Sunday, December 30, 2018

Judy Bolton #4 Seven Strange Clues

In Judy Bolton #4, Seven Strange Clues, Judy and her friends are competing in an art contest.  A place is set up in the basement for the girls to work on their posters.  One night, Honey seems frightened but won't explain why.  Later, the girls' school burns down, and all of the posters that had been turned in are lost.  Strangely, a poster believed lost wins the contest.  And just who are the mysterious men renting a space in the Boltons' garage? 

On page 26 of the original text, the men renting the garage build the workbench for Judy.  One of the men, Stephen Garry, also offers to purchase Judy's show card colors for her.  This is a bit much, and Judy protests that she shouldn't let him "do all this work without pay."

Stephen Garry replies as follows.
"That's nothing to what I would do," he replied, giving Judy a curious look that she was at a loss to interpret.
That seems a bit suggestive for a children's book.  It's also creepy.  I was not surprised to see the entire passage removed from the revised Tempo edition.

On page 95 of the original text, Judy's abduction in The Vanishing Shadow is mentioned as being one of her past dangerous adventures.  Since the abduction was completely removed from the revised text of The Vanishing Shadow, the revised text of this title also removes the reference.

On page 159 of the original text, Irene comments that she believes that Kay became friends with her "because she wanted to 'make' Stephen Garry."  Obviously "make" is not meant exactly how it sounds to the modern reader, but it must have still sounded bad by the 1960s.  Margaret removed it from the revised text.

This is a very good book.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Hardy Boys Adventures #17 The Gray Hunter's Revenge

In Hardy Boys Adventures #17, The Gray Hunter's Revenge, Joe's favorite writer, Nathan Foxwood, has died in a car accident.  Foxwood's house is said to be haunted by the Gray Hunter.  The boys are asked to investigate.

This story is not sabotage.  As I have mentioned before, most of the Hardy Boys Adventures books do not use sabotage while the Nancy Drew Diaries are stuck in an endless world of sabotage.

The boys attend Nathan Foxwood's estate sale at the start of the book.  One of the people running the sale explains in great detail how the sale will work, including the statement, "If you are interested in purchasing an item, simply pick it up and bring it down to this room to complete the sale."  Um, why would people need to be told that?  At estate sales, people get inside, quickly move around and find the good stuff, then they go to the person sitting at a table with a cash box.  What is there to explain?

I also found it amazing that all the customers obediently stand and listen to the speech instead of quickly grabbing the good stuff.  The author obviously doesn't go to estate sales.

Unlike the Nancy Drew Diaries series, the Hardy Boys Adventures series is steady and consistent.  The boys' personalities in this book match their personalities from previous books.  I really like the way they are portrayed.  The Hardys are not perfect, but the personality quirks do not take away from their ability or desire to solve mysteries. 

The ending did not surprise me at all, since I guessed it from early on.  However, that did not take away from my enjoyment of the book.  The book is suspenseful and very good.

Thursday, December 27, 2018

10% Discount on Etsy + Shipping Promotion on eBay and Etsy

I need to get my inventory reduced, so I have discounted my Etsy listings by 10%.  The sale goes though January 4.  If you read this post after the sale ends on January 4, 2019, the offer will be null and void.

I have Nancy Drew library editions, twin thrillers, book club editions, early books with jackets, tweed books with jackets, original text picture covers, revised text picture covers, and more on Etsy.

The Etsy promotion for free shipping on orders of $35 or more is still active. 

Jennifer's Series Books on eBay

I also created a special offer on eBay for free shipping on orders of $35 or more.  eBay continues to frustrate me with its lack of promotion of seller discounts.  Etsy shows the special offer in its search results, while eBay does not.  I won't get a boost in eBay search from buyers who might be motivated to click on my listing because of the promotion.  They have to click on the listing to see that a promotion exists.

Etsy also shows the shipping promotion on all item pages regardless of price.  eBay only shows the promotion on my items that do not have free shipping.  I understand eBay's logic in not showing the free shipping promotion on items that already have free shipping, but this is a missed opportunity.

Buyers who are interested in purchasing a $50 item which has free shipping might be interested to know that all orders of $35 or more get free shipping.  This is because they might want to add additional items to the $50 order so that those items can piggyback on the $50 order.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Judy Bolton #3 The Invisible Chimes and The Talking Snowman

In Judy Bolton #3, The Invisible Chimes, Judy and her friends are in a tea room when the adjoining antique shop is robbed.  The young people pursue the thieves, whose vehicle gets wrecked.  A teenage girl with the thieves was injured, and she is taken home with the Boltons.  Judy becomes very fond of the girl, who is called "Honey," but lingering suspicion remains.  Honey claims to have amnesia, but Judy wonders whether she has really forgotten her past.  As Judy works on uncovering the truth, she hopes that Honey is not deceiving everyone.

In the original text on page 18, Dr. Bolton promises "to break all speed laws."  In the revised Tempo edition, this phrase was removed.

The Tempo revision also does not have the scene with Mr. Lang in Dr. Bolton's waiting room.

This is a very good story.

Margaret Sutton began a book titled The Talking Snowman.  Margaret never finished the book, but later, author Linda Joy Singleton finished the story.  She sent the manuscript to Margaret, who made revisions.  The Talking Snowman was later published.  The story takes place between volumes 3 and 4 in the series.

In The Talking Snowman, Judy and Horace build a snowman in their front yard.  Later, the snowman speaks to them, telling them that they will find something in the clothespin factory.  Mystified, Judy and Peter decide to investigate.

Meanwhile, the Boys' High and Industrial High crowds are feuding.  The rivals have a snowball fight at the courthouse, and some boys begin throwing rocks!  Judy finds herself caught between the two sides.  Judy suspects that the feud began because of a misunderstanding.  Judy's world is then thrown into turmoil when her own mother gets injured because of the feud.

This is a very good to excellent story.  The tone is very close to the original books, so it fits in well with the set.

Sunday, December 23, 2018

Nancy Drew Diaries: A Nancy Drew Christmas

In Nancy Drew Diaries,  A Nancy Drew Christmas, Nancy has just arrived at a new ski resort.  When Nancy gives the ski slope a trial run, she slips on ice and ends up with a broken leg.  Nancy concludes that the resort is being sabotaged.  She investigates, although the broken leg slows her down.

These books continue to recycle the same sabotage plot over and over.  This story changes up the plot a little with Nancy having a broken leg so her investigation is made more difficult.

