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The Mystery of Shadow Hills

(Skylar Robbins #1)

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  178 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Thirteen-year-old sleuth Skylar Robbins plans to become a private detective like her grandfather. Stuck at her bullying cousin Gwendolyn’s Malibu estate for the summer, Skylar brings her fingerprinting kit, portable spy tools, and her journal for taking notes in secret code. She had no idea how dangerous the next eight weeks would prove to be.

As soon as Skylar gets to Mali
Paperback, 260 pages
Published July 30th 2013 by Ward Design LLC DBA Teen Mystery Press (first published July 2013)
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Average rating 4.03  · 
Rating details
 ·  178 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ebook-mystery
I Just love Skylar. She is smart, curious and determined to be just like her grandfather the detective. What a great little mystery she wandered into while her parents were away. While staying with her not so close or nice cousin, she found herself mixing with people and things that were more than she bargained for. SJylar handled herself with scientific reasoning and maybe a little fear. It was a really fun mystery. I love the way that Carrie Cross writes. It is intelligent and positive with al ...more
Stephanie Collins
Dec 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
My name is Ellie and I just turned 13, so I felt like I had a lot in common with Skylar, which made this really fun to read. I opened this book thinking it would be "just" a mystery, but I got sucked right into it and soon found it was so much more! I was super-surprised when the story turned to witchcraft; that was all so cool and interesting! I loved the magic, secret garden and the cousin drama, too. Heck, there were even horses; what's not to love - this story had it all! This was a great bo ...more
Skylar Robbins:The Mystery of Shadow Hills by Carrie Cross is an all new Nancy Drew-type detective story! Skylar loves investigating and her grandfather taught her true detective skills. The reader is transported into Skylar's memories and daydreams. She's stuck for eight weeks at her grouchy cousin's old Malibu mansion while her parents travel abroad. Skylar attends summer school while she's in Malibu, but she only has to go to an art class. The descriptions of the art assignments make me want ...more
Amy Lou

Goodreads | Website

Skylar is a teen detective wannabe, proud of her detective case and equipment passed down from her real detective grandfather. She loves adventure and mystery and getting her hands dirty.

When her parents lob her off to her aunt, uncle, and obnoxious, bullying cousin, she's fuming. But soon, the mystery of the Shadow Hills that are visible from her aunt and uncle's house keep her entertained. She starts to suspect evil goings-on up i

Lauri Rottmayer
Jul 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Can't wait for the next one. ...more
Nov 02, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition

Obviously, I'm in the minority here, but I had to make myself keep reading throughout most of the book. The writing style was fine, but I didn't really feel there was any mystery. None. I'm honestly still not sure what the mystery is supposed to be after finishing the book.

So, the book isn't the mystery it claims to be, so what is it? It's a book about bullying and witchcraft. Spoiler - she learns its all been a slight of hand (or has it? the author plants seeds of doubt), but "all
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
Thirteen-year-old Skylar’s been collecting items for her detective kit, and plans to be just like her grandfather. What she didn’t plan on was staying at her annoying cousin’s mansion in Shadow Hills for eight weeks while her parents tour Europe. The Hills and the attic are off limits, and that’s just got to mean adventure, or even “escape from Malibu!” But by the end of this tale, Skylar won’t be the only person needing to get away.

Skylar has a nice convincing voice as the first-person narrator
Casey Fredrick
Oct 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone who wishes to relate
The main reason on why I was excited to start Skylar Robbins was due to the fact that Carrie, the author, used to live in my hometown. But as I got deeper into the book, I was intrigued. I read it within a few days and didn't want to put it down. I was right there with Skylar- even if that meant I too got tricked! ...more
Sandra A
Oct 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I actually read the 2nd book (the Mystery of the Hidden Jewels) before I read this one, so it was interesting because I already knew some things about Skylar from the future. However, I also enjoyed this book very much! There were many things that Skylar had to deal with, including living at her aunt's house with a bullying cousin while her parents went to Europe for 2 weeks, being separated from her best friend, attending summer school at a different school, addressing her fear of horses, and l ...more
Linda McCutcheon
The Mystery of Shadow Hills by Carrie Cross is the absolute perfect book for kids and teens. It is the first in a series which is a good thing since once you follow would be private eye 13 year old Skylar Robbins around Malibu as she unlocks the mystery of Shadow Hills you will want to be her side kick forever.

