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The Case of the Time-Capsule Bandit (Randi Rhodes, Ninja Detective #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  515 Ratings  ·  122 Reviews
Meet Randi Rhodes, the world’s first ninja detective! Mystery abounds in this delightful new middle grade series from Academy Award–winning actress Octavia Spencer.

Deer Creek is a small town whose only hope for survival is the success of their Founder’s Day Festival. But the festival’s main attraction, a time capsule that many people believe hold the town’s treasure, has g
Audio CD, 4 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by Simon & Schuster Audio (first published September 1st 2013)
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Spencer's book is an excellent middle school mystery. Twelve-year-old Randi Rhodes is the daughter of a popular mystery writer. Her mother has recently passed away. Randi is upset and resentful when her father decides they should move from New York to his small Tennessee hometown.
Randi, without her father's knowledge, has acted as a sleuth solving small mysteries in her old neighborhood. The only excitement in the new town is the upcoming Founder's Day Festival at the center of which will be the
I read this right after Liar & Spy by Rebecca Stead. Both are aimed at age groups 8-12. I thought it would be very interesting to hear the writing voice of the versatile actress Octavia Spencer, and it was a fun mystery, well written and cleverly put together.
However, when held up against the power & messages in Liar and Spy, there is just no comparison; though Spencer's book deals with similar issues, Liar and Spy wholly eclipses the Ninja Detective; stylistically and emotionally how
Meagan Bell
Jul 16, 2015 Meagan Bell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Review by my 7yo. If you want to be a ninja and a detective this is the book for you! I want to be both and I learned a lot.
Winter Sophia Rose
This Was So Much Fun To Read At Bedtime. I Even Got A Standing Ovation Afterwards. We Loved It!!!
This was a cute little mystery for kids with a strong female lead. Recommended.
Balters' 3rd Grade Class
L.C. 5 stars
Jun 08, 2016 Amy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
This a fun detective book for kids. Octavia Spencer reading her own book was fantastic. She really made the story come to life.
Caleb Beadel
Jun 27, 2017 Caleb Beadel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is really good. I'd recommend it for young readers who want to be detectives. The problem is that he can't find the time capsule that has been buried for over 200 years in deer Creek Woods Village. Everyone thinks Argus McCarthy has taken the time Capsule but he didn't he's dad, toot McCarthy, look for the time capsule everyone laughed at him and Argus was was in barest of his dad. But toot found the time capsule it was buried in a cave part of the cave caved in on him and that is why ...more
Jun 10, 2017 Luqman rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-challenge
this book is so great and tells you so much about the kids, it tells you that kids are able to fight crime
I finished this book in the library and while little kids thought it was a playground there.
Stacey Mulholland
Jul 16, 2017 Stacey Mulholland rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is exactly the kind of book I would have read in 3-5th grade. It reminded me of a more sophisticated Encyclopedia Brown and Harriet the Spy.
Katie Fitzgerald
When Miranda “Randi” Rhodes and her dad leave Brooklyn and move to a small town in Tennessee, Randi must leave behind her identity as Glenn Street, the neighborhood vigilante whose name is taken from her father’s detective novels. She worries that nothing remotely interesting will happen in her new town of Deer Creek, but not longer after her arrival, a crime is committed. The town’s time capsule has been stolen prior to its scheduled opening, and there are tons of suspects. Pleased that her ser ...more
Dawn Teresa
Jul 29, 2014 Dawn Teresa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on my blog, ReadLove .

Randi Rhodes doesn’t want to leave Brooklyn — the neighborhood needs her! Operating anonymously under the name Glenn Street (the fictional heroine of her father’s popular mystery series), she’s been solving crimes considered too petty for the police. As the book opens, we witness Randi on stakeout waiting to catch a garden thief in the act with a tulip-planted trap.

Randi’s mother has recently died. Life hasn’t been the same for her and her father who a
Keri Payton
When Randi Rhodes moves from adventurous New York City to Deer Creek, she doesn’t expect to stumble across any mysteries worthy of her ninja detective skills. Yet it isn’t long before Deer Creek’s Time Capsule goes missing at a crucial point that could mean a terrible loss for the town if it isn’t recovered in time.

