Premeditated Myrtle by Elizabeth C. Bunce
Myrtle Hardcastle. I am ever-so-fond of this highly opinionated girl. The twelve-year-old daughter of a British barrister is an observant young woman with a keen interest in solving mysteries. Some may call her nosy. She considers herself a serious sleuth. Myrtle maintains a collection of crime-detecting tools and has authored her own guidebook for investigators.
Written in first person, all evidence is presented from her point of view. Myrtle directly addresses her audience as Dear Reader, breaking the fourth wall.
Set in the Victorian Era, when Young Ladies of Quality spent their days hosting tea parties and posing in floral tableaus, our heroine most emphatically does not fit in.
Under the care of her doting yet slightly distracted father and her governess Miss Ada Judson of French Guiana, a woman of intelligence and decorum, Myrtle relentlessly pursues her interest in mysteries. Miss Judson is sometimes a co-conspirator with her young charge.
There are enough clues to hint at the mystery's outcome. Warning: Read carefully. Following a red herring may result in arriving at a false conclusion. The trail of clues places Myrtle in some unusual situations: finding evidence in a locked police surgeon's lab, searching the neighbor's bathroom, and causing a greenhouse explosion.