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Sammy Keyes Series

Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy Keyes and the Hotel Thief by Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy Keyes and the Killer Cruise by Wendelin Van Draanen
Sammy Keyes and the Kiss Goodbye by Wendelin Van Draanen

Sammy Keyes Series : Titles in Order

Book 18
The final mystery starring Sammy Keyes: “the most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)” —Midwest Children’s Book Review
 
Sammy doesn’t go looking for trouble, but she seems to find it everywhere. She’s forever sniffing out clues and chasing down bad guys—and driving her friends a little nuts. She’s gone up against thieves and counterfeiters and gangsters and blackmailers and murderers, and always stayed one step ahead.
 
Until now.
 
Last night, one of the bad guys caught up.
 
Last night, someone followed Sammy up the fire escape and pushed her from the third story.
 
Now she’s in the hospital, out cold. And her friends are left with the questions Sammy’s always been so good at answering: Why? How? But most of all . . . WHO?
 
In this emotional conclusion to her beloved long-running series, Wendelin Van Draanen shows just how many lives one nosy girl can touch and pays tribute to a life well sleuthed.
 
Praise for Sammy Keyes:
“If Kinsey Millhone ever hires a junior partner, Sammy Keyes will be the first candidate on the list. She’s feisty, fearless, and funny. A top-notch investigator!” —Sue Grafton
 
“Sammy’s brave, resourceful, observant and a loyal friend, but this girl sleuth is no well-mannered Nancy Drew. She’s endearingly hot-tempered, nosy, and not always obedient—in short, she’s someone I want to read about again.” —Margaret Maron
Book 17
“The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)” —Midwest Children’s Book Review

Sammy knew that getting to know her new rockstar dad on a cruise would be a little uncomfortable. . . . But when the heiress to a perfume empire disappears from the ship, it turns out everyone’s in for a rocky ride.

In this penultimate book in the Sammy Keyes mystery series, Wendelin Van Draanen pays homage to the mystery genre. This book is a classic locked-room whodunnit—Sammy Keyes style.

The Sammy Keyes mysteries are fast-paced, funny, thoroughly modern, and true whodunits. Each mystery is exciting and dramatic, but it’s the drama in Sammy’s personal life that keeps readers coming back to see what happens next with her love interest Casey, her soap-star mother, and her mysterious father.
Book 16
“The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)” —Midwest Children’s Book Review

In this pivotal book in the Sammy Keyes series, Sammy tackles the persistent mysteries of her own life. Mysteries like: Who is her father? And why has her mother kept it such a secret? How long can she manage to hide out in Grams’ seniors-only building before someone catches on? Is her mother really planning to marry her boyfriend’s father? (Ew.) And why, why is Heather Acosta so nasty?

During one crazy weekend in Las Vegas, with the help of an entire army of Elvis impersonators, Sammy finally gets some answers. But of course knowledge comes at a price—and solving the mysteries of her own life will cost Sammy more than she ever meant to pay. . . .

The Sammy Keyes mysteries are fast-paced, funny, thoroughly modern, and true whodunits. Each mystery is exciting and dramatic, but it’s the drama in Sammy’s personal life that keeps readers coming back to see what happens next with her love interest Casey, her soap-star mother, and her mysterious father.
Book 15
“The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)” —Midwest Children’s Book Review

Sammy thought she’d seen all the weirdness her town had to offer—and then she met Justice Jack, Santa Martina’s very own superhero. Well, really he’s just a guy in spandex and a mask who rides around town on a dirt bike, hoping to find some crime to fight.

The old folks in town think he’s wonderful. So wonderful that they’ve asked him to track down Sammy’s neighbor Mrs. Wedgewood, who seems to have disappeared—along with a lot of other people’s cash. Sammy’s friends think Justice Jack is funny and cool. Billy Pratt’s even auditioning to be his sidekick! But Sammy thinks he’s kind of . . . lame. He’s more of a showstopper than a crime stopper. And when a real mystery comes along, Sammy finds herself right in the middle of it. . . .

The Sammy Keyes mysteries are fast-paced, funny, thoroughly modern, and true whodunits. Each mystery is exciting and dramatic, but it’s the drama in Sammy’s personal life that keeps readers coming back to see what happens next with her love interest Casey, her soap-star mother, and her mysterious father.
Book 14
“The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)” —Midwest Children’s Book Review

After being chased by a man wielding a shovel, scared silly by a mummy, and attacked by Heather Acosta, Sammy and her pals decide they’ve had their fill of monsters and head home to eat some candy. But along with bubble gum and chocolate bars, they discover something frightening in their trick-or-treating bags. Something that’s definitely not sweet!

