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Literature / A-to-Z Mysteries

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A Kid Detective series by Ron Roy about three kids - Josh, Dink and Ruth Rose - who solve mysteries in their town of Green Lawn. Each story has an alliterative title, such as The Canary Caper, The Ninth Nugget, and so on. After the first twenty-six books, Ron Roy wrote two shorter spin-off series, Super Edition and Calendar Mysteries.


A to Z Mysteries contains examples of:

  • Actually Not a Vampire: Dr. A. Cula (aka Jimmy Jett) in The Vampire's Vacation.
  • Adult Fear: It's somewhat unnerving how often the main trio gets locked in locations by the crooks and were they not able to escape, probably wouldn't be found for hours.
    • A more specific example occurs in White House White-Out; the main trio teams up with the President's stepdaughter to rescue the kidnapped First Dog. After they end up stranded in the snow, Dink works out that the stepdaughter was the intended target.
  • Added Alliterative Appeal: Every book in the series has an alliterative title.
  • April Fools' Plot: The School Skeleton.
  • Author Avatar: Wallis Wallace, the famous author of a series of alliterative-titled mystery books. Ron Roy's first name is actually Wallace.
  • Bald of Evil: The title character in The Bald Bandit, who steals from a bank.
  • Big Applesauce: The Orange Outlaw has the three main kids visit Dink's Uncle in New York City.
  • Big Brother Instinct: In The Unwilling Umpire, the titular umpire implicates himself in the theft of the story because he thinks his little brother did it. It turns out this isn't the first time he's done it either.
  • Big Eater: Josh Pinto.
  • Bland-Name Product: From The Unwilling Umpire, we have YuBuy.com an auction site similar to eBay.
  • Book Ends: The Runaway Racehorse starts with Josh dripping some ketchup on his shirt from eating french fries and ends with him dripping ketchup on his shirt from eating a hamburger.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Dink in The Deadly Dungeon has a nightmare and then "bolt[s] upright in his bed," and has similar catapult nightmares on other occasions.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In The Jaguar's Jewel, Dink looks at the case holding the titular jaguar while Ruth Rose feeds the fish, and Josh notices a letter opener. The kids solve the crime by finding the jewel in the fish tank and examine security footage to note when the letter opener changed directions.
    • Chekhov's Classroom: Dink learns some French in The Kidnapped King and mispronounces jaune, the French word for yellow, as Joan, the name of the tutor. Using this knowledge, he later finds out that Joan is the kidnapper by connecting the trail of yellow glass pieces to this information which Sami, the victim, would have known because he was present for Dink's mispronunciation.
    • Chekhov's Skill: In The Bald Bandit, Ruth Rose's ability to scream really loudly comes in handy when the Bald Bandit tries to kidnap her.
  • Christmas Episode: Super Edition 3: White House White-Out.
  • Cool Old Lady: Gram Hathaway, Ruth Rose's grandmother, who first appeared in The Goose's Gold.
  • Cowboy Episode: The Ninth Nugget takes place on a dude ranch.
  • Counterfeit Cash: The three main kids find a whole stash of this in The Invisible Island.
  • Crossover: Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose meet the kids in the Capital Mysteries in White House White-Out and end up teaming up with them to rescue the kidnapped First Dog.
  • Double Meaning Title: The Orange Outlaw has the meanings "the outlaw that has orange hair" and "the outlaw who stole oranges". The outlaw is a trained monkey who steals a painting and leaves a big mess of orange peels because of its enormous appetite.
  • Everytown, America: Green Lawn, Connecticut.
  • Faked Kidnapping: The Absent Author revolves around the kidnapping of the eponymous mystery author. Turns out the whole thing was a hoax in order for the author to investigate how real kids solve mysteries.
  • Food End: The Falcon's Feathers ends with an ice cream party for the heroes.
  • Friend on the Force: Officer Fallon.
  • Full Name Ultimatum: The introduction to the first book says Dink's mom calls him Donald David Duncan when she's upset.
  • Kid Detective: The protagonists, as this is part of the premise.
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: At the end of The Lucky Lottery, the three main kids confront their prime suspect over a stolen lottery ticket.
    Ruth Rose: And your fingerprints are on the mantel where you stole the Christmas card!
    Dot Calm: You're crazy, kid. I was wearing glov...
  • Ironic Nickname: Lucky O'Leary, so called because he's so unlucky.
  • The Meddling Kids Are Useless: The Canary Caper revolves around a series of pet kidnappings ultimately solved by the police. Even when the three main kids discover a pattern in the kidnappings, Officer Fallon says they already made the connection. The kids hide outside the thief's next victim, but the police show up before they can even catch the petnapper.
  • Panda-ing to the Audience: In The Panda Puzzle, the three protagonists search for a missing baby panda bear.
  • Real Life Writes the Plot: Partial example. When Ron Roy visited the White House during the Christmas season, he watched the hubbub of the festive preparations and remarked that it seemed that the Christmas season would be the perfect time to steal something from the White House since everyone is so busy that it would take a while for anyone to notice. The plot of White House White-Out revolves around a plot to kidnap the First Dog with the real target being the president's stepdaughter
  • Repetitive Name: Wallis Wallace.
  • Samus Is a Girl: In the first The Absent Author, our detectives try to get reclusive mystery author Wallis Wallace to show up. Wallis doesn't show up, but the gang finds him kidnapped... then realizes Wallis is really tourist Mavis Green, and the kidnapped man is her brother, Walker.
  • Scooby-Doo Hoax: The Zombie Zone.
  • Shout-Out:
    • During The Runaway Racehorse, Ruth Rose reads The Black Stallion.
    • Josh has a dream in The Goose's Gold that anything he touches turns into chocolate like in ''The Chocolate Touch'.
  • Surveillance Station Slacker: In The Jaguar's Jewel, Dink's uncle forgets that his office has a security system even when a thief steals the titular jewel from his office. Leaving it up to our three heroes to find the video and decipher the clues.
  • íThree Amigos!: Josh, Dink and Ruth Rose. They're always together.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: Sami leaves one with kaleidoscope pieces when he's kidnapped in The Kidnapped King. Thankfully Pal can smell them out.
  • Uncatty Resemblance: Grace Lockwood from The Falcon's Feathers looks very much like a falcon when she reads an issue of Falconry Today in a picture at the end of Chapter 5.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Many of the crooks are all too happy to threaten the main trio.

