Literature: A-to-Z Mysteries

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.
  • 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 Eater: Josh Pinto.
  • Bland-Name Product: From The Unwilling Umpire, we have 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.
  • Cross Over: Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose meet the kids in the Capital Mysteries in White House White-Out.
  • 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.
  • 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: Sammi 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.

Calendar Mysteries contains examples of:

  • 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 attack 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 Lucy Armstrong (Dink's cousin).
  • Theme Twin Naming: Brian and Bradley.
  • Valentine's Day Episode: February Friend.

Alternative Title(s):

Calendar Mysteries