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Literature / A to Z Mysteries
aka: Calendar Mysteries

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A Kid Detective series by Ron Roy about three kids - Josh, Dink and Ruth Rose - who solve mysteries in the town of Green Lawn, Connecticut. Each story has an alliterative title, such as The Canary Caper, The Ninth Nugget, and so on.

After the main series, Ron Roy wrote two shorter Spin-Off series; Super Edition, which follows the kids on more adventures, and Calendar Mysteries, which focuses on their younger siblings and Dink's cousin.


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.
    • Similarly to the above example, Sammi, the victim in Kidnapped King isn't much older than the main trio.
  • Alliterative Name: A few. Some of them are:
    • Donald David Duncan
    • Ruth Rose
    • Lucky O'Leary
    • Wallis Wallace
  • Alliterative Title: Every book in the series has an alliterative title. Some of them are:
    • The Bald Bandit
    • The Canary Caper
    • The Orange Outlaw
    • The School Skeleton
    • White House White-Out
  • 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.
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  • 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.
  • Bitch in Sheep's Clothing: This being a mystery series, seemingly-friendly characters often turn out to be criminals:
    • The Canary Caper: Fred Little
    • The Deadly Dungeon: Ripley Pearce
    • The Falcon's Feathers: Kurt Striker
    • The Goose's Gold: Spike and Chip
    • The Kidnapped King: Joan Klinker
    • The Missing Mummy: Dr. Tweed
    • The Ninth Nugget: Ed Getz
    • The Panda Puzzle: Flip Frances
    • The Runaway Racehorse: Tinker Bunks
    • The Xed-Out X-Ray: "Dr. Fleming"
    • The Yellow Yacht: Dr. Skor
  • 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 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 Sammi, the victim, would have known because he was present for Dink's mispronunciation.
  • 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 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 appears 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 before ultimately stumbling into a plot to kidnap Capital Mysteries main character KC, the president's step-daughter.
  • 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.
  • Exact Words: The Talking T-Rex has this as a minor plot point. Josh overhears Mr. Linkletter asking Jud and Spud how their room is. Room not rooms, meaning it was easy for Spud to borrow the key he needed to commit the crime of the story.
  • 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 as Bribe: Commonly used with Josh.
  • Food End: The Falcon's Feathers ends with an ice cream party for the heroes. It's not the only example in the series as other books such as The Runaway Racehorse end with the characters discussing the case over food but it's one of the bigger examples.
  • 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.
  • My Hair Came Out Green: In The Bald Bandit, Dink dresses as Dracula for Halloween and uses black shoe polish in his hair to complete the look. The combination of the shoe polish with his natural blond hair creates a rust color, prompting a need to go to the local barber where he ends up finding a much needed clue.
  • 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. It manages to be accurate at the end of The Bald Bandit and zigzags before ultimately being subverted in The Lucky Lottery where the main trio manages to find his winning lottery ticket.
  • 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.
  • Never the Obvious Suspect: Sometimes the kids suspect the wrong person:
    • The Falcon's Feathers: Josh is highly suspicious of Grace Lockwood, the veterinarian's sullen new assistant.
    • The Jaguar's Jewel: Dink is suspicious of jeweler Regina Wu when she returns to his uncle's empty office, but she was only retrieving her umbrella.
    • The Runaway Racehorse: The kids think Sunny might be complicit in the horse switch.
    • The Talking T-Rex: Dean looks like the only person with opportunity, but he's a deep enough sleeper that the theft was carried out undetected despite his proximity.
    • The Unwilling Umpire: Pete Unkenholz inverts the trope by falsely confessing to cover for his younger brother, as he had done on at least one previous occasion. In this case, he only thinks his brother is guilty.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Ruth Rose wearing more than one color. Played for Drama in The Canary Caper where she's broken up about her beloved cat having gone missing. Subverted and Played for Laughs in The X-ed Out X-Ray when Josh jokes that they should call the authorities because she's wearing a black and white outfit for the Penguin concert they're going to.
  • Panda-ing to the Audience: In The Panda Puzzle, the three protagonists search for a missing baby panda bear.
  • Punny Name: In The X-ed Out X-Ray, the musical artist Penguin's real name is Penelope Guin.
  • 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
  • Red Herring: Many books involve misleading clues, sometimes deliberately set by the perp and sometimes not:
    • The Kidnapped King: After Sammi is kidnapped, a tassel from his slipper is found by the river and the bait shop owner reports that one of his boats is missing. This all turns out to be misdirection, and Dink's mother becomes suspicious of Joan when she mentions the tassel.
    • The Lucky Lottery: Supermarket clerk Dorothy Calm describes a suspicious man named Joe to the kids, and Josh draws up a sketch of him, but they are later informed that the sketch is of Josh himself, leading them to realize the truth.
    • The Orange Outlaw: Clues suggest the thief climbed up and down the apartment block's balconies, but the kids think that may be a misdirection. Subverted in that the thief did climb the balconies, and the clues were not meant to be taken for misdirection either.
    • The Xed-Out X-Ray: The thief used an alias as part of his plan, leading the kids to look for a nonexistent doctor at the hospital.
    • The Yellow Yacht: A tunnel is found from the side of the aquarium dig site to the bank vault, and in the tunnel is a printout of an email implicating Riko and bank manager Lees Bas. There's also a truck by the wall of the site, consistent with part of the email. While the kids suspect the tunnel to be a decoy, it's actually the email that's misleading.
  • 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.
  • Tears of Fear: KC's reaction to being in the middle of nowhere with no way to get help and being at risk for harm and a hostage situation from the people who kidnapped First Dog Natasha.
  • ¡Three Amigos!: Josh, Dink and Ruth Rose. They're always together.
  • Trail of Bread Crumbs: Sammi leaves a trail of 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 and both The Kidnapped King and White House White-Out feature villains who have no qualms about kidnapping kids the main trio's age.

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.
  • My Instincts Are Showing: Inverted since Hypo the Hypnotist also turns her into a duck.
  • 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.
  • Pet the Dog: Ruth Rose makes up for her part in the first book's "Scooby-Doo" Hoax in December Dog by having gone out of her way to buy the titular dog as a present for Nate.
  • Same Character, but Different: It may or may not be because of who the focus characters are but several characters come off very differently. Nate is shown to be very childish and distractable in the main series but here fills a similar role to Dink while the twins are more focused and less selfish. The main trio on the other hand have come off as very callous and even demonstrate a Big Brother Bully mentality in the pranks they do in the first book, which legitimately scare the younger 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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