The 39 Clues is a set of four series written by a combination of authors. It is based in the present time, and is an interactive series as well as an output of information, mostly pertaining to famous historical events and/or people. Published by Scholastic, The 39 Clues has grown to includes the books as well as cards, a website, games, competitions, character biographies, and much more.
Amy and Dan Cahill never knew their parents. They passed away in a fire when the siblings were young and their stingy grandaunt Beatrice became their guardian. However, on the weekends, Amy and Dan stayed with their grandmother, Grace Cahill, whose adventurous life gave her great stories to entertain her grandchildren with. When Grace passes away, many relatives gather at the reading of her will. Amy and Dan learn that they are part of the Cahill Family: an ancient family with four (secretly five) branches: the Lucians, Janus, Tomas, and Ekaterinas, and secretly, the Madrigals. The founders of the Cahills, Gideon and Olivia Cahill had discovered a secret so powerful, that whoever found it would become the most powerful person in the entire world. In order to find the great secret, the searcher must have 39 different Clues, or ingredients, hidden throughout the world. When Grace died and her will was read, selectively chosen relatives had to make a choice: accept $1,000,000 or take the first Clue and start the hunt. Numerous relatives leave with the million dollars, including Aunt Beatrice, but seven teams stay:
- The Holt Family
- Irina Spasky
- Ian Kabra, Natalie Kabra
- The Starling Family
- Alistair Oh
- Jonah Wizard
- Amy and Dan Cahill
Although the "official" Clue-Hunt began at Grace's funeral, the competition has been going on since the separation of the original Cahill Family and the creation of the branches.
Members of the Cahill Family are sorted into their branches by their blood and their talents.
The Cahill Family is made up of four (secretly five) separate branches, always determined enemies of each other. Each branch has it's qualities and enhanced abilities, as found out when the Master Serum is discovered.
The Lucian Branch was founded by Luke Cahill.
Its qualities are ruthlessness tactics, strategy, spying, sabotage, and being secretive and shadowy. The best leaders and spies came from this branch. Isabel and Vikram Kabra were the leaders of this branch until Isabel went to jail and Vikram went in hiding with other top Lucians in London.
The Ekaterina Branch was founded by Katherine Cahill.Its qualities are inventiveness, intellect, abstract thinking, and overall smarts. The inventors, great thinkers, engineers, and archaeologists as well as many others came from this branch. Bae Oh was the leader of this branch until he was arrested for murder. Alistair Oh was the leader up to Trust No One. The current leader is Patricia Oh.
The Tomas Branch was founded by Thomas Cahill.Its qualities are physical endurance and strength, prowess, brawn, adventurousness, and determination. The best athletes, explorers, warriors, etc. came from this branch. Magnus Hansen is the current leader of this branch.
The Janus Branch was founded by Jane Cahill.Its qualities are categorized into one world-art. The Janus excel with many artistic things, whether it's painting a picture or breaking into a stronghold. The best artists, writers, singers, etc. came from this branch. Cora Wizard is the current leader of this branch.
The Madrigal Branch was founded by Madeleine Cahill.Its qualities come from the heart and soul of a person, and they tend to be humanitarians, peace-makers, etc., but also are sneaky, shadowy, smart, etc. This is because the goal of this branch is not to collect all 39 Clues, but to bring the family back together. Unfortunately, this oftentimes comes to the actions of killing, stealing, and destroying. Fiske Cahill is the current leader this branch, and Grace Cahill and William McIntyre were before they died. It is expected that Amy and Dan will take over for Fiske when he dies.
Books in Series One: The Clue Hunt
The Clue Hunt consists of eleven books.
Book One: The Maze of Bones
In the first part of the book, Grace Cahill is dying and changes her will just before she dies. All/most of her relatives namely; the Holt Family, Alistair Oh, Ian and Natalie Kabra, Irina Spasky, The Starlings, Jonah Wizard and his dad, Grace's grandchildren--Amy and Dan—and some others (Jose, Beatrice, Ingrid) go to the funeral. Some are called to a room by her lawyer and he tells them that the Cahill Family was a influential clan in the history of mankind. There, they are given a choice; to receive a million dollars, or to join the hunt for the 39 Clues that will lead to unimaginable power. Amy and Dan choose to join the hunt, and travel to Philadelphia, Boston, and ultimately Paris in search of a Clue left by Benjamin Franklin. With them travels their Au-pair, Nellie Gomez. They find the Clue (Iron Solute) and go to the next stop; Vienna, Austria.
Book Two: One False Note
In the second book, Amy, Dan and Nellie travel aboard a train to Vienna, Austria. When the Holts infiltrate the train, Saladin shreds their only lead. In Vienna, they find out a hint which tells them to go to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's birthplace which is Salzburg, Austria. They find the diary of Anna Maria "Nannerl Mozart--the sister of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart--that points to Venice. In Venice, the find the missing pages which tells them to go to a friend of Mozart named Fidelio Racco and go to his house. There they find two swords made of the Clue, Tungsten. The swords were made in Japan, and the exhibit said that Fidelio Racco went to Japan and was never heard from again, so Amy, Dan, and Nellie resolve to go there next.
Book Three: The Sword Thief
In the start of this book, Amy and Dan Cahill are about to board a plane with Nellie already inside, but Natalie and Ian Kabra bust in, take their flight, and "steal" their Identities. Later, they form an alliance with Alistair Oh and the Kabras. They go to Seoul, Korea and go to Alistair's mansion where they search for helpful information. Amy and Ian start to fall for each other. The six of them go to a cave with the statue of a famous person known as The Bald Rat. As the cave opens up, Amy is in shock because of the sudden opening of the cave, and Ian saves her by tackling her. They kiss without the others seeing and all of them go inside the cave. They find the clue; gold. Ian and Natalie take the clue though Ian was hesitant, and leave the three inside with Amy feeling hurt. Dan and Amy escape while thinking Alistair died. They go to his mansion and see the dirty white gloves he was wearing indicating that he is alive. The Cahill siblings feel that Alistair tricked them. They go to Egypt with full knowledge that they tricked the Kabras into going to Kyrgyzstan.
