Monday, June 24, 2013

MORE Fun Summer Reads for Kidlit Mystery Fans!

A few weeks ago, Laura Ellen posted a list of her summer reads -- some great new MG and YA mysteries and thrillers to check out this summer. I thought I'd add a few more. Here are some brand new or soon-to-release mysteries that are tantalizing me . . . my reward for finishing my next revision! I can't wait! (All descriptions are from GoodReads).

1. Moxie and the Art of of Rule-Breaking, by Erin Dionne. (Release date: July 11, 2013, Dial/Penguin)

For fans of The Westing Game and From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler comes a clever, treasure-hunt mystery based on a real-life art heist. Moxie Fleece knows the rules and follows them--that is, until the day she opens her front door to a mysterious stranger. Suddenly Moxie is involved in Boston's biggest unsolved mystery: The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum art heist. Moxie has two weeks to find the art, otherwise she and the people she loves will be in big-time danger. Her tools? Her best friend, Ollie, a geocaching addict who loves to find stuff; her Alzheimer's suffering grandfather, Grumps, who knows lots more than he lets on; and a geometry proof that she sets up to sort out the clues. It's a race against the clock through downtown Boston as Moxie and Ollie break every rule she's ever lived by to find the art and save her family.

Art mystery + Boston? I can't wait! And I've been obsessed with the Gardner Museum heist for years. (Plus, Erin will be in our Interrogation Room answering some tough questions in just a couple of weeks!)

 2. Also Known As, by Robin Benway (already released, February 2013, Walker/Bloomsbury)

Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations.Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.

International intrigue! Spies! I've been hearing great things about this one. Sounds like it has plenty of humorous touches as well,  just what I'm looking for in a summer read.

3.Spies and Prejudice, by Talia Vance. (Just released, from Egmont!)

Berry Fields is not looking for a boyfriend. She’s busy trailing cheaters and liars in her job as a private investigator, collecting evidence of the affairs she’s sure all men commit. And thanks to a pepper spray incident during an eighth grade game of spin the bottle, the guys at her school are not exactly lining up to date her, either. So when arrogant—and gorgeous—Tanner Halston rolls into town and calls her “nothing amazing,” it’s no loss for Berry. She’ll forget him in no time. She’s more concerned with the questions surfacing about her mother’s death. But why does Tanner seem to pop up everywhere in her investigation, always getting in her way? Is he trying to stop her from discovering the truth, or protecting her from an unknown threat? And why can’t Berry remember to hate him when he looks into her eyes?With a playful nod to Jane Austen, Spies and Prejudice will captivate readers as love and espionage collide.

This one's hot of the press from Sleuths Spies & Alibis' own Talia Vance. I can't seem to get enough of spies these days (maybe because I have a few spies up my sleeve in my next novel), and I'm a longtime Jane Austen fan, so I can't wait to see how Talia pulls off this intriguing mix! (Did you miss Talia in our Interrogation Room two weeks ago? You can track down her interview here!)

4. The Wig in the Window, by Kristen Kittscher. (Just released! Harper Collins)

Best friends and seventh graders Sophie Young and Grace Yang have made a game out of spying on their neighbors. On one of their midnight stakeouts, they witness a terrifying, bloody scene at the home of their bizarre middle-school counselor, Dr. Charlotte Agford (aka Dr. Awkward). At least, they think they do. The truth is that Dr. Agford was only making her famous pickled beets! But when Dr. Agford begins acting even weirder than usual, Sophie and Grace become convinced that she’s hiding something—and they’re determined to find out what it is. Soon the girls are breaking secret codes, being followed by a strange blue car, and tailing strangers with unibrows and Texas accents. But as their investigation heats up, Sophie and Grace start to crack under the pressure. They might solve their case, but will their friendship survive?Perfect for fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society, The Wig in the Window is a smart, funny middle-grade mystery with a REAR WINDOW twist.

Here's another just-released title from our of our own sleuths here on the blog! And -- yep, more spies! I love the Hitchcockian feel to this one, and the idea of friends teaming up to solve mysteries. The idea of this takes me back to my childhood game of pretending to be Harriet the Spy -- only I never turned up any mystery nearly as good as this one! (If you missed Kristen in our Interrogation Room last week, you can find the transcript of her questioning here!)

5. Escape from Mr. Lemencello's Library, by Chris Grabenstein. (Releases TOMORROW, June 25, 2013, Random House)

Kyle Keeley is the class clown, popular with most kids, (if not the teachers), and an ardent fan of all games: board games, word games, and particularly video games. His hero, Luigi Lemoncello, the most notorious and creative gamemaker in the world, just so happens to be the genius behind the building of the new town library. Lucky Kyle wins a coveted spot to be one of the first 12 kids in the library for an overnight of fun, food, and lots and lots of games. But when morning comes, the doors remain locked. Kyle and the other winners must solve every clue and every secret puzzle to find the hidden escape route. And the stakes are very high. In this cross between Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and A Night in the Museum, Agatha Award winner Chris Grabenstein uses rib-tickling humor to create the perfect tale for his quirky characters. Old fans and new readers will become enthralled with the crafty twists and turns of this ultimate library experience.

This sounds just delightful! Especially since I'm currently reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory with my 6-year-old, and I forgot how much I love stories about wacky geniuses. And as a library lover, any mystery set in one automatically intrigues me. Don't you just love this cover, too? (If you missed our Interrogation Room interview with Chris Grabenstein last year, you can read it here!)

What are you reading this summer?

Diana Renn grew up in Seattle and now lives outside of Boston with her husband and young son. Her first novel, TOKYO HEIST (Viking/Penguin) just came out in paperback this month. Her next YA mystery, LATITUDE ZERO, will be published by Viking in 2014. She is also the Fiction Editor at YARN (Young Adult Review Network).

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