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The Wizard of Dark Street: An Oona Crate Mystery (Oona Crate Mystery #1)

3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  750 Ratings  ·  136 Reviews
Oona Crate was born to be the Wizard’s apprentice, but she has another destiny in mind.

Despite possessing the rare gift of natural magic, Oona wants to be a detective. Eager for a case to prove herself, she wants to show her uncle—the Wizard of Dark Street—that logic is as powerful as magic. But when someone attacks the Wizard, Oona must delve even deeper into the world of
ebook, 352 pages
Published July 26th 2011 by EgmontUSA
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Oct 08, 2011 Janet rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The Wizard of Dark Street's niece, Oona, would rather be a detective than a wizard's apprentice. When disasters befall both her uncle and a snooty neighbor, she works overtime to solve both mysteries and save the day. Odyssey put together a very clever whodunit; especially for a middle grade mystery, this will keep you guessing. The story is worth reading for that alone. However, the setting for this mystery was disappointingly Disneyfied - with a simply sketched set, stock characters, cartoony ...more
Nov 14, 2011 Pamela rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really have a thing for fantasies set in worlds that lay alongside ours. The blurring of the edges between what we think of as reality and those magical worlds fascinates me, which is probably why I love the Harry Potter series so much (and why I’m working on a couple of stories with those kinds of worlds myself). The Wizard of Dark Street takes place on Dark Street (oddly enough), a little neighborhood that’s linked to New York City, but is actually a bridge between the normal world and the L ...more
 Danielle The Book Huntress (Back to the Books)
This was a cute book. The mystery was clever (kept me guessing), and I enjoyed the magical elements. If this is a series, I will keep reading it.

Overall rating: 3.5/5.0 stars.

Reviewed for Bitten by Books.
Aug 25, 2013 Lauren rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read my fair share of plucky girl detectives. Some of my favorites include a poison-obsessed tween and two fairy-tale sisters. Oona Crate, the protagonist in The Wizard of Dark Street, doesn’t measure up to her competition.

This book is also a bit like Harry Potter in regards to its setting, a magical world that exists parallel to ours. While Harry Potter never bothered me with all of the world-building details (frankly, JK Rowling could probably write another book in Harry’s world, skip the pl
Sep 05, 2011 Susan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
After seeing Shawn Thomas Odyssey read the prologue to THE WIZARD OF DARK STREET, I knew I had to read this book. The deliciously sinister feel to the magical world, the idea of a 12-year-old solving mysteries, and the simple fact that Oona (the MC) has a raven for a best friend all suggest a great combination within the book's pages.

Well, let me tell you, this story does not disappoint. I was flipping the pages to find out the whodunits and to see how all the seemingly separate mysteries would
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Oona, the 13 year old sleuth of this YA fantasy/mystery, lives on Dark Street, a one street town lying between the New York of 1876 and the land of the Fay. Every midnight for one minute there's an open gate between NYC and Dark Street, and the rest of the time the city is inaccessible. Oona was apprenticed to her uncle, the Wizard of Dark Street, their only wizard, and the person who protects the town against possible fairy attack. Three years before the book starts, she accidentally killed her ...more
Jul 09, 2011 Charlotte rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Here's what this book has:

--an orphan girl named Oona with an innate talent for magic, a gift that led to a terrible tragedy a few years ago
--a fascinating place, Dark Street, poised between a gate leading to our world at one end (which opens for just one minute ever night) and a gate to the fairy realm, locked after a fierce war some years before
--a mystery that could threaten the very existence not just of Dark Street, but our world as well, and cast our orphaned heroine out into the streets
Barbara Ell
Being 12 years old and a natural magician is one thing, but also hating the idea of actually using magic, and then being the Wizard's apprentice is just something all together.

At least Oona's uncle, who happens to be the Wizard of Dark Street, understands her reasoning in not wanting to pursue magic and instead wanting to open a detective agency. But when her uncle goes missing, she must use all she can to find him...unless he has died.

I really enjoyed this story, and liked how it allowed the a
Sherwood Smith
I read this in draft ages ago, when the author was part of a writing group I was in. I absolutely loved it. I have been saving the book for when I finished a project; that means I get to read it in a week or two.
Bill Tillman
Nov 06, 2015 Bill Tillman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Wizard of Dark Street

Oona Crate is a very quirky 12 going on 13 year-old. Living on a magic street half way between the normal human world and the world of the Fae. Great and easy read where there are no loose ends.
Review of audiobook format.

I truly tried to like this tale. I will have to give it a go in actually reading it with my eyes rather than my ears. Shawn Thomas Odyssey sounds well enough as a narrator, but a definite distinction between characters was lacking. I think that was my whole problem getting into the story.
Oct 02, 2016 Mabel rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Okay but not great.

