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The Empty Envelope (A to Z Mysteries) Paperback – June 16, 1998

Book 5 of 26 in the A to Z Mysteries Series

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 6 - 9 years
  • Grade Level: 1 - 4
  • Lexile Measure: 0500 (What's this?)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Books for Young Readers (June 16, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0439052025
  • ISBN-13: 978-0439052023
  • ASIN: 0679890548
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.2 x 7.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #41,954 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

E is for Envelope...Dink keeps getting envelopes in the mail addressed to "D. Duncan." But the letters inside all start with "Dear Doris" and don't make any sense! Josh and Ruth Rose think someone's playing a trick on Dink. But Dink is sure there's more to it than that, especially after Doris herself shows up and demands her letters!  

From the Back Cover

abet in this first mystery series for budding young detectives





Dink and his pals Josh and Ruth are working their way through the alphabet in this first mystery series for budding young detectives

Dink and his pals Josh and Ruth are working their way through the alphabet

in this first mystery series for budding young detectives. Each book

corresponds to a letter in the alphabet, so mystery buffs will want to collect

the whole set!




Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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See all 29 customer reviews
I would recommend this book to people who love mysteries.
Erin Dillman
My son who is 9 and has a higher reading level than these books require, loves these books.
apoem
I find them very well written and have a great balance of humor and excitement.
Justin Namgauds

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Winemaiden on August 10, 2001
Format: Paperback
My 9 year old daughter is willing to shut off the TV and ignore her gameboy when I give her one of the books in the A to Z mystery series. Each of these mysteries presents a story that captures the imagination of the 8-10 year old, and provides them with characters that are "cool" while modelling constructive behavior such as problem solving, cooperation, and respect for others. The three heroes of each story, Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose are kids your kid would like as friends. The author is skilled at presenting the mystery in a way that draws kids in. The clues are laid out in a logical way, as the story unfolds. My daughter has rarely guessed the solution before the end of the story, but she "got it" right along with Dink, Josh and Ruth Rose.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 1, 2006
Format: Paperback
This story starts of with three kids named Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose. Dink has received five letters within a week and doesn't know who they're from. As the kids were playing outside during the week the letters were sent, a lady appeared at Dinks front door. She asked for the letters, saying they were hers. Fortunately, the lady didn't get the letters from Dink. Dink soon finds out that there is something special about those letters that he and his friends will soon find out.

I both enjoyed and disliked this book. I liked it because I personally love mystery books and think they're fascinating. Also this book is very entertaining, because as I end a chapter the last sentence makes me want to keep reading it to see what happens next. I disliked the book because I think it needed more detail and more description to make it more exciting, to help make the text or the reader feel what is going on a little better, so they can "be there" instead of just being told.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 30, 2005
Format: Paperback
Dink gets five envelopes and the fifth one has nothing in it. Dink and his friends discover that the other envelopes have clues which leads them to solve the mystery of the empty envelope. What is so special about the fifth envelope?

I like the A-Z Mysteries because ordinary kids can solve big mysteries. Keep up the exciting mysteries Ron Roy.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on May 17, 2006
Format: Paperback
I liked this book. My favorite part was when someone put the five envelopes in the fridge and pretended a dinosaur named Steggy did it. The envelopes had grape finger prints on them. You'll have to read the book to find out who did it!

by Charity age 8
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Andrea VINE VOICE on March 22, 2013
Format: Paperback
There are 26 mysteries in this series, one for each letter of the alphabet. This is one of my favorite (even though I love them all). The 3 main characters are Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose, and they live in Connecticut.

These are "young people" books. I know, I am not a "young person", but these books are too fun to not read.

In this particular book, Dink gets letters addressed to his first initial and his last name; therefore, he thinks they are his. There is nothing spectacular in the letters; they are just little notes. Meanwhile, someone else with his same first initial and last name contacts him, saying the letters are hers. She comes all the way from Colorado to Connecticut to retrieve her letters.

What is so important about those letters that someone must travel all the way from the Rocky Mountains to New England for? Dink, Josh, and Ruth Rose are determined to find out. They do some detective work.

This book is very, very good, and has a very interesting conclusion. But that's all I will tell you, because I don't want to ruin this awesome book for you if you haven't read it yet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ginger Clemente on January 7, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Ron Roy is one of my favorite authors because I love mysterious books and that's what he gives me every time I read this I feel like Ruth Rose it's so awesome. All his books inspire me to do other things in the world besides watch T.V I read all of his books well at least all of it I suggest you read it it's amazing and wonder full GO outside your box that's what I did when I read the absent author the first book I read of his. I hope he keeps making more Ron I am your best fan #1 fan I love the way you make the books
MUCH SUPPORT #1 FAN
808 GIRL
Ps. I wish there was a thousand stars that's how much I love your books. :)
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Format: Paperback
If the author is Ron Roy, the book is going to be a good one. My son who is 9 and has a higher reading level than these books require, loves these books. The A to Z mysteries has three friends who solve mysteries.

The children in this series are realistic and they are the type of children you would want your child associating with. They demonstrate many positive traits.

