The Mysterious Crate

RJ – Boy Detective, #1

By  P.J. Ryan

ISBN13:  9781497753228

Brought to you by OBS reviewer Andra                   

3 Stars



RJ Spencer is a lucky 12-year-old. He lives in the big city and his parents are landlords of the high-rise apartment building that is his home.

The many tenants in the building, along with the endless possibilities of adventures in the city itself, are the perfect setting for the young detective as he sets out to solve every case he can get his hands on.

In this mystery, RJ and his younger pal Joey come upon Mr. Porter, the new tenant in 3B, while he is trying to maneuver a very large and mysterious crate into his apartment. What is inside the mysterious box and will RJ and Joey solve the mystery without blowing their cover?


The Mysterious Crate is a fun, short mystery for the 9 – 12-year-old reader. RJ is a curious boy living in a high rise apartment with his parents (the landlords). RJ finds this ideal as he states to his younger cousin Rebekah:

 “The best part of living in a high rise apartment, is all of the suspicious characters.”

I thought it cute that RJ had a BIG selection of detective hats, one for each day and all different colors.

I found RJ sympathetic and likable when Joey (a younger child, who is 8), who also lived in the building came home from school one day upset…the words out of RJ were really great:

Getting a bad grade just means that you need to study more, it doesn’t mean that you did anything wrong. So we’ll figure it out together.”

RJ and Joey went exploring one day and when they came home a bit late, discovered that one tenant was bringing in a large box…and that looked suspicious to RJ. So now the mystery was on… what was in the box.  The sly ways that the boys snoop and try to discover the contents of the box carry on and at times provide levity and laughter.

In the end, a mystery is solved. Can’t say too much, otherwise, you would know the ending!

Did I mention that I liked the cover art? Each of the covers for the three books in the series is good.

An enjoyable read, which would definitely suit any budding mystery reader.  PJ Ryan also has a 12 book series ->  Rebekah – Girl Detective which I just might have to read along with the under 12 crowds in the household.

*OBS would like to thank the publisher for supplying a free copy of this title in exchange for an honest review*