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Shirley Link and the Safe Case

(Shirley Link #1)

3.88  ·  Rating details ·  655 ratings  ·  62 reviews
“I put on my kindest face for the poor man. I even smile a little. Marie slashes her fingers across her neck, telling me to stop with the fake grin. She must think I look creepy again. I keep smiling, though. I need to practice. I have a problem with people thinking I’m mean.”

And so it goes, for Shirley Link. Brilliant, brazen and still a whole year away from her driver's
Paperback, 102 pages
Published July 4th 2012 by Createspace Independent Publishing Platform (first published July 2nd 2012)
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Average rating 3.88  · 
Rating details
 ·  655 ratings  ·  62 reviews

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Rebecca Douglass

I liked Shirley from the moment she turned in her "What I did with my summer vacation" paper and got a D for writing fiction (okay, she was telling the truth, but still. . . ). She's an insightful narrator with a touch of cynicism and just enough hubris to make it clear she's human. She reveals herself well in her narration, and describes other characters, inside and out, with a few well-chosen words. An example I liked was when she notes that the principal looks especially harried because "his
Jemima Pett
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, tween, funny, ya
Move over Sam Spade, there’s a new detective in town! Most reviewers suggest she’s Veronica Mars for grade-schoolers, but since I don’t know Veronica Mars I bow to their superiority and just say Shirley Link rocks!

Some years ago there was a brilliant TV series called Taken, nothing to do with the relatively recent film of the same name. It’s narrated by a girl, and starts with the Roswell Incident, I think. As soon as I started reading Shirley Link I had that same voice in my head – clever, cool
Lily (Night Owl Book Cafe)
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: print, reviewed, childrens
I got this book for free from the author in exchange of an honest review.

Shirley Link and the safe case was an adorable quick read. A middle school mystery novel that was quite entertaining. Shirley Link is a brilliant 14 year old girl was an amazing ability to notice all the little details and based on slight changes and perspective she can draw conclusions. No wonder she is so good at solving mysteries and is often sought after by others in need of help.

In her first book Shirley's adventure ki
Devi Nair
Dec 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebooks
Check out the complete review at Shirley Link and the Safe Case (Shirley Link, #1) > Review

This is one of the cutest books I have read. Shirley Link is an instantly likable kid detective, who is very intelligent but a very normal teenager. She has this adorable couple of friends, Marie and Wylie, who like each other but do not accept it. Shirley, however, has her head strong on her shoulders, at least that is what she thinks.

There is absolutely nothing I did not like about this book. It is a rea
C.P. Cabaniss
Mar 31, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: thechase
This was a fairly fun middle grade book about a 14 year old Sherlock Holmes type character. Her dad is an archaeologist and he'd mother a cop, so she's learned some skills of the trade from both. In this story she is investigating the theft of a rather large sum of money from the principal's office.
I didn't find Shirley to be all that great of a character personally. Maybe it's just that I'm older than the intended audience, but she was too full of herself. Her friends were fun and I liked how
Tyler Scott Hess
Mar 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
As a fellow writer, I have followed Ben's twitter and blog for several months, but just now got to the point in my reading list to get to the first book in his Shirley Link series. Although the book is rather short, as it is intended for middle school aged children, the characters are well developed and and the main character is set to be the next Sherlock Holmes. Having read a bit of the Holmes series as well, her sleuthing is very similar, if not quite as advanced. I would highly recommend thi ...more
M.G. King
Dec 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Confident, quick-witted Shirley Link is a compelling character in a chapter book that younger tweens will love. The storyline and pacing are similar to the classic Encyclopedia Brown. I see great success for the Shirley Link series with Zackheim's quick pacing, spot-on dialogue, and well-developed cast of characters. ...more
Apr 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
This is a fun short story for elementary school aged kids, and though it is for children, the way the crime was done was very imaginitive - worthy of Holmes or Poirot. If you have children and would like for them to read something that isn't about witches or vampires but still with a bit of adventure, check this one out. ...more
Angela Alverson
Jul 05, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
smart and cute, just like the guy who wrote it and the lady who did the cover.
Leandro Dutra
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short & entertaining. For those not yet quite up to father Brown or Lord Peter Death Wimsey.
Ted Tayler
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"End of term report: Well written"

A very enjoyable read for children. A touch of mystery, laced with humour and recognisable characters makes for a good mix.
Dec 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
This book terribly needs an editor, but it was fun and a super quick read.
Nicholas Pozo
Jul 24, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, children
A fun, straight-into-the-case detective story. Zackheim has a knack for fun, peppery dialogue, and for a book of this length is able to advance the story along at a cracking pace without the reader feeling rushed. As a detective novel for younger readers Shirley Link hits all the right buttons. The clues and suspects are clearly presented, and Zacheim never lets the amount of information become too much to process before he reveals the culprit.

Shirley Link is almost perfectly constructed. Though
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
What a fun detective story! When teenage detective Shirley Link grows up, I imagine her matching wits with the likes of Sherlock Holmes. Shirley Link and the Safe Case introduces the reader to this clever girl (and her "assistants"/friends) by showing off her deductive reasoning skills while solving the case of a safe missing from the principal's office.

I can't wait to share the story with my younger nephews and cousins (I think my 9 year old nephew will love the mystery and be excited to use t
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
My sons both loved this book and the fact that they got to solce the case with clues. The reading level was perfect for my 8 year old son who is in 3rd grade and he was done in a day! He took it with him to school to read during study time and his teacher was intrigued by it as well! Would have been a 5 star rating but had a few typing errors and a bit too short.

My rating system is as follows:

5 stars - Excellent, Worth Every Penny, Made It Into My Personal Library!

