Watchman William, Ghost Detective

By Diana Shaw

Illustrated by Mike Phillips

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Watchman William, Ghost Detective is a higher level second grade chapter book that gives students a wonderful exposure to the mystery book. Clever clues and summary lists help second grade students learn how to solve a mystery and how to put clues together to make a good story. Each long chapter is a mini-mystery about the mysterious happenings at the manor where William lives.

A fair is about to begin and Miss Prim has prized garden entries from her beautiful garden. Mr. Fletcher is opening a restaurant with homegrown foods on the menu, but he doesn’t have a garden. And the mystery begins in the first story or chapter in Watchman William, Ghost Detective.  William from the Manor uses his detective skills to get to the bottom of missing zucchini, garden boots, and sabotage with a long list of zany characters who might be suspects. And this is only one of the mysteries of Hardleigh Manor.

Second grade readers will need to read each story carefully for comprehension of the carefully planted clues in the plot and the full effect of stringing evidence together but the result will be a better reader and the perfect ending to each story in the book. Students will love finding the clues and the author does a great job of including the list of facts and suspects that William writes in his detective notebook as the story unwinds. William finds more than one mystery at Hardleigh Manor making the second grade reader anxious to keep reading for more fun and adventure.

Illustrations enhance the story and the comprehension for second grade readers and serve to break up the chapters and the pages. This is a great addition to the second grade classroom and will challenge the second grader who has good reading skills.

Watchman William Ghost Detective does offer the idea of ghosts to the second grade reader which may be a completely new idea. Some parents initially may object to the storyline on the subject of ghosts even though it is all fun and really not scary for second grade readers. If parents read along with their child it will be clear in the end that it wasn’t a ghost at all.

  • Watchman WilliamTitle: Watchman William, Ghost Detective
  • Author: Diana Shaw
  • Illustrator: Mike Phillips
  • Publisher: Inside Pocket
  • Reviewer: Terri Forehand
  • Paperback: 155 pages
  • ISBN: 978-1-9084581-5-5
  • Genre: Juvenile fiction
  • Website:

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