This book is supposedly #18 in the series, but #17 has not yet been published.  I assume this is a special edition, but I'm still a bit puzzled about the numbering as well as some other oddities.  Only the hardcover edition has been released, and the softcover edition will not be released until late 2020.  The hardcover edition is now on back order from the publisher.

This book is better than most of the books in the Nancy Drew Diaries series.  Nevertheless, the book still has problems.

Nancy getting injured at the beginning of the story weakens her ability to solve the mystery.  It makes her dependent on other characters, like the Hardy Boys, who appear in this book.  So, Nancy is injured and needs the help of the Hardy Boys.  Why can't Nancy Drew show up in a Hardy Boys book and help them?  No, Nancy, the girl, is always the one who needs help.  I still don't understand why the people at Simon and Schuster want Nancy Drew to be a weak female.  I wrote about the sexism two years ago, and Simon and Schuster continues to propel Nancy Drew down this path.

While Nancy has been mostly cured of her severe psychological problems from The Haunting on Heliotrope Lane, she still has some issues.

On page 2, Nancy tells herself, "Keep your focus, Nancy."

On page 8, Nancy trips and falls.

On page 44, Nancy feels better because she needs Marni's confidence.

On page 49, Nancy has to calm herself.  For once, this is understandable, since she's buried underneath snow and has just broken her leg.  However, I still can't help thinking how the original Nancy Drew would be just like "whatever," dig herself out of the snow, and get herself rescued.

On page 179, Nancy pouts.  What the heck?!

On page 225, Nancy's hands are shaking, but this is also completely understandable considering the stressful situation.  I wish they'd only have Nancy shaking in scenes like this one.  If so, it wouldn't bother me a bit.

On page 266, Nancy reflects that she can't "be scared off that easily" and that anyone who thinks otherwise "didn't know Nancy Drew."  Well, there's that problem of Heliotrope Lane.  That Nancy Drew was very scared.  Regardless, it's great to see some confidence in this book's Nancy Drew.

The owners of the ski resort are Archie Leach and Grant Alexander.  They are called "Mr. A" and "Mr. G" for short.  This confused me because "A" is the first letter in Archie's first name and in Grant's last name.  I couldn't keep them straight.  Names in books should not begin with the same letter.

On page 127, Nancy feels that Clark isn't "the sharpest spoon in Chef K's kitchen."  Knife, Nancy.  Knife.

Many collectors have complained about the use of "hell" on page 85.  I actually didn't even notice it when I read the book.  It didn't register.  Nancy isn't the character who uses the word, so it's a nonissue for me.  I am much more concerned about Nancy's personality flaws than in some other character using one mild cuss word on one page.

Having Nancy in a wheelchair for the duration of the story weakens her.  This really bothered me at first and then I was less bothered by it later.  Nancy is overall strong in this book, but I find it odd that she is purposely weakened by the broken leg, causing her to need the assistance of resort employees as well as the Hardy Boys.

Bess and George don't make fun of Nancy, which is good.  Frank and Joe Hardy's characterization is consistent with their portrayal in the Hardy Boys Adventures series.  I suspect that this book was written by one of the authors of the Hardy Boys Adventures, especially since the book has some of the great humor that is present in the Hardy Boys Adventures series

That said, I still have concerns about the direction being taken in the Nancy Drew franchise.  I actually would not have such concern if I weren't reading the Hardy Boys Adventures series as well.  But's that a topic for another post.

This is what I wrote about the book right after I read it in September.
The Nancy Drew Diaries series is puzzling.  This new book, just released on Tuesday and with a dust jacket embossed with glitter, is easily the very best book in the series, in my opinion.  The preceding volume, Heliotrope Lane, is easily the worst book in the series and is one of the worst Nancy Drew books ever published.  If S&S could be consistent and publish books like this one, we'd have a really great series.  So indeed, those of you saving this book to read at Christmas will have a very nice Christmas story to read.
I felt more positive about this book in September than I do now.  In September, I felt that it was possibly the best book in the series, or at least equal to the best.  As I looked at the book to write this review, the flaws really stood out.  The problem is that I am currently reading the Judy Bolton series, and this book does not compare favorably to Judy Bolton.  For that reason, I no longer feel that positive about the book, even though I enjoyed reading it.

I reflected about this in the last few days.  My conclusion is that the Nancy Drew Diaries series does not hold up well on multiple readings, at least not for me.  The series is overall too weak.

A Nancy Drew Christmas is one of best books in the Nancy Drew Diaries series, but this Nancy Drew is not the Nancy Drew of yore.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Judy Bolton #2 The Haunted Attic

In Judy Bolton #2, The Haunted Attic, Judy and her family move into their new home in Farringdon.  The house is supposedly haunted by the ghost of Vine Thompson, who fenced the jewels that her sons stole.  Judy and Horace hear strange sounds from the attic, and they plan to solve the mystery and reveal what they learn at a Halloween party.

Meanwhile, Judy has trouble fitting in at her new school.  Lois gives Judy a friendship ring, and Judy learns that she isn't supposed to be friendly with the poor girls who live near her.  Lorraine is jealous of Judy's friendship with Lois, and this strains Judy's relationship with Lois.

The text was slightly revised in the 1967 Tempo edition.  The biggest change in the Tempo edition is that the car ride and scene where Lois gives Judy the ring are reversed in order.  The order from the Tempo edition reads smoother and is more logical.

I saw some minor text changes in the Tempo edition to make the story more politically correct.  "Famblies" is changed to "families."  All mention of the Farringdons' colored maid is removed.  "Delightful negro spirituals" is changed to "delightful spirituals."  Finally, "Chinese puzzle" is changed to "puzzle."

Page 132 of the original text has a mistake where it is not clear at one point who is speaking.  This is corrected in the Tempo edition.

In the original text, the white cat is named "The Ghost," and the name is changed to "Ghostie" in the Tempo edition.

After Ghostie (or The Ghost) appears, Blackberry is put outside.  Why?  I thought that was a bit mean.  It's like Blackberry was cast aside in favor of the new cat.

A lot of the text from page 172 was removed from the Tempo edition.  This is disappointing, since the passage shows Judy's despair and strong emotion.  Surely Margaret Sutton could have found something less compelling to remove in order to shorten the text.

In both versions of the text, the young people start a fire in a pail in the attic to remove the bad odor from the attic.  They almost set the house on fire.  Aside from the stupidity, wouldn't the attic then smell like smoke?  I don't see how replacing a foul odor with a smoke odor will help.  I feel like the foolish fire scene should have been removed from the revised text rather than the passage from page 172.

