An Overview of the Hunter & Holmes Mystery Series

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The Hunter & Holmes Mystery Series, written by Aiden Vaughan, is designed for the teenager/mature tween market, but the series has appeal to anyone who enjoys action adventure mysteries in the “hobby detective” genre. While there is very little emphasis on murder and mayhem, there is no shortage of terrifying and evil villains, especially predators who go after young people. After becoming a crime victim himself, Jason has a special hatred for predators like the men who kidnapped him, and uses all of the resources at his disposal to go after them.

From a fleeting glance, the Hunter & Holmes Mystery Series appears to be another high-energy teen fiction. This perception is immediately broadened upon the reading of the first installment, which introduces the typically unseen themes of loyalty, respect, and hard work that build over the subsequent books. Protagonists Jason and Daniel prove to be dynamic, and effectively fall away from a stereotypical, ever-brave hero.  The series is fiction, but the characters and themes are so modern-day pertinent that readers find themselves relating to the series on a personal level, with the ability to apply key learning to their own life.

Jason and Daniel playing video games

Jason and Daniel like playing video games.

A largely developed theme is loyalty.  This is predominantly seen on three levels: friendship, family, and community.  Friendship is first and foremost presented by Jason and Daniel, who complete each other through their unwavering friendship.  Jason, the more sunny and impulsive characters, is perfectly matched by Daniel, the rock star and increasing careful character.  Together, they look out for each other’s emotional and physical safety, and even though they sometimes have different interests (music vs. community outreach) they remain loyal. Each character is unique, and the development of this uniqueness is critical to the success of the Hunter & Holmes series. 

Moreover, as new characters are introduced (Eric, Chauncey, and Nick), they are never forgotten but are entwined into the overall story moving forward.  Since these characters bond so closely to Jason and Daniel, it would be wrong and unrealistic to write them out as simple side characters.  Instead, the character development is again highlighted as they all progress together.  They all learn that it’s not only acceptable to be emotionally vulnerable to your friends, but necessary in order to heal and grow as a person.

Jason and Daniel in a bro handshake.

Jason and Daniel decide to become detectives.

The loyalty theme extends to family, where highs and lows are described and properly dealt with.  Jason and Daniel have honest, open relationships with their parents, which help them cope when minute struggles arise.  It is with characters such as Tim Wilkinson and Jonathan Kowalski that real family interferences surface, including drugs, abandonment, and poverty.  Even through these tough times, characters learn to grow up quickly and apply loyalty to their situations in order to mend their family.  Almost every character that is introduced also has a family back story, which again adds characters development and a level of reality.  We learn that sometimes even adults are not right, but that forgiveness is still available to those who work for it.   Teens sometimes have to step up and fill their parent’s shoes for some time, but this is never the be all and end all. 

The detective cases add action, adventure, and energy to the series, which is necessary to keep attention and provide breaks from emotional scenes.  These cases work in two ways, because they also show Jason and Daniel growing in intelligence, maturity, and building their network.   The detective cases become increasingly serious, starting with kidnapping, and moving to drugs and human trafficking.  Jason and Daniel mature with their detective technique, and more importantly, learn their own boundaries and know when to ask for help.  They develop relationships with adults, most notably with Antonio Garcia of the police force and ex Special Forces officer Joe Connor, who is able to extend his connections to Navy SEALS.  Just like their friendships, Jason and Daniel never drop these connections, but build them as use them as resources as they grow.

Jason and Daniel resting after a game of basketball

Jason and Daniel working out a problem after a game of basketball.

An overall theme that is used in every Hunter & Holmes installment is the theory of applying “fresh eyes” to a situation. This ties together friendship and professional resources, and shows the importance of allowing others to help.  Jason and Daniel are not superheroes, so they do rely of outside support for help.  The constantly search for a new perceptive on situations to help solve the crime.  The focus is not on glory for Jason and Daniel to solve a crime, but on taking whatever steps necessary to save a life, which means receiving help.  The boys reach out to each other, family, friends, and professionals of the community.

“Jason’s Network,” an online social platform described in the seventh book, Jason’s Network, sums up the themes of the entire series perfectly.  On the website, Jason fosters community and friendship, proving that we all need to depend on each other in order to make the world a better place.  It allows for emotional vulnerability and an outlet for struggling teens, proving the value of facing your troubles and moving forward. Moreover, it gives every person in the community the ability to be an everyday hero.  Members of the community can report and help solve cases, showing loyalty to your neighbor and the power of working together.  All the major themes of the books are put together in “Jason’s Network,” reinforcing all the trends of the series.

Jason and Daniel working on a case.

Jason and Daniel working on a case.

The success of the series lies in the subtly implemented themes.  The themes are powerful but not preached.  The method of showing rather than telling is reinforced, with the added value acceptance from the reader.  Readers are taught loyalty and family values through a continuous stream of examples that demonstrates the importance, instead of being lectured on the importance.  This opens up the minds of teens, which are used to pure action and hero tales.  Young minds are impressionable, and the Hunter & Holmes series communicates positive ideas that should be in teen minds, with the hope of leaving an impression. As you read through the series, you will see how the relationships Jason and Daniel have with each other and with their friends continue to develop as they experience incredible adventures.

There are now nine Hunter & Holmes mysteries out in e-book pdf and tablet reader formats. Each book has over forty color illustrations by Ricardo Carmona and a unique graphic design. Book 9 in the series, Senior Year, Part 1 is a full color graphic novel.

Click on the titles below to find out more about each book in the Hunter & Holmes Mystery Series

The Kidnapping link Double Fugue link When The Chips Are Down link
Family Matters link Eyewitness News link Days of Destiny link
Jason's Network link Troubled Waters link Senior Year Part 1 link

Other Website Features

Author's Interview link Characters in the Series link Image gallery link
Treasure Trove Game link Top of Page link Home Page link

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