Calendar Mysteries contains examples of:

  • Christmas Episode: The December issue, which mostly takes place on Christmas Eve and ends on Christmas.
  • Deathbringer the Adorable: The kids call the new neighbors' dog "Killer" because she looks big and fearsome. When it "attacks" Bradley they learn that its name is actually Daisy and that it really doesn't want to hurt anyone.
  • Didn't Think This Through: Nate comes up with a plan to recover some of their stuff that has fallen into the hands of their new neighbors. Bradley points out that if they were to use the ladder it would be stuck in the neighbors' yard. Nate responds that they'll figure it out later. In the end the ladder is left in the neighbors' yard.
  • Eating Pet Food: In December Dog, the kids get a present which appears to be dog-shaped cookies. After Brian takes a bite out of one, he discovers they're actually doggy treats.
  • Halloween Episode: The October issue.
  • Hypno Fool: Invoked in a prank Mrs. Pinto pulls on her sons in May Magic. When she gets hypnotized to believe she likes ducks, she starts acting like she is a duck.
  • Identical Twin ID Tag: Out of Brian and Bradley, Brian is the twin missing a tooth.
  • Malevolent Masked Men: The titular "thieves" of New Year's Eve Thieves wear a ski mask and a bandanna. The kids are led to believe that they are Blatant Burglars though they turn out to be Lucy's parents just messing with them.
  • Misunderstood Loner with a Heart of Gold: The twins get new neighbors with a menacing dog. They start working on a mysterious project which the kids decide to investigate. Turns out the project is a Thanksgiving surprise for their grandchildren and "Killer" is actually a real nice dog.
  • New Year Has Come: The thirteenth book, New Year's Eve Thieves.
  • Outlaw Couple: Subverted in New Year's Eve Thieves as the kids think two strangers walking around town are Blatant Burglars but it turns out ti be Lucy's parents visiting from Arizona who apparently think it's funny to troll the main kids.
  • Scooby-Doo Hoax: Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose pull one on the four main kids to convince them that aliens have invaded Green Lawn.
  • Spin-Offspring: The series follows the adventures of Bradley and Brian Pinto (Josh's younger brothers), Nate Hathaway (Bradley's friend and Ruth Rose's little brother), and Lucy Armstrong (Dink's cousin).
  • Theme Twin Naming: Brian and Bradley.
  • Title Drop: Mr. Linkletter drops the title of the 13th book, telling the kids that an elderly couple "would be amused to know that you suspected them of being New Year's Eve thieves!".
  • Valentine's Day Episode: February Friend.

Alternative Title(s): Calendar Mysteries

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