Determined to solve the case, Randi leaps into action with the aide of her new friend, D.C., to discover the perpetrator and bring them to justice. There’s something hidden in the his
Miss Pippi the Librarian
Randi Rhodes is proud of her sleuthing that she employed as a detective in her Brooklyn neighborhood. Unfortunately, case number thirty-two is her last. Her father is moving the family - Randi and himself - to Deer Creek, Tennessee. From the hustle and bustle urban life to country living in a resort town. The biggest news is the celebration of Founders' Day and the opening of the 200 year old time-capsule. But boring small-town life quickly turns exciting when the historic time-capsule goes miss ...more
Randi Rhodes loves to think of herself as a ninja detective. Just like Glenn Street, the heroine in her father’s detective novels, Randi spends all her spare time solving petty crimes in her Brooklyn neighborhood. When her father relocates the two of them to quiet, rural Deer Creek, TN, Randi is afraid she’ll be bored without any crimes to solve. But when the town’s time-capsule goes missing, Randi and her new friends Dario “DC” Cruz and Pudge Taylor take it upon themselves to find out who the b ...more
Feb 18, 2017 Courtney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was an impulse find while at the library with my kids. I picked it up, started reading, and was 4-5 chapters in before we decided to leave. I definitely liked the book enough to, not only check out this one, but the second one as well.

The story is very much geared to younger readers who may have experience with longer chapter books, but perhaps not quite ready to take on a lengthy series like HP. I would highly recommend for anyone looking for a little palate cleanser.
Ms. Yingling
Randi's father, who writes detective novels, decides to move from New York City to the mountains of Tennessee after the death of Randi's mother from cancer. Randi loves to investigate small crimes in her urban neighborhood, so is not happy about the move, or about the fact that her father isn't writing. When they get to the small town of Deer Creek, they find it is celebrating it's 200th birthday by uncovering a time capsule that the founders buried, and it is to be opened by none other than the ...more
Jan 15, 2014 Heidi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Randi reluctantly moves to Deer Creek from New York with her father a year after her mother's death. She resents leaving her home and the neighborhood where she has anonymously solved 32 cases. Deer Creek seems boring at first until the time capsule buried 200 years earlier that the town plans to open for anniversay celebration goes missing. Randi jumps at the chance to use her detective skills to find it. Despite the interference of her father and the new housekeeper that Randi resents, she man ...more
Dec 22, 2016 Becky rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Completely fine. Nothing amazing yet nothing awful. Couldn't help but make comparisons to Three Times Lucky series, and I enjoyed that more. Nice inclusion of a child with a hearing aid... you don't really see that often.
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
I usually approach books written by celebrities with a bit of trepidation. More often than not, I don’t even bother reading them — just waiting for others’ reactions. But for some reason, I got a positive vibe from the galley. Perhaps because its multi-ethnicity cast portrayed and neatly presented on the cover? My gut feelings proved to be not that wrong. Much like what Spencer enjoyed reading as a child (Nancy Drew and Encyclopedia Brown,) the story is just complex enough to keep the readers’ i ...more
Harry Brake
Jul 03, 2013 Harry Brake rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Drama, Mystery, and thriller lovers.
Recommended to Harry by: Octavia Spencer!
The depth of a Middle School novel, coupled with the depth of a star that does things that keep her grounded help says how much character Octavia Spencer's book actually contains. When I was lucky enough to have her sign a copy of this book for me, let alone getting a copy, as well as hearing her speak about the process that went into this, you realize what a gem you have on your hands. The awesome but true appendix at the end, the complicated period where students struggle with identifying thei ...more
Octavia Spencer, Academy Award-winner of The Help, started writing this book 13 years ago. Her Hollywood mentor, Sandra Bullock, gave it a read and encouraged her to seek a publisher. With her new stardom, she found a contract with Simon & Schuster, and the second in the series will follow shortly.
Scooby Do enthusiasts will recognize the formulaic plot -- those meddlesome kids, bad guys in suits, the secret treasure and the wholesome reward at the end. The chapters are peppered with inconsi
Elissa Schaeffer
I'd give it 3.5 stars.

