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The Dark Stairs (Herculeah Jones Mysteries #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  346 Ratings  ·  38 Reviews
When her best friend, Meat, narrowly escapes a hired gunman's bullet, Herculeah Jones has another mystery on her hands. Just as she begins to piece together the clues, she's kidnapped and taken to Death's Door, a deserted bookstore that may be too aptly named. Because somewhere in the dark, stalking Herculeah, is the assassin -- and this time, he's determined not to miss.
Hardcover, 130 pages
Published September 1st 1994 by Viking Juvenile (first published 1994)
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The Dark Stairs is the first book in a cute middle-grade kid detective series, The Herculeah Jones Mysteries. I came across this series by accident, but I'm glad I did. I needed a lighthearted read to clear my mind between adult thriller novels, and The Dark Stairs was a fun, enjoyable read.

The basics: Herculeah (named after Hercules because her mom was watching a cheesy Hercules movie when she was in labor) Jones is curious, inquisitive and an amateur sleuth. She comes by it naturally -- her m
Книжни Криле
Бетси Байърс е герой и ветеран на детската литература! Американската писателка е удостоявана с не едно и две отличия за своето творчество. Измежду престижните награди на които тя е носителка са медалът „Нюбъри” (едно от най-големите признания, които детски писател може да получи), Националната награда за младежка литература на САЩ, медалът „Реджина” за цялостно творчество и наградата „Едгар”. И дори след като прехвърля 80-годишна възраст Бетси Байърс продължава да бъде активна с перото и да радв ...more
Sep 26, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book The Dark Stairs was about a girl named Herculeah Jones and her friend Meat. Herculeah's mother is a private detective and one of her clients seems suspicious to Herculeah. She and Meat see him go in to an abandoned house and they follow. Eventually, she gathers up the courage to go inside the house. She finds a dead body at the bottom of the stairs

I enjoyed this book. I thought it was a good mystery book because it made you think it was the man but you find out that he accidently kill
Jan 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-star, read-in-2013
This was a pretty good book. Its about a girl named Herculeah that doesn't now how to mind her own business but ends up helping solve a 10 year old disappearance of an old man. Its a good book for kids that are in middle school. Its a good mystery for kids that like mysteries like this.
Mar 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book I read was The Dark Stairs by Betsy Byars. This book has a lexile of 570. This book is about a girl named Herculeah who finds a man looking at a dead person in an abandoned house. Then the man sees the girl and chases her out of the house. The man seen where she went and every day he keeps walking around where she lives. Her mom, a cop, does an interview with audio recording with the man, and Herculeah sees him and tries to get him out of the house. It ended up being okay, because the m ...more
I don't really enjoy Herculeah. She is kind of mean to her friend, Meat, and she is sneaky and rude to her parents. She has the flimsiest excuses when she gets caught. I understand the curiousity, but she is not pleasant to read about. And she really didn't even solve the mystery. Her mother would have gotten it just after she did and she literally "fell" into the answer.
Olivia Campbell
I thought it was really good....but I already knew what was going to happen at the end :(
Laura Verret
Herculeah knew something was up. She could feel it in her hair from the very first moment she saw her father, Police Detective Jones, enter the yard of Dead Oaks, the local mystery mansion. Her sense of danger deepened when she encountered the creepy, hollow-toned man who hired her mother to investigate a case for him. But with both her parents refusing to let her get involved with their cases, Herculeah decides that it’s time for her to do a spot of investigating herself! Even if it means going ...more
Jeni Enjaian
A review from my old blog (of the whole series)...

I enjoyed these books. I wouldn't say that these were the best mystery books I have ever read although I have to admit that I haven't read Nancy Drew books or other mystery books written for that age in a long time.

Personally I felt that the subject matter was a little serious for the age group that the books were aimed for but Byars avoided telling any gruesome details and managed to tell a fairly good mystery although a bit convoluted and obvio
This is a mystery for upper elementary and middle-school-aged readers that is a real mystery. The story is focused on who the gigantic, scary stranger is, and what his connection to Dead Oaks and its possibly dead owner is. I don't know how old Herculeah Jones is, because I don't need to know. I know how she got her name because it's related to the story. Herculeah and her friend, Meat, are quirky and likeable characters - as are Herculeah's divorced parents, Mim and Chico, who drink beer togeth ...more
Emma Baumgardt
Down the Dark stairs wasn't my favorite book. Im not the bigest mystery fan though so I have a biased oppinion. This book may have been more aimed at younger kids because it is told about a younge girl.

