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Literature / Teen Power Inc.

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Teen Power Inc., also known as Raven Hill Mysteries is a kids crime series created by Emily Rodda of Deltora Quest fame.

The books follow a group of six broke teenagers who team up to earn money taking local, part-time jobs as a group. These jobs inevitably plunge the teens in the midst of crimes or adventures, and in some ways it is a modern Australian successor to The Famous Five.

The series, originally published in the mid-90s, has been reprinted as Raven Hill Mysteries.


This series provides examples of:

  • Adventure Towns: The teens seemingly cannot go anywhere without having a new adventure.
  • All Asians Know Martial Arts: Sunny is the only Asian main character. She's an expert at tae-kwon-do. To be fair, this is portrayed as a result of her being the sporty one of the group, and her love of jogging, acrobatics and other athletic pursuits is emphasised (often moreso).
  • Amateur Sleuth: All six kids.
  • Beauty, Brains, and Brawn: Of the three girls, Richelle is the beauty, Liz is the brains and Sunny is the brawn. Clouded slightly in the sense that sometimes Sunny is the brains, in terms of being the most level-headed and difficult to manipulate or distract.
  • Big Eater: Tom.
  • Big Sister Bully: Richelle's older sister Tiffany is constantly unkind and insulting towards her.
  • Birds of a Feather: Most obvious with Nick and Richelle. Liz and Elmo may also qualify.
  • Advertisement:
  • Bookworm: Elmo.
  • Bound and Gagged: Happens many times to the Kid Detectives.
  • The Bus Came Back: The Wolf, a criminal first featured in #6 Beware of the Gingerbread House makes a reappearance in #30 Dead End.
  • …But He Sounds Handsome: In Poison Pen, Elmo correctly insists that anonymous gossip columnist The Eye isn't behind a series of poison pen letters, arguing that The Eye's articles are clever, non-malicious, and entirely unlike the letter writer. The last two pages reveal that Elmo is The Eye.
  • The Case Of: #16 The Case of Crazy Claude.
  • The Chick: Richelle, oh so much.
  • Clear My Name: In #30 Dead End, The Wolf hires six Teen Power lookalikes to frame the gang for causing trouble. This of course leads to the real gang getting to the bottom of it in order to clear their names.
  • Crazy-Prepared: In "Beware the Gingerbread House," Mrs. Crumb, an accomplice of ruthless crimelord Sidney "The Wolf" Wolfe, has spent years keeping a bag of charred bones in her closet to fake her death in an explosion if she ever fails him.
  • Dead Pan Snarker: Nick occasionally.
  • Dumb Blonde: Richelle, at least in the books not told from her POV. When the reader gets to see inside Richelle's head, it becomes clear that she actually is quite intelligent.
  • Five-Man Band:
    • The Hero: Liz
    • The Lancer: Nick or Tom, depending on the story.
    • The Smart Guy: Elmo or Nick, depending on the story. Elmo takes this role when local or bookworm knowledge is required, Nick takes this role when financial knowledge is needed.
    • The Big Guy: Sunny
    • The Chick: Richelle or Tom, depending on the story. At least, sometimes it's Richelle and Tom.
  • Free-Range Children: The more common free range teens.
  • Gender-Equal Ensemble: Three boys and three girls.
  • Genius Bruiser: Sunny is a fit, athletic gymnast and Tae Kwon Do expert who is also good at spotting clues and coming up with strategies to trick or escape dangerous criminals.
  • Granola Girl: Liz is a mild example.
  • Hollywood Heart Attack: In the final book The Wolf is mentioned as complaining about stomach pains, then, after seeing his plans foiled, turns red, clutches at his chest, and dies off-screen.
  • It's All About Me: Richelle sometimes makes her self-interest rather obvious.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Tom as the Innocently Insensitive to the lesser extent. Richelle, the vainful and selfish girl and Nick, the arrogant guy who's Only in It for the Money but nevertheless decent people if things comes under fire for Teen Power Inc and anyone.
  • Kid Detective: Six teen detectives.
  • Kid Hero: Obviously.
  • Little Miss Badass: Sunny is a black belt in tae-kwon-do, which often is the first thing the other characters think of when their lives are threatened. However, she hardly ever uses this.
  • Mailman vs. Dog: Zigzagged in "The Bad Dog Mystery." Jock (the eponymous dog) got along great with the previous mailman (who'd throw letters for him to catch) but constantly chases the new mailman, because the new mailman is a burglar who hurt Jock's owner.
  • Mystery Fiction
  • Nice Guy: Liz, Elmo, Sunny and even Tom when he's not prone to be ing insensitive are the most nicest and sensitive members of Teen Power Inc.
  • No Sympathy: In "Beware the Gingerbread House," Richelle has no problem with watching Mrs. Crumb force Darren and Nutley to eat the food they'd put bugs in to try and discredit the gang and would have let innocent customers eat.
  • Only Sane Man: Sometimes Sunny can take this role, mostly because she can't be manipulated or tricked easily. Nick thinks he's this.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Tom can fall into this.
  • Plucky Girl: Liz and Sunny.
  • Police Are Useless: Not anywhere near as bad as The Famous Five, but the six kids help out an awful lot more than you'd hope would be necessary with an efficient, local police force.
  • The Quiet One: Sunny.
  • Sad Clown: Frankie from "Dirty Tricks" is a literal example: a kind, cheerful former circus clown who secretly feels miserably and oppressed because of Height Angst and how he Never Learned to Read.
  • Shouldn't We Be in School Right Now?: Handily averted, as the gang are formed primarily for making extra money during the school holidays.
  • Sixth Ranger: Elmo wasn't a member of the gang in the first book.
  • Spanner in the Works: In "Nowhere to Run", a band of poachers only have to worry about witnesses because of an incompetent camping trip chaperone taking a school class down the wrong trail, refusing to turn back for a long time, and then getting most of them sick with bad food.
  • Spoiled Brat: Richelle and Nick.
  • Suspicious Spending:
    • In The Sorcerer's Apprentice, as a mugger terrorizes Raven Hill, Tom gets a job working for magic shop owner Sid Foy. Sid's shop has few customers, and what money he has made recently (along with the rent from an apartment above his store) is lost in one of the muggings. Yet, less than a week later, Sid can afford to bring in lots of new stock (such as expensive computer games) to attract younger customers.  Sid is innocent, and the money is from a bank loan.
    • In The Secret of Banyan Bay, one inhabitant of a town plagued by smuggling is a painter with a fancy house and tacky (yet expensive) designer items, even though her paintings don't sell very well. The painter is the creator of the designer items but feels embarrassed about this.
  • Switching P.O.V.: The series rotates the role of narrator among the six members of the core cast.
  • The Team: Teen Power, obviously.
  • Team Mom: Liz.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Sunny and Richelle respectively.