Eight marvellous mysteries for budding detectives

Published on: 04 January 2021

We love a good whodunnit - and Double Detectives author Roopa Farooki has eight of her favourite brilliant mysteries to share! Magnifying glasses at the ready...

I loved mystery stories when I was younger and read The Secret Seven, The Famous Five and Harriet The Spy, along with grown-up detective mysteries like Poirot and Miss Marple. I loved the adventure and the intelligence of the heroes and heroines, the risks they took, the clue-hunting, and their fierce tenacity in solving the mystery.

I think that mystery stories are different from other books, as they are almost like a game you play, competing with the protagonist to get there first, so you second guess and solve the mystery. The heroine in a mystery is like the queen on a chess board, she can go anywhere, she has extraordinary powers, and the stakes are high if she gets trapped! 

So these are my favourite mysteries!

Murder Most Unladylike, Robin Stevens

From the first stand-out book in the series, to the bitter (sweet) end, this series has everything I ever wanted as a child, and everything I still love now. Friendship, murder, mayhem and smart girls who break the rules!

Violet and the Mummy Mystery, by Harriet Whitehorn, illustrated by Becka Moor

My daughter is utterly addicted to this series, with eccentric adults, exotic locations and extraordinary adventures for Harriet and her friends.

Agent Zaiba Investigates, Annabelle Sami, illustrated by Daniela Sosa

We love Zaiba and her sprawling family and loyal besties. She's a British Pakistani girl who can rock a shalwar kameez at a wedding while foiling a nefarious plot. 

Anisha Accidental Detective, Serena Patel, illustrated by Emma McCann

You wait ages for a British Asian female-led mystery, and then two come along at once! A kidnap plot leads to mayhem and lots of comic capers. Anisha is laugh out loud funny, and utterly addictive. Blue Peter shortlisted, too!

Mickey and the Animal SpiesIllustration: Becka Moor

Mickey and the Animal Spies, Anne Miller, illustrated by Becka Moor

A properly exciting story, a secret service animal agency, with cryptic clues and code-cracking along the way, that make you part of Mickey's world!

Crongton Knights, Alex Wheatle

There are turf wars on the estates, friendships to forge, stolen images on a phone, and a set of unlikely heroes who are going to find the bad guys and navigate impossible obstacles along the way. Once you read Alex Wheatle's technicolour buzzing prose, everything else feels like it's black and white.

The Girl of Ink and Stars, Kiran Millwood Hargrave

There's a dark mystery at the heart of this African island, and only the cartographer's daughter has the skills and courage to navigate her way there, on a mission to save her best friend.

The Girl of Ink and Stars

The Star Outside My Window, Onjali Q Raúf, illustrated by Pippa Curnick

Warning, this might make you cry! The mystery of where Mum has gone, and where this sister and brother might find her again, takes them on a journey from foster care to London, to the stars. Tough themes, heart breaking and heroic.

Roopa Farooki is an NHS junior doctor, lecturer, and award-winning author listed for the Women's Prize for Fiction three times. 

Roopa's The Double Detectives Medical Mysteries features twins Ali and Tulip, inspired by her own twin girls. She says that doctors, detectives and writers have something in common: they all like to solve mysteries, and work out what makes people tick. Follow her on Twitter.

Topics: Funny, Mystery, Features


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