15 Must-Read Mystery Books for 12-Year-Olds | Get Your Detective On!

Mystery books for 12-year-olds in primary school are the ones that are loved by them. One of the most interesting facts is that a child of this age is ready to take on serious things and try role-playing in dress-up. 

Mystery Books for 12-Year-Olds

Mystery books for 9-12 year olds make their dream of big adventures, starring roles, and important jobs. They also get energized by those very stories. Mystery stories are so exciting and empowering, not just for kids of tween age, but even adults feel attracted to them. As in these stories, the clever protagonist pieces together all the clues while taking on something big and bad. 

With stories ranging from stolen paintings to shocking murder mysteries, the stories of the mysterious books and the suspense excite kids to read. Most importantly, reading mystery books is not just for fun; it also helps the kids improve their logical thinking and deductive reasoning.

In today’s time, children are mostly inclined to choose electronic entertainment, which is actually not good for their health, so parents must make their children understand the importance of reading. The best genre for kids to read is mystery books, which are fantastic and offer many benefits. 

List of Good Mystery Books for 12-Year-Olds Includes the Following:

1. Tornado Brain

Tornado Brain

Written by Cat Patrick, Tornado Brain is the story of Frankie, who was a neurodivergent and had only one friend, but not anymore. She had a tough time making friends. The story becomes more interesting when one day, Colette vanishes after an unexpected visit to Frankie’s house. Still, Frankie becomes convinced that her ex-friend has left clues for her to follow and find her. She persuades her sister to help her unravel the clues before finding Colette is too late. 

2. Cream Buns and Crime

Murder Most Unladylike

Written by Robin Stevens, Cream Buns and Crime is the first book in a series of fantastic stories named Murder Most Unladylike. It introduces young readers to Daisy Wells, Hazel Wong, and some schoolgirls who set up their secret detective society. Full of twists and turns, this amazing novel will keep the reader guessing. If your child is searching for a thrilling read with a case to solve, they must go through this book. 

3. Kingston and the Magician’s Lost and Found 

Kingston and the Magician's Lost and Found 

Written by Rucker Moses and Theo Gangi, the book revolves around the story of Kingston’s dad. This magician disappeared into a mirror during a magic show four years ago. Kingston begins a quest to solve the mystery of his missing father after returning to Echo City, Brooklyn, at his dad’s childhood home. Kingston finds a magic box and accidentally opens a portal during all this. He has to scramble to save his father and bring the magic back to Echo City. 

4. Nancy Parker’s Diary of Detection

Nancy Parker's Diary of Detection

Written by Julia Lee, Nancy Parker’s Diary of Detection is the perfect introduction to this wonderful world of crime fiction. Reminiscent of Agatha Christie and told through Nancy’s own diary entries, journal doodles, and some drawings, this is a brilliant middle-grade mystery story with Nancy as the primary and aspiring detective who starts her first job as a housemaid and then discovers that something more serious is required than she had imagined. 

5. The many mysteries of the Finkel Family 

The many mysteries of the Finkel Family 

Written by Sarah Kapit, The Many Mysteries of the Finkel Family is one of the best novels that centres on two autistic sisters and their relationship. Lara thought she would show Caroline the ropes during her middle school years, but Caroline wanted to begin this new chapter of her life in her own unique way. She makes new friends; one of them is the one whom Lara finds questionable, and Caroline doesn’t even want to join Lara’s new detective agency. Lara starts snooping all around and uncovering family secrets, which makes the story too interesting. 

6. A Place Called Perfect 

A Place Called Perfect

Written by Helena Duggan, A Place Called Perfect is the tantalizing tale that consists of everything from the creepiness of Neil Gaiman (the magical world-building of Roald Dahl and Eva Ibbotson) to a Touch of Tim Burton-esque scene-setting. This novel is an amazing combo of something creepy, a little scary, and awfully exciting, so you must not forget to read this novel. 

