Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Mystery in Old Quebec and Ghost Rock Mystery by Mary C. Jane

Mary C. Jane wrote a number of children's books from 1955 through 1970.  While some of Jane's books are common, others are difficult to find.  Wildside Press has begun reprinting Mary C. Jane's books, but not all books are available.  The books tend to run around 120 pages.  All stories involve at least two children solving a mystery together.

Mystery in Old Quebec, 1955
The Ghost Rock Mystery, 1956
Mystery at Pemaquid Point, 957
Mystery at Shadow Pond, 1958
Mystery on Echo Ridge, 1959
Mystery Back of the Mountain, 1960
Mystery at Dead End Farm, 1961
Mystery Behind Dark Windows, 1962
Mystery by Moonlight, 1963
Mystery in Longfellow Square, 1964
Indian Island Mystery, 1965
The Dark Tower Mystery, 1966
Mystery on Nine-Mile Marsh, 1967
Mystery of the Red Carnations, 1968
Mystery in Hidden Hollow, 1970

In Mystery in Old Quebec, Kerry, Mark, and their father spend their vacation in Quebec. The family stays in an old boarding house. During the first night, Kerry hears someone crying in the room next door.  Meanwhile, Kerry's jacket disappears and reappears the next day.  Kerry discovers a paper in one of the pockets.  The paper has a series of drawings that tell a story.  Kerry and Mark figure out that a boy is being held captive in the house and follow a series of clues in order to help him.

The story starts out quickly and has no boring expository information.  I like it when a book is interesting from the very first page.

This is an excellent, fast-paced book.

In The Ghost Rock Mystery, Janice and Tommy visit Aunt Annabelle's guest house in Maine.  The guest house is in a deserted location.  The children become fearful when they learn about a ghost story involving the house.

When a man stays at the guest house, the children discover him sneaking around upstairs in the middle of the night.  Even stranger, the children hear hoofbeats coming from a rock in the middle of an empty field. What can it all mean?

This is a very good book.

In Mystery at Pemaquid Point, Elisabeth's father has taken a job remodeling the Sea Winds Hotel at Pemaquid Point, Maine. Elisabeth is very lonely, and the only child who lives nearby is Henry Freeman.  Henry is from a very poor family, and many people think that Henry and his brothers are thieves.

Elisabeth has the chance to become acquainted with Henry, and she feels confident that Henry and his brothers are innocent.  Unfortunately, additional thefts occur, keeping the Freemans under suspicion.  Elisabeth helps Henry find the real culprit.

This is also a very good book.


Phyl said...

Mystery in Old Quebec is the book that made me start writing down all the books I read that I liked. One day I remembered a book I had read about a mystery in Quebec but could not find it anywhere. I searched the library catalog multiple times (we didn't have internet back then - early 2000s) but could never find the title or author. So I started writing down my favorite books so that would never happen again. I did end up finding the book, at my aunt's house! She gave it to me after I told her how long I'd been searching for it :)

paul binotto said...

I LOVED this book. I found my aunt's copy in my grandma's basement and read it probably 1000 times. It disappeared many years ago along with the other books in the basement. (No Children, No Pets; The Mystery of High Hedges; Half Magic and about a dozen others.)
I finally bought my own copy fairly recently and discovered I still enjoyed reading it.
I liked the struggles with pronouncing french words. And the trip into the poor neighborhood was very suspenseful.
I've always remembered the scene where their father orders dinner and the kids are very disappointed because the food looks "just like American food". Once they taste it they realize "It's French alright!".
I thought the kids seemed quite realistic. The age gap between Kerry and Mark is similar to me and my younger brother. I could see myself trying to distract my little brother from being homesick. I could also see us conspiring to sneak Jacques (the dog) into the house.
Thanks for reviewing this book.