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The Absent Author (A to Z Mysteries #1)

3.94  ·  Rating details ·  6,629 Ratings  ·  305 Reviews
A is for author....  Dink writes to his favorite author, mystery writer Wallis Wallace, and invites him to visit Green Lawn. To Dink's amazement, Wallace says he'll come! But when the big day arrives, Wallace is nowhere to be found. The police think he just missed his plane, but Dink suspects foul play. It's up to Dink and his two best friends, Josh and Ruth Rose, to find ...more
Library Binding, 96 pages
Published November 4th 1997 by Random House Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 1997)
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Stella  ☢FAYZ☢ Chen
Holy mother load of childhood memories. These books, along side Cam Jansen, became my childhood. I was known as The Girl Who Loves Mystery Books at my school library. Yep. I was that cool. (Still am).

I am only going to review the first in this series because you guys probably wouldn't want 26 "OMG I LOVED THESE BOOKS" reviews.
And, "A" stands for Awesome so how fitting.

Calling children everywhere. If you want to be like Stella Chen one day, start reading these books because you will not regret it
Taylor Miller
I read “The Absent Author” by Ron Roy. It is a cute kids book about an Author who gets kidnapped. The story takes place in a town called Green Lawn during the summer. The whole story happens within two days.

The main characters of the book are Dink, Ruth Rose, Josh, and Mavis Green. Dink, Ruth Rose, and Josh are all kids. Ruth Rose loves the color purple and she is dressed in it from head to toe. Josh is more of a quiet kid who tags along and does whatever Dink and Ruth do. Dink is the leader o
May 22, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
These are so fun! My 9 year old and I are listening to this as audio books in the car every day. We are constantly running around together on errands or to Girl Scout events.

These are a great easy way to give us something to listen to besides me trying to skip past the most recent Kesha song (ugh!) or completely inappropriate DJ banter.

I think so far this one has been my favorite. I love mysteries, so as a adult it's easy to spot "who done it"

but for my 9 year old, this one completely surprised
Oct 11, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
Description from inside book flap:
"A is for author.... Dink writes to his favorite author, mystery writer Wallis Wallace, and invites him to visit Green Lawn. To Dink's amazement, Wallace says he'll come! But when the big day arrives, Wallace is nowhere to be found. The police think he just missed his plane, but Dink suspects foul play. It's up to Dink and his two best friends, Josh and Ruth Rose, to find the famous writer--before it's too late! "

This book, from the A-Z Mystery series is a great
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Clearly the author himself inserted parts of himself into the book - but it all turned out cute enough that I will not hold that against it.

I like the way the author managed to give enough clues to keep one's mind searching for the possibilies, but somehow managed to not really give enough to figure it out - which given that it is written for children and I have too much experience to be one would have make the story rather boring. Some books do this and are just super frustrating; actually crim
Maria Allison
I solved the "mystery" very quickly, but I am an adult, so I wonder if children really take until the end of the book to figure it out? If children find these books suspenseful and interesting, then that's great and I recommend they keep reading the series. However, this book is much too easy for adults and young adults. I suggest that students from second to fourth grade read this series if they enjoy mystery.
Aug 11, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
It was terrible. Don't expect it to be good. The plot was absent, just like the author.
Yurika K
Dec 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was really good!
Valerie Basham
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s-books
Read this aloud to Matthew.
Dan Prillwitz
Sep 09, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“The Absent Author” is a book written about three kids; Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose. Dink writes a letter to the famous author Wallis Wallace and is asking him to come to Green Lawn, the town Dink lives in. Wallis Wallace writes back to Dink and tells him that he will come. But when the day comes where Wallis Wallace is supposed to arrive he does not. Dink and his friends are worried. Dink remembers that Wallis said something about possibly getting kidnapped, so this makes Dink and the crew get to ...more
Aaron Schroeder
One day Dink decides to write to his favorite author, Wallis Wallace, and invites him to come to the local library to visit with him. Surprisingly, Wallace says he will come. Wallace never shows up on the day he says he will come, and Dink and his friends decide to go out and find him. They must use the clues left behind to try to save Wallace before it is to late.

