Book Cover: Minerva Clark

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Minerva Clark Gets A Clue: A Minerva Clark Mystery


Minerva Clark is a typical thirteen-year-old girl: she hates her hair, she hates her legs (which somehow manage to look both too fat and too skinny at the same time), and don’t get her started on her gigantor bootie. On top of all this puberty, she’s being raised by three older brothers, none of whom really get her.

But when a fateful encounter with a lightning storm rewires her sense of self, Minerva Clark becomes anything but a typical teen.

With a brazen new attitude and a nose for trouble, Minerva soon finds herself drawn inexplicably to the scene of a murder and determined to track down the killer. If only all the clues weren’t pointing so close to someone she knows…

Praise for Minerva Clark Gets A Clue: A Minerva Clark Mystery

Identity development and identity theft are the pivots of this summer-fare whodunit. Thirteen-year-old Minerva Clark is pretty typical; she loves her oddball older brothers, puzzles and her pet ferret. She hates her hair, her legs and the way her friends seem to have become mean-girl-junior-high-school-goddesses overnight. She hates that she’s already 5’8”, that mom’s left the family to teach yoga in New Mexico and that she can’t seem to stand up for herself – until, that is, she is accidentally electrocuted by her very own big brother. With one well-placed electrode and a single clap of thunder, Minerva’s mind is purged of self-hatred and self-consciousness, allowing her to become a sort of cross between Nancy Drew and Adrian Monk, investigating a complex web of check fraud, theft and murder involving her previously-thought-perfect glamour-girl cousin, Jordan (“On the days I didn’t want to be her, I hated her.”)

Book Cover: Minerva Clark

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Minerva Clark Goes To The Dogs: A Minerva Clark Mystery


Minerva Clark has never liked popular, bratty Chelsea de Guzman. But when Chelsea pleads with  Minerva to help her locate a missing diamond, the prospect of a new mystery is just too irresistible to pass up, especially after Minerva learns that it’s a red diamond and potentially worth millions. Before long Minerva is doing what she does best: getting into trouble while getting to the bottom of things. And whether that includes digging through a day’s worth of trash, tangling with some crooked animal shelter workers, dodging three mischievous corgis, or tracking a carrier pigeon with intestinal problems, Minerva is determined to get her man – or his best friend…

Praise for Minerva Clark Goes To The Dogs: A Minerva Clark Mystery

Summer vacation has arrived, and 13-year-old sleuth Minerva, last seen in Minerva Clark Gets a Clue (2005), has found another mystery to solve. A wealthy classmate, Chelsea, sold what she thought was an inexpensive ring, only to discover that its stone was a rare red diamond. Chelsea's father, a jeweler, is very annoyed, so the girls begin an investigation that involves sifting through the trash at an airport coffee shop, spying on some actors filming a movie, and uncovering the kidnapping of a young woman by a Humane Society employee. Minerva, reminiscent of Wendelin VanDraanen's Sammy Keyes, makes an appealing heroine – independent, resourceful, and funny, yet still clearly barely a teen. A subplot involving Minerva's three older brothers, who are raising her in the absence their parents, is also well handled. Karbo's ear for the dialogue and perceptive treatment of the concerns of younger teens will make this a popular pick with middle-schoolers.


Her dad is always out of town on business, and her mother left with her boyfriend to teach yoga in Santa Fe, so Minerva is being raised by her three older brothers. A self-reliant expert on figuring things out, she is, in fact, a mystery solver. In the second of a projected series, a classmate of Minerva’s calls for help in finding a rare red diamond stolen from her ring. Corgi dogs, homing pigeons, an electronics class, Catholic school, kidnapping and a movie set aid and abet the tangled plot. Lots of IMing, cell phones and contemporary props keep the story current. References to actions in Minerva Gets a Clue (2005) fill in bits of background, but this title can stand on its own. Unfortunately, while the cover photo of a cute Corgi is appealing, it also may lead readers to think that the dog is Minerva. But this fairly typical teenager will take her place next to Nancy Drew as a prime crime case-cracker.

Book Cover: Minerva Clark

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Minerva Clark Gives Up The Ghost: A Minerva Clark Mystery


Minerva Clark’s yoga-instructor mom has returned – with a new husband in tow. As if that isn’t a big enough shock, there’s a surprise of the supernatural sort in store for the self-made teen sleuth. It seems the owners of a haunted grocery store are missing their ghost, and they need Minerva’s help in finding it. But before she can come up with the ghost, Minerva will need to find the arsonist who burned the grocery store to the ground—claiming an innocent life in the process. Danger, laughs, and a touch of freezer burn await readers in this newest adventure from the big-haired case-cracker.

Praise for Minerva Clark Gives Up The Ghost: A Minerva Clark Mystery

In her third appearance, 13-year-old Minerva Clark investigates a fire at a small family-owned grocery store in her hometown of Portland, OR. The blaze killed a tenant in an upstairs apartment. The police think it's an accident, but Angus Paine, the owners' teenage son, is convinced it is arson so he calls on Minerva for help. Unfortunately, she has no idea how to investigate this type of crime. Also complicating her life is her mother's second marriage. Several false leads confuse the young sleuth for a time and it is only after another fire erupts at her school and she discovers that Angus has some deep secrets that the truth comes out. Minerva is an interesting character – an electric shock has enabled her to solve crimes and endowed her with plenty of self-esteem. Readers who like Sammy Keyes will enjoy getting to know her. A subplot concerns her first venture into boyfriend/girlfriend status and the confused feelings that such a relationship engenders.

School Library Journal