Salamandergåten The Salamander Mystery


Cecilia lives at The Pearl, a guesthouse run by her dad in the idyllic small town of Schooner Cove. When Cecilia and her friends Leo, Une, and Une’s dog Egon get wind of the fact that some mysterious characters are staying in the grand old house, there is no stopping the gang from embarking on a sleuthing adventure fraught with thrills and danger. And as a man is found dead on the beach, the strangers’ connection to the man is gradually brought to light. Taking the investigation into their own hands, the four friends uncover a complex crime involving shadowy figures, shipwrecks, and big money – not to mention one creepy salamander.

The key phrase in Jørn Lier Horst’s first installment in the CLUE series, The Salamander Mystery, is “All we know is that we know nothing.” The quote is ascribed to the famous Greek philosopher Socrates, credited as one of the founders of Western philosophy. Socrates’ views on morals form a red thread throughout The Salamander Mystery, where readers are given the opportunity to effortlessly learn more about his philosophy and moral dilemmas as they try to solve the case together with the CLUE gang.

The CLUE series’ name comes from the first letter in each protagonist’s name: Cecilia, Leo, Une, and Une’s dog Egon. In each of the series’ books a new mystery and a new ethical question is introduced along with the thoughts of one of the world’s most well-known philosophers. The CLUE books are best selling crime fiction for younger readers aged 9-12.


  • “A lovely read that’s never obvious, recommended to all readers with Sherlock Holmes-dreams – but also to those wanting to approach the world of philosophy.”

    La Stampa, Italy

  • The Salamander Mystery is a skillfully nostalgic look back at the children’s book series of old. /…/ The prose flows beautifully, the plot is tight and loaded with suspense, the clues are cleverly spersed out and are unwound without shortcuts. /…/ What really makes the book stand out though is the brilliant ending, where Lier Horst uses the biggest cliff hanger in the novel.”

    Dagbladet, Norway

  • “The suspense is built on solid cornerstones, a simple and expert language, and by an author who knows his material inside and out. Throughout a different aspect of the police’s not so well known everyday is also tied into the story: ethical and philosophical questions, here with Socrates at the center. A device that seems both natural and at the same time gives the story new depth. To follow the friends throughout the book as they hunt the perpetrators is engrossing and realistic.”

    Verdens Gang, Norway

  • The Salamander Mystery is a hair-raising sleuth novel with a fascinating crime. The author succeeds in keeping the suspense alive throughout the book, and when the conclusion draws near it’s full of drama and thrills. /…/ This is a read-in-one-sitting book for all crime fiction fans!”

    Barnens bokklubb, Sweden

Photo: Anton Soggiu Jørn Lier Horst
  • Children’s suspense
Reading material

Norwegian edition

English translation

Rights sold

Arab World, Al Arabi

Finland, Otava

France, Rageot Editeur

Germany, Oetinger

Greece, Dioptra

Italy, Salani

North Sami, Solum Bokvennen

Norway, Kagge

Spain, Duomo

Sweden, Bonnier Carlsen

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