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Sleuth or Dare #1: Partners in Crime [Paperback]

Kim Harrington

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Book Description

May 1 2012 Sleuth or Dare (Book 1)
What if Nancy Drew met Veronica Mars, or The Baby-sitters Club met Ally Carter? The result would be this smart, sassy detective series for tweens!

When best friends Darcy and Norah have to create a fake business for a school assignment, they come up with a great idea: a detective agency! Darcy loves mysteries, and Norah likes helping people, so it's a perfect fit.

But then their pretend agency gets a real case. Someone is missing, and it's up to Darcy and Norah to take on the search. Unfortunately, there's someone else out there who doesn't want the two detectives stirring up any trouble...

With the help of hidden clues, spy gadgets, and trusted friends, can Darcy and Norah crack the case in time?

Frequently Bought Together

Sleuth or Dare #1: Partners in Crime + Sleuth or Dare #2: Sleepover Stakeout + Sleuth or Dare #3: Framed and Dangerous
Price For All Three: CDN$ 20.27

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Product Details

Product Description


Praise for Clarity

*"Clare is a teen detective for the 21st century." — Publishers Weekly, starred review

"The suspense begins on the first page." — School Library Journal

"Clare is an appealing character with whom readers easily can identify." — Kirkus Reviews

"Twists, suspense, and a touch of romance keeps you guessing." — Girls' Life Magazine

About the Author

KIM HARRINGTON is the author of several acclaimed YA novels. She lives in Massachusetts with her husband and son. When not writing, she's most likely reading, watching one of her favorite TV shows, or fantasizing about her next vacation. She has no psychic powers and is cool with that. Visit her online at

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.8 out of 5 stars  18 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Light and funny girl 'tween fun Oct. 19 2012
By M. Knapp - Published on
This cute, quick reading book stars "opposites attract" 7th grade best friends Darcy and Norah. They live in a small town in Massachusetts and when they create a pretend detective agency for a class project, the fake website gets a hit from a real customer! Darcy and Norah take on the case: find a missing twin. There is a great deal of fairly sophisticated humor in the book, with snappy retorts and funny asides. Both girls are types - Norah is the smart, rule-minding "nice one" and Darcy is the smart, computer-savvy rebel. Surprisingly, the one I had pegged as the "mean girl" type (Fiona) had more depth than I expected. I enjoyed this book and would easily recommend the series to `tween readers. The girls are solid at the core, despite their occasional bending of the rules, and the plot is exciting without being disturbing. The perfect audience are all the 4th or 5th grade girls who like mysteries. There are three books (so far) in the Sleuth or Dare series, this is the first one.
About me: I'm a middle school/high school librarian
How I got this book: Purchased all three in the series, for our library.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Twenty-First Century Nancy Drew Jan. 15 2014
By Litterarum Studiosus - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition
What began as a seventh-grade school presentation by polar-opposite best friends Darcy Carter and Norah Burridge soon turns into a real-life situation. The girls designed a website advertising detective services under the name Partners in Crime, and shortly afterward, someone emails them and asks for help finding their twin sister. The new detective duo decides to take on the case, their first, and what follows is a grade-A adventure. Throw in some threats and suspense and a surprising ally, and this story becomes an exciting journey full of technological thrills and perhaps a hint of puppy love.

With the Sleuth or Dare books, Kim Harrington creates a new girls detective series for modern readers. “Partners in Crime” is similar to a twenty-first-century Nancy Drew and is very relatable for middle-grade readers, particularly girls. This book is narrated in the first person by Norah, which enhances the relevance for readers. Given that Norah and Darcy are so different and yet best friends who stick together and help others their own age, there is also a strong message of loyalty and friendship. These two main characters complement each other very well, and they take a stand against bullying while dealing with typical situations, both in school and at home, that face contemporary middle-school students. Norah and Darcy prove that being intelligent and unique and not necessarily belonging to the popular, “in” crowd is ok and has rewarding benefits. The use of technology such as cell phones and the Internet, coupled with teenage lingo, ensures that the plot will be applicable to young readers. Also, several of the chapters have mildly frightening cliff-hanger endings, and the end of the story leads into book two, “Sleepover Stakeout.”
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Mystery Series! Sept. 17 2012
By Young Mensan BookParade - Published on
I liked the Sleuth or Dare series because they were good mystery books. Sleuth or Dare is about two 7th grade girls that made a mystery solving business as a small business for a school project. After the day that they presented it they got a real case. I think other kids would enjoy it because it is a fun mystery series that are solved by young teens that are good detectives.

