Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Kay Tracey #15 The Lone Footprint

In Kay Tracey #15, The Lone Footprint, Kay and Cousin Bill's Uncle Byram owns a resort, Owl's Hole.  The resort has had a series of disturbances and thefts, and the Traceys stay at the resort to try to find out what is happening.  Kay spots a lone footprint, seemingly made by a man with one leg.

Meanwhile, Ethel stays at the resort, spreading malicious rumors that cause residents to leave.  Kay must learn the truth before Uncle Byram loses Owl's Hole.

In this book, Kay is in a boat crash, her forehead gets cut, she falls into a deep ravine and disappears, and she gets a concussion

Ethel finds a dead skunk on her porch, and since Kay is nearby, Ethel assumes that Kay did it.  Ethel is forced to dispose of the skunk.

On page 64, Jupiter Jones buys red paint for his barn.  Some will recognize this name from the Three Investigators series, and it's use in this book is purely coincidental.

On page 94, Ethel and her aunt spread a rumor that Kay has infantile paralysis.  I had forgotten the meaning of the term, so I looked it up.  Ah, polio.  I can see where that would cause a panic.

On page 183, we learn that the lone footprint was made by someone on crutches who has one leg that doesn't touch the ground.  But wouldn't the crutches leave marks?  This plot doesn't make any sense.

The text was not revised for the later Garden City and Books, Inc. reprints.

I somewhat lost interest towards the end of the story, but I never was very interested.  The plot goes around in circles.  This is my least favorite book in the Kay Tracey series.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

The Mystery Hunters Series by Capwell Wyckoff

The Mystery Hunters series was first published by A. L. Burt and was reprinted by Saalfield.  The Saalfield editions are not hard to find, but the Burt editions are quite scarce.

1.  The Mystery Hunters at the Haunted Lodge, 1934
2.  The Mystery Hunters at Lakeside Camp, 1934
3.  The Mystery Hunters at Old Frontier, 1934
4.  The Mystery Hunters on Special Detail, 1936

My Mystery Hunters books are the original A. L. Burt editions and are in rough shape.  Even though the books are not very nice, they come from excellent series book collector lineage.  I purchased my books from Bob Chenu's daughter, so the books came from his collection.  Bob Chenu was a prominent collector who was a top contributor to Yellowback Library during the 1980s.

In Mystery Hunters #1, The Mystery Hunters at the Haunted Lodge, Barry Garrison, Kent Marple, and twins Mac and Tim Ford stay at Bluff Lodge on Lake Arrowtip.  The boys hope to learn who is prowling around the old lodge and trying to scare the lodge's occupants.  Meanwhile, a wealthy boy from school, Carter Wolf, also stays at the lake.  Carter is always causing trouble for the Mystery Hunters ever since they proved that he was the one stealing things out of lockers.  Between Carter and the mysterious intruder, the Mystery Hunters must stay on constant alert.

On page 57, the boys wash themselves with warm water while camping in freezing temperatures.  Even after drying off, the boys had to be cold from the water!

This story is very good to excellent.

In Mystery Hunters #2, The Mystery Hunters at Lakeside Camp, the four friends stay at Lakeside Camp with the boys from Frontier College.  The Mystery Hunters will soon attend Frontier College, so this is a good opportunity for them to become acquainted with their future classmates.

The boys learn about a robbery that occurred a couple years ago at the abandoned opera house that is adjacent to the lake.  A man who was accused of the robbery has been in hiding ever since that time.  The boys meet the man and feel that he is innocent.  The Mystery Hunters work to clear his name.

This is an excellent book.

In Mystery Hunters #3, The Mystery Hunters at Old Frontier, the boys get settled at Frontier College.  They are soon interested in the mysterious events that occur at the abandoned hospital that is just across the canal from the college.  Prowlers roam the property at night, and mysterious sounds are heard.  When the boys learn of a bank robbery, they soon have reason to suspect that the culprits are hiding out at the old hospital.

I found it interesting that the professors are understanding of the young men, such as their wish for information after certain events occur.  Most series books feature teachers and professors who bully the young people and have little understanding of their feelings.