Oona is a smart girl but the pacing is so slow that I lost interest quite a few times.
Read This Review & More Like It At Ageless Pages Reviews

When I was in the 9-12 age range, some of my favorite books were mysteries, particularly the kind where no one got hurt and I got to play along at home. Nancy Drew, Encyclopedia Brown, "Alfred Hitchcock", (though I could never guess those twists. The diamond was in the python, who was in the acrobats' baton?!) I think Oona Crate and The Wizard of Dark Street would have made little-me very happy and will certainly become a mainstay in my
Danyelle Leafty
Aug 22, 2011 Danyelle Leafty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: bookshelf-2011
The Wizard of Dark Street
Shawn Thomas Odyssey
345 pages
MG fantasy
Available July 26, 2011
Review copy from publisher

From Egmont:

Oona Crate was born to be the Wizard’s apprentice, but she has another destiny in mind.

Despite possessing the rare gift of natural magic, Oona wants to be a detective. Eager for a case to prove herself, she wants to show her uncle—the Wizard of Dark Street—that logic is as powerful as magic. But when someone attacks the Wizard, Oona must delve even deeper into the world of
The Wizard of Dark Street has a good mystery and, although it suffers a little from infodumping and occasional melodramatic description, it’s got enough intrigue to it to make me want to pick up the next book. The world is interesting, even if a lot of information about it is tossed out all at once and the flow never quite seems natural, and Oona, though one of those “brooding, occasionally snarky and perceived as an outsider” protagonists, has her positive moments.

One of my problems with myster
Jun 22, 2016 Camille rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
I’m becoming very interested in mysteries, and the premise of a mystery story mixed with magic really intrigued me. I especially love reading about fantasy worlds alongside ours, because it helps me believe in the possibility that magic exists just around the corner. I loved the mysterious and vividly imagined setting of Dark Street, a Victorian era place poised between a gate leading to our world at one end (which opens for one minute every midnight) and a gate to the fairy realm on the other. ...more
Oct 31, 2015 Mike rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, owned
Getting middle grade books makes me nervous. Every now and then, you come across a Harry Potter...but for the most part, you end up with books that, while delightful for children, don't really hold up to a worldly and discerning adult's suspicious, near-sighted eyeballs. I wasn't reassured when I saw all of the critical (or at least tepid) reviews for this first Oona Crate mystery, either — usually, I'm in the position of being harder on books than other reviewers, so when a lot of people dislik ...more
Oct 24, 2012 Corey rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When Harry Potter ended, some people pointed to Philip Pullman's "His Dark Materials" as the next big children's book...course it became Suzanne Collins "Hunger Games" but since the games have ended, the question arises "What children's novel will follow in the path set by J.K. Rowling and her 'Harry Potter' novels?"

I believe I have found the answer in a man from my own hometown named Shawn Thomas Odyssey. In "The Wizard of Dark Street" he introduces us to a magical world hidden in New York circ
Aug 05, 2012 Cassandra rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oona Crane lebt zusammen mit ihrem Onkel Alexander, dem obersten Magier und gleichzeitig ihrem Lehrherrn , in der Dark Street einer magischen Straße, die an die Grenzen New Yorks stößt. Zusammen mit ihrem sprechenden Raben versucht sie sich als Detektivin, doch bevor sie ganz in die Fußstapfen von Sherlock Holmes treten kann, muss sie erst ihren Lehrvertrag als Zauberlehrling lösen. Kaum ist der große Augenblick gekommen und die neuen Anwärter für den Posten des Zauberlehrlings sind eingetroffen ...more
The mainly drawback that I found with Dark Street was the lead-up to the resolution of the mystery was not as methodical as I have seen in other mysteries. We'd be shown scenes and interview characters, but Oona would come away with no real clues. Answers would then suddenly dawn on Oona much later with a "why didn't I realize that before!" This did not allow us as the readers to come to the same conclusion as Oona. I found myself flipping back to previous chapters to see where such information ...more
Apr 09, 2011 Erin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Within the space between two worlds exists the last of the 13 faire roads called Dark Street. Situated on the North end of the street are the Iron Gates. These gates connect Dark Street to New York City at precisely 12am every night. At the South end of the street are the odious Glass Gates. These gates lead to the world of the fairies and were sealed 500 years ago by the great magicians at the end of the Faire Wars. Dead center of Dark Street is the Pendulum House which is home to the Wizard. “ ...more
Sep 13, 2013 Crissy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

In the 14th century, at the end of the Great Faerie War, the wizard Oswald the Great closed the Glass Gates between the World of Faerie and Dark Street, the magical community that connects New York to Faerie and protects the mortal world from the malicious magic of the Fey.

