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The World's Greatest Detective

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  645 ratings  ·  126 reviews
By the end of our time together, someone in this house will be rich. Someone will be the World’s Greatest Detective. And someone, well, someone might be dead.

Detectives’ Row is full of talented investigators, but Toby Montrose isn’t one of them. He’s only an assistant at his uncle’s crime-solving business, and he’s not sure he’s even very good at that. But he sees his chan
Kindle Edition, 368 pages
Published May 16th 2017 by HarperCollins
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Average rating 4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  645 ratings  ·  126 reviews

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May 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fun read for 10 and up. Felt like a mix off Sherlock Holmes, Agatha Christie, The Westing Game, and Clue. Sure to please a lot of junior sleuths. 😊
Fun and quick mystery read.
Mar 11, 2017 rated it liked it
Sweet. I downloaded and read it because the description reminded me of The Westing Game, one of my favorite books ever. It wasn't really the same writing style, but the charm of smart children trying to solve a mystery still makes me smile. ...more
Ms. Yingling
ARC provided by Young Adult Books Central

Toby's parents were both presumed dead after a boating accident, and after bouncing from relative to relative, he has finally landed with his Uncle Gabriel, who is a detective in the early part of the 1900s. His uncle is not a tremendously successful detective, so Toby has enrolled in Inspector Webster's Detective Course, hoping to gain some skills to help his uncle take business away from the more successful Hugh Abernathy, as well as other detectives in
Caryn - iam.caryn
I’m telling you right now, every single middle grade reader is guaranteed to adore this book. The same can be said to mystery lovers of any age. A fun, twisty and oh so entertaining little mystery that keeps you hooked on every page.

Toby, the narrator, is so incredibly sweet, and Ivy is delightfully quirky. I loved them both so much!

The story itself was written incredibly well. It’s reminiscent of classic Doyle or Christie tales, but written for a younger audience. This enjoyable book left me wi
Oct 15, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I thought this story was too slow, and it would have been more enjoyable if it had been significantly shorter. I did like the ending, though. It was something that I didn't expect. The characters were okay. I liked Ivy more than Toby. I thought he was too bland, not an interesting main character. ...more
Melissa Perret
Jul 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was so fun, I absolutely loved it! Cute and well written.
Jan 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This middle grade mystery was so fun! The characters were interesting and engaging. I was kept guessing the whole time, and just when I was sure I knew the answer, there was a dramatic twist ending that I didn't see coming at all! (Of course, as this book demonstrates, sometimes children are better detectives than grown ups.) I would recommend this to any mystery-loving child 9 and up (due to the prevalence of, of course, murder and a somewhat intense scene towards the end). ...more
Jessica Lawson
Oct 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh goodness, the WRITING and VOICE in this were glorious. This is one of my favorite types of books~ Britishy mysteries. I adored the characters and the red herrings and the outcome. Loved it!
Belles Middle Grade Library
Jan 15, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a great mystery whodunnit! I absolutely loved this! This for all the junior sleuths in training! Toby has been bounced around from one relative to another since his parents disappearance/suspected death. The trouble always finds him, & he is shipped to the next one. He’s now w/his Uncle Gabriel who is a detective living on “detective row”. But business is slow for all of the detectives , along w/his uncle. Except for the famous “worlds greatest detective” Hugh Abernathy. Toby is his un ...more
Mar 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
I have found a book to recommend to our middle-grade grandchildren! Toby thinks trouble follows him, and it does seem so. When his parents go missing, he finally ends up living with his detective Uncle Gabriel who is struggling financially. Toby goes to desperate measures to win the $10,000 prize offered to the detective who can solve a staged death and then become "The World's Greatest Detective." Before the game starts, a detective is murdered. Toby and wanna-be detective Ivy join forces in th ...more
Jun 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owlcrate
I expected to enjoy this book, and I did. I expected a slightly predicable mystery, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that this author does not underestimate children. The clues were all there, but there was so much more to the story. I stayed up until 2:00 AM finishing the book because the characters mattered to me and I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep until their story was resolved.

