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.

Tropes used in A to Z Mysteries include:

  • Actually Not a Vampire: Dr. A. Cula (aka Jimmy Jett) in The Vampire's Vacation.
  • Alliteration: Every book in the series has an alliterative title.
  • April Fool's 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 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.
    • 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.
  • Cowboy Episode: The Ninth Nugget takes place on a dude ranch.
  • Crossover: 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.
  • 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.
  • Pandaing 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.
  • 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.
  • Three 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:

  • 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.
  • Lottery Ticket: In the first book Nate says he sent postcards to Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose telling them they had won a million dollars in a contest.
  • 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.
  • Valentines Day Episode: February Friend.