Book Four: Beyond the Grave
Amy and Dan go to Egypt as they realized that the Ekaterina founder, Katherine, left a Clue in Egypt. Amy and Dan create an alliance with their Uncle Alistair, although the plan ultimately fails. They meet Grace's best friend Hillary Vale and her son Theo, who later betray Amy and Dan. However in the end, they find the Clue: Myrrh.
Book Five: The Black Circle
In the fifth book, The Black Circle, Amy and Dan travel to Russia in hunt of a Clue. Pairing up with The Holts, the two teams travel to multiple cities to find this Clue. Amy and Dan meet NRR a mysterious character who knows their parents. We discover Irina Spasky's past, and we again see the Man in Black. The Cahill siblings find the Clue Amber.
Book Six: In Too Deep
Down under, in the Australian wilderness, Amy and Dan meet their uncle, Shep, and hunt down on of the Clues. In this book, Amy realizes things about the fire, and tries to remember exactly what happened, and is surprised when she finds who was there the night of the fire. Towards the end of the book, Irina Spasky dies, sacrificing her life for Amy and Dan. The Clue is Water.
Book Seven: The Viper's Nest
Book Eight: The Emperor's Code
In The Emperor's Code, Amy and Dan travel to China with Nellie in search of the Clue. Dan gets angry at Amy and runs away because of what she said about their parents. After that, Dan gets kidnapped by the Kabras and has to stay with Jonah Wizard until he finds Amy. Eventually, Dan and Amy meet again and go in a helicopter to the top of Mt. Everest. The Clue is not at the top, but a vial of liquids with the Janus symbol on it, which later turns out to be the Janus serum. They realize that the final prize would make you have all the characteristics of each Cahill branch. When they get back down the mountain, they find their eighth Clue: raw silk secretion. The Clue is Silk. Jonah asks Cora if he can stop being in the hunt.
Book Nine: Storm Warning
Storm Warning was released May 25, 2010. The setting is in Jamaica. The Man In Black's identity is revealed to be Amy and Dan's secret great-uncle, Fiske Cahill. The purpose of the Madrigal branch is revealed to be to stop the branches from fighting each other and to make sure they never get too many Clues. It is also revealed that at the time of the fire, Olivia Cahill was pregnant with her fifth child: Madeleine, whose descendants would be the Madrigals. Amy and Dan open a secret box and find the Clue Mace. Fiske tells them six more Clues, which are Barley, Copper, Rosemary (they already knew because of Irina), Lily, Pepper, and Vinegar. Nellie becomes a Madrigal.
Book Ten: Into the Gauntlet
In this book, the final countdown begins. Amy and Dan must stop Isabel from recreating the Master Serum and they must unravel the secret of the Gauntlet. Also, they must make peace with a representative from each branch. However, Isabel does make the serum, but is stopped from drinking it just in time. But, it isn't over yet, the Vespers are rising!
Book Eleven: Vespers Rising
In this book, there are four sections:
- The first is about the night Gideon Cahill died.
- The second is about how Madeleine Cahill was inspired to form the Madrigal branch.
- The third is about how Grace Cahill as she embarks on her very first mission during one of the most dangerous moments of the 20th century, WWII.
- The last is about how Amy and Dan Cahill fight Vespers to find Gideon's gold ring.
Books in Series Two: Cahills vs. Vespers
Book One: The Medusa Plot
Book Two: A King's Ransom
This book was written by Jude Watson was released on December 6, 2011.
Book Three: The Dead of Night
This book was written by Peter Lerangis and was released on December 6, 2011.
Book Four: Shatterproof
Book Five: Trust No One
This book was written by Linda Sue Park and released on December 5, 2012.
Book Six: Day of Doom
This book was written by David Baldacci and was released on March 5, 2013.
Books in Series Three: Unstoppable
The 39 Clues: Unstoppable, is the third series in the 39 clues, following Cahills vs. Vespers. It takes Amy and Dan to explore the lost civilizations of the world. Founders Media was revealed as the antagonist organization (for Nowhere to Run).
Book One: Nowhere to Run
This book was written by Jude Watson. It was released on October 1, 2013.
Book Two: Breakaway
This book was written by Jeff Hirsch. It was released on January 28, 2014.
Book Three: Countdown
Countdown was written by Natalie Standiford. It was released on May 2014.
Book Four: Flashpoint
The series "finale" was written by Gordon Korman. It was released on September 2014.
Books in Series Four: Doublecross
The 39 Clues: Doublecross is the fourth and might be the final series in The 39 Clues. The card puzzle is The Outcast Master Plan Puzzle. The main antagonist is The Outcast, a Cahill from the past, who knew Grace and was removed from the family for some as yet unknown reason.
Book One: Mission Titanic
Book Two: Mission Hindenburg
This book was written by C. Alexander London. It was released on July 28, 2015. The disaster replicated by The Outcast is the Hindenburg.
Book Three: Mission Hurricane
This book was written by Jenny Goebel. It was released on January 26, 2016. The disaster replicated by The Outcast is the hurricane Katrina.
Book Four: Mission Atomic
The final book will be written by Sarwat Chadda. It will be released on June 28, 2016. The final disaster to be replicated is Chernobyl.