Murdle, Jr: Excerpt, Cover Reveal, and Puzzle!

G.T. Karber

The following is an exclusive excerpt from and cover reveal for Murdle Jr., by G. T. Karber, creator of the wildly popular puzzle series Murdle. In the following excerpt, you can solve along with the junior sleuth as they search for a mysteriously missing lucky pencil. Murdle, Jr. is forthcoming from Little, Brown Books for Young Readers in November 2024.


Jake was the toughest kid at her school, Sacred Kidney. She had been the toughest kid at her previous school, too, until she was kicked out due to the circumstances surrounding an event referred to only as “the Pizza Day Disaster.”

Jake swore she was innocent, but nobody believed her. Her record of sticking her nose where it didn’t belong came back to bite her…on the nose.

So that school kicked her out, and she got sent across town to Sacred Kidney, a private school run by the church. There, she’d struggled to fit in, not only socially, but also into her standard-issue polyester uniform. The only other kid she got along with was Sterling, her sidekick, although he preferred to be called her best friend. He was always getting into trouble, and she was always getting him out of it.

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For example, one day during recess, Jake was chewing on a straw when Sterling ran up to her with tears in his eyes.

“Why are you crying?” Jake asked, partly because she wanted to know what was wrong, and partly because she didn’t want people to see her sidekick cry. That didn’t look tough.

“Somebody stole my pencil!” Sterling cried. Jake thought it was pretty silly to make such a big deal out of a tiny pencil, and she told him so, but she didn’t say it that nicely.

“But it’s not just any pencil. It’s my lucky pencil!” he explained.

“Dry your eyes, kiddo,” Jake said. “I’ll find your missing pencil.”

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“Do you think it was the Sacred Kidney Cat Burglar?”

Excerpt continues below cover reveal. 

All year, valuable items had been going missing from Sacred Kidney: a gold crown that had once been worn by a bishop, an anointed silver goblet, and more. Each time, Principal Applegreen had launched an investigation, and each time, nothing was found. Jake had looked into it, too. But the Cat was careful, and she left no clues behind. “No, Sterling, it ain’t the Cat that stole your pencil. This is a small-time job. Local.”

But still, Jake was determined to crack the case, no matter how small.


“Where was the last place you saw your lucky pencil?” Jake asked.

Out here, during recess!” Sterling replied. “I left it balanced on the swings and went to check out some cool rocks over by the trees. By the time I got back, it was gone.”

Figure out who was where during the crime, and you’ll be able to determine whodunit.

HINT: Since Rose, the chess prodigy, was in the fort (the place closest to the school), and Bruno was not by the slide (the only place with a line), that means Daisy had to be at the slide.

SOLUTION (highlight text below to see answer)

“It was Bruno, by the swings!”

Bruno laughed. “You say I have it. I say I don’t. Now what?” Jake was about to roll up her sleeves to show him what, but just then, the bell rang and the students were called inside. Jake would have to settle this in the classroom.


From MURDLE JR. Used with the permission of the publisher, LITTLE BROWN BOOKS FOR YOUNG READERS. Copyright © 2024 by G.T. KARBER. All rights reserved.

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