The main characters in the story are Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose. Wallis Wallace also plays an important role as the kids are trying to
Title: The Absent Author (part of the A to Z Mysteries)
Author: Ron Roy
Illustrator: John Steven Gurney
Publisher: Random House
Year originally published: 1997
Translator (if applicable):
Approximate Interest Level/Reading Level: Ages 5-8
Format (picture book, audio book, book read online, chapter book/novel, graphic novel): Chapter Book
Rating system: ****
Brief summary: Dink Duncan and his two friends investigate the apparent kidnapping of famous mystery author Wallis Wallace. Dink e-mails author Walla
This book series is perfect for 2nd and 3rd grade. The storyline is simple enough for readers that are still focusing some of the time on decoding. The main character, Dink, and his friends Josh and Ruth Rose aren't the most developed characters, but they could grow after a few books. I think one of the reasons this book series is so popular is because it empowers the child-characters and has them work with the adults on an almost equal playing field to solve the mystery. I'm actually interested ...more
Kori Looker
Jan 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. A boy, Dink, writes a letter of invitation to his favorite author Wallis Wallace. Wallis Wallace wrote back saying, “I’ll be there no matter what, unless I’m kidnapped.” When Wallis Wallace doesn’t show, Dink thinks his favorite author is kidnapped. He is determined to solve the mystery of the absent author. Turns out the author tricked Dink about the kidnapping! Wallis Wallace was with him the entire time disguised as Mavis Green. Wallis watched as his number one fan ...more
Corbin Billington
Oct 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was really a page turner for the fact that every page made you want Dink and his friends to solve the mystery of the Absent Author. Ron Roy does a great job of explaining the situation and showing the hardships of mystery solving. The kids solving the mystery had trouble finding the next clue even when they were on a roll. This is what made it such an enjoyable book to read. I would recommend this book to anyone below the age of 15. The younger readers would especially enjoy this book becau ...more
Aug 01, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: great-reads
This is the first book in a series of mysteries all beginning with a different letter of the alphabet. Some are definitely more mysterious than others, but my boys (ages 6 and almost 4) just eat them up. Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are three friends living in the small town of Green Lawn who seem to find adventure after adventure. The mysteries are simple enough that even young readers can pick up clues and begin to put the pieces together themselves. I think this will be a series that we will ret ...more
Becka dittmann
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 10, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received five of the books in this series as a "prize" during a conference I attended a year or so ago. I began reading them with my son this summer, and today he asked me to take him to the library to see if they had any of the others in the series.
Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are fun characters who have amazing adventures together. In this first novel, their favorite author is missing in action. They follow clues to figure out the mystery. It's sort of a "modern day" Boxcar Children or Nancy D
Feb 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children between the ages of 8-12
Recommended to Aaron_ebert by: Corbin Billington
Shelves: childrens-books
"The Absent Author" was a mystery book for children based on the story of Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose. When Josh contacts his favorite author, Wallice Wallis,she says she will come to Green Lawn for a book signing. When she fails to show up at the book signing, Josh and his friends go on a hunt to find her. They retrace her steps and you must read the book to find out what happens.

I thought the book was fairly decent. It's definitely written for children in the 8-12 age category.If you're interest
Alicia Samson
Apr 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Apr 25, 2009 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
Although we've read a few of these books, we wanted to read the first in the A to Z Mysteries series and try to read the rest in order, if we can find them all at the library. It's interesting to see how these kids get their start as detectives, solving mysteries. It's not my favorite of the books so far, but it's got our girls hooked.
Jan 19, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Inoli by: Stella
Two ratings for early chapter books, I think. Around a three for me; and these, I think, are a definite four for what they are and who their audience is. I really did some smiling through these and I was pretty impressed with several things (read the first three and will copy this to the others). They seemed to me like they would be really challenging and I liked the addition of the map of the neighborhood in the front.
Mar 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, children
I've first read a book from this series and I feel amazed there're many useful expressions in it.
If you are English learner as a second language, this kinds of books for children would be helpful.
You could understand the context where sentences are used. That is hard to know by learning with textbook.
Jennifer Blaine
Jan 25, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Emily loves these books, and I picked this one up to see why she found them so entertaining. It was a fun read. I highly recommend reading what your kids like. It gives a different look into their personalities.
This was my first chapter book read-a-loud this school year. We finished on a library day. When my students returned from the library, half of them had checked out A to Z mysteries. Needless to say, it was a raving hit! Class voted and we will be reading The Bald Bandit next.
Mrs. Pierce
4th Grader at LPCA
This book is The Absent Author, part of the A to Z Mysteries series by Ron Roy. If you want to find it you will find it in the Mystery section. In the story the main characters are Dink, who is sort of the main character in the A to Z Mysteries. Then there is Ruth Rose who always has to have matching outfits and she is the only girl in the group of jr. detectives. Then there is Josh who is the funny and the imaginative one . The story takes place in Green Lawn where they all l
Nov 10, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A read aloud to my son... I didn't find it particularly engaging for me. I think my son liked it alright, but he didn't seem really thrilled by it either. The basic storyline is that a famous mystery author has accepted an invitation by a young resident to appear at a book signing in their small town. But, the author does not arrive. The young 'un and his friends decide to follow up on the mystery of the missing author. They are given all kinds of information (like the airline confirming that th ...more
Gary VanRiper
It is a challenge in these times to write stories where children can move about freely with limited adult supervision and have adventures on their own. My understanding is that this series was started a number of years ago and so that might account for the jump in plausibility with the freedom the children have in their quest to solve the mystery. There is also at least one big leap in coincidence used to help move the story forward, and some rather implausible action taken by the guest characte ...more
Nov 18, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I think there were too many coincidences for a mystery and the kids weren't proactive enough. They need clues? Good thing the book store guy has an itinerary and people in the hotel will just up and give the address of workers to ask for clues. And how do you get that worker to open up? Good thing one of the main chars knows the worker.

Overall I found its dialogue and description drier and more forced than other children's mysteries like Jigsaw Jones but the solution was also equally obvious and
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Full name: Wallace Ronald Roy
Most known for the children's mystery series "A-Z Mysteries" and "Calendar Mysteries"
More about Ron Roy

Other books in the series

A to Z Mysteries (1 - 10 of 26 books)
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“I've learned that people clam up if they know I'm
Wallis Wallace. So out in public I pretend I'm Mavin Green, just a regular person, not a mystery writer.”
“The letter was signed Wallis Wallace in loopy letters. Dink grinned. “Pretty neat, huh?” “Pretty neat, Mister Duncan!” teased Josh. “You should have that letter framed,” Ruth Rose said. “Great idea!” Dink said. They passed Howard’s Barbershop. Howard waved through his window as they hurried by. “Come on!” Dink urged as he dragged his friends down the street to the Book Nook. They looked through the window, out of breath. The” 0 likes
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