Tuesday, June 1, 2010

The Linda Carlton Series

The Linda Carlton series was written by Edith Lavell and is frustratingly difficult to find. The series consists of five books, all published by A. L. Burt.

1. Linda Carlton, Air Pilot
2. Linda Carlton's Ocean Flight
3. Linda Carlton's Island Adventure
4. Linda Carlton's Perilous Summer
5. Linda Carlton's Hollywood Flight

The first three titles were reprinted by Saalfield and are not that difficult to find in the Saalfield editions. Unfortunately, the Saalfield books have pulp paper that has deeply yellowed, and so are not very pleasant to read. It is very difficult to find the first three titles in the A. L. Burt editions with good quality paper. The final two volumes are nearly impossible to find in the A. L. Burt editions, and since the final two volumes were not reprinted by Saalfield, most people will never be able to read them.

What this amounts to is that most people will only be able to own the first three books and with poor quality paper. In fact, most people probably have no idea that the series consists of five books. The Saalfield reprints only mention the first three books.

Around five years ago, I was shocked to learn of these two "missing" Linda Carlton books. They are like phantom titles since very few people have ever seen them. A phantom title is one that is mentioned, usually at the end of the last book in a series as the next book, but was never printed because the series ended. In this case, these books actually were printed, but now nobody can find them.

Here is the one that I have:

Jim Towey reprinted volumes 4 and 5 earlier this year in a limited print run of 25 copies each. I was very disappointed in the lack of interest that resulted in only one print run. I had hoped that more people would be interested so that he would order a second printing. I feel that 25 copies is too few and that many people will soon regret not supporting this particular reprint effort.

I have greatly enjoyed Lavell's Girl Scouts and Mary Louise Gay series. Based on my high opinions of those two series, I strongly feel that the Linda Carlton series is a must-read. I cannot imagine reading the first three books and then not being able to finish the series. How awful!

I believe that the reason for the lack of interest in the reprint effort is because nobody *ahem* has yet reviewed the Linda Carlton series. If perhaps a detailed Linda Carlton page had already existed prior to the reprints, then I think there would have been more interest.

How can the Linda Carlton series not be excellent, seeing as how good Lavell's other two series are? This is one series that I have anticipated for several years and have patiently waited until I had all five titles before beginning to read any of them. Thanks to Jim Towey, I now have all five titles. I have partially read through volume one, and I am finding it to be as excellent as I expected.

If you missed out on the reprints and have decided that you wish you had been able to buy one of them, please leave a comment on this post.


beautifulshell said...

My problem is that the reprint came along at the wrong time for me - I don't have ANY of the books yet (or any of Edith Lavell's books, for that matter), but given how good they sound, someday I'd like to get around to them. Then, I'm sure I'll regret not having a copy of this. C'est la vie!

Gina said...

Like beautifulshell said, I never even read the first three Linda Carlton books, so when the re-print came out, I didn't jump to buy them since I still had so many other books to try and collect. If you really recommend the series though, I would certainly consider getting the reprints if more of them are available at some point.

Also just out of curiosity, which book series had phantom titles?

Jennifer said...

The third Adventure Girls book mentions the next book as The Adventure Girls on Vacation. No one had any way of knowing that the book was never printed. It is now apparent that the book does not exist, but it is an example of a phantom title.

At the end of many series, a book is mentioned as the next title. Judy Bolton #38 mentions The Strange Likeness, but that book does not exist since the series went out of print before it was published. And, of course, there are other examples.

Brandi said...

Hello Jennifer!

Just to reinforce my interest, I am leaving a comment, as requested. I found your post too late to pick up the books on the first print run. I would be willing to buy multiple copies as well. However, probably only two total of each, just to show my support. Lucky you to have an original of one! :) A bonus, it looks as if it is in good shape! I can't even find a Burt copy of any of them with a jacket. Thank you for making the continued effort to get another print run!


Kenoscope said...

I have the first three editions of this series. Though as a writer I note that the series does have it's problems, I would very much like to obtain the latter two books. Numbers 4&5.

I have seen a reprint on e-bay (basically a xerox of the books) but at $45 each plus postage they were well beyond my reach.

Jon said...

Hi, Jennifer. Wonderful review of the Linda Carlton series.

I would be very interested in purchasing Nos. 4 & 5 of the series: "Linda Carlton's Perilous Summer" and "Linda Carlton's Hollywood Flight."

I think I'm like most people here: I didn't buy Jim Towey's reprints because I didn't know about them. In fact, I only recently acquired the first three titles on the strength of your reviews of them; and I wasn't disappointed. :)

Please urge Mr. Towey to make another press run of his Linda Carlton titles.

BTW, does he have a website? I’m interested in his other Edith Lavell titles also.

Unknown said...

My local library contacted the Library of Congress and they sent out Linda Carlton's Hollywood Flight for me to look at in the library only. I could not take it out; however, I photographed every page since it is in public domain. I have edited every photo (jpg) and have turned the entire book into a PDF and also a mobi book for Kindle. If someone does not have a Kindle, it can be read on any computer with the free download of Mobipocket Reader.
I would love to share this book with anyone who wants to read it and was going to give an email and have anyone who wanted a copy to just email me and I'd send it as an attachment. Yes, for free. It has taken me a long time to locate and copy this book and I'd like to share it with anyone else who isn't interested in a collectible copy but just wants to read it. The problem is, the pdf is almost 200,000K and the mobi format is 70,000K so I've discovered it is not possible to email them as an attachment, as all the email servers limit to 10megs. If you have any suggestions as to how I can share this book, please respond. Carol

Kenoscope said...




Both will allow large file formats.

Kenoscope said...

https://www.wetransfer.com/ or http://www.mailbigfile.com/free/ will allow for large files transfers.

Unknown said...

Linda Carlton's Hollywood Flight has now been uploaded at the Internet Archive at http://www.archive.org/details/LindaCarltonsHollywoodFlight