On page 34 of A Guide to Judy Bolton Country, Margaret Sutton mentions that Grosset and Dunlap liked having stereotypes in the books.  Having a colored maid was fine in the original text, but they did not allow Margaret to let Judy declare the maid to be a person just like them.
Margaret originally had Judy speak to the Farringdon-Pett's black maid, only to be told by Lois that  "You're not supposed to talk to the maid!"  To which Judy replied, "Why not?  She's a person like us, isn't she?"
It's too bad that the passage was changed for publication.

This is a very good story.

Monday, December 17, 2018

Hidden Clues #3 Trixie Belden Deluxe Editions

The Trixie Belden deluxe edition format was issued in the middle 1960s.  This edition is rather nice with color illustrations scattered throughout each book.  The books were issued with both the Whitman and Golden Press imprints.  Volumes 1 through 15 were issued in this format.

Seen below is my set. 

I have mostly Whitman books with three Golden Press books.  I have never tried to get all of them with the same imprint, since that has never been very important to me.  I do tend to favor the Whitman imprint, which is why I own more of them.

Many other Trixie Belden collectors have tried to assemble a complete set of the deluxe edition with both the Whitman and Golden Press imprints.  As far as we can determine, nobody has been able to get all of them with either imprint.  Recently, a query was made in two of the Facebook groups about who owns which books, and nobody who responded has all of the books with either imprint.

We believe that #10 Trixie Belden and the Marshland Mystery was never issued with the Whitman imprint.  We also believe that #8 Trixie Belden and the Black Jacket Mystery was never issued with the Golden Press imprint.  All of the other titles can be found with both imprints.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Judy Bolton #1 The Vanishing Shadow

In Judy Bolton #1, The Vanishing Shadow, Judy Bolton spends the summer at her grandparents' farm.  Judy overhears a conversation about the Roulsville dam.  One of the workers abducts Judy in an attempt to make her keep quiet, even though Judy doesn't understand the significance of what she overheard.

Arthur Farringdon-Pett believes that the new Roulsville dam was built in a slipshod fashion, and he fears that the dam will break if the area should get any rain.  Soon, the moment of truth arrives, and a storm threatens.  Will the dam hold?

I found several parts of the original text to be confusing.  Judy receives 10 tickets to the spelling bee in the mail, and it is not clear that she is supposed to sell them.  I was also confused when Mr. Dobbs reveals that he sent Judy the tickets and that he and Peter bet on the winners.  I thought he was referring to who would sell the most tickets, but then I later realized that he meant the winners of the spelling bee.

Judy is abducted in The Vanishing Shadow.  According to Melanie Knight in A Guide to Judy Bolton Country, Margaret added the kidnapping sequence "at the insistence of the publisher."  Margaret never wanted the abduction in the story.

The Vanishing Shadow was revised in 1964.  The revision is an improvement, since the parts of the original text that confused me were changed.  The 1964 text makes it more clear that Judy is expected to sell the tickets, although not as clear as it should have been.  It is made clear that Mr. Dobbs and Peter bet on the spelling bee winners.

The details of Judy's abduction were removed from the 1964 text.  She is still held captive in the shack, but the reader doesn't know how she gets there.  The details about the gag were also removed from the story.

In the original text, Judy impulsively digs out the Dry Brook dam and later regrets it.  In the 1964 text, she considers digging out the dam but learns more information that prevents her from doing it.

In the original text, Judy and Peter find a gun in the shack.  That scene was removed from the 1964 text.

Blackberry doesn't go missing in the 1964 text.  His lengthy disappearance in the original text makes little sense, and his appearance later is illogical, since he somehow survives the flood.

Also in the original text, Peter asks Judy how Blackberry is, like he doesn't know that Blackberry has disappeared.  Judy answers sadly that she doesn't know, and Peter doesn't think anything is odd.  When Peter asks about Blackberry in the 1964 text, the dialog is logical since Blackberry is still around.

The 1967 Tempo edition further clarifies the ticket situation.  In this text, the reader learns the moment that Judy receives the tickets that she is supposed to sell them.  Thank you!

The abduction and Judy's imprisonment in the shack were completely removed from the Tempo edition.  Instead of being abducted, Judy actually tries to sell the tickets by going from house to house, which she never does in the previous editions.

The 1967 Tempo edition does include the scene where Judy and Peter enter the shack.  This scene was completely removed from the 1964 edition.  The original text scene was rewritten for this edition.  There is no revolver, but this time when the cloak falls, it falls on Judy's head instead of onto the floor.

An additional scene with Horace is present in the Tempo edition.  After Horace rides with the warning about the dam, the Tempo edition adds a scene where Horace rides Ginger up onto higher ground.  He stops and climbs a tree, surprised that the dam hasn't broken.  He then sees the middle section fall and the flood waters inundate the town.  He is horrified and lies on the ground in hysterics.

I originally read the first three Judy Bolton books in the fall of 1991.  I enjoyed all three and then built my set over the next seven years.  The books were very hard to find in the 1990s.

I have always considered some aspects of The Vanishing Shadow to be odd, but I have always enjoyed it.  Several series book enthusiasts have stated that they tried to read The Vanishing Shadow and did not like it at all, causing them not to read any other Judy Bolton books.  For that reason, many of us now suggest that readers try another book instead.  Most suggest The Haunted Attic, but I feel that sampling the series with one of the middle volumes (like #18-20 or #22-28) would be best.

I greatly enjoyed all three texts of The Vanishing Shadow on this reading.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Snow & Ash Endless Winter

The Endless Winter series by Theresa Shaver consists of the following books.

1.  Snow & Ash, 2015
2.  Rain & Ruin, 2015
3.  Sun & Smoke, 2018
4.  Fire & Fury, 2018

These books follow the stories of two teenagers in Canada after a nuclear war and during the resulting nuclear winter.

The books were written by an independent author, so the books have quite a few grammatical errors.  The tense also shifts improperly between past and present tense.

The first book is extremely suspenseful and compelling.  The second book is also very good.  The third book lags some, and the fourth book is pretty much filler to extend the series.  I did not find the fourth book to be that great.

The author's characterization is excellent.  The weakness is the lack of description about what is happening outside.  The reader is told that the the temperature is cold and that the world is in nuclear winter.  Other than that, I had no concept of what was happening.  Snow is almost never mentioned, so I pictured a gray sky (the clouds were mentioned often) and no snow at all.  During the times that the characters venture outside, there is no mention of anything like snow.