The book is based of a ten year old girl named Herculeah Jones who is very interested in both her parents work. She just wants to know the mysterys they know and will stop at nothing to find out what it is. Herculeah listens in on one of her moms meetings with man needing a private investigator.
Jul 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: younger Nancy Drew fans
Herculeah Jones comes by her curiosity honestly. With a P.I. mom and a Dad on the police force, Herculeah feels like solving mysteries is a legacy she has inherited. With her pal, Meat, by her side, Herculeah must get to the bottom of what her mom's newest client is up to. With narrow escapes, hidden stairs and an old abandoned house, this mystery will appeal to Nancy Drew fans. (Though classified as a YA book, I think this would also appeal to jFic readers more than YAs)
Spencer E.
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
The book The Dark Stairs is a good mystery. I liked the characters Herculeah and Meat. The halarious part of the book was when Meat's mom had a frying pan when Meat got scared at Dead Oaks and ran home to get his mom for help. Meat and his mom went to the house to help Herculeah. Meat's mom made me laugh so hard because she was ready to fight. I enjoy reading mysteries. My mom does too. I would recommend this book to her.
Camille 11-12
It was very suspencefull, and it grabed you and wouldn't let go. No matter what happened you nrver wanted to put the book down personaly i love Besty byars and all her books i have read. If you want a bookthat is awsome and that you would want to recomend to your friend this is a perfect book to do that.
Aug 16, 2009 rated it liked it
Good characters, dry humor, and just enough tension to make this a good book. Readers Advisory info - mystery books for kids, this series by Betsy Byars has a good female protagonist and an entertaining overweight male sidekick named Meat, divorced parents - dad a cop and mom a private eye. Entertaining and an easy read. good 3rd grade reader and up.
Aug 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I judged the moloch at first but when i read the end i was surpried that the moloch just wanted to know if his dad was dead. I liked when they found his picture in a old news paper next to the murder house. I really loved this book.
Samantha Lim
This book is really meant for kids around third grade it was a very easy read which I didn't expect when I got it from my older sister. It's a good book just not meant for any one older than 9 tops I believe.
Taylor Blagdon
Sep 20, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Herculeah's mther is a private eye, and her father is o the police force so she is very curious and her parents get annoyed by that a lot.I learned from this book how to identify evidence and to make sure you got the right person.
Feb 04, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile-mystery
Reminiscent of Sammy Keyes in her determination to solve things & her habit of getting involved where she isn't wanted, Herculeah Jones has some interesting things going for her.
Oct 06, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He had red eyes and they were like flames. And Meat said he was scared.
Sep 02, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very thrilling..kept me shaken from the suspense.
Read these a long while back ago and loved them instantly.
I just don't understand how so many people never read these...
May 14, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love mystery books and The Dark Stairs was very well written and the details were great.
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was one of my favorites in grade school!
Sep 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i thought this was a very good book! I also love to read this authors books!
Jul 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book was great
Catherine  Mustread
Apr 25, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens, mystery
The intrepid Herculeah helps her mother, a private investigator, solve a puzzling and frightening case.
this is such a great book so engaging
Tania Vu
(Eve's) very exciting, creepy, and interesting. you never know what's going to happen next.
Oct 31, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
this book is kinda in the middle but i wouldn't recommend this book unless your fully psyched about mystery.
Ghausia Parveen
Dec 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love the series! I just wanted to ask the author to write more books! PLEASE!!
I want to read more! I have read all the books !!
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changing book 1 1 Nov 26, 2012 06:34PM  
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Betsy Byars has written over sixty books for young people. Her first published in 1962 and since then she has published regularly. Her books have been translated into nineteen languages and she gets thousands of letters from readers in the United States and from all over the world.

She has won many awards. Among them are the Newbery Medal in 1971 for her novel The Summer of the Swans, the American
More about Betsy Byars

Other books in the series

Herculeah Jones Mysteries (7 books)
  • Tarot Says Beware (Herculeah Jones Mysteries, #2)
  • Dead Letter (Herculeah Jones Mysteries, #3)
  • Death's Door (Herculeah Jones Mysteries, #4)
  • Disappearing Acts (Herculeah Jones Mysteries, #5)
  • King of Murder (Herculeah Jones Mysteries, #6)
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“mother to the stairs. “Can I ask you something?” 0 likes
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