Cover image for The world's greatest detective / Caroline Carlson.
The world's greatest detective / Caroline Carlson.
Publication Information:
New York : Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, 2019.

Physical Description:
351, 18 pages ; 20 cm
Audience/Reading Level:
Interest age level: 8-12.


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
CAR Paperback Junior Mystery Fiction

On Order



A 2017 Agatha Award Nominee! * A Best Children's Book of the Year Pick for Kids 9 to 12 from Bank Street College!

Caroline Carlson, author of the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates series, returns with The World's Greatest Detective, a story of crime, tricks, and hilarity for those who know that sometimes it takes a pair of junior sleuths to solve a slippery case.

Detectives' Row is full of talented investigators, but Toby Montrose isn't one of them. He's only an assistant at his uncle's detective agency, and he's not sure he's even very good at that.

Toby's friend Ivy is the best sleuth around--or at least she thinks so. They both see their chance to prove themselves when the famed Hugh Abernathy announces a contest to choose the World's Greatest Detective.

But when what was supposed to be a game turns into a real-life murder mystery, can Toby and Ivy crack the case?

Reviews 2

Publisher's Weekly Review

Carlson (the Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates series) creates a richly imagined Victorian-esque setting in a mystery that highlights the capabilities of adults and children alike, regardless of gender. Following years of being bounced around from relative to relative after the disappearance of his parents, 11-year-old Toby Montrose ends up with his Uncle Gabriel on Detectives' Row in the fictional city of Colebridge. He's determined to avoid trouble to ensure that his investigator uncle will let him stay, despite financial strains. So when an opportunity arises to make a significant amount of money-and earn the title of World's Greatest Detective-by solving a weekend murder mystery at an estate, Toby jumps at the chance, relying on his smarts, lessons learned in a detection-focused correspondence course, and the help of new friend Ivy and her dog. Toby is a delightfully complex character, prone to doing the wrong things for the right reasons. His misadventures with Ivy lead to hilarious and gasp-worthy moments that will keep readers racing toward an ending that's sure to keep them guessing. Ages 8-12. Agent: Sarah Davies, Greenhouse Literary. (May) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Horn Book Review

With his parents missing and presumed dead, eleven-year-old Toby is sent to live with his uncle, a down-on-his-luck private investigator. When Uncle Gabriels nemesis, successful celebrity detective Hugh Abernathy, sponsors a contest offering a $10,000 prize and bragging rights as the next worlds greatest detective, Toby enters, without his uncles knowledge. But when Toby arrives at the manor where the contests murder is to take place, his hosts abrasive daughter Ivy--a would-be detective herself--discovers Tobys deception and inveigles him into teaming up with her to solve the mystery. Even worse, the pretend murder turns into a real murder, and all the detectives gathered for the competition are now suspects! Clues drop where and when they will be most useful, and the mystery structure is solidly built, with multiple red herrings and surprising reversals that will leave readers guessing up until the climax. Tobys often-luckless character keeps sympathies firmly on his side, whereas Ivys social rough edges humanize her interactions with Toby, even as she remains unapologetically smart and ambitious. With a wink and a tip of the hat, Carlson uses cozy-mystery tropes--motive, means, opportunity; gossipy spinsters with underappreciated sleuthing skills--to create a warm, humorous jaunt that could infect readers with a lifelong love of the genre. anita l. burkam (c) Copyright 2017. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.