The second book features acid rain that is so toxic that the skin is burned and sores develop.  Later in the story, characters go outside to get their belongings that were left outside for weeks when the rain began.  If the rain was able to eat through clothing and leave sores on the skin, then I don't understand how the characters' possessions would be just fine out in the rain.

I could also mention many other aspects of these stories that make little sense. 

I really enjoyed the first story, but the quality of the stories deteriorates enough through the set that my opinion of the set is overall negative.

Monday, December 10, 2018

The Giver Quartet by Lois Lowry

The Giver Quartet consists of four books written by Lois Lowry.

1.  The Giver, 1993
2.  Gathering Blue, 2000
3.  Messenger, 2004
4.  Son, 2012

I was never that interested in reading these books, even though several people have recommended them to me.  The books were published irregularly with quite a few years separating them.  For that reason, I suspected that this set was not planned ahead of time and that the last three books were written to fulfill a demand by the publisher for more books.  In other words, it's all about money.

The Giver is a very good to excellent book and is well worth reading.  As I expected, it reads like a one-off title with no planned sequel.  I could tell as I continued the set that my instincts were right and that this was not a set planned in advance.  The books weaken as the set continues.

Gathering Blue and Messenger are pretty good but have flaws.  I found most of Son to be quite boring.  I skipped reading all of the chapters with "Water Claire," and that is most of the story.  The ending is very rushed and makes no sense.  I did not like Son at all.

Some readers give rave reviews to all four books.  The first three books are pretty good, but I won't ever read them again.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Buyer and Seller Behavior on Facebook

These comments were written either late last year or early this year as part of another post.  That post was never published.

Allowing people to sell books in Facebook groups is quite problematic.  People who want to sell books have trouble following directions.  Furthermore, as soon as some people realize that they can list their books for sale on Facebook, they temporarily lose all sense.  When they see that they have an opportunity to sell, they apparently experience great urgency.  They race to create multiple sales posts as fast as they can, often putting the posts in the wrong groups and breaking multiple rules.

The members who behave in this fashion end up showing their worst side.  Little do they realize that some collectors like me see the crazy behavior and decide that these sellers are too flaky to trust.  There's no reason to act like a timer is clicking away when an opportunity to sell presents itself.  Relax, read the rules, and think before you act.

Some members who want to sell books go about it in a random fashion.  Instead of going to a sales group to create a post, they pick posts in the regular groups and make comments asking random people if they want to buy books.  For instance, a member asked someone who does not collect Nancy Drew books whether he would like to buy her Nancy Drew books.  I don't understand this approach, and I've seen it many times.  It's far better to create a sales post to attract the people who actually want to buy the books instead of hitting up on members at random.

Another problem is lack of information.  A member says that they are looking for Nancy Drew books but does not specify which Nancy Drew books.  The format, titles, and price that they wish to pay are rather important details.  Other times, the person wanting the books is specific, but then several members hastily post (because they must view this as a race with a timer clicking away) a vague comment like "I have some Nancy Drew books!"  That's not very helpful.  Which books and how much do they cost?  Details, people!

Rather often, someone posts in a selling group that they have some books available.  They don't mention price or titles.  They just tell everyone to contact them if interested.  That's not going to work well.  If someone says that they have Nancy Drew books, they could have one of thousands of variants.  We need information.

I think that the "contact if interested" people are planning to set prices depending on who is interested.  It's like when I'm at a garage sale with no prices, and the owner won't tell me what the children's books cost until I tell them exactly which book I want.  Once the owner knows, they state that the desired book is quite collectible and set a steep price.

I have this suspicion that on Facebook, these people are waiting to see who will contact them.  If someone like me, who is known to have paid higher prices for books, should happen to respond, the price will be higher than if someone else responds.  We don't play that game in the groups.  Time and time again, I have had to comment on these posts telling the members to read the rules and that we must have prices listed upfront.  This gets tiresome.

Here are some final thoughts from the present.  I now currently greatly dislike all of the series book selling groups on Facebook.  I gather that other people like the selling groups a lot, and I am happy for them.  However, I get nothing from them and find most everything about them to be obnoxious.  

I feel that way due to the people who are pushy or simply cannot follow rules.  They ruin the experience for me.  I buy my books on eBay, Amazon, AbeBooks, Biblio, and occasionally Etsy.  I sell my books on eBay and Etsy.  I don't need the Facebook selling groups, and I seldom visit them anymore.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

What Happened to Amy? by Jane Edwards and Blue Treasure by Helen Girvan

In What Happened to Amy? by Jane Edwards, Joyce Farrell takes a job as the secretary to a famous author, Miss Penrose.  Miss Penrose's previous secretary, Amy Dekker, suddenly quit and eloped.  As Joyce learns more, she begins to suspect that Amy's disappearance involved foul play.

Miss Penrose reads the first chapter of her upcoming book at a town social event.  Hours after Miss Penrose and Joyce return home, a fire breaks out in the room where the manuscript is kept.  The manuscript burns up, leaving Miss Penrose and Joyce devastated.  Joyce wonders whether something in that chapter worried someone and could be a clue to some nefarious activity.  Joyce begins to search for Amy Dekker.

This book reads much like an old Nancy Drew book.  In fact, the climax of the book is rather similar to a portion of an old Nancy Drew story.  It's best not to say which one, since doing so would reveal what happened to Amy.

This is an extremely good and very engaging story.

In Blue Treasure by Helen Girvan, Anne McClure inherits a property in Bermuda.  She isn't even related to the former owner, but nevertheless, the property will be hers provided that she lives there for one year.  Soon after Anne and her family arrive, relatives to the former owner make themselves known and promise that Anne will not end up inheriting the property.

Anne soon learns that a missing Vermeer painting may be located on the property, and she begins searching for it.  Meanwhile, the unpleasant relatives also search for the painting and cause mishaps on the property, hoping to drive Anne away.

The location of the missing Vermeer is very easy to guess, and the mystery is quite mild.  However, the story is very interesting and pleasant to read.  The book was originally published in 1937 and reads in a similar fashion to Augusta Huiell Seaman's books of the 1930s.  I greatly enjoyed it.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

When Midnight Comes and Beware of This Shop by Carol Beach York

In When Midnight Comes, Joan's cousin Wilma comes to stay with the Bridgeport family.  Wilma is fat, plain, and will not talk.  Joan and the rest of the family feel very uncomfortable around her.  Soon after Wilma arrives, strange things happen.  The back door is left open one day, and the Bridgeports' cat disappears.  Mrs. Bridgeport develops insomnia, and Emily must sleep with her light on.  The grandfather clock that doesn't work begins ticking during the night.  The entire family is spooked, but Wilma remains unresponsive.  Joan desperately wants Wilma to return to her home.