Skylar has decided she is just like her grandfather and needs to be a private eye. She carries her detective kit everywhere (it has a finger print kit inside)! It's a good thing she takes
Darlene Foster
Jan 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
A fun middle-grade book that combines detective work and sorcery. Skylar Robbins is dumped at her aunt and uncle's place while her parents tour Europe. While there, she attends summer school and makes new friends, including Kat who dapples in witchcraft, the good kind, or so she says. Skylar deals with a number of issues, missing her parents and her BFF from home, being bullied by her obnoxious cousin and manipulated by her new friend. She discovers a secret garden that may have belonged to her ...more
Kathryn Kelly
Jul 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Skylar Robbins is quite a plucky girl. She's 12 and is really into detective work. I enjoyed reading about how she solved her case and learned how to stand up for herself. It is geared to middle grades, but, based on the reviews, adults also seem to enjoy it. I know I did! There's spells and incantations and such in the book. Almost every chapter ends on a little cliffhanger that makes you HAVE to turn the page and see what happens next. Give this book a try. Best of all, there are three more bo ...more
Bill Tillman
This is a great mid-grade fantasy novel. Skylab is a junior detective, who stay at her aunt and uncle's house in Malibu for the summer. She has one great adventure after another, looking for magic seeds in a cave on th beach nearly drowning! Being caught in a forest fire, encountering witches both white & black. A fun read for anyone who likes M-G fiction. ...more
Connie Downing
Aug 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A modern day Nancy Drew. A delightful read😊
Lorna Crafton
Oct 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
With teenage detective Skylar Robbins, Carrie Cross has added a fresh and fun character for young readers to enjoy.
Strong-willed Skylar utilizes her wits, BFFS, sleuthing skills and grandpa's detective kit to solve the clues which reveal unfolding mysteries she encounters as a modern-day teenager starting her own detective agency. Carrie Cross has taken an extra step by creating a Skylar Robbins website where fans can become Secret Agents and participate in solving the clues, comment on Skylar's
Karen Moody
Sep 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I love this series. I read the second book first, The Mystery of the Hidden Jewels which is the second book in the series. Pre-teens and middle schoolers can really relate to Skylar. She comes to life and you just seem like you know her right off without too much detail to make you lose interest. These books will definitely hold your interest. This book started out a little sad and I thought I wouldn’t like it so much but that ended pretty quickly as Skylar made the best of a not so great situat ...more
Theresa Needham fehse
Aug 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Free book for honest review.

Skylar Robbins wants nothing more in life than to be a Private Investigator like her late grandpa. Skylar learns she will be spending the summer in Malibu with her Aunt Caroline, Uncle Jim and bully cousin Gwendolyn. She will also be attending a new school for the summer. Armed with PI kit and diary she sets out to have the best summer she can while her parents are in Europe.

There are few rules that need to followed: she is never to enter
Nov 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Recommended to Cynthia by: Author
Just finished reading Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills to my children. by Carrie Cross
I love that there was inspiration to do activities with the family. We took the time to make amulets - or necklaces from rocks we searched for. We are planning some fun art projects too.
I also love that the book took a turn into a positive lesson that I would want to teach my kids anyway. We were able to stop after reading the book and discuss what we learne
Tabitha Ormiston-Smith
Sep 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
It's not easy to write well for children, and Ms Cross has done a superlative job in this entertaining adventure story.

The book starts with a couple of familiar tropes (the creepy old house, the keen boy/girl detective) and in the opening pages I was expecting a standard 'Nancy Drew' kind of offering, albeit very well done. But The Mystery of Shadow Hills unfolds layer by surprising layer, revealing with each turn something that takes us completely off guard. Oh, there's witches. Oh, no wait, th
Sep 19, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a very fun young adult mystery. It was reminiscent of the Nancy Drew novels I grew up reading. I loved how Ms. Cross addresses the issue of bullying in this novel. Skylar learns to face her fears and stand up for herself through some strange circumstances but in the end she is a much stronger young girl because of it.

