The Sorcerer's Apprentice, by Emily Rodda

When Teen Power Inc get two new jobs, they don’t expect them to combine to solve a big mystery, but that’s exactly what happens. First, they are hired to help in a clean up of the local magic shop. Tom is the only one who is excited about this. He loves magic and hopes to learn something from the eccentric owner, Sid. Then a second job arises. The teens are asked to babysit seven year old Tarquin Anderson. The pay is great but Tarquin is more than a handful – even with two teens looking after him at a time.

Meanwhile, Raven Hill is under siege from a mysterious mugger, known widely as The Gripper. After Tom has a close brush with him it becomes personal. But the solution to the mystery – and the arrest of the mugger – is as surprising to Tom as it is to everyone.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice is the second title in Emily Rodda’s Raven Hill Mysteries. First released in 1994, when the series was known as Teen Power Inc, the series will be popular with a new batch of pre and early teens. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice has plenty of action, a touch of humour and a smattering of clues to help would-be sleuths unravel the mystery.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, by Emily Rodda
Scholastic, 2004. First published in 1994