In Beware of This Shop, Isabel buys a ring in a gift shop, while Hester purchases a small figurine.  Hester notices that the figurine is no longer pretty once she gets home with it, and she feels that the figurine is giving her nightmares.  Hester breaks the figurine and immediately feels better.

Hester visits Isabel to find her deathly ill.  Hester gets the ring away and destroys it, and Isabel recovers quickly.  Unfortunately, the townspeople continue to visit the gift shop, and soon, the store owner manipulates Hester into working for him.  Hester fears for her life, but she cannot figure out how to break the spell.

Both of these books would have fit in well with the Dark Forces and Twilight Where Darkness Begins series, which were both published at around the same time as these two books.  If you enjoy either of those series, then you will most likely enjoy these books.  I greatly enjoyed both of them.

I have sampled a few other books by Carol Beach York, and I did not like them.  This is an author where some books are great and others are not that good.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Hidden Clues #2 The Scarcity of Nancy Drew #55 and #56

Some collectors have heard that Nancy Drew #55 Mystery of Crocodile Island and #56 The Thirteenth Pearl are scarce and think that all copies of those two books are scarce.  Actually, most copies currently up for sale are very common and not worth purchasing on value speculation.

The matte picture cover editions of these two titles are scarce; the flashlight edition picture covers are quite common.  At the time of this writing, current eBay listings show 34 copies of Mystery of Crocodile Island up for sale.  29 copies are the flashlight edition, and only five copies are the matte picture cover edition.  For The Thirteenth Pearl, 48 copies are up for sale.  41 copies are the flashlight edition, and only seven copies are the matte picture cover edition.  The flashlight edition of both titles is very easy to find as compared to the matte edition.

This photo shows the front cover of the matte picture cover edition of both books.

The matte picture cover edition has a cover that is not glossy.  The books do not have a flashlight logo near the top edge.

The flashlight edition books have been in print since 1986.  #1 The Secret of the Old Clock and other lower-numbered books are probably available in slightly higher quantities, simply because people tend to buy the early books first.  However, the entire set of #1-56 has been available for 32 years in the flashlight edition.  No previous format of Nancy Drew was ever in print for 32 years.  All copies of Nancy Drew #1-56 in the flashlight edition are extremely common and are more common than any other format of Nancy Drew book.

Seen below is a scan of the front cover of the flashlight edition of Nancy Drew #55 and #56.  The books have a glossy cover and the flashlight logo near the top edge.

The flashlight edition of #55 and #56 should be purchased if you need to complete your set of flashlight editions or if you simply need a copy of the book to read.  If your objective is acquisition of a scarce book, then purchase the matte picture cover edition of #55 and #56.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Donald Price's Victory and Wyman's Other Books

In Donald Price's Victory, Donald Price wants to lumber a piece of land that he inherited from his father.  Donald has no money, and the bank will not finance him, due to an enemy who wants to make certain that Donald fails.  Donald finally secures financing at rather unfavorable terms.  If Donald does not deliver the lumber by a certain date, he will be fined each day that the lumber is late.  Donald feels certain that he can be successful, but he doesn't realize that several people are doing all that they can to make certain that he fails.

Donald Price is nearly 24 years old.  He is brash and assertive and takes risks.

On page 161 Cap'n Seth makes an appearance.  Cap'n Seth was also in The Golden Boys on the River Drive, although he is captain of a different boat.

This is a very good book.

In The Mystery of Eagle Lake, Mr. Shaw's men are building a lodge on Eagle Lake.  The work is not going well, and the men think that the camp is haunted.  Mr. Shaw has his sons, Bud and Jack, go to the camp to figure out what is going on.

This book blurs together in my memory with some of the Golden Boys books.  The plot is very similar to some of them.

This is a good book.

I also read part of The Haunted House Mystery awhile back.  I did not enjoy it.  I was thoroughly bored by halfway through the book and could not finish it.  I expected a mystery about a haunted house.  I did not expect the boys to spend all of their time traipsing about a gully and cave.  The book is not anywhere near as interesting as it could have been.

I tired to read The Battalion Captain.  I couldn't get into it at all, so I abandoned it after just a few pages.

I have not yet gotten around to reading the Lakewood Boys series by L. P. Wyman. 

I have mixed feelings about the L. P. Wyman books that I have read so far.  Some of the books like the Golden Boys series are quite excellent while others are uninteresting to me.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Hunniwell Boys #7 Caribbean and #8 Non-Stop Flight Around the World

In the Hunniwell Boys #7, The Hunniwell Boys in the Caribbean, Jim and Gordon's friend, Slim Togus, lives in Cuba.  He invites the boys down to his home.  Upon their arrival, they learn that Slim wants to dive for a sunken ship in the Caribbean.

On page 51, the boys visit a village on an island.  The village consists of a bunch of natives and a white store owner.  Slim tells the brothers, "I guess that man at the store is a kind of king here.  He's the only white man I saw in the village."  So I guess the implication is that the natives just naturally regard any white person as if a king.  Then why do the natives attack the boys at every turn?

This story consists of the boys looking for the sunken ship, then dodging natives who keep attacking them.  The cycle repeats over and over until the story mercifully ends.  The story is not bad, but it is also not very interesting.  Also, there's that problem of Bill's name still being Jim for some unknown reason.  I still cannot deal with it.

In the Hunniwell Boys #8, The Hunniwell Boys' Non-Stop Flight Around the World, Jim and Gordon decide that they want to be the first people to fly all the way around the world non-stop.

The Hunniwells' plane is once again named the Albatross after being the Falcon for the last two books.  However, Bill is still Jim, and this is still a deal-breaker for me.

The book is good, and I enjoyed it more than the previous two books in the set.

The Hunniwell Boys series is very good to excellent up through #5 in the set.  #6 through #8 have the name changes, and I struggled with all three books.  So for me, the Hunniwell Boys series ends with five books, since the last three do not feel authentic to me.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Extended! 10% Discount on eBay and Etsy

I decided to extend my eBay and Etsy sale through Tuesday evening so that it would last until the day after Cyber Monday.  I have had pretty good results and am pleased that a few stagnant items have sold.

All of my listings are discounted 10% on both eBay and Etsy through Tuesday evening.  If you read this post after the sale ends on November 27, 2018, the offer will be null and void.