Before they know it, Sammy and her friends are following suspicious gravediggers, ghoulish embalmers, and shady undertakers. And somebody is following them . . .

The Sammy Keyes mysteries are fast-paced, funny, thoroughly modern, and true whodunits. Each mystery is exciting and dramatic, but it’s the drama in Sammy’s personal life that keeps readers coming back to see what happens next with her love interest Casey, her soap-star mother, and her mysterious father.
Book 13
Sammy takes off her high-tops, puts on some party shoes, and steps into a whole lot of trouble.

“Sammy’s investigation, friendships, family life, and wiseacre narration make this another rollicking addition to the series.” –Booklist

Sammy should have known better than to think 8th grade would be easier than 7th. It’s only September and already the history teacher is receiving death threats. Naturally, Sammy is the prime suspect.

To make matters worse, officer Borsch has asked Sammy to help out at his wedding. If she doesn’t find the real prankster fast, Sammy will be wearing prison stripes instead of a poofy pastel bridesmaid dress.

This Sammy Keyes adventure blends mystery, comedy, and a dusting of fairy tale magic.
Book 12
A stash of easy money makes for some hard choices for Sammy Keyes.

“An exceptionally good entry in an already remarkable series.”–Booklist

Sammy Keyes has three wads of cold hard cash in her hot little hands. An old guy gave them to her. Well, actually, he told her to throw them away. With his last dying breath. Which he was taking because Sammy had just scared the life right out of him. So . . . she’s got to get this man some help. She’s got to do it without being seen herself. And she’s got to figure out how to stash that cash. (Aw, c’mon! You’d keep the money too, right?) But it turns out other people are after that money–and now they’re after her.

Crooks Sammy can handle. The thing that’s scaring her to death is Brandon’s pool party–and the thought that her crush Casey will be there…
Book 11
With desperate poachers on their trail, Sammy and her fellow campers have just been added to the endangered species list.

“Think a combination of Carl Hiaasen’s Flush and Janet Evanovich’s “Stephanie Plum” and you’ll be right on target” –School Library Journal

This is not the summer camping trip of Sammy’s dreams. Instead of shady glades and meandering streams, she gets scrubby shrubs, blazing sun, and rattlesnakes. Her fellow campers are desperate to catch a rare glimpse of an endangered condor. To Sammy, the trip feels like the painful in pursuit of the unspeakably ugly.

But when she and two other girls find an injured condor, Sammy’s intrigued at last. As they track down a clue, they stumble onto two classmates and promptly get lost. Which leaves three girls and two boys in a canyon with one tent a sick condor and six billion biting flies. Oh–and an armed and dangerous highstakes poacher.
Book 10
In this adventure, Sammy is the one whodunnit–but will she get away with it?

“This is one of the best entries in the popular long-running series.” –Booklist

Sammy’s made a deadly mistake. The good news: No one knows she did it. The delicious dilemma: Everyone thinks her archenemy Heather is to blame.

Now Heather’s in a major jam, and it feels almost fair–Heather has pinned more than a few crimes on Sammy. Besides, there are distractions galore to keep Sammy from confessing. Like the end of the school year. And the Farewell Dance. Especially the dance, since she’s going with Heather’s (dreamy) brother Casey.

But Sammy knows the truth has an uncanny way of resurfacing, and when it does, the stench can be more vile than the school cafeteria.
Book 9
Sammy’s mom comes to town with a birthday bombshell…

“A strong female character looking for more than just a boyfriend. Highly recommended.” –Children’s Literature

It’s Sammy’s birthday, which should be a good thing, right? Not when her mom lets her cat out and now he’s missing. Not when Sammy finds three dead cats while she’s looking for him. And not when a psycho cat lady blames Sammy because one of the dead cats belonged to her.

Add a suspicious pro-wrestler named El Gato, a public cat-fight with her arch-enemy Heather, and a bombshell of a secret from her mom, and you’ve got a recipe for Sammy’s worst birthday ever.  

Better luck next year, Sammy.
Book 8
“The hottest sleuth to appear in children’s books since Nancy Drew” (The Boston Globe) is back! Don’t miss the eighth book in the series that’s been described as “a combination of Carl Hiaasen’s Flush and Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum books” (School Library Journal) and hailed as “nonstop whodunits” (Kirkus Reviews)!
 
