Thursday, September 10, 2015

Purchasing the Ted Wilford Series

The Ted Wilford series by Norvin Pallas is lauded as an outstanding juvenile series.  The series is extremely difficult to complete.  A number of the books are nearly impossible to find or are impossible to find.  The higher-numbered titles are easier to find than the lower-numbered titles.  I wanted to try this series, but I quickly determined that I could not put forth the investment in purchasing more than one or two books without making certain that I would end up liking the series.  The series consists of 15 titles.

 1. The Secret of Thunder Mountain, 1951
 2. The Locked Safe Mystery, 1954
 3. The Star Reporter Mystery, 1955
 4. The Singing Trees Mystery, 1956
 5. The Empty House Mystery, 1957
 6. The Counterfeit Mystery, 1958
 7. The Stolen Plans Mystery, 1959
 8. The Scarecrow Mystery, 1960
 9. The Big Cat Mystery, 1961
10. The Missing Witness Mystery, 1962
11. The Baseball Mystery, 1963
12. The Mystery of Rainbow Gulch, 1964
13. The Abandoned Mine Mystery, 1965
14. The S. S. Shamrock Mystery, 1966
15. The Greenhouse Mystery, 1967

I found a copy of #14 The S.S. Shamrock Mystery to try.  I had the book in my possession for a while before I finally read it.  While I enjoyed the story, I was not able to determine whether I liked it enough to want to purchase any additional titles.  I looked over the online offerings, but most of the books available were not in very good shape and were a bit expensive overall.

I kept having this nagging feeling that I needed to read another Ted Wilford to see what I thought.  I did manage to find copies of #11 The Baseball Mystery and #15 The Greenhouse Mystery which were priced reasonably enough for me to be willing to purchase them without being sure of how much I would enjoy them.  Around five months passed before I finally got around to reading The Greenhouse Mystery.  The plot moves slowly, but the story is interesting and very engaging.  I greatly enjoyed the book, enough to finally make the difficult decision to commit to purchasing as much of the set as I could.

My goal was to get the few copies in dust jacket that I could and then to acquire library bindings with the picture on the front cover.  That way, I would have a book with a cover illustration regardless.  Besides, I enjoy library editions and do not mind library editions.  As long as I had a representation of the cover art, I would be happy.

A few books can be found for under $30, but the supply is very limited.  Most titles will cost more than $30, and some of the books are practically impossible to find.  Furthermore, the books will be reading copies, not collector editions.  I managed to acquire 10 of the 15 books, most of which are reading copies.

All books are library discards except for The Big Cat Mystery, which is a copy sent out by the publisher for review. 

After I finished reading other sets of books that I had recently acquired, I commenced with reading the second book in the Ted Wilford series.


Phyl said...

Our library had one of the Ted Wilford books. I don't remember which one it was but I remember being excited to discover another mystery series (we didn't have internet yet, I only new of the few bigger series) and enjoying it. Unfortunately the library no longer has it (as well as several other books I used to check out).

Father David said...

You did well to find a copy of The Locked Safe Mystery! Of all the books, that and the first are VERY hard to find. I was fortunate to look for the series before most other collectors did, so I managed to get them fairly easily and inexpensively except for the first two. Then I did an online search to find all the libraries in the US that had copies of the first and/or second, and then wrote to them and offered to buy them before they put them in the discard pile. I think all I did was alert the librarians that they had treasures on their hands. I did eventually manage to find copies of the first two, but it took a long time. Now, as you say, I guess all the books are hard to find, with some harder than others. Too bad. It's a grand series.

D said...

Norvin Pallas was my great uncle. My grandmother now 86 was the baby of the family. She has the rights to the production or reproduction of the book. As of March, 2016 she signed paperwork to green light ebook and print versions of his Ted Wilford Series to be reprinted. If you want to try one of his other books my mom was able to produce "We were just boys" on by Norvin.