7. Midnight at the Barclay Hotel

Midnight at the Barclay Hotel

Written by Fleur Bradley and illustrated by Xavier Bonet, Midnight at the Barley Hotel is a funny and spooky mystery story that starts at the Barclay Hotel with an invitation to an all-expenses-paid weekend. This amazing story revolves around JJ, who was thrilled because that hotel was one of the most haunted places in Colorado. He had planned to bring his ghost-hunting gear, but as soon as they got to the hotel, they realized they were smack in the middle of a murder mystery. 

8. The Inquisitor’s Tale: Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

The Inquisitor's Tale - Or, The Three Magical Children and Their Holy Dog

Written by Adam Gidwitz and illustrated by Hatem Aly, “The Inquisitor’s Tale” is a mind-blowing mix of morality tales and puzzling mysteries. In this novel, multiple narrators describe the adventures of several children and their holy dog. Jeanne, Willian, and Jacob, who have a psychic vision, supernatural skills, and healing powers, come together for an adventure that enriches their lives. This incredible journey of adventure makes this novel mysterious and attracts the readers towards it. 

9. The Scourge 

The Scourge 

Written by Jennifer A. Nielsen, The Scourge is a very suspenseful tale by her after her most famous novels, The False Prince and The Mark of the Thief. This novel revolves around the story of Ani, who was captured and tested for a deadly disease; therefore, she was sent to a quarantined colony along with her social opposite. In that quarantined colony, Ani and her cohorts discover the truth about the supposed disease and hatch a plan to expose the government’s deception about it. 

10. The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day 

The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day

Written by Christopher Edge, The Infinite Lives of Maisie Day is a mind-bending story that weaves science into the narrative. The introduction of maths, physics, and the multiverse from KS2 makes this novel unputdownable entertaining. The story revolves around Maisie Day, a child genius trapped between her life with her family and her fight for survival. Here, your child can deeply delve into the alternative reality with twists and cliffhangers. 

11. The Boy in the Tower

The Boy in the Tower

Written by Polly Ho-Yen, “Boy in the Tower” is an amazing novel filled with action, suspense, and a structure-eating plant set in a dystopian world. This novel is guaranteed to keep all its readers engaged. It is the story of a boy who has to find all the answers to survive. Slightly darker in tone, with a story that celebrates the strength of family in the strangest of situations, this amazing book is suitable for 12-year-olds and older. 

12. The door by the staircase

The door by the staircase

Written by Katherine Marsh and illustrated by Kelly Murphy, The Door by the Staircase is a fascinating novelization of the Baba Yaga folk tale. This novel revolves around the story of 12-year-old Mary, who was taken away from her orphanage by the mysterious Madame Z. She finds Madame Z to be full of secrets; therefore, Mary befriends Jacob, who was a magician’s assistant. Both of them learned the real identity of Madame Z and worked together to escape her power; this suspense will keep your tween turning the pages overnight. 

13. The Mighty Odds 

The Mighty Odds 

Written by Amy Ignatow, The Mighty Odds is a story of a bus accident that gives four students—an Amish kid, a bus driver, and a teacher—superpowers that range from invisibility to teleportation. This diverse group of people, along with their superpowers, have to work together to solve the mystery behind the incident that happened during the accident that gave them these powers. 

14. The Golden Mountain Chronicles 

The Golden Mountain Chronicles

Golden Mountain Chronicles, written by Lawrence Yep, is an amazing novel about a young family over many generations and two centuries. Otter has always been in awe of his father and uncle, who worked for railroad companies. When he gets there himself, he finds himself disillusioned by the working conditions, bitter cold, racism, and his uncle’s behavior. 

15. The Blackthorn Keys

The Blackthorn Keys

Written by Kevin Sands, The Blackthorn Keys is a novel of some dark subject matter that is incredibly suspenseful and an action-packed read for both 12-year-olds and even adults. This is the story of Christopher, an orphaned apprentice in London. The mystery lies in the complex puzzle surrounding the murders of apothecaries, which he must solve.

Wrapping Up

As adults love crime and thriller novels, 12-year-olds love this genre (mystery) that goes from strength to strength. Mystery books hold kids’ attention, make them confident, and encourage them to pay attention to every detail, increasing their concentration power and improving their logical reasoning. The books mentioned above are some of the classics and magical mysterious books for 12 year olds that your child must read at least once. 

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