Category Archives: Mystery

365M: Images from an Adventure

My brother and I remember a book from our childhood (the 90’s) which was picture-book sized but felt more like a preteen/YA type novel. It was an adventure / mystery story, and we both only remember images from the book. We are hoping that you can help us out.

We remember:- a picture of people on a rope bridge being attacked by arrows (? we think it was arrows?)- a picture of a girl sticking her arm in a fire while onlookers watch (it was some sort of test)- picture of an idol with green skin and a horn through its nose- picture of two people being ties to a rock with evil looking horsemen appearing from a sandy background- picture of a seaplane landing on water- [potentially someone (resembling an Aztec or Mayan leader?) taking the heart of another person– we are not sure if this is from the same book, so this is the only image we cannot commit to]

364W: Not Bath Salt, but Crack

This book is set on some sort of island/plantation. Written in 80s or 90s. Young woman goes there and discovers a mystery which in the end turns out to be an underground crack or meth manufacturing ring operating in the area. At one point she sees her cat playing with a crack rock but she believes it is a bath salt at the time.

363Y: Mystery about disappeared businessman found in a circus (Solved!)

This is a mystery I read in the past several years, set in London, about a tall man who worked in the City, left for work, seen by a tradesman in the block by his house, never reached the end of the block. Years later, the ?main character, a younger man or maybe a detective, found him in a circus in Europe. The younger man may have been a relative. It turned out the tall man was very athletic and had bounded over a high brick wall around an estate in his block to live with a woman who collected snakes. They left for France and owned the circus, I think. I thought it might have been a Sayers or Allingham mystery, but the descriptions of each of their books doesn’t sound like it could have been.

363U: China Doll Buried in Earth Years Ago (Solved!)

I am not sure where to start. First of all, I think it was one of those books where a little girl is sent to a relative for the summer. This book would be from the 1980’s at the earliest. Not sure on that. But during the time she is wherever she is – and it IS in the country – she finds out about a doll that’s been lost for a long time. It’s a china doll and I am pretty sure there’s a silver or pewter tea set. Again, not positive, but I think the doll was buried to protect her from something real or imaginary. Somewhere in the story there was a bunny salad bowl with a hole in one of the bunny legs. A map or directions of some kind were wadded up in that hole. I am nearly sure it was a Scholastic book.

I think it was something about the British coming and the little girl was worried about her doll. Then years later this little girl comes along and hears the story and tries to find the doll. It could be as much difference as 80+ years later. The mystery was solved a great many years after the doll was buried. Her cloth body was gone, it was just her china parts. And the bowl with the bunnies decorating it was important to the mystery. It might have been a bunny platter or big plate instead of bowl, but there was a hole in a rabbit’s leg and the map was wadded up in it.

There is no magic or otherworldly parts to this book. I THINK the little girl learns about the doll through either an old letter or a diary she reads. I THINK the doll doesn’t get found for a long time because the girl that buried her years ago moved.  I really wish I could remember more. Its a chapter book and was probably for tweens, so we are looking for a paperback. Although it could have come in a hardback. But its not a picture book.

363Q: St Patrick’s Day Nocturnal Mystery

I hope that you can help me find a book that one of my former students is looking for! I taught her in 6th-8th grade in 2015-17 I believe. She messaged me on Instagram asking if I could help her figure out the title of a book she had borrowed from my bookshelf back then but I am coming up with no leads. Here is what she remembers: The main character is a girl who wakes up every morning at 3:17 am then goes back to sleep. (Not a time loop). She realizes at the end that it has to do with St. Patrick’s Day, between the time, and there are also St. Patrick’s Day treats and a party. My student thinks there is a paranormal mystery vibe and that the book ends on a cliffhanger. I’m going batty trying to figure this out.

363C: Mystery by Italian Psychologist

The book I’m trying to find was a mystery written by an Italian Psychologist. I believe he wrote three books, all mysteries with different modes of transportation as the setting (an airplane, a train, and a ship.) The book I’m looking for was the mystery on an airplane. The murder occurred during the flight and the killer was exposed during the end of the flight. The author being a psychologist introduced some of his psychological theories into the story and I believe that this was the purpose of the three books – to explain his theories.

The book was probably written prior to the 1960’s but after the 1920’s. The title was short. I’m not sure if all the books were translated into the English language.

I enjoyed the story and wish I wouldn’t have sold my copy (it was a nice English first edition.) If you need more details, I’ll try to recall what I can. Thank You and good luck.

362I: Kids Solve Location of Missing Treasure

I am trying to locate a book that I read many times in the late 1970s. (I was in late elementary school.) I probably ordered the book through school and the Scholastic Reader book order program.
The book was a mystery that took place in the west (maybe Arizona?) and the kids solved it when at a certain time of day or year shadows appeared and marked an “x” where the treasure or the entrance to the treasure was located. I seem to recall the words “canyon” “shadow” or “gold” were in the title. It was a paperback with a blue cover and gold writing. It wasn’t a series or Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys.

362H: Friends in College in England Mystery Book

In about 2006 I read and very much enjoyed a book about a group of friends at university in England (Oxford? Cambridge? Not sure). I remember a lot about the book but cannot remember the author or title. I’ve been scouring the internet which is where I found you. Please help!

There are four main characters: Brother, Sister (possibly named Maggie), Sister’s boyfriend (these three are British), and one American girl.

The book starts with the American character planning for a party to which Brother is invited. The American character is pregnant. The other characters are not invited. The rest of the book is the backstory about what happened between these four people at university.

The Sister and American girl meet at university. The American girl thinks the sister is really cool. The Brother really likes the American girl, but it’s unrequited. She has a strained relationship with her family including a family member who calls and reports her so that she gets strip searched by the airport security agents on her way back to the states for Christmas (or something like that). The security agent that searches her makes a comment about her breasts looking like fried eggs.

Somehow the Sister dies. Car accident?

The Brother despises the Sister’s boyfriend. And years later when sister’s boyfriend appears on some type of reality show where the citizens of England can call in and vote for their favorite contestant, he spends his entire lunch break every day calling in to vote for the opponent so he doesn’t win the reality show.

Brother and American girl see each other at the party. He has a terrible new haircut and it’s awkward seeing each other because of all the history between them including sister’s death.

Ok – please help me get this out of my brain! Thank you in advance!