My daughter has read (and loves) Carlson's pirate series. It is now on my must read list.
Amelia Shields
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I am not one who usually goes for a detective book, but I am glad I read this book it came in my daughters owlcrate jr box. I really enjoyed it, it has a good mystery, two smart kids who are detectives and a twist in the middle.
May 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
A fun detective book and a very easy read!
Suzanne Maley
I would give this a 3+ as it was slow to get going but the end was good and I hope there are more stories about Toby and Ivy.
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Great book for adults and kids! If you love a good mystery you'll enjoy this book! ...more
Maureen Pezzementi
Such fun to read!
Taylor Haven Holt
Mar 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Such a delightful read! I (very) often read mysteries and crime fiction, and have an affinity for Sherlock Holmes. That said, I sometimes seek out lighter fare in between weightier novels, and this was the perfect palate cleanser. Caroline Carlson has crafted a twisty, fun book for younger readers that also undoubtedly appeals to adults. Abernathy is the entitled "World's Greatest Detective," and I wasn't disappointed by his skills. I flew through this novel because I had to know how Toby was go ...more
May 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery, young-adult, 2017
Witty and satisfying! I was expecting a fun adventure, but the story had a layer of emotional depth I wasn't expecting but really enjoyed. Ready for the next one. ...more
Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls)
Hmm. Let’s first chat about how cute this cover is, yes? It’s quite lovely.
Now, to the actual story.
Mysteries are always a genre that I’m willing to read, but I don’t believe I’ve read many (secular) middle grade mysteries. (Besides my favorite series, The Mysterious Benedict Society. But, sadly, I am not here to fangirl and giggle over that beloved series.) This book had me curious because I though it may be similar to a game of Clue. I’m still not sure how I feel about a middle grade book inc
Jamie Canaves
Delightful! Ten-year-old Toby Montrose has been passed around homes ever since his parents disappeared. He’s currently staying on Detectives’ Row with his uncle and fears that if something goes wrong, as it always seems to, he’ll finally be out of options and be sent to an orphanage. Being that his uncle is having a hard time getting business, as most of the detectives on the Row are, Toby decides to lie his way into a detective competition to win a good chunk of cash and hopefully solve all his ...more
Steph Heinz
Jan 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
With tonal similarities to A Series of Unfortunate Events, THE WORLD'S GREATEST DETECTIVE embraces the tension of a murder mystery while remaining a fun adventure for younger readers. Deeper still, it tells the story of a boy plagued by personified 'trouble' and concerns far beyond his young age as Toby works to find not only a murderer, but himself and his place in the world. ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Oh my gosh. This book is a must read. It is so exciting and mysterious. I love how many things happened, like dead ends and capturing. Then in the last hundred pages or so, you find out everything. I couldn't believe who actually murdered who, really. This book is so exciting and I suggest it to anyone who likes mystery and surprises. ...more
Fun, quick mystery read :)
May 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-kid-lit, mystery
Toby Montrose is no stranger to trouble; it has dogged him since he was eight years old - and he's eleven now. So he can recognize trouble trying to slip under the door or hovering in the corners, and the bills marked past due and last notice that are arriving in his uncle's mail are sure signs of its presence. Since his parents were lost while boating, Toby has moved from one relative's care to another, and if Uncle Gabriel can't keep him, then it will be the city orphanage next. When a detecti ...more
Tiana Hadnt
Aug 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a great deal of fun in some ways, and heart-wrenching in others. If you're a fan of The Mysterious Benedict Society series by Trenton Lee Stewart, you will thoroughly enjoy this too. In brief, it's about a boy and girl (Toby and Ivy) who end up having to solve a real life murder when all they started out to do was win the huge prize for being The World's Greatest Detective.

I really like Toby. He's endearing, earnest, and frightened. He wants to do this one thing well, so that his l
Jun 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my opinion of the book or my review itself.

Toby Montrose has been passed around from relative to relative, ever since his parents disappeared in a boating accident. Now he finds himself with his Last Relative, Uncle Gabriel, who lives on Detective's Row and has fallen on hard times.

Toby dreams of being a detective himself, and when the most famous detective, Hugh Abernathy, opens up a contest
Olivia Cammon
Feb 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The World's Greatest Detective was full of twists and turns and kept you on the edge of your seat. Carlson's imagination is just wonderful to have come up with such an amazing novel! This book has an old-timey mystery feel to it, and I just love that! I really love modern novels set in the vintage eras, I also enjoy mysteries, so this novel was a perfect mix of the two. I really loved the concept of Detectives' Row and the concept of the east-leaning house. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, and th ...more
Alba Arango
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Mystery fans will be pleased, indeed!

11-year-old Toby Montrose has been bounced around from family member to family member following the disappearance of his parents. Finally, he ends up in the care of his Uncle Gabriel, a detective on the famed street, Detective’s Row. When the World’s Greatest Detective, Hugh Abernathy, announces a contest to choose the next World’s Greatest Detective, Toby hops on the chance in hopes of earning the prize money and helping out his uncle. But, when Hugh Abernat
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Caroline Carlson is the author of funny and fantastical books for young readers, including The Very Nearly Honorable League of Pirates trilogy, The World’s Greatest Detective, and The Door at the End of the World. Her novels have won accolades from the New York Times, the American Booksellers Association, Bank Street College of Education, the American Library Association, and Junior Library Guild, ...more

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