Kiddie Pulp, Part II
Portrait of the Detective as a Young Sleuth


Perhaps realizing how popular mysteries are with young readers, a few P.I. writers have jumped on the bandwagon with stories of their grown-up detectives making their way through the world as children and young adults.

Not sure yet if it's a trend, but it's worth keeping an eye on...

  • Chasing the Bear (2009)....Buy this book...Kindle it!
    Featuring Spenser
    Written by Robert B. Parker
    Ages 12 and up
    Parker, who'd already written a few YA novels by this point, dished up this one about a youngSpenser, who as an adult spills the beans about his childhood to Susan. Not everyone was in love with the framing sequence, but the meat of the book is an engaging riff on high school honour, autonomy, friendship and doing the right thing. "If it's not worth fighting about, then it's not worth a lot of mouth."

  • Shelter (2011). Buy this book....Kindle it!
    Seconds Away (2012). Buy this book....Kindle it!
    Featuring Mickey Bolitar and Myron Bolitar
    Written by Harlan Coben
    Ages 12 and up

    Not quite Myron as a kid, this series focusses instead on his high school-age nephew and would-be amateur sleuth Mickey, first introduced in the Myron novel
    Live Wire (2011). In Shelter, the first book in the series, Mickey goes to live with his uncle after his father's death, and must contend with his mother's drug problems, a new high school,a new living arrangement, and a missing girlfriend.

  • The Great Cake Mystery (2012). Buy this book....Kindle it!
    Precious Ramotswe
    Written by Alexander McCall Smith and illustrated by Iian McIntosh
    Ages 7-10
    Billed as "Precious Ramotswe's Very First Case" and sub-titled "A Number 1 Ladies' Detective Agency Book for Young Readers," this beautifully illustrated book seems to be the first in a new series. In it, Precious must crack the case of who stole the yummies from her classroom.



Respectfully compiled by Kevin Burton Smith.

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