There are a lot of aspects in this book that address issues other young readers could be facing such as going to a new school, meeting new and differently abled people, an
Malia Haberman
Aug 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was a kid, I loved Nancy Drew. Well after reading "Skylar Robbins: The Mystery of Shadow Hills," I think Skylar is the perfect girl detective to take Nancy's place in the 21st Century.

I found this book to be fun, exciting, suspenseful, and filled with adventure and great characters. I especially liked Skylar. Throughout the book, she shows a lot of character, courage and growth in some trying, scary and sticky situations. I know all Middle Grade and Tween girls will totally love Skylar's
Rebecca Charlesworth
Oct 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free in exchange for my honest opinion and unbiased review. I gave Skylar Robbins 4 stars and here is why:

Although this book was meant for a younger audience I found myself engrossed in the story, it was a great plot that held a sense of mystery and adventure. It was nothing like I expected it to be and it was great to be surprised. There is also a wide range of diversity in the characters which is amazing to see.

Skylar Robbins is going to be a great children series full
Nov 05, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When 13 year-old Skylar is forced to stay in a big creepy house with her mean cousin Gwendolyn for 8 weeks while her parents are away, little does she know she's in for a summer filled with art classes, practicing magic with a new friend, learning how to conquer fears, and standing up for herself... This is quite an enjoyable book about a summer of finding oneself. Along the way, I enjoyed the many little daydream vignettes when Skylar imagines herself the center of various grown-up adventures.

Paula Berinstein
I loved this book. Part of the reason is that I love reading stories set in my home town, but I also loved what the author did with it. An expensive house in Malibu that looks tacky inside and smells bad? Witches in the Malibu hills? An exotic bullying teen whose parents are in show business? Awesome!

Skylar herself is a likable protagonist--a little lost in an unfamiliar environment, a bit bewildered at being left behind when her parents go off to Europe without her, a bit malleable. But she's
Bree Wolf
Jun 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Although Mystery is not really the genre I prefer reading, I found Skylar’s adventure a page-turner … once I’d passed the first 50 pages. The story starts out a bit slow but once it’s gained momentum, there is no stopping it. I especially loved how Skylar slowly got suspicious of Kat and in the end trusted her own judgment and came out the person she wanted to be, conquering her fears and making the summer worthwhile.
I’m curious what Skylar will be up to in her next adventure.
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery

The Mystery of Shadow Hills is easy to read and is a very captivating story.
Hey young, middle school girl named Skyler, with her grandfathers detective kit is out for an adventure of a lifetime as she is dropped off at her aunts house while her parents take a tour through Europe.
With her newfound friend Kat there is no telling what the two of them might get into. With adventures around every turn you would not want to put this book down.
Arun Acharya
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
A nice book for children who love mysteries. It kept me engaged thinking about witchcraft and witches good and bad. I thought there will be a battle between good and bad forces but it did not happen. Instead, Skylar ended it pretty soon. I read the whole book in two sittings. Recommended for kids and teens and also for adults who want to go back to their childhood.
Jan 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was a fun little kids' mystery! I really liked it. Skylar wants to be a private detective, but she doesn't want to go live with her bullying cousin Gwendolyn away from her best friend. In school she makes new friends, finds out about witches and warlocks, rescues the animals her aunt and uncle keep from thieves, and solves a mystery. ...more
Kristen Mott
May 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book, though meant for a younger audience, kept me wanting to read more. There was mystery, suspense and a slew of relatable characters. The plot twists and ending were unexpected and exciting. It is a great choice for young adult readers.
Jessica Lamb
Jul 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

This book was amazing... Everyone should read it, no matter what! Mystery, excitement, adventure, thrill, suspense, and most of all MAGIC! Best book by Carrie Cross.
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Carrie Cross is an avid reader who fell in love with books as a little girl after listening to Goodnight Moon at bedtime. Carrie discovered her passion for mysteries while reading Nancy Drew and The Happy Hollisters series--and then Judy Blume arrived with her unputdownable coming-of-age novels like, Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret and Deenie.

A dancer since age six, Cross took three years of

Other books in the series

Skylar Robbins (3 books)
  • The Mystery of the Hidden Jewels (Skylar Robbins #2)
  • The Mystery of the Missing Heiress (Skylar Robbins #3)

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