Rhandi Rhodes and her father, still struggling to get over the death of her mother and learn how to connect with each other, move from her beloved NYC to a small, rural town in Tennessee. Adventure awaits PI-savvy Rhandi as there is much more to this town than meets the eye.

As others have stated, the multi-cultural characters are great, and they blend seamlessly without making an issue of race or culture, just kids feeling each other out and getting to know one another. Ge
12-year-old Randi Rhodes is a spunky street-wise sleuth with firey red hair and a black belt degree. When Randi learns she will be moving out of the city and into a small town, she thinks her sleuthing days are over. Little does she know a mystery is waiting for her to solve. A time capsule rumored to contain the map to a centuries old treasure has disappeared, and the town's very survival may depend on its restoration.

Mystery fans will appreciate Randi's no-nonsense attitude and strategies for
When Octavia Spencer spoke during the BookExpo America Children's Author Breakfast, she introduced us to her new book as one where she strived for diverse characters. Given the latest push for diverse books, I would definitely place this book on a list of those that feature diverse characters. With a red-haired heroine with a single parent, (an Hispanic?) side-kick with hearing aids, an Asian housekeeper/nanny, a female sheriff, and an African American new friend, there is diversity everywhere. ...more
Stephanie Cover2CoverBlog
Randi Rhodes is the only child of author Herb Rhodes, the mastermind behind the great detective series staring Glenn Street; so it isn’t surprising that Randi herself aspires to be a great detective.

After the passing of her mother, and her father giving up his writing for a while; they move to the small town of Deer Creek where a mystery has occurred, the time-capsule has gone missing. Randi is determined to show her father that she is no longer a baby and that she can help the town solve this
MrsK Books
Aug 11, 2015 MrsK Books rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Randi Rhodes is a dynamic character. As a local "Ninja" she is always on the look out for those in need. Her training makes her a threat, of course it helps that her father is the writer of the Glen Street detective novels.

Randi and her best friend DC are in collaboration to bring all litterbugs, bullies, snatchers, and nappers to justice. When Randi if forced to move from Brooklyn to Deer Creek, she is sure that her life will be over. Why doesn't her dad see that she is just as "strong" as Glen
Sep 28, 2015 Suz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Miranda "Randi" Rhodes is no ordinary kid. Her father writes mystery novels featuring the character Glenn Street, a smart female detective who puts the bad guys away and says, Game over, loser." Since her mother's death last year Randi has been using the persona of Glenn Street to solve mysteries around their neighborhood in New York. But now her dad has sold the brownstone and moved them back to his hometown of Deer Creek, Tennessee. Randi is pretty sure that she will be bored to death before s ...more
Jennifer Clausen-greene
Cute book filled with lots of action and keeps you engaged. I did think the author maybe tried a little too hard in making sure the book covered so many ethnic groups and trying to be "true" to their background, but overall it worked pretty good. The characters are solid and change in time as you would expect as the story progresses. Really thought my daughter could relate to the plot too; middle school characters searching for their identity and trying to find out who they are in life and how t ...more
Adult Reader Reaction: This is a fast-paced mystery that seems to get ahead of itself at times. The story is fun and enjoyable to read, but I found it somewhat predictable. Many of the adults were pretty stereotypical, as were the festival queen and her friends. Randi is a great character, and D.C. and Pudge also have the potential to be strong parts of the ensemble. They deserve more than the cursory backstories they have now. Randi's relationship with her widower dad is also uneven, which is a ...more
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In addition to being a writer, Spencer is an award-winning actress. She is best known for her role as Minny Jackson from Kathryn Stockett's The Help; as the audio-book narrator, in the BBC's 15 Minute Drama radio play, and in the 2011 film.
More about Octavia Spencer...

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