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Best detective stories for KS1 kids

Best detective stories for KS1 kids
Get your magnifying glass out and your thinking cap on: our selection of the best detective stories and books for KS1 kids will keep you guessing until the very last page! Packed with illustrations and plot twists, this selection of sleuth reads is perfect for newly confident readers.
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Mita Mistry Investigates: The Case of the Disgusting School Dinners by Angie Lake

Mita Mistry Investigates: The Case of the Disgusting School Dinners by Angie Lake

(£6.99, Sweet Cherry Publishing)

Packed with comic-style illustrations, the Mina Mistry Investigates series introduces newly confident readers to the super-cool world of sleuthing. Perfect for fans of Dork Diaries!

Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus

Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus

(£4.55, Aladdin)

The first in the Great Mouse Detective series, perfect for newly independent readers. Basil, famous investigator of mousedom, learned his craft living in Sherlock Holmes' cellar. Crumbs of clues are all he needs to solve his cases!

Encyclopedia Brown Boy Detective by Donald Sobol

Encyclopedia Brown Boy Detective by Donald Sobol

(£3.76, Puffin Books)

A collection of short stories for the reader to puzzle over, Encyclopedia Brown books come with solutions so you can compete with the boy detective to find clues, uncover secrets and explain each mystery.

The Cooking Club Detectives by Ewa Jozefkowicz

The Cooking Club Detectives by Ewa Jozefkowicz

(£7.99, Zephyr)

Meet Erin, her friends and their four-legged assistant, Sausage, as they swap recipes and pots for clues and culprits and try to solve the mystery of why their community centre cookery club is closing and try to save it for everyone. 

DNA Detectives: To Catch a Thief by Amanda Hartley

DNA Detectives: To Catch a Thief by Amanda Hartley

(£6.99, SJH Group)

Annabelle and Harry's dog has gone missing, but with some help from their scientist mum, the pair turn DNA detectives and use forensic science to get her back! A "whodunnit" with added science learning.

Emil And The Detectives by Erich Kästner

Emil And The Detectives by Erich Kästner

(£5.99, Red Fox)

Join Emil Tischbein on an enthralling adventure through 1920s Berlin as he teams up with a gang of child detectives to retrieve money that's been stolen from him. A classic story that's perfect to read aloud as a family.

Precious and the Monkeys by Alexander McCall Smith

Precious and the Monkeys by Alexander McCall Smith

(£3.85, Polygon)

If you are a Number One Ladies Detective Agency fan, don't miss these children's stories about Precious Ramotswe's life as an eight-year-old solving mysteries. We love the gorgeous illustrations, too.

Rory Branagan (Detective) by Andrew Clover

Rory Branagan (Detective) by Andrew Clover

(£6.99, HarperCollins Children's Books)

Rory Branagan: the best detective in town if you're deciphering clues involving cats, wheelie bins and head teachers. A fast and funny comedy-crime series for children aged 8+, with black and white illustrations on every page.

Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: The Missing Masterpiece by Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton

Shifty McGifty and Slippery Sam: The Missing Masterpiece by Tracey Corderoy and Steven Lenton

(£6.99, Nosy Crow)

Great rhymes, great characters and great mysteries: the Shifty and Sam picture books are packed with fantastic illustrations and adult in-jokes. Perfect for bedtime reading.

The Falcon's Malteser by Anthony Horowitz

The Falcon's Malteser by Anthony Horowitz

(£6.99, Walker Books)

By the author of the best-selling Alex Rider secret agent series, the books about the Diamond Brothers (the world's worst private detectives) are wonderfully witty and great fun (even if you're rather older than the target age range!).

The Secret Seven: Book 1 by Enid Blyton

The Secret Seven: Book 1 by Enid Blyton

(£6.99, Hodder Children's Books)

Enid Blyton's much-loved detective club introduced generations of adults to the delights of mystery stories. New editions of the 15 original titles are illustrated by Tony Ross and come with bonus puzzles and quizzes; new additions to the series, written by award-winning author Pamela Butchart, are also available.

A Sticky Situation (The Trapdoor Mysteries) by Abie Longstaff

A Sticky Situation (The Trapdoor Mysteries) by Abie Longstaff

(£6.99, Little Brown)

In The Trapdoor Mysteries series Tally, a code-breaking Victorian servant girl, and her best friend, Squill the squirrel, solve mysteries with the help of a secret library. Lots of illustrations make the books perfect for newly independent readers who will love solving codes alongside the characters.

Anisha, Accidental Detective by Serena Patel

Anisha, Accidental Detective by Serena Patel

(£6.99, Usborne Publishing)

It's the day before Aunty Bindi's wedding when Anisha receives a ransom note for her soon-to-be-Uncle Tony. Can she and her best friend Milo rescue him in time for the ceremony and avert panic central before her super-dramatic family find out what's going on? Time for Birmingham's accidental detective to save the day! There are more titles in the Anisha Patel series if your child enjoys the first book.

Legend of the Star Runner by J I Wagner

Legend of the Star Runner by J I Wagner

(£9.99, Freshabooks)

A "solve it yourself" mystery for kids, this adventure book is divided into 31 concise chapters, each of which ends with a puzzle to be solved by decoding the visual clues hidden in the full-colour illustration. Timmi Tobbson and his friends are racing to unravel family secrets and save a dear friend, but they only have twenty-four hours to solve the case of a long-lost pirate ship, buried somewhere deep beneath the city streets.

Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone by Hiro Kamigaki

Pierre the Maze Detective: The Search for the Stolen Maze Stone by Hiro Kamigaki

(£14.99, Laurence King Publishing)

The clues in the Pierre the Maze Detective books are in the form of intricate, magical mazes, not words. Trace your way through underground cities, hot-air balloons, tree-top towns and haunted houses to solve challenges and help Pierre stop his nemesis Mr X before it's too late! Hours of puzzle fun, guaranteed.