The Etsy promotion for free shipping on orders of $35 or more is still active.  Many items on both sites have free shipping with no minimum purchase required.

It's worth running some searches on Etsy right now.  Some Etsy sellers are really desperate and are running crazy Black Friday sales.  I purchased a small bulk lot of books that had a nice discount and free shipping.  

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Hunniwell Boys #5 Longest Flight and #6 Gobi Desert

In the Hunniwell Boys #5, The Hunniwell Boys' Longest Flight, Mrs. Green's son, Fred, left a year ago for Australia in hope of mining for gold.  Mrs. Green is heartbroken.  Bill and Gordon decide to fly to Australia to find Fred.  Along the way, the boys rescue a few people and encounter various adventures.

The aviation feats of the Hunniwell Boys are quite improbable, but for the most part, I simply ignore it.  I had to stop and think about it when the boys' plane climbs to 14,000 feet on page 17.  The oxygen level is thin at that altitude; additionally, the temperature is only 9.1 degrees Fahrenheit.  Nothing is mentioned about lack of oxygen or the cold.

This book contains many highly judgmental statements about the Aboriginal people of Australia.  I find these kinds of judgmental statements to be very offensive.  On page 169, Fred tells the Hunniwells that the natives are "hardly human they're so feeble-minded."

Indigenous peoples who live off the land in various parts of the world, even though they may not be in contact with the modern world, are intelligent and capable people.  They just have a different lifestyle, and there is nothing wrong with that.  In fact, they are much more intelligent about living off the land than modern-minded people are.  I hate reading judgmental comments about people who are different.  Just because someone is different doesn't make them stupid.

On page 194, Gordon observes, "These fellows may be lazy and all that but, take it from me, they know their stuff when it comes to springing a surprise."  Right, which means that they are not stupid.  They are knowledgeable about what is important to their way of life, which is simply different from ours.

This is a very good story.

In the Hunniwell Boys #6, The Hunniwell Boys in the Gobi Desert, Jim and Gordon Hunniwell fly to the Gobi Desert in their plane, the Falcon, to find a missing professor.

Did you catch that?  Inexplicably, the two brothers are now named Jim and Gordon instead of Bill and Gordon.  Not only that, but the Hunniwells' plane is now the Falcon instead of the Albatross.  Needless to say, the series pretty much lost me at this point.  I am not at all forgiving of sudden illogical name changes, especially when the series was supposedly all written by the same person with none of the books ghostwritten.  This makes no sense!

The book appears to have been written by Wyman as far as I can tell.  Certain phrases and colloquialisms are present, just like in his other books, but why did he change Bill to Jim?  UGH!!!

I had trouble enjoying the book.  In fact, I really didn't like it at all.  It partially bored me, and I skimmed towards the end.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Hunniwell Boys #3 Secret Service and #4 Platinum Mystery

In the Hunniwell Boys #3, The Hunniwell Boys in the Secret Service, Bill and Gordon enter a contest to see which plane can fly to San Francisco and back the fastest.  Naturally, the boys win.  As a result of the contest, they become friendly with Rogers, who works for the government.  Rogers requests that the boys help him figure out who is smuggling liquor across the border into the United States.

This is an excellent book and is a good detective story.

In the Hunniwell Boys #4, The Hunniwell Boys and the Platinum Mystery, Rogers enlists the boys' help in finding a lost cache of platinum in Hawaii.  The lost cache is on land once owned by Rogers' family and was left there by one of his forebears.

I noticed that the electric cell is now called a battery.  It's about time.

This story consists of several unrelated mini-adventures that occur while the boys look for the platinum.  Gordon even jokes about the mini-adventures on page 185, remarking, "Probably we'll see a ship on fire or a whale with a sore toe."

The racism present in the Hunniwell Boys books bothers me due to the overtly judgmental basis of it.  The boys become friendly with a "Jap" after a rough start.  On page 194, Gordon speaks positively of him, saying, "He's a regular fellow if his skin is a bit on the yellow shade."  He's saying that the man is okay despite his skin color.

For the duration of this book, no villains are after the platinum, which makes the story more realistic than most series books.  It's not necessary always to have somebody who knows one's intimate plans.  The boys run into plenty of trouble without having anyone privy to their plans.

This is an excellent book.

Monday, November 19, 2018

Hidden Clues #1 The Judy Bolton Revisions

This is the first post in what I hope will become a continuing series.  I have chosen the name "Hidden Clues" as a nod to the Society of Phantom Friends and their newsletter, "The Whispered Watchword."  The Phantom Friends took its name and the name of its newsletter from two Judy Bolton titles.  I have taken "Hidden Clues" from the Judy Bolton title, The Hidden Clue.

The purpose of "Hidden Clues" is to clear up common misconceptions and to share information that those of us who have been collecting for 20 or more years take for granted.  We know this information, and 20+ years ago, everyone collecting knew it.  That information is still with us, but we have been remiss about sharing some of these facts with people who have joined us since the heyday of the Yahoo! groups.

It is fitting for the first installment of "Hidden Clues" to feature a forgotten fact about the Judy Bolton series.  Did you know that the first four Judy Bolton titles were revised and condensed?

The Vanishing Shadow was actually revised twice.  It is available in three distinct texts from 1932, 1964, and 1967.  The 1964 edition removes Judy's actual abduction but keeps the part where Judy is held captive in the shack.  The 1967 edition also removes Judy's captivity in the shack so that the abduction never occurs at all.  The 1967 edition also adds a scene with Horace that is not present in either of the previous editions.

The Haunted Attic, The Invisible Chimes, and Seven Strange Clues were revised slightly for the 1967 and 1968 editions.  Some short phrases were changed to be politically correct, and some short passages were removed in order to reduce the length of each book.

From left to right, the picture below shows the original text picture cover of The Vanishing Shadow followed by the 1964 picture cover and the 1967 Tempo paperback.

These next pictures show the original text picture cover of each book followed by the revised text Tempo paperback.

Some people will say that The Haunted Attic has three different texts.  In a sense, this is true, but the difference between the first two versions is just three words on one page.  The very first printing from 1932 mentions Judy's birthday on her invitation on page 160.

The second printing and all subsequent printings omit mention of Judy's birthday.

While the removal of Judy's birthday on page 160 is technically a revision, I consider it simply a first printing point.

