Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Blythe Girls Series

I am revisiting some of my old message posts from the Vintage Series Books group. This message contains my comments regarding the Blythe Girls series.

From June 20, 2005:

I finished reading the first book in the Blythe Girls series tonight. This is one of those series that is unfortunately overlooked by many collectors. I overlooked it for many years, and I heartily wish that I had started working on a set much sooner than I did.

As I read the first book, I noticed how very real the characters seem. They are described quite well, and I felt like I was experiencing their problems right along with them.

Something that stood out in particular is a plot similarity between this first book in the Blythe Girls series and the first Connie Blair book, The Clue in Blue. In The Blythe Girls: Helen, Margy, and Rose, Rose Blythe goes to work in the millinery department of the Lossar-Martin Department Store. Rose is accused of theft by the floorwalker when valuable plumes disappear from her counter. In The Clue in Blue, Connie Blair goes to work with her aunt in Campion's Department Store. Connie's Aunt Bet is under suspicion of theft after a valuable hat disappears and after pearls that had disappeared are discovered in her purse. I was not at all surprised at the identity of the thief in the Blythe Girls book, because a very similar character was the thief in the Connie Blair book.

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From July 5, 2005:

After getting sidetracked with other commitments, I resumed reading the Blythe Girls and am currently on Rose's Odd Discovery.

The more I read, the more I am reminded of the trio of Nancy, Bess, and George from the Nancy Drew series. Helen, Margy, and Rose are not like Nancy, Bess, and George in personality, yet it is another trio of girls. Helen and Rose each have a boyfriend, and Margy even has two that she doesn't really want, and somehow all four young men manage to spend so much time with the girls. They even join the girls briefly on their vacation in Three on a Vacation. It reminds me of how Ned, Burt, and Dave always manage to spend time with Nancy, Bess, and George, even on trips around the world.

It also interests me how the Blythe Girls series came to an end just a couple of years after the Nancy Drew series began.

I like how the villain of Rex Pepper comes back to plague Margy and Miss Pepper time and time again as he tries to steal Miss Pepper's fortune.

Helen's Strange Boarder is a good mystery. The truth about Jean Ridgeway is a great mystery and eerie as it parallels a popular novel in the story. I did, however, guess Jean's true identity fairly early in the story. Whenever there is a missing person and then someone else who either seems lost or is an amnesiac, they usually turn out to be one and the same. Series books are usually very predictable in this sense.

There are the same extreme coincidences all through the Blythe Girls books that occur in most series books. A character mentioned briefly near the start of Three on a Vacation turns up unexpectedly near the end of the book, and the same situation occurs with another character in Margy's Secret Mission.

And speaking of Margy's Secret Mission, I loved the part where Margy went undercover at the Royce Clever-Carlton estate. It was exciting, and Margy was in grave danger.

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From August 1, 2005:

I finished the Blythe Girls series a few weeks ago. My favorite book was Rose's Hidden Talent. It read like a fairy tale. Rose had some terrible struggles, but everything worked out perfect in the end.

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