Peterson Haddix A
Jonah, Catherine, Chip and Alex are sent through time to 1483, where they arrive in the Tower of London. Much to their surprise, they discover that Chip is actually King Edward V, and Alex is his brother Richard. Will they be able to repair history before their uncle Richard III may have them killed? 313 pgs. (This is the second book in the Missing series.)
The Secret of the Red Flameby K.M. Kimball
After Jozef loses the earnings from his family's butcher shop to a gang of street urchins, he vows to recover the money. Refusing to heed the warnings of his brother, he and his friends form a secret society to infiltrate the gangs that have been victimizing the Polish-American community in 1871 Chicago. 222 pgs.
Death and the Arrow by Chris Priestly
After his friend Will, a pickpocket in London in 1715, is murdered as part of a series of mysterious deaths, fifteen-year-old Tom Marlowe asks his friend Dr. Harker to help find the killer. 161 pgs. (Also look for Redwulf’s Curse.)
Mystery at Blackbeard’s Coveby Audrey Penn
Pirate tales and hidden treasures come together on Ocracoke Island. Billy, Daniel, Stefanie, and Mark are trapped in a tunnel by Zeek, local scoundrel and direct descendent of Israel Hands, who is racing against them to find the treasure. 349 pgs.
The Extraordinary and Unusual Adventures of Horatio Lyle by Catherine Webb
Genius inventor Horatio Lyle leaves his laboratory in Victorian England to track down an ancient artifact with
great powers. In the process, he acquires young sidekicks Tess and Thomas and they encounter all sorts of unusual events before there is a climactic battle. 311 pgs.
(Also look for The Obsidian Dagger.)
Detectives in Togasby Henry Winterfeld
In an effort to save a boy wrongly accused of scrawling graffiti on the temple wall, a group of young friends living in ancient Rome are on the case searching for the real culprit. 249 pgs.
Mystery Series to Enjoy (Grades 6-8)
Crime Through Time by Bill H. Doyle
Members of the Fitzmorgan and Moorie families have been detectives for as long as anyone can remember. Each book in the series is set in a different time period and features a young sleuth from one of these families who works against all odds to unravel a mystery.
A Samurai Mystery by Dorothy and Thomas Hoobler
When Seikei witnesses the theft of a great jewel at the Tokaido Inn, Judge Ooka takes him under his wing. While tracking the thief, Seikei begins to learn the ways of the Samurai, eventually joining a kabuki acting troop and experiencing many adventures.
Lady Grace Mysteries (JH LAD)
What starts out as a journal about her life as one of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth's Maids of Honor soon becomes the place Lady Grace recounts tales of daggers, death, and daring.
The Roman Mysteries by Caroline Lawrence A
In ancient Rome, four children -- Flavia Gemina, a shipowner's daughter; Jonathan, her new neighbor; Nubia, an African slave; and Lupus, a beggar boy -- join together to solve mysteries. The new detectives find themselves in danger again and again, yet manage to escape and solve the crimes.
Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars
by Tracy Mack
The ragamuffin boys known as the Baker Street Irregulars help Sherlock Holmes solve mysteries.
The Invisible Detective by Justin Richards
Arthur Drake finds the casebook of the Invisible Detective in a dusty antique shop. It may have been written in the 1930s, but amazingly, it’s in his handwriting. No one has ever seen or knows the truth about the Invisible Detective except the four extraordinary kids who fight crime in his name.
An Enola Holmes Mystery by Nancy Springer A P
Enola Holmes, the much younger sister of detective Sherlock Holmes sets about London doing her own sleuthing.