The 1964 edition of The Vanishing Shadow is more scarce than the original text, but it can be found without difficulty.  The Tempo paperback editions from 1967 and 1968 are very hard to find and cannot be found easily.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Hunniwell Boys #1 in the Air and #2 Victory

The Hunniwell Boys series consists of eight books written by L. P. Wyman.

1.  The Hunniwell Boys in the Air, 1928
2.  The Hunniwell Boys' Victory, 1928
3.  The Hunniwell Boys in the Secret Service, 1928
4.  The Hunniwell Boys and the Platinum Mystery, 1928
5.  The Hunniwell Boys' Longest Flight, 1928
6.  The Hunniwell Boys in the Gobi Desert, 1930
7.  The Hunniwell Boys in the Caribbean, 1930
8.  The Hunniwell Boys' Non-Stop Flight Around the World, 1931

In the Hunniwell Boys #1, The Hunniwell Boys in the Air, Bill and Gordon Hunniwell have built their own plane, the Albatross.  They have borrowed some electric cells from their friends, Bob and Jack Golden, who are currently in Europe.  The Hunniwell brothers use the cells to power their plane.  Soon after the plane is ready, the boys fly to Newfoundland to search for some lost fliers.

The Hunniwell Boys live in the same town as the Golden Boys.  Bob and Jack Golden never appear in this series, but they are mentioned at the start of most of the books, since the Hunniwells use their electric cells.

This is a good book.

In The Hunniwell Boys #2, The Hunniwell Boys' Victory, Bill and Gordon add a second propeller to their plane.  The propeller is placed on top of their plane and can lift the plane vertically.  The boys call the propeller the "elevator" and use it to land and take off from tight spaces. 

Mr. Golden requests that the boys survey some land in the Maine woods.  The land is disputed, and Mr. Golden wants the boys to verify that his information is correct.  The job proves to be very difficult.  The boys end up under attack and must use all their wits to complete the survey.

This is a very good book.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Golden Boys #9 Chamberlain Dam and #10 On the Trail

In the Golden Boys #9, The Golden Boys Save the Chamberlain Dam, three men try to blow up the Chamberlain Dam, and Mr. Golden fears that the men will make another attempt.  Bob and Jack travel to the Chamberlain Dam and stay in a nearby cabin, watching for the culprits.

I enjoyed the first part of the story, then I gradually became bored.  The story is a bit repetitive, and I skimmed towards the end.  The story consists of the boys seeing something strange, investigating, maybe getting attacked, and sometimes not.  The events cycle and repeat throughout the story, and I am sure this is because A. L. Burt was more concerned about the length of the story than the quality of content.

I partially enjoyed the book.

In the Golden Boys #10, The Golden Boys on the Trail, young Tommy Betts has been abducted, presumably for ransom.  Bob and Jack follow the trail, which eventually leads them to a ship.  The boys believe that Tommy may be held captive on the ship.  Jack goes for help, but Bob gets shanghaied and travels to Bermuda on the ship.

It is interesting that Bob gets separated from Jack halfway through the book and has his own solitary adventure in Bermuda.

This is a very good book.

The Golden Boys series is generally a very good series.  I enjoyed some books more than others, but overall, I have a very positive view of the set.

Monday, November 12, 2018

Golden Boys #7 River Allagash and #8 Haunted Camp

In the Golden Boys #7, The Golden Boys Along the River Allagash, Rex Dale's father has had a large sum of money stolen from him, enough to ruin him.  The money appears to have been stolen by a man named Stebbins, and Stebbins is believed to have gone to a certain lake.  Rex, Bob, Jack, and Kernertok hike to that lake hoping to find Stebbins and recover the money.

Someone tries to scare the boys by making strange tracks that appear to be from a large creature.  They also make strange sounds that are meant to scare the boys.  In most series books, at least one of the characters will become frightened and act like everything is real.  In this story, all of the boys calmly state from the beginning that somebody is just trying to scare them.  They never consider there to be a real creature, unlike what would happen in most books.  I found this to be a refreshing change, and having no one scared did not decrease my enjoyment of the story.

This is an exciting book and is interesting from start to finish.  The story is excellent.

In the Golden Boys #8, The Golden Boys at the Haunted Camp, Mr. Stokes owns a camp at Chesuncook Lake in Maine.  He requests that Bob and Jack stay at the camp to solve a mystery for him.  The camp has a reputation of being haunted.  Mr. Stokes hires Bob and Jack to pose as boarders as they search for the secret behind the haunting.

I like how the boys know that ghosts aren't real and never pretend that they might be.  They simply work on finding out who is responsible for the mysterious events.

Certain characters are under suspicion during the story, and the plot involving them was left unresolved, which I found strange.

This book is very good to excellent.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Golden Boys #5 River Drive and #6 Rescued by Radio

In the Golden Boys #5, The Golden Boys on the River Drive, Bob and Jack Golden spend their vacation at their father's lumber camp in the Maine Woods.  The men are preparing for the river drive, and the boys assist.  A rival camp attempts to sabotage Mr. Golden's lumber contract by causing log jams as the logs float down the river.  Bob and Jack work on the river drive for a time but later leave to search for a missing friend.

I notice that many of the books published by A. L. Burt have subplots within the stories.  The subplots often have nothing to do with the rest of the story.  I am pretty sure that the subplots were inserted into the stories in order to lengthen them.  As mentioned in this post, A. L. Burt wanted the stories to be a certain length and was less concerned about the quality.

Even though the story meanders a bit, it is excellent.

In the Golden Boys #6, The Golden Boys Rescued by Radio, Bob and Jack invent a set of short wave radios that they can use to communicate over a distance of many miles.  Meanwhile, Jim Carson, a revenue officer, asks the boys for them to help him find a group of men who are smuggling liquor across the border from Canada.  Bob and Jack get to work on the case, finding the men to be elusive.  Strangest of all, the men stay in a cabin that can vanish in minutes, reappearing somewhere else.

I love the part about the vanishing and reappearing cabin.  I wish the title of the book had mentioned the vanishing cabin.

This a very good to excellent book.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Golden Boys #3 Maine Woods and #4 Lumber Jacks

In the Golden Boys #3, The Golden Boys in the Maine Woods, Bob and Jack find a coded message.  They decipher the note and discover that it is a clue to a treasure that might have been hidden in a cave in a nearby mountain.  The boys obtain the assistance of their Indian friend, Kernertok, and his dog, Sicum.

Early in the summer I read the first two Golden Boys books and had to pause until this book arrived.  I had already started Augusta Seaman's books and had to read several more of them while waiting for this book.  Once this book arrived, I tried reading it and was uninterested.  I skimmed through the book and found it utterly uninteresting.  I went back to reading Augusta Seaman.

