FANDOM


WikEd fancyquotesQuotesBug-silkHeadscratchersIcons-mini-icon extensionPlaying WithUseful NotesMagnifierAnalysisPhoto linkImage LinksHaiku-wide-iconHaikuLaconic


A character type that's popular with children's mysteries and adventures that contain mystery elements.


What makes a Meddling Kid?

The Kid Detective is part Snooping Little Kid, part Amateur Sleuth. He is a child who lives to snoop and asks suspicious adults (or any important witness) to piece together what happened.

He'll always snoop around without the adults' knowledge. He must figure out how to investigate without getting caught by the criminal, while eluding trouble from authority figures. If he's caught by authorities added restrictions will be placed, so now he has to break even more rules to keep looking. If he's captured by the criminal he will be Bound and Gagged, and must either break free, call for help, or be freed by a fellow Kid Detective.

Obviously he's more adventure-oriented than adult detectives, with a focus on snooping rather than interrogation. Kids can't interrogate suspects anyway, so tricking them into revealing something is his best option.

And while an adult can go straight to the authorities with evidence, this kid often struggles with telling them what he experienced. He has to let them know what's up in a roundabout way, or expose it somehow. Rare is the one trusted by adult detectives, and can go to them directly.


See Also


Examples of Kid Detective include:


Anime and Manga


Comic Books


Fanfics

  • Detective Story's Keito is a seven year-old boy with the deductive abilities learnt from a 26 year-old detective.


Film

  • Clubhouse Detectives is about a group of kids who work together to solve the murder of an opera writer's wife.
  • The comedy Mystery Team parodies this; The main characters are 18-year olds still stuck in their crime-solving days. To raise their actual cred, they take on a little girl's case, who's looking for her parents' murderer.


Literature

  • Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose from the A to Z Mysteries series.
  • Parodied with Malicia in Terry Pratchett's The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents. She likes to think of herself as one, but she's really just an obnoxious know-it-all who's not quite Genre Savvy.
  • Alan Coren's Arthur The Boy Detective lives at 221A Baker Street and constantly shows up his downstairs neighbor.
  • Enid Blyton wrote many such sleuths, including the Famous Five, the Secret Seven, and the Five Find-Outers.
  • The Boxcar Children
  • Brains Benton and Jimmy Carson, solved six cases in the late 50s and early 60s. Brains himself was a strong Sherlock Holmes stand-in.
  • Cam Jansen is an elementary student who uses her Photographic Memory to solve crimes.
  • Agatha Christie's Crooked House had Josephine. She investigates the murder of her grandfather, using her snoopy nature to provide clues that outsiders to the family never find. It turns out she's the murderer, having decided to kill her grandfather over his not getting her ballet lessons. She chose to investigate to get further attention from her family and the police. The subversion comes from the fact that readers were led to believe she was a genuine Kid Detective.
  • The Dana Girls
  • Nick Diamond from the Diamond Brothers series by Anthony Horowitz.
  • A couple of Kim Newman's Diogenes Club stories include Richard Riddle, Boy Detective.
  • Jill Pinkwater's The Disappearance of Sister Perfect has Sherelee Holmes. After finding that her runaway sister joined a cult, Sherelee posed as a rich teenager several years older than herself to sneak in the organization.
  • Max the Wolf from Down the Mysterly River.
  • Played with in an Esp McGee book where the kid Watson visits the kid suspect's home to get some information. He barely manages to excuse himself when the suspect and his menacing father arrive early. Afterward, the experience weighs so much on him that he confesses to his parents what he was up to. They give him a firm lecture about taking such risks, then playfully suggest that since he's done it, he might as well contact McGee to give his report.
  • Emil and the Detectives has about fifty kid detectives.
  • Encyclopedia Brown's father is a police officer who knows his son's activities, and is a little embarrassed that the smartest detective in town is a fifth-grader.
  • Enola Holmes, the much younger sister of Sherlock Holmes
  • The Great Brain series by J.D. Fitzgerald. Subverted in that he swindles other kids of their pocket money during his spare time.
  • Natalia in the Grey Griffins series takes notes for clues, and sometimes snoops around alone to discover things.
  • Fletcher Moon in Eoin Colfer's Half Moon Investigations.
  • The Hardy Boys
  • Harry, Ron and Hermione fit this in the first three books.
  • Inspector Tearle appeared in five books in the late 60s and early 70s. He and his sidekicks, his athletic sister and his best friend, solved cases from a treehouse.
  • Justin Richards' The Invisible Detective novels are about a group of kids who claim to be "Baker Street Irregulars" to the non-existent Brandon Lake, because no-one would take them seriously as detectives themselves.
  • Astrid Lindgren's Kalle Blomkvist has a hyperactive imagination, but enough skills and knowledge of actual procedures to find evidence against real criminals.
  • Lasse and Maja from Martin Widmark's Lasse-Majas Detektivbyrå-stories (20+ books, a TV series, The Movie...).
  • The ten-year-old members of the McGurk Detective Agency, led by the clever and impetuous Jack P. McGurk.
  • Nancy Drew, a young but brilliant teenage girl who solves mysteries with the help of her two best friends and her understanding father.
  • Marjorie Weinman Sharmat's Nate the Great
  • Walter "Ramses" Emerson. A child of Amelia Peabody and Radcliffe Emerson, a pair of Egyptologists and incidental detectives in a series by Elizabeth Peters. Ramses has since grown up, gotten married, and produced his own precocious children.
    • In the following passage, Ramses (age eight or nine) rescues his parents:

"Now, Mama, Papa, and sir," said Ramses, "please withdraw to the farthest corner and crouch down with your backs turned. It is as I feared: we will never break through by this method. The walls are eight feet thick. Fortunately I brought along a little nitroglycerine--"

"Oh, good Gad," shrieked Inspector Cuff.

  • The Roman Mysteries's Flavia Gemini, assisted by three friends and various adults.
  • The Shirley Holmes stories depict the exploits of a certain detective's sleuthing teenaged sister.
  • Paul-Jacques Bonzon's Les Six Compagnons, the French counterparts of Enid Blyton's Kid Detective series.
  • The Stanley family kids from Zilpha Keatley Snyder's loose series of books about them.
  • The Sugar Creek Gang (an evangelical Christian series) feature them having wilderness adventures (And a lot of preaching).
  • The Sweetness At The Bottom Of The Pie's Flavia de Luce, who's also an eleven year old expert on poisons.
  • Alfred Hitchcock's The Three Investigators, a long-running multinational series.
  • TKKG combines this with a Five-Man Band.
  • Trixie Belden, and the rest of the Bobwhites, are teen detectives in the Hudson Valley. Thanks to her rich best friend Honey Wheeler, they go on trips and conveniently solve mysteries wherever they go.
  • PK Pinkerton from the The Western Mysteries


Live Action TV

  • The Adventures of Shirley Holmes, starring Sherlock's teenaged great grand-niece.
  • The Baker Street Boys has a gang of street urchins living in Victorian London who help Sherlock Holmes solve crimes (as well as their own).
  • Eugenie Sandler P.I., an Australian TV series
  • PBS's Ghostwriter involves kids and a mute ghost who solve mysteries.
  • Letty, a popular UK children's series during the 1980s.
  • The Sarah Jane Adventures has an investigative journalist and three teens investigate and fight aliens
  • Stick With Me, Kid, a British series where the kid detective bypassed the hassle by using an out of work actor to pose as a detective while the kid did all the work.
  • The Bloodhound Gang from 3-2-1 Contact


Video Games


Webcomics

  • Parodied with the Mystery Solving Teens from Hark! A Vagrant. They act like typical teenagers, so they rarely do anything relevant to the case.


Western Animation



Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.