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Young Adult Fiction Mysteries & Detective Stories

The Scratch on the Ming Vase

by (author) Caroline Stellings

Second Story Press
Initial publish date
Sep 2012
Mysteries & Detective Stories, General
Recommended Age
13 to 18
Recommended Grade
8 to 12
Recommended Reading age
9 to 12
  • Paperback / softback

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price
  • eBook

    Publish Date
    Sep 2012
    List Price

Classroom Resources

Where to buy it

Out of print

This edition is not currently available in bookstores. Check your local library or search for used copies at Abebooks.


Born in China, Nicki was abandoned to an orphanage before being adopted by a wealthy North American family. Now 16, Nicki divides her time between Hawaii and Ontario and is all set to train with a king fu grand master. When she reports to his studio, she finds him stabbed and near death. As he lapses into a coma, he begs her to find a priceless Ming dynasty vase that she discovers has once belonged to Pu Yi, the Boy Emperor. Part detective story, part spy thriller, the novel takes place over seven days of danger and deception as Nicki relies on her wits and her martial arts training to uncover the criminal mastermind behind the plot to steal the vase. Along the way, she begins to wonder about the mystery of her own past and the family she left behind in China.

About the author

Caroline Stellings is an author and illustrator of children’s books from Waterdown, Ontario. She is a professional artist who loves to paint the many birds and animals that inhabit the wetland area near her studio. Her previous books include The Malagawatch Mice and the Church that Sailed (CBU Press), Skippers Save the Stone, a children’s book in English and Gaelic, also from CBU Press, and Skippers At Cape Spear (Breakwater Books).

Caroline Stellings' profile page


  • Commended, Canadian Children's Book Centre's "Best Books for Kids and Teens", 2013 Spring Edition

Editorial Reviews

The series’ strength lies in Nicki’s character...Nicki is much more than a modern-day Nancy Drew; she is a strong, independent young woman.

Library Media Connection

I really liked the story. Nicki was such a fun character to be around...She was smart, whimsical, and kick-butt.

One A Day Y.A - Blog

The Scratch on the Ming Vase is especially great for the younger YA crowd. This one is all about the action and mystery surrounding the missing Ming vase.

One A Day Y.A - Blog

For someone who has read many mystery stories, I found this book one of the best mystery stories I’ve ever read.

Brampton Guardian

I think that The Scratch on the Ming Vase is a promising start for a good series

The National Post

The Scratch on the Ming Vase is a real's all good fun and readers will love it. Enjoy!

CM Magazine

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