Welcome to Murder by the Book's blog about what we've read recently. You can find our website at www.mbtb.com.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Here are some recommendations by author M. K. Nelson, MBTB's friend and fellow mystery book lover:

MBTB Kid Lit Shelf
by M.K. Nelson

Children and young adult mysteries take up swaths of bookshelf room at your local bookstore, reflecting what publishers have learned: adults buy young adult and kid lit books for themselves. In the past decade, Young Adult (YA) and kid books continued to increase in sales when adult sales declined.Why? I suspect it is because in the pages of a well written YA or book for kids the reader can count on timeless, memorable characters and a no fluff writing style.

Summer is a great time to take the plunge into kid lit mysteries. I'll skip past Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys and point out a few favorites, (without the usual age range labels to distract you).

Majorie Weinman Sharmat’s Nate the Great is a classic series. “Sherlock” Nate, his pancake stealing dog Sludge and the cat draped Rosamund are characters you will never forget because they are weirdly just like your neighbors.

James Howe’s Bunnicula series, starring the pale, red eyed vegetable juice sucking rabbit has been a constant seller since 1979. Where else can you get a protagonist that never says a word? Now that’s mysterious.

Compelling and rich, The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart is a recommended read for the whole family. It compares well with The Westing Game by Ellen Raskin, in print since 1978.

The Enola Holmes series by Nancy Springer is a great alternative to romance fiction and a guilty pleasure of many adult readers. Enola, the independent fourteen year old sister of Sherlock is a “scientific perditorian” in Victorian London, bustles, grime, top hats and all. Start with The Case of the Missing Marquess, which won the Edgar Award for young readers.

Dip into the world of Kid Lit Mysteries without the guilt - they are masterpieces of writing and true pleasures.


Oregon author/illustrator M.K.Nelson leads the double life of artist and author. A voracious book appetite and a library card are entirely to blame. She writes and illustrates children’s mysteries from her North Portland studio.

M.K.‘s middle grade mystery novel, The Royal Red Secret, is available from Powells Books, Smashwords, Ibooks and Amazon and other print and e-book venues.

You can catch up with her at cloudcoverstudio.com or ask questions about kid lit mysteries by contacting: books@mbtb.com.

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