Five hundred years later in 1877, young teen witch Oona Crate, always accompanied by her talking -- and thinking -- raven familiar, Deacon, decides to relinquish her inherited position as apprentice to her uncle the Wizard, th

Joanie Chevalier
Oona and her uncle live on Dark St. somewhere in New York. It is a hidden street with a gate on each end to keep the regular humans (and fairies) out. The gate at the fairy end is always locked, due to a dispute with the fairies hundreds of years ago. The other gate is only open for one minute at midnight. Those wandering by could by chance end up on Dark Street. The story starts out with Oona’s uncle, the Wizard, looking for an apprentice. He places an ad in The Times. Only those who truly know ...more
Nov 17, 2015 Nafiza rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2012
Shawn Thomas Odyssey’s middle grade debut novel is creative, colourful and imaginative. He dreams up a protagonist called Oona Crate who is something called a natural magician, believed to have a small amount of fairy blood in her makeup which makes her able to do magic naturally rather than by learning to manipulate elements etc. However, several horrible things happen which lead to Oona renouncing magic and this in turn leads to the Magician of Dark Street (who is incidentally also Oona’s uncl ...more
Jul 21, 2011 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Little Bookworm
12 year old Oona is destined for the position of Wizard's Apprentice since she is a rare Natural Magician. But all she wants to do is start her own detective agency. When the current Wizard, also Oona's uncle, is stabbed with a magic knife, it's up to Oona to figure out who purported the crime.

This was a great mix of fantasy and mystery so it combined two of my favorite genres. Oona is a girl detective and those are the best kind. She is smart, witty, clever and loyal to her
A determined heroine, check. A devastating loss, check. Mysterious happenings, check. Oona wants to be a detective, but after a close call with a guillotine, her uncle makes her promise to avoid 'deadly criminals.' And she tries hard to do so, but when her uncle disappears while choosing a new apprentice, Oona wonders if she made the right choice in giving up magic. I found Oona a delightful character and really enjoyed reading about her. In spite of the tragedies in her life, she continues to f ...more
colleen the convivial curmudgeon
A cute story mixing two of my favorite things - magic and whodunits.

Oona is a Natural Magician, a rare thing even on Dark Street, the last of the pathways between the World of Man and Faerie, and, since the gate to Faerie has been shut permanently, magic is on the decline.

But despite this, and because of a tragic accident she caused when her magic went wrong, she doesn't want to be the Wizard's Apprentice and, instead, wants to follow the path of her father and be a detective.

But her worlds coll
Emma Woodcock
There were some likable things about this story, but quite disappointing really. Maybe it's one of those children's books which works fine for children, but doesn't tranlsate so well to adults? I found much of it quite tiresome - especially the ridiculous police inspector, obviously supposed to be comic relief, but just irritating.

Also, the writing really wasn't great. At times it seemed a bit amateurish. At one point there was a sentence containting the same word twice (I can't remember now wha
I really wanted to like this book more than I did. For me, the characters seemed superficial and somewhat overdone, more caricatures that characters. I also found it quite heavy-handed in Oona 'agonizing' over her decision to give up magic; I understand that the book is geared toward a younger audience, but even the average child would not need to be hit on the head with a hammer to get the message. That said, the book did pick-up at the end. I might read the next one in the series if I come acr ...more
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What's The Name o...: SOLVED. Older children's fantasy/mystery [s] 10 39 May 13, 2014 08:20PM  
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  • Ordinary Magic
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  • It Happened on a Train (Brixton Brothers, #3)
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  • The Cabinet of Earths (Maya and Valko, #1)
  • Horton Halfpott; or, The Fiendish Mystery of Smugwick Manor; or, The Loosening of M’Lady Luggertuck’s Corset
  • Ivy's Ever After
  • A Pocket Full of Murder (Uncommon Magic, #1)
  • The Kindling (Middle School Magic #1)
  • Destiny, Rewritten
  • Down the Mysterly River
  • The Key and the Flame
  • The Mapmaker and the Ghost
  • Magic Below Stairs
  • The Mask of Destiny (Billionaire, #3)
  • The Menagerie (Menagerie, #1)
  • The Vengekeep Prophecies
Edgar and Agatha nominated author of THE WIZARD OF DARK STREET and THE MAGICIAN'S TOWER, novels of detection and magic.

Visit Shawn on the web at:



More about Shawn Thomas Odyssey...

Other Books in the Series

Oona Crate Mystery (3 books)
  • The Magician's Tower (Oona Crate Mystery, #2)
  • The Magician's Dream (Oona Crate Mystery, #3)

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