This book is mostly very good, but the story dragged for me towards the end.  I also skimmed through the part of the book that features a football game since I did not find it interesting at all.

In Mystery Hunters #4, The Mystery Hunters on Special Detail, Mr. Winstead's valuable treasures continue to disappear out of his locked treasure room.  The room has only one entrance, and it is a mystery how the treasures vanish.  Mr. Winstead hires the Mystery Hunters to stay at his home over the summer in hopes that they can solve the case.

This book is especially thrilling, particularly towards the end.  I loved it.

The Mystery Hunters series is a solid series that I overall greatly enjoyed.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Kay Tracey #14 The Sacred Feather

In Kay Tracey #14, The Sacred Feather, Brantwood's library burns down.  Abou Menzel is accused of arson, but Kay and Cousin Bill feel certain that Menzel is innocent.  However, even the Traceys have some doubt as additional buildings burn and Menzel is spotted near at least one of them.

Kay and her friends see a performance by a fire-worshiper known as the Sacred Feather.  Kay soon believes that this man might be responsible for the fires, and Abou Menzel confirms that the Sacred Feather is a member of a secret organization.

On page 1, a peddler comes to the back door.  Why do peddlers tend to come to the back door in series books?

On page 28, some police officers are suspicious of Kay until they hear her name.  "Kay Tracey!  Not the Kay Tracey!"  Kay's reputation is her ticket to getting out of trouble.

When the Brantwood library burns, I couldn't help thinking about what kinds of books would have been in a library in 1940.  It makes me shudder to think of them burning.

On page 32, Kay thinks she sees Abou Menzel and wants Cousin Bill to stop the vehicle.  Cousin Bill replies, "I don't see that it would do the slightest good, Kay.  We haven't had our dinners yet and it is late."  What a brush-off!

On page 41, Wilma recites the first verse of a poem.  When Kay tells her that the poem is pretty, Wilma responds, "There are nine more verses.  Would you like to hear them?"  Fortunately, Betty keeps Wilma from reciting them.

Page 47 contains a passage that probably never sounded odd until recent years.  "Ethel began to berate Kay, but Miss Hanson cut the tirade short by telling the former girl to change her clothes and wait in the office until gymnasium class was dismissed."  The words "former girl" jumped out at me, and for a second I thought that Ethel wasn't a girl any longer.  I don't think that I would have thought anything of the phrase even 20 years ago, but now, I read it differently.

Kay has her usual series of bizarre mishaps, including being stuck on an elevator between floors, getting knocked out, nearly being hit by a runaway trailer, and getting doused in oil with a fire started at her feet.

Kay is incredibly brave.  She runs into a burning building and almost gets killed.  Kay also climbs 20 yards down a steep cliff to rescue a child, and Kay doesn't use a safety line.

The text was not changed for the Garden City and Books, Inc. editions.

This is a very good book.  I really enjoyed it, although the story dragged a little bit towards the end.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Story Thieves Series By James Riley

The Story Thieves series consists of the following books written by James Riley.

1.  Story Thieves, 2015
2.  The Stolen Chapters, 2016
3.  Secret Origins, 2017
4.  Pick the Plot, 2017
5.  Worlds Apart, 2018

It should be noted that the Story Thieves series is published by Simon and Schuster.  I find it odd, annoying, and infuriating that the rest of Simon and Schuster's juvenile series output is higher quality than the current output of the Nancy Drew franchise.

On January 13, I was in a bookstore, scanning the shelves to see if I could find another interesting modern series to try.  The first book in the Story Thieves series caught my eye, and I pulled it off the shelf.  The first sentence of the summary reads, "Life is boring when you live in the real world instead of starring in your own book series."  OMG.  What a dream!  Imagine being the star of your own book series!

If you have read the updates on my Facebook page, you know that my page is currently set as being a "book series" after Facebook arbitrarily changed it to that.  I ran with the idea of actually being a book series since several years back, an eBay seller made note of my extremely common name and generic city name and how I sounded like the title character in a juvenile series.  My first volume would be titled Jennifer White of Midwest City.  It's perfect, and it's the truth!

