With this post, I will begin reviewing the Phyllis Whitney mysteries for young people. I noticed as I read the books that several titles that are mentioned as others' favorites are titles that I did not enjoy. The same happened with Cherry Ames.
While I did not enjoy all of Phyllis Whitney's books, I also avoided the same strong negative reaction that I had to Cherry Ames. I did greatly enjoy a number of Whitney's books.
I purchased The Secret of the Spotted Shell last year in a local store. It was purchased so that I could try a book by Phyllis Whitney, since I have read such positive reviews of her work. I will review it first, then I will proceed in the order that the rest of the books were published.
In The Secret of the Spotted Shell, Wendy Williams arrives in the Virgin Islands to live with her cousins. Wendy's reception is not what she expected. Her cousin, Gordon Cole, is missing and feared dead in Vietnam. His wife, Marion, is in shock and in no condition to welcome a newcomer to the family.
Wendy soon becomes aware that another newcomer, Mr. Helgerson, is interested in a spotted shell from Gordon's collection. The spotted shell holds a secret message that could ruin Gordon's reputation if it gets into the wrong hands.
Wendy scowls all the time. This annoyed me.
I enjoyed this book enough that I decided to purchase as many of Phyllis Whitney's juvenile mysteries as I could find.
In The Mystery of the Gulls, Tally Saunders and her mother arrive on Mackinac Island. The Saunders will inherit a hotel provided that Mrs. Saunders can successfully run it for the duration of the summer. If everything works out, the Saunders will sell the hotel so that they can purchase a house, which is what Tally wants more than anything. Tally and her mother quickly discover that they are unwanted at the hotel and that someone is trying to keep Mrs. Saunders from being successful.
I enjoyed the setting of this book. The tone of the book is just right, and I greatly enjoyed it.