Once I finished with Seaman's books, I decided to resume reading this series, but couldn't remember where I left off.  I ended up trying this book again and was still bored.  I skipped it and read #4, 5, and 6.  I enjoyed all of those books.  Hmm.  I then tried this book again.

I was able to read a good bit more of it than on the previous two attempts, since I had just read three books in the series.  However, I still did not enjoy it.  Deciphering the code is a bit too intensive and boring for me.  Much of the story consists of the boys hiking near and on the mountain.  I still find most of it boring.  I do not like this book.

In the Golden Boys #4, The Golden Boys with the Lumber Jacks, Bob and Jack visit their father's lumber camp.  Problems plague the camp.  The first one is that the deed to the property is missing, and a rival company claims to have the true deed to the land.  Additionally, the camp is said to be haunted, but the boys suspect that the rival company is responsible.  Bob and Jack work on clearing up the problems as they search for the deed.

This book is very good.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Pricing of Digital Books Compared to Reading Copies from High-Volume Sellers

High-volume booksellers are often criticized.  The criticism usually comes from format collectors, buyers who want a specific edition, and buyers who expect the book to meet certain condition expectations.  I caution buyers who have specific expectations never to purchase from the high-volume sellers.  You will usually be disappointed.

On the other hand, the high-volume sellers are perfect for buyers who just want cheap reading copies where condition does not matter.  For modern books, I prefer digital copies.  Unfortunately, digital copies are very expensive and cost a lot more than cheap used copies.  From around 2010 through 2014, I preferred to purchase digital copies of all modern books.  I now tend to go with cheap reading copies.  I will use my most recent purchase as an example.

I already owned a copy of The Giver by Lois Lowry.  I decided that I wanted to purchase the remaining three titles in the set.  If I were to go with digital copies, the entire set of four purchased in one file would cost $32.96.  I could also just purchase the three titles needed at $7.99 each for a total of $23.97.  I didn't want to pay that much, especially since I sometimes do not enjoy books as much as I think I will.

I instead found paper copies of the three books I needed at $3.59, $3.59, and $3.60 from three different high-volume sellers.  All three books had the generic description about how the book might or might not have writing inside and might or might not be a library discard.  Whatever.  I have reasonable expectations and know that the books will probably be a bit rough around the edges.  Sometimes the books show up looking great, and sometimes they look pretty awful.  So long as the book can be read and is not missing pages, I will be satisfied.

Over the course of one week, I gradually received my three books.  Gathering Blue was used by a girl named Jailene for school, and she took a lot of notes.

Admittedly, I would prefer not to have Jailene's name written on the outside vertical edge and for the book not to contain a bunch of her notes.  However, the book can be read just fine.  The majority of the pages are unmarked.

Messenger arrived in average used condition.  Son turned out to be a first printing hardcover with dust jacket, and this was more than what the listing promised.

Sometimes the books arrive in pretty rough shape, and other times, the books arrive in nice condition.  The key is not to expect much and to view the purchase as if one were buying a commodity.  These books are just a commodity to me and nothing more.  They will all read just fine.

My buying habits have shifted solely due to how expensive the digital books are.  I now purchase fewer digital books than I once did.  The only digital books I still purchase are ones that I think my dad might enjoy, since we can both read the book from the same account.  That cuts the price in half since two people will read the book, and he much prefers reading the digital books.

I found it interesting to learn that as my own digital book buying habits shifted that the same was happening to other buyers for various reasons.

Ebook sales continue to fall as younger generations drive appetite for print

EBook Sales Figures in Decline? Not So!

The second article linked above mentions the price of the digital books.  The article states that sales of digital books by major publishing houses are falling.  The digital books priced at under $5 are doing much better, and those digital books tend to be offered by independent authors and small publishing companies.  The problem is that major publishing houses price their digital books too high.  If the Lois Lowry digital books been priced at no more than $4.99 each, I very likely would have purchased the digital books rather than have ordered paper copies.  

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Golden Boys #1 New Electric Cell and #2 Fortress

The Golden Boys series was written by L. P. Wyman and was published by A. L. Burt.  The series consists of 10 books.

  1.  The Golden Boys and Their New Electric Cell, 1923
  2.  The Golden Boys at the Fortress, 1923
  3.  The Golden Boys in the Maine Woods, 1923
  4.  The Golden Boys with the Lumber Jacks, 1923
  5.  The Golden Boys on the River Drive, 1923
  6.  The Golden Boys Rescued by Radio, 1923
  7.  The Golden Boys Along the River Allagash, 1923
  8.  The Golden Boys at the Haunted Camp, 1924
  9.  The Golden Boys Save the Chamberlain Dam, 1927
10.  The Golden Boys on the Trail, 1927

In The Golden Boys and Their New Electric Cell, Bob and Jack Golden have invented an electric cell that they plan to use to power their boat in an upcoming race.  Their rivals, Fred and Will Jenkins, steal the electric cell, and the Golden Boys must get it back.

On page 23, Bob is at the Jenkins' home to retrieve the electric cell.  The Jenkins' dog attacks, and Bob kills it by throwing a rock at its head.  On page 62, Bob is trying to escape, and he kills another dog by stabbing it with a knife.  Both incidents rather surprised me, since series book characters do not typically kill other people's dogs.

I greatly enjoyed this book and found it pretty interesting.

In The Golden Boys at the Fortress, Bob and Jack Golden begin attending military school.  Unfortunately, Fred and Will Jenkins also have enrolled in the school.  Soon after the boys' arrival, Bob makes an enemy out of a bully, John Hill, who proceeds to cause him lots of trouble.

On page 151, the boys wonder how to spend their afternoon.  Bob remarks, "There's a tribe of Indians who live on an island in the river here, and we might go over and take a look at them."  I guess the Indians were sort of a curiosity and were viewed as a source of entertainment.

Three months after I read this book, I read through L. P. Wyman's Hunniwell Boys series.  As I read that series, I realized that Wyman had a strong negative opinion about indigenous people.  He felt that they were stupid and incapable of being civilized.  It greatly impacted my enjoyment of that series. 

In the Golden Boys series, Wyman's bias mainly comes to the surface in how he depicts the French Canadians.  On the other hand, some of the French Canadians are depicted in a positive fashion.  For that reason, I was never bothered by any of the negative statements, since the negative statements are balanced by positive statements.

I enjoyed this book.