Frank, a good topic. I recommended Lilian Jackson Braun, author of the of "The Cat Who..." series of mystery novels. They have been described (in a positive and supportive manner) as a light-hearted alternative to a genre devoted more and more to focus on sex, violence, and foul language. And if the girl is a cat-lover ... even better!
Well, Edgar Allen Poe is on my 12 year old daughter's school reading list, and her current book she is studying in class is "Nineteenth century mystery stories" -- pretty scary, some of them, certainly compared with LJB. (I read one of her books once, that was enough for me, though Karen of Euro Crime (a cat person) is fond of them.)
I recommended Eoin Colfer's Half Moon Investigations I recommend it to adults as well.==============Detectives Beyond Borders"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/
Excellent topic. She may want to try Madeleine L'Engle, particularly, "A Wrinkle in Time." A Sherlock Holmes' mystery might be enjoyable; perhaps "The Adventure of the Speckled Band." Many children's literature selections would be appropriate and enjoyable such as mysteries by Chris Van Allsburg; Betsy Byers has written a series of light mysteries that are well-loved.
Thanks, all. My elder daughter read and loved the Artemis Fowl books, but this one (the younger) doesn't fancy them. Even the elder one wouldn't read Half Moon, which I bought for her some years ago and is still languishing upstairs.They both like/liked Sherlock Holmes, and both read the Madeline l'Engle you mention -- but not all that positive about it. There are lots of books they both love, though, too many to list here!The story that Jenny is studying from the school class-reading book is Charles Dickens' The Signalman.
You know, I found myself wondering whether Half Moon Investigations might appeal more to boys than to girls. It spoofs hard-boiled P.I.s, after all, and it has a decided male-bonding aspect to it.==============Detectives Beyond Borders"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/
Both my girls loved the Alex Rider series (Anthony Horwitz), and they like other books that seem to be targeted at boys. But I know what you mean, Peter-- the gender deliniations are pretty strict at their age!
Funny you should mention the Alex Rider books. I was thinking of looking for them, too.I'm not feeling a burst of nostalgia for my own childhood, by the way. This all started when I read a story by Eoin Colfer in a crime-fiction anthology, liked it, and began looking for more by him. If everything else he wrote was about 12-year-old geniuses and private detectives, so be it!==============Detectives Beyond Borders"Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home"http://www.detectivesbeyondborders.blogspot.com/