In Story Thieves, Owen learns that his friend, Bethany, is half-fictional.  Bethany's father is a fictional character who has been missing for years.  He presumably went back into a book, and Bethany spends her time jumping in and out of books as she tries to locate him.  Owen insists that Bethany jump the two of them into his favorite series, the Kiel Gnomenfoot series.  Spending some time in a Kiel Gnomenfoot book proves to be disastrous when fictional characters invade the real world in droves.

On page 8, Owen has to help clean up the library.
As usual, it was a mess, like a hurricane had plowed into a nuclear bomb right around the Rick Riordan books.  Owen sighed and dug in, pulling a few interesting books aside as he noticed them.  That was the only good part about cleanup—he'd sometimes find things that looked like a good read.
On page 236, Owen decides that he isn't enjoying being a part of the Kiel Gnomenfoot story like he thought he would.
Hopefully the book was almost done, because this was not turning out to be as much fun as he'd originally thought.  There was much less awesome magic and science, and way too much almost dying.  Had the books always been this dangerous?
On page 322, a fictional character resents the fact that people read about him in books.  Bethany explains to him why people read.
"I don't know if authors watch what you do on some kind of television in their brain, or make the stories up purely from their imaginations.  But we don't read about you because we're bored, or just to amuse ourselves.  We read about you to be with you, to walk in someone else's shoes, to experience another life.  Some of those lives are hard, and others are easy, but we're with you every step of the way.  We read about people in impossible situations because we're dealing with horrible things ourselves, in our lives. And you going through your story helps us with ours, no matter how yours ends. Though I do think we both like a happy ending, don't we?"
The rest of the series focuses on Owen and Bethany trying to halt the terrible events that were set in motion by the jump into the Kiel Gnomenfoot series.

In the second book, The Stolen Chapters, Owen becomes aware that a book has been written about his recent adventures, which of course is the first book in this series, Story Thieves.  The first book is pictured on the front cover of The Stolen Chapters.  Owen now worries constantly about whether everything he says and does is ending up in a book.  "And then the worst thing in the world occurred to him.  'Wait!  What about the bathroom?  They don't read about you going to the bathroom, do they?' "  Owen then goes on to remark, "Maybe that's why they never show people going to the bathroom in books?"

This made me laugh, since we do read about Nancy Drew going to the bathroom in the Nancy Drew Diaries series.  That aside, books do not typically depict people going to the bathroom.  Simon and Schuster, please take note of that and consider omitting the bathroom scenes from future Nancy Drew books.  Thanks in advance for your consideration.

Each book in the Story Thieves series is based on a specific genre.  The second book is based on Sherlock Holmes, and Holmes is mentioned throughout the book.  The third book features comic books.  The fourth book, Pick the Plot, is based on Choose Your Own Adventure.  I was skeptical about Pick the Plot, since I was concerned that I could end up missing information depending upon which options were chosen.  I ended up greatly enjoying the book.  I took great pleasure in choosing every option, some of which ended up getting Owen killed.  My favorite is the one where the reader makes Owen hit himself in the face repeatedly.

Interestingly, at one point in Pick the Plot, the reader has the option to go to the distant past or into the future.  My concern about missing information was legitimate.  Since I chose both options, I am aware that some information is only given in one of the options, so readers do need to bookmark the page which has both options and do need to read both choices.

I did not enjoy the third or fifth books in the series, both of which are heavily based on comic books.  I'm not into the superhero thing, so I did not care for that aspect.  Actually, my main problem was not so much the comic book setting but that the stories became quite convoluted and confusing.  I couldn't keep up with much of what was happening, so I struggled with the books.  Since I was confused, I had trouble caring about what I was reading and was bored.

My opinion of this series is mixed.  The first, second, and fourth books are brilliant.  I love them and wouldn't mind reading them again someday.  I only somewhat enjoyed the third and fifth books.  Many readers really like the third and fifth books, so my opinion has to do with my personal preference.

