Sunday, October 16, 2016

Jenny Dean #1 Shining Children and #2 Hidden Trap

The Jenny Dean Science Fiction Mysteries series was written by Dale Carlson.  The books were published by Grosset and Dunlap in 1983 and 1984.  The series consists of the following titles.

1.  The Mystery of the Shining Children, 1983
2.  The Mystery of the Hidden Trap, 1983
3.  The Secret of the Third Eye, 1983
4.  The Secret of the Invisible City, 1984

Each book has neat endpapers that feature a map of Winter Falls and the surrounding area.  The map features all the locations used in the four books.  Click on the image to see a larger version.



In #1 The Mystery of the Shining Children, Jenny Dean and Mike Wood notice that their classmates at Winter Falls High School are behaving strangely.  Their complexions are pale and shining.  As Jenny investigates, she discovers that a virus is responsible and soon suspects who the ruthless culprit is.

Jenny is more perfect than Nancy Drew in the opening scene.  The author lets the reader know that Jenny's parents and the police chief come to Jenny for advice concerning just about all of their problems.  And Jenny always knows the answers.

Jenny and Mike pretty much abduct a child from a research hospital, believing that he is in danger.  They take the child to Jenny's Aunt Sally's house, where they are staying.  Oddly, Aunt Sally asks no questions about the extra guest the next morning, apparently accepting it as normal that Jenny and Mike have brought a strange child into her home.

I find it interesting how Jenny's parents question none of Jenny's decisions, no matter how bizarre they are.  The story is interesting, although improbable.  The ending is wrapped up way too fast.

This book is very easy and pleasant to read.  I enjoyed it.

In #2 The Mystery of the Hidden Trap, one at a time, four different people in different towns near Winter Falls are involved in near-fatal accidents.  Each accident was caused by the same boy, at least that is what everyone thinks at first.  Soon Jenny learns that each boy is part of a set of quadruplets that were separated at birth and put up for adoption.  And it gets crazier from there.

Old Mr. Marsh falls into an illegal trap and breaks both of his legs.  The Deans arrive to help him, and Jenny's parents splint his legs. Next, the Deans go outside to investigate.  On page 18, Mrs. Burgess "wanted to serve coffee before they took Mr. Marsh to the hospital for x-rays."  Say what?!  And the Deans proceed to drink coffee while Mr. Marsh lies around with his splinted legs waiting to be taken to the hospital.  Apparently Mr. Marsh doesn't get any coffee.

This book is very suspenseful as Jenny figures out the strange events.  I enjoyed this book even more than I did the first book.

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