The DNA Detectives: To Catch A Thief

Book Award 2018

WINNER - ASE Book of the Year Award 2018

ASE Member Price £5.94

Mandy Hartley
Published 2017 | SJH Publishing | 144pages

This is the first book in 'The DNA Detectives' series written by Dr. Mandy Hartley. They are the first ever children’s fiction books for 7-12 year olds where the characters in the story use DNA and forensic science to solve a crime. 


The DNA Detectives – To Catch A Thief is the first book in the 'DNA Detectives' series. The story is based on a famous five style adventure where the characters use DNA to solve a crime. In addition to the exciting storyline readers will learn about DNA, cells and forensic science.

The story starts when Annabelle and Harry’s pet dog Milly goes missing. The children sadly accept that the local pet thief has struck again. They have a list of suspects and evidence left behind by the thief. But how can they find out who it is and get Milly back? The children’s mum is a scientist working with DNA. She has a laboratory in the garden. The children realise they can use DNA and their mum’s laboratory to solve the crime. Annabelle and Harry become “DNA Detectives” and just like real life forensic scientists go on an exciting adventure to try and solve the case. Join them on their thrilling journey to collect clues, learn about DNA, see if they can find out the identity of the pet thief and bring their beloved Milly safely back home.

The DNA Detectives is a series of Whodunnit stories that introduce children to the ideas of scientific investigation and forensic science. The DNA Detectives books are fictional stories with a strong scientific context running throughout. Each book is a terrific read in its own right.

About the Author

Mandy Hartley lives in Norfolk with her husband, two children Annabelle, 11yrs, and Harry, 8yrs, and dog Milly. She has a PhD in Genetics and worked for 15 years in various different laboratories using DNA to study subjects as diverse as populations of fish at the genetic level, detecting inherited human diseases, criminal work and paternity and relationship testing. She now runs science workshops to teach children as young as 4 years old about DNA and performs stories to explain difficult scientific concepts such as evolution, natural selection and inheritance to children.

Independent Reading
Book Award 2018
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