4 stars - Great book, but not a
Jan 01, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2013
SHIRLEY LINK AND THE SAFE CASE was a totally cute and fun middle grade novel about a girl with an uncanny ability to notice the details around her and draw conclusions based on her perception, all of which make her a fabulous detective. The school principal enlists Shirley to solve the latest crime, which involves the theft of a safe that held money intended for the expansion of the school library. Shirley puts her skills to the test, uncovering the clues she needs to locate the safe and stop th ...more
Julie Grasso
May 31, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Well, to preface this review I must tell you of my absolute love of the TV series Veronica Mars, so when I found this book I was absolutely delighted. Shirley is the middle grade equivalent. She is smart, witty and has awesome observation skills, but of course is completely and utterly misunderstood by most of her teachers. Her friends totally get her though and I loved the way the author portrayed Shirley and her friends accepting each others quirks and working to their strengths.

The mystery wa
In a Nutshell | Shirley Link is a Miss Marple of the future, but perhaps not so old and stodgy. Although she has such great skills, I like that she remains grounded and kind.

Shirley Link is a really good book. Simple as that. It's written with such a good sense of humour and Shirley herself is absolutely likable, clever, and friendly. She seems to be making quite a name for herself in her hometown as mystery solver, a future Miss Marple or Jessica Fletcher, perhaps. Cue the start of a series.

This book was so cleverly adorable! I exhausted Nancy Drew as a kid and have loved Sherlock Holmes from the time I was thirteen so when I spotted this book and read the description on Amazon, I simply had to buy it. I'm so glad I did too! This book was fun, funny, and smart (You've gotta love smart books ;)) And Shirley Link was a fantastic character that I very much enjoyed reading. I laughed out loud several times in this book. the mystery was engaging and clever, not overly apparent but suita ...more
Feb 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a great series of books. This one wasn't very
predictable. There was one problem. The first of the book
Wylie sat in his 8th grade class? Later it mentioned it
was a High School Library. I have never known 8th grade
to be in a High School unless it is a very, very small town.
Also, the age group that this appeals to is the elementary
age but the subject matter is geared more towards High school.
For the older elementary it will require more substance in the
body...more personality.
The character
Mar 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I would've adored this as a kid. I loved stories that made me think, and especially when they had games at the end as this has the riddles. My sister and I competed to see who would solve more and it was so much fun! (I won ofc). I would definately give this to my children if I had any.
I think it's quite simmilar to the Kika Superbruja, detective series I read as a kid, though I'm not sure those have ever been translated to English but I know they come in Spanish, German and Croatian for sure. T
Aug 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012
I'm always on the lookout for good middle-grade reads that can be read in less than a couple of hours and this is one. I think that the book would appeal to both boys and girls as they go along with Shirley Link and her friends as Shirley solves this mystery. Large text and a lot of white space make it a lot quicker (and easier) to read than its 83-pages would initially lead you to believe.

Even though my grandchildren are ages 8 through 11, they still enjoy having a bedtime story read to them a
Jan 06, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got this book for free through BookBub and Kobo.
It was an okay story, the book was only 49 pages long so to me the story felt rushed. You aren't given much time to relate to the characters or really get into the story, it goes by too fast.
Shirley was like a cross between Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. Like Sherlock she tells people stuff like 'you had a flat tire on your way to work today', and like Poirot once she solved the case she revealed who the culprit was in front of a crowd (whic
Bonnie Gleckler Clark
Jun 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I am always on the lookout for good reads for both of my granddaughters. I came across "Shirley Link and the safe case" by Ben Zackheim just a few days ago. I would never get them a book by an author they've never read before unless I read it first myself. The Shirley Link series is definitely a keeper. The next one on my list to read is "Shirley link and the hot comic." Not only will you like Shirley but you will like her friends Wiley and Marie. And of course the administrative staff at her sc ...more
Sandra Lee
Aug 05, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Interesting characters and story line that catch you from the first page. Excellent writing that made the characters in this book real and alive to me. The main character was funny, spunky and sassy.

I liked the that the characters didn't follow stereo-type roles. I would absolutely recommend this book to other readers. I think children as young as 5-6 would find the story interesting, as well as, all ages up to the young at heart.

Love the cover art that caught my attention with its big charact
The kind of book I enjoyed (and still do) when I was a teen. Shirley is a smart girl, kind of Nancy Drew, who likes to solve mysteries. She has 2 sidekicks, her best friends, who share her adventures. The book is short and nice. The crime is not that hard, and the criminal is quickly caught, which I think fits perfectly for a younger target. If I have the chance, I will not doubt to read the following books in the series.
Jan 09, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
For a target audience of very young children this book can be a good introduction to reading. The language is fairly simple and the main character quite realistic in behavior.. The story is not too long and can be read even by an 8 year old over a weekend.
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved Shirley...very unique girl, a miniture Sherlock Holmes. This is a quick read for a young adult or teen. I've put it on my son's TBR list (he's only 4, so I have to wait a year or so). ...more
Brooke McCormick
Jul 18, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition


This was a good book. It was short and abruptly ended, that was why this is not a 5 star book. Besides that I enjoyed it.
Kaylynn Fernandez
Mystery Girl

This book is truly worth 5 stars. Shirley Link is the modern Nancy Drew! Even though she's only in eighth grade she is able to solve the problem. ( :
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Ben's storytelling adventures started as a Production Assistant on the set of the film, A River Runs Throught It. After forgetting to bring the crew's walkie talkies, losing Robert Redford's jacket and asking Brad Pitt if he was related to Paul Newman (in front of Paul Newman) he

Other books in the series

Shirley Link (4 books)
  • Shirley Link and the Hot Comic (Shirley Link, #2)
  • Shirley Link & The Treasure Chest (Shirley Link, #3)
  • Shirley Link & The Black Cat (Shirley Link, #4)

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