Mystery and Detective Stories for Young Adults

There is nothing like a good whodunnit! Some of these are hilarious; others are chilling. If you know teens who like following a good detective, look no further than the Latino kids solving puzzles and putting the pieces together in these mysteries. Also included are young adult novels featuring protagonists who must solve a mystery in their own lives. Recommended for grades 7-12.

Chasing the Jaguar: A Martika Galvez Mystery

Age Level: 12-14

Martika begins having strange dreams about jungles and jaguars just before her quinceañera. Her mother brings her to Tía Tellin — the neighborhood bruja, or witch, to help sort out what she sees. Martika is astonished to learn that Tía Tellin is her great aunt and that they are both descended from a long line of Mayan healers, whose powers include psychic divination. When the daughter of her mother's client is kidnapped, Martika's visions help guide the search for the missing girl. — Booklist

Colibri

Age Level: 12-14

"Twelve-year-old Rosa remembers only a few things about the home she shared with her loving parents in a Mayan village before she was kidnapped at the age of four. Since then, she has traveled with Uncle, an abusive con artist. After being convinced by a fortune-teller that Rosa will make him rich, Uncle embarks on an obsessive treasure hunt, forcing Rosa to join in his scams for food and money. Rosa hates Uncle's dishonesty and anger, and she feels trapped…The taut, chilling suspense and search for riches will keep readers flying through the pages.

How Tía Lola Ended Up Starting Over

Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: Welcome to Tía Lola's bed and breakfast! With the help of her niece and nephew and the three Sword Sisters, Tía Lola is opening the doors of Colonel Charlebois' grand old Vermont house to visitors from all over. But Tía Lola and the children soon realize that running a B & B isn't as easy they had initially thought — especially when it appears that someone is out to sabotage them! Will Tía Lola and the kids discover who's behind the plot to make their B & B fail?

Spirit Hunters

By: Ellen Oh
Age Level: 12-14

Ellen Oh, founder of the We Need Diverse Books movement, returns with Spirit Hunters, a high-stakes middle grade mystery about Harper Raine, a Korean-American new seventh grader in town who must face down the dangerous ghosts haunting her younger brother. The whole atmosphere gives Harper a sense of déjà vu, but she can’t remember why. She knows that the memories she’s blocking will help make sense of her brother’s behavior and the strange and threatening sensations she feels in this house, but will she be able to put the pieces together in time?

The Case of the Pen Gone Missing: A Mickey Rangel Mystery

Age Level: 9-12

"The Case of the Pen Gone Missing is a tricky one for a young sleuth. The hitherto unattainable Toots Rodriguez solicits Mickey's help when she is accused of stealing a classmate's special pen, the one actually touched by the President of the United States when he signed the bill sponsored by the classmate's father. Mickey's observational skills are blunted by his attraction to this deadly damsel in distress, but a timely tip from a mysterious 'Angel' puts him on the right track, and he not only finds the pen, but exposes the real culprit." — Mystery Scene Magazine

The Last Summer of the Death Warriors

Age Level: 14-16

Product Description: When Pancho arrives at St. Anthony's Home, he knows his time there will be short: If his plans succeed, he'll soon be arrested for the murder of his sister's killer. But then he's assigned to help D.Q., whose brain cancer has slowed neither his spirit nor his mouth. D.Q. tells Pancho all about his "Death Warrior's Manifesto," which will help him to live out his last days fully — ideally, he says, with the love of the beautiful Marisol. As Pancho tracks down his sister's murderer, he finds himself falling under the influence of D.Q. and Marisol, who is everything D.Q.

The Lemon Tree Caper: A Mickey Rangel Mystery

Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: Mickey Rangel, kid detective extraordinaire, has just exited the school bus one sweltering afternoon when he hears a blood-curdling shriek. It's coming from the creepy neighbor lady's house. "My lemons, Mickey, my prize-winning lemons. They're gone. They re all gone," Senorita Andrade cries. Who could have removed several sacks full of lemons? In this second bilingual book in The Mickey Rangel Mystery series for intermediate readers, author and educator René Saldaña, Jr.

The Mystery of the Mischievous Marker: A Mickey Rangel Mystery

It's Monday morning, and kid detective extraordinaire Mickey Rangel is on the hot seat. When his principal instead brings up the recent rash of graffiti on school grounds, Mickey is initially horrified that she might think he's involved. But he quickly realizes why she has called him in: she needs his help! Mrs. A. has heard that Mickey is a detective, and he confirms that he's the "real deal," with an online certificate to prove it. She wants him to unmask the Mischievous Marker, the person writing messages all over the school's walls.

Tortilla Sun

Age Level: 9-12

Product Description: When twelve-year-old Izzy discovers a beat-up baseball marked with the words "Becausemagic" while unpacking in yet another new apartment, she is determined to figure out what it means. What secrets does this old ball have to tell? Her mom certainly isn't sharing anyespecially when it comes to Izzy's father, who died before Izzy was born. But when she spends the summer in her Nana's remote New Mexico village, Izzy discovers long-buried secrets that come alive in an enchanted landscape of watermelon mountains, whispering winds, and tortilla suns.

You Don't Have a Clue: Latino Mystery Stories for Teens

Age Level: 14-16

Product Description: The teens featured in these stories deal with situations typical to all young adults, but they also deal with every kind of thrilling situation imaginable, from missing girls to kidnappings and dismembered bodies. There's something for everyone here, with aliens, ghosts, and even an Aztec god making appearances in these stories. Set in schools and communities from New York City to Venice Beach, California, the protagonists reflect the breadth and diversity of the Latino authors included in this innovative collection.