In this mystery the kids solve a mystery of empty envelopes. This was one of my son's favorite stories in this series.
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By ACE on November 17, 2011
Format: Paperback
I recommend A to Z Mysteries The Empty Envelope for second graders because it is interesting. Ruth Rose, Josh and Dink get an envelope. Somebody named Otto Bird sent it to Connecticut instead of Colorado to his assistant Doris Duncan. Instead of putting a regular stamp on the envelope, he puts a regular stamp over a $1,000.00 stamp. I think 2nd graders would enjoy this book because the kids called the cops about the $1,000.00 stamp and the kids tricked the criminals. By Kako
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More About the Author

author spotlight
"I'm totally convinced that I am a writer today because I loved books as a kid."--Ron Roy

Ron Roy is the author of the popular A to Z Mysteries series, as well as the Capital Mysteries series, and several picture books. He lives in Connecticut.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

"When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?" I have been asked that question many times since my first book, A Thousand Pails of Water, was published in 1978. Now that I've had so many years to think of an answer, I guess I have to say that at age nine I had an inkling that words were going to be a big part of my life.

When I turned nine, I received for my birthday a wonderful gift--a book. It was about King Arthur and his knights. Even though I vividly remember the shiny blue and red cover and the smell of the new paper, I don't remember the author. But I thank her or him every day of my writing life. That writer stirred up something in me that has been bubbling ever since: a love for reading, and the urgent need to put words down on paper.

In spite of my love for reading, writing as a profession never occurred to me until I became an adult. I worked at an odd variety of jobs before I realized that writing was what I really wanted to do for the rest of my life. Over the years, I waited tables, sold hot dogs, and drove a "Tooth" van from which I taught kids how to brush their teeth and floss. One year I traveled across the world to Hong Kong and taught English to Vietnamese adults. I wrote feature stories for a newspaper and designed letterhead for a printer. One happy summer I worked as a camp counselor.

After two years in the navy and more travel, I landed in the freshman class at the University of Connecticut. Naturally, I majored in English literature. More doors opened for me as I read poetry, novels, essays, and did my share of writing. Still, I did not see myself as a writer. I knew that I enjoyed being around kids, so I became a schoolteacher.

And then, finally, in a fourth-grade classroom, the light bulb in my head flickered on and shone brightly. Its message was, I WANT TO WRITE! In my classroom, I was surrounded by kids and their books. I read those books and fell in love with the characters, the authors, the messages. I was hooked, but I never fought. I allowed myself to be reeled in.

My writing life began one evening after reading parts of Charlotte's Web to my class. Home from teaching, I walked into my apartment, dropped my bookbag, and headed for the typewriter (this was before word processing came along!). I wrote my first story that night and sent it to a book publisher the next day. Four weeks later I received my first rejection slip. But by then, I had written more stories, and they, too, were in the mail, soon to appear on editors' desks around the country.

The rejection slips came in, often flooding my mailbox. But I wrote, and I sent my best work along to a long list of publishing houses. Although more rejection slips arrived with each mail, I never felt rejected. My routine was set, and it didn't change: I taught by day and wrote by night. Each evening found me hunched over the typewriter creating characters, settings, and plots. Most weekends I walked on the beach with a dream in my head and a notebook in my back pocket. From those dreams and notes I wrote story after story.

Four years passed. Dozens of book manuscripts had been written, sent, and rejected. Then the day came when one of those "rejection" envelopes turned out to contain not a rejection but an acceptance. "Dear Mr. Roy . . . We are happy to tell you that we would love to publish your book. . ." Those seventeen words changed my life. I was no longer a schoolteacher who tried to write. I was going to be a published author!

Today, with more than 50 children's books behind me, I can think of no other occupation that would make me as happy. As a writer, I get to do all the things I love most: speak to kids, invent stories, travel, and of course, read. My A to Z Mysteries series sends me to classrooms where I listen to and learn so much from the students. I receive letters from young readers across the globe, and I answer every letter. Many of the letters contain suggestions for new plots, titles, characters. One girl asked if I would use her dog in one of my mysteries. What a great idea, I thought, and invented a canine character for an upcoming book.

Children ask about my writing, but they also want to know about my personal life. "Where do you live?" "Do you have any pets?" "What's your favorite food, color, author, TV show?" I'm happy to tell kids about my life as a writer as well as my life as a person. I live in an old farmhouse in Connecticut. My property consists of three acres of large trees, a barn, and a wonderful chicken coop. Recently, I brought a few chickens to live there, and they have become pets. Like E. B. White (my favorite author!) I love the sound and smell and warmth of animals. But since I travel a lot, I can't fill my barn with critters.

"Where do you get your ideas?" is a question that teachers ask often. "Everywhere," I respond, then I give specifics. Ideas come from reading newspapers and books. Ideas come from TV shows and movies and the news on the radio. I bring ideas back from trips, from church, from the grocery store. The letters I receive from kids are often filled with ideas.

The idea for my first published book evolved from a stroll on the beach. While walking, I came upon an overturned horseshoe crab. With legs frantically waving, the crab tried unsuccessfully to flip over onto its stomach. I uprighted the crab, then watched it scurry into the water and swim away. From that little episode came A Thousand Pails of Water, my picture book about a boy and a beached whale. Not really much of a leap--I saved a crab, the boy in my book saved a whale.

I smile when kids ask me if I write every hour of every day. Some writers do, I suppose, but I find that I need a balance. I spend a goodly number of hours each week actually writing but leave plenty of time for playing with friends, going to the movies and on vacations, and taking naps with my cat. I also work on my house, which seems to require a lot of attention.

In many ways, however, I am "writing" even when doing chores. As I paint my barn, I am thinking of story plots. As I weed my garden, I daydream about new characters. When I nap, I dream about the next mystery in my series . . . and the next.

It's a cycle, really. As a child, I loved to read. Reading led me to writing as a career. I share my books--and thus my love for reading and writing--with children. From them I receive warm feelings and some great ideas.

Now when I write my books, one of my hopes is that I can give back at least a part of the joy I have received.

Happy reading!

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