5 Mystery Novels For Adolescents

1. The Murder of Roger Ackroyd

Author: Agatha Christie

The Murder of Roger Ackroyd is a story that starts before the murder of Roger Ackroyd and the death of Mrs. Ferrars a prominent woman in town. News of the death is reported to Caroline James Sheppard, the physician. To investigate the murder, Poirot is called upon. Roger Ackroyd is a person with an intriguing past and a wealthy widow, Mrs. Ferrars was being courted by him. She had died recently in a suspected suicide by overdose. Poirt has to delve deep in the surrounding circumstances of the demise of Mrs.Ferrars.

2. The Thirty-Nine Steps

Author: John Buchan

The Thirty-Nine Steps is a story about a mining engineer, Richard Hannay. After visiting South Africa he makes a modest fortune and returns to England. He meets a lot of English people but feels their actions and conversations very boring. Hence he makes a decision to go back to South Africa when a series of strange events happen. He unlocks the door of his flat one day and is startled when another tenant of the building named Franklin Scudder, who fakes that he is dead, suddenly appears before him. Scudder is extremely frightened and keeps begging of Richard Hannay to provide refuge in his flat. Richard feels sorry and does let him into his flat. In the same building there is another suicide committed and four days later Scudder is found dead by Richard, with a knife through his heart. He fears that he will be held responsible and decides to hide himself. At the same time he feels it is his duty to take up Scudder’s cause.  

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3.  Dance Hall of the Dead

Author: Tony Hillerman

Dance Hall of the Dead is a detective story. A native American Zuni boy is murdered and Joe Leaphorn, the detective, is in search of the murderer. His quest is saving one character of the story from retaliation. George Bowlegs is found missing. The detective visits the surroundings of the boy’s home, after which he also visits a hippie commune and an archaeological site. Leaphorn understands how importance of accuracy, especially about the murderer of the young boy. While tracking for the murderer he finds that George Bowles is innocent and begins to defend him instead. The detective learns that that every character involved in the investigation process is much more important than finding a solution to the case.

4.  The First Deadly Sin

Author: Lawrence Sanders

The First Deadly Sin is about a serial killer who has been stalking New York City. A NYPD detective, Inspector Edward X. Delaney who is almost going to retire is solving the case. He also has a wife who is gravely ill. Even in such a situation he tries to handle with the case of the axe murderer who keeps striking people at random. The case is about finding whether the victims are linked and about the significance of the brutal methods used for causing death.

5. The secret Agent

Author: Joseph Conrad

The Secret Agent is the story set in 1886 about the pressures, misunderstandings and missed chances that can make even the most ordinary people do savage and extreme things. A down-at-heel shop owner Adolf Verloc is into bungling exploits. He sells radical political tracts, soft pornography etc in London’s Soho’s backstreets. He looks after his wife, mother-in-law and Stevie the mentally handicapped brother of his wife. Verloc is a secret agent for a Slavic foreign power and an anarchist cell member. He is called by the embassy of the foreign power suddenly so as to prove his own usefulness.

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The embassy is turmoil because of a shake-up in the administration section. At the Greenwich Observatory he has to detonate a bomb or else he would lose the honorarium and position by which has got the existence of his family subsidized secretly. He resists the idea initially and lives a double life. Fate is not in his favor and is brother in law overhears the bloody rhetoric of the anarchists and becomes stoked with strong emotions. He is found dead in the explosion and Winne, Verloc’s wife blames him for her brother’s death. Finally she stabs Verloc to death. She flees with an anarchist cell member, Comrade Ossipon who later abandons her.

Later, news is reported in a daily newspaper about a lady passenger who has thrown herself from a cross channel ferry.