The artsy crowd thinks Sammy Keyes has a lot of nerve showing up at a fancy reception in high-tops. But when she tackles a robber who’s brandishing a gun with one hand and pulling paintings from the wall with the other, they’re glad she has nerve. Or are they?
 
Sammy may have stopped one criminal, but the real crime at this show has yet to be discovered. The real crime is more subtle, more artful, than anything Sammy’s ever seen. Who knew art could be so dangerous?
 
Praise for the Sammy Keyes series:
 
“If Kinsey Millhone ever hires a junior partner, Sammy Keyes will be the first candidate on the list. She’s feisty, fearless, and funny. A top-notch investigator!” —New York Times bestselling author Sue Grafton


“The sleuth delights from start to finish. Keep your binoculars trained on Sammy Keyes.” —Publishers Weekly
 
“The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)” —Midwest Children’s Book Review
Book 7
“The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)” —Midwest Children’s Book Review

Sammy’s softball team is in contention for the Junior Slugger’s Cup, and all she wants to do is hunker down behind the home plate and catch strikes. But Heather Acosta brings new meaning to the term “foul ball” as she schemes to get Sammy kicked off the team.

Then Sammy is thrown a wild pitch by a frantic girl at the mall. The girl asks Sammy to watch her bag and dashes off before Sammy discovers that the bag she’s left holding contains a baby! When the girl doesn’t return, Sammy decides to go find her. A heart-pounding search ensues, and leads to some situations that are definitely not covered in the softball playbook.

The Sammy Keyes mysteries are fast-paced, funny, thoroughly modern, and true whodunits. Each mystery is exciting and dramatic, but it’s the drama in Sammy’s personal life that keeps readers coming back to see what happens next with her love interest Casey, her soap-star mother, and her mysterious father.
Book 6
“The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)” —Midwest Children’s Book Review

When Sammy finds out that her mother has changed her name, dyed her hair, and shaved ten years off her age, she knows it’s time for Lady Lana to get reacquainted with reality.

Sammy hops a bus to Hollywood and finds her mother in deeper trouble than she imagined. Lana’s phony persona is crumbling just as she is being considered for the part of a lifetime. So when one of Lana’s competitors for the big role is found dead in the room next door, Sammy can’t help wondering: Is her mother the next likely victim . . . or the prime suspect?

The Sammy Keyes mysteries are fast-paced, funny, thoroughly modern, and true whodunits. Each mystery is exciting and dramatic, but it’s the drama in Sammy’s personal life that keeps readers coming back to see what happens next with her love interest Casey, her soap-star mother, and her mysterious father.
Book 5
“The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)” —Midwest Children’s Book Review

When Sammy and her friends meet Lucinda Huntley walking her 200-pound pig down the middle of the road, their quiet weekend in the country quickly becomes an adventure. Lucinda tells them a true tale of the Wild West, her great-grandma Moustache Mary, and a century-old family feud.

But this feud is hardly ancient history. Past and present collide—and combust!—when Mary’s pioneer cabin burns to the ground. Sammy thinks the cause of the fire may be a hundred years old, but still, the gas can she finds near the scene of the crime is shiny and new. . . .

The Sammy Keyes mysteries are fast-paced, funny, thoroughly modern, and true whodunits. Each mystery is exciting and dramatic, but it’s the drama in Sammy’s personal life that keeps readers coming back to see what happens next with her love interest Casey, her soap-star mother, and her mysterious father.
Book 4
“The most winning junior detective ever in teen lit. (Take that, Nancy Drew!)” —Midwest Children’s Book Review

The Christmas parade gets furry in a hurry when three pranksters dressed as wise men toss some cats onto Sammy’s float. Dogs shoot off in all directions, and the prize Pomeranian Sammy’s supposed to be watching disappears. Turns out the darn fuzzball’s been kidnapped. The owner is demanding that Sammy find her doggone dog . . . and she’s a woman who knows how to get what she wants.

But Sammy’s a pretty tough cookie herself. Dognappers, blackmailers, and wise men be warned!

The Sammy Keyes mysteries are fast-paced, funny, thoroughly modern, and true whodunits. Each mystery is exciting and dramatic, but it’s the drama in Sammy’s personal life that keeps readers coming back to see what happens next with her love interest Casey, her soap-star mother, and her mysterious father.
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