My favorite parts were at the end of both books when the mysteries were solved and, the truth was told, and the clarets were caught. This book is special because it is a good mystery book series that shows how a young teen could become and dream what they want to be and they can dream big.

Kids in grades 2-9 and boys and girls would both like this book series. Anyone who likes mysteries would like this great series of books.

Review by Mensan Sophie T., age 9
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nancy Drew for the new generation July 2 2012
By Brittany Moore - Published on
Norah and Darcy have to create a fake business for a school project. Darcy is obsessed with detective mysteries so she decides they should make their own detective agency. Norah goes along, because it's the best idea they've had. Darcy is a computer whiz, so they decide to make their presentation the best and have a website for they're company. Then they get an e-mail. Someone has found their website and wants them to help locate their twin. The girls aren't sure what to do, but decide to at least find out more information. Just because their 7th graders doesn't mean they can't help.

This was a really fun little mystery. I really like Norah and Darcy. It was a fun age that Kim Harrington put them at. A little bit about crushes, but still young enough to have some good clean fun. Both girls were very passionate about their hobbies too which made this book awesome. I can't wait to see Norah's love for astronomy come in to play more. The mystery was a little bit obvious for me to figure out, but it might be a bit trickier for younger kids (not adults like me). The length and adventure in this novel makes me quick to recommend to reluctant readers; it should keep them interested throughout it's brief story. If you like fun characters and a quick mystery read, make sure you check out this first Sleuth or Dare book.

First Line:
"The killer held his breath and huddled in the back of the darkened closet, hoping not to be found."

Favorite Lines:
"You know you're going to pee on the hydrant. I know you're going to pee on the hydrant. You pee on that thing every day. Stop acting like you're trying to make a decision."
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Debut! May 8 2012
By Mel Odom - Published on
Sleuth or Dare is the first novel of a new middle grader mystery series featuring two young girl protagonists. Norah and Darcy are two best friends, but they couldn't be more different. Norah tells the story in this first book, and she's bookish and into all things astronomy. Darcy is deliberately different, a free spirit in clothing and attitude, and a dedicated armchair detective and cyber nerd.

They set up a detective agency as a school project, one of those make-believe businesses that get assigned in different classes to make kids think. Norah wants something different, but not wildly so. However, before she knows it, she gets sucked into Darcy's fantasy world and they establish a detective agency (Partners in Crime), complete with an on-line web presence.

Shortly after their debut during class, they get their first email. A mysterious person wants the duo to find her missing twin sister.

As an adult reader, I love traipsing through kids' books. Given the fact that sales of kids' books are way up these days (showing more of an increase than adult books), I feel confident in the knowledge that I'm not the only dedicated reader who pines for the good old days of curling up with a crackerjack story peopled with fun characters.

Kim Harrington's first person narrative throughout the book is fun and breezy, never taking itself too seriously. There is plenty of crushing, nervousness, and near-social disasters to keep the younger crowd happy, but it doesn't get in the way of older readers either.

The mystery is plenty of fun, and Harrington keeps the reader on his toes because there are a lot of things going on in this book to keep the pot stirred. There are plenty of characters on stage in this one that I feel certain will be back again and again throughout the series. Looking to see more of them, and I'm curious about what Zane is really doing. That's one mystery that didn't get resolved in this book.

However, I was surprised at how adult the actual mystery turned out to be. I put it all together well before the final reveal, but I thought it was an ambitious plot with fairly placed clues.

As someone who grew up on Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boy, I'm always going to read mysteries about young sleuths. Norah and Darcy are an enchanting pair and I'm already looking forward to the next two volumes, both of which will be released in subsequent months over the summer.

This is definitely a book for that young detective in your household, and a great book to purchase for a school library.

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