The Clue Hunt
Author:Rick Riordan

Gordon Korman
Peter Lerangis
Jude Watson
Patrick Carman
Linda Sue Park
Margaret Peterson Haddix

Publication Date:September 3, 2008 - April 5, 2011
Pages:Varies by Book, 2225 in Total
Setting:Various Places
Preceded By:N/A
Followed By:Cahills vs. Vespers

The Clue Hunt is first series of The 39 Clues, and is primarily about Dan Cahill and Amy Cahill searching for the ingredients of The Master Serum. There are eleven books in the series, with Vespers Rising being the final book.

Plot OverviewEdit

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:

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.

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Book One: The Maze of BonesEdit

Please see the main article: 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, France 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 NoteEdit

Please see the main article: 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 ThiefEdit

Please see the main article: 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 GraveEdit

Please see the main article: 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 they're 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 CircleEdit

Please see the main article: 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 DeepEdit

Please see the main article: 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 NestEdit

Please see the main article: The Viper's Nest

Amy and Dan travel to South Africa, where they enter the Tomas Stronghold. After finding the Clue, which is Aloe, Dan is poisoned and Amy and Dan find out they are Madrigals. The Clue is Aloe.

Book Eight: The Emperor's CodeEdit

Please see the main article: 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 WarningEdit

Please see the main article: 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 GauntletEdit

Please see the main article: 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 RisingEdit

Please see the main article: 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.

Additional booksEdit

  1. Agent Handbook
  2. The Black Book of Buried Secrets

Card PacksEdit

  1. Card Pack 1: Secrets and Sabotage
  2. Card Pack 2: Branch vs. Branch
  3. Card Pack 3: The Rise of the Madrigals
  4. Card Pack 4: Ultimate Card Pack


There are two ways to obtain status having the books for both series on the 39 Clues website:

  1. If you have the books which come with cards, you can enter the codes for the book cards in the 'My Cards' section and you will qualify as having your books.
  2. If you have the books in eBook format or they just didn't come with any cards, you can go to and prove you have the book by typing in one of the early words (which number word is randomized) in two of the book's chapters (which chapter is randomized). If you are correct, you will qualify as having your books and get the book cards, hence the address name.


The series is followed by three more series and an additional side series:

Series Two: Cahills vs. Vespers

Series Three: Unstoppable

Series Four: Doublecross

Adddtional series: The Cahill Files


  • Books 1, 2, and 3's covers seem to be connected. On the following reasons:
    1. On The Maze of Bones' cover, shards of glass can be seen on its rightmost side.
    2. On the One False Note's cover, bones can be seen on the leftmost side and ninja weapons can be seen on the rightmost side.
    3. On The Sword Theif's cover, shards of glass can be seen on its leftmost side.
  • Books 4, 5, and 6 have a map as the background.
  • Books 7 and 8 have a pipe pattern as the background.
  • The clue hunt itself extended from August 19, 2008 -- two days after Grace Cahill died -- until September 27, 2008.
The 39 Clues
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