After I finished the fifth Adventurous Allens book, I felt traumatized and like I had dementia. It was agony forcing myself to read the final book. All five books are poorly written, but the first three are still pretty good stories in spite of that fact. The fourth and fifth books are very weak and difficult to get through. I skimmed parts of both books, especially the fifth book, since all I wanted by that point was to put an end to reading a series that I no longer enjoyed.
I searched the archives of the Girls' Series Group on Yahoo! Groups, and I was a bit horrified that years ago someone stated that Harriet Pyne Grove was a pseudonym of Mildred Wirt Benson. The writing of Harriet Pyne Grove is nowhere near the level of that of Mildred Wirt Benson. In fact, I suspect that Mildred Wirt Benson's practice writing from back when she was very young would have been much better than the books of Harriet Pyne Grove.
To make clear to anyone who is not aware of who wrote what in series fiction, Harriet Pyne Grove had no connection to Mildred Wirt Benson. All of the books written by Mildred Wirt Benson are listed on this page. Benson was one of the very best writers of juvenile series fiction, and all of her books are very good.
On a funny note, someone read one of Grove's books years ago (The S.P. Mystery, I believe) and thought it was so awful that he suggested an annual Harriet Pyne Grove Award for Mediocre Writing. Ha. That's actually a good idea. I nominate Roy J. Snell for the award since I have read just one of his books, Jane Withers and the Phantom Violin, which is an awful story.
I will probably never read another one of Harriet Pyne Grove's books after this experience. I have this idea that the Adventurous Allens series might be Grove's best work. The reason I think this is because someone took the Adventurous Allens series and edited the books into a two book series called Penny Allen, which I will review shortly. Wouldn't some of Grove's better books be chosen rather than some of her worst?
If the Adventurous Allens books are Grove's best, I cannot stomach the thought of reading her other books. Fortunately, I have held back from buying any other books by Grove due to a suspicion that the books might not be good. Some of the dust jackets are pretty, but I like to collect books that are good, not just books that have pretty artwork. As always, if anyone has read any of Grove's other books, I would love to read your opinion.
Does anyone wish to mention a series book that is so bad that it messes with your mind?