I have read in multiple reviews that this series has been embraced by children, particularly boys, who are reluctant readers.  I highly recommend this series as one that might encourage children to read.  The books are a lot of fun.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Kay Tracey #13 The Forbidden Tower

In Kay Tracey #13, The Forbidden Tower, Kay and the Pathfinders Club decide to journey by bus to Florida.  Unfortunately, Ethel's Bittersweet Society also journeys to Florida by bus.

Kay and her friends meet Mrs. Dodd, whose granddaughter is missing.  Kay promises to help find Emily.  Kay soon suspects that Mrs. Dodd's neighbor, Jasper Jackson, might be responsible for Emily's disappearance.  Kay also believes that Jackson is involved in some kind of illegal activity.

This book was written by Edna Stratemeyer Squier, who wrote most of the outlines for this series.  The craziness of the Kay Tracey series is all Edna.  With Edna as the actual author, this book delivers all the craziness one could want, and I love it!

This is one of the three books that was never reissued by other publishers, and in this case, it seems apparent why this title was dropped.  The plot is incredibly crazy, and the text is racist, including describing someone as having a "kinky head" or having eyes that bulge in fear.  One character is named Sambo.  The text also describes Native Americans as "red men."  And that's not all of it.

Wilma's poetry is much less annoying in this book.  Yay, Edna!

The "Bittersweet Society" has to be the worst club name ever.

It's really odd how Kay and her friends randomly meet Mrs. Dodd near home, and Mrs. Dodd conveniently lives near their destination in Florida.  Just a few pages later, the girls also chance to meet Perry Amerman, Mrs. Dodd's grandson.

Perry Amerman stays overnight at Kay's home in Kay's bedroom.  Hmm.  Okay, this is not what you're thinking, but it's still odd.  Kay is displaced from her bedroom so that Perry can stay in it.  Why on earth is the girl displaced from her bedroom instead of Cousin Bill?

It gets even better.  On page 23, Lee Jackson goes to the Tracey home in an attempt to retrieve the wallet he stole from Perry Amerman.  He sees an open window, which happens to be Kay's, and uses a ladder to climb into the bedroom.  Perry sees him, and the two men fight, knocking over furniture.  The Traceys hear the commotion, but the bedroom door is locked.  Kay goes outside, sees the ladder, and climbs it.  She observes the fight, goes down the ladder, then Cousin Bill climbs the ladder into the bedroom to stop the fight.  I love it.

During the journey to Florida, the Pathfinders stay at a hotel, and the coincidences continue.  The maid knows Mrs. Dodd and Jasper.  Her brother is Sambo.

On page 72, Wilma is hit in the cheek with a whip but somehow only receives a "stinging blow."

On page 77, the girls arrive at the Dodd estate.  "After tapping with the knocker they were admitted by a colored servant carrying a pail.  She apologized for her strange costume, which made the three chums think of a masquerade.  The woman said she was on her way to the raspberry patch to pick berries for preserving."

A pail makes Kay and her friends think of a masquerade.  Huh?  What is wrong with them?  I don't see anything odd about a servant carrying a pail.  I would assume that the servant was in the middle of cleaning or some other activity common to servants.

On page 85, Ethel falls into a cistern.  It's too bad she doesn't stay there.

On page 88, Kay, Betty, and Wilma investigate Mrs. Dodd's house while a wrecking crew is tearing it down.  "Bricks and mortar were tumbling everywhere."  The girls then enter a passageway that they find in the basement, but they get trapped when the rubble from the house falls down into the tunnel.

On pages 102 and 103, Kay, Betty, and Wilma are in a storm.  All three suddenly get blown onto the roof of Kay's cottage.  And then immediately, the storm is over.

On page 129, a man who is playing ghost with a sheet catches on fire from a lighted cigarette.
In an instant the fragile draperies about the ghost were in a blaze.  Away it ran, the breeze fanning the ignited cloth.  The figure howled now in agony.

It was a man in masquerade!  Quickly he disappeared into the night, crying in distress.
The girls leave immediately with no concern as to whether the man is okay.  Wow.

On page 143, Kay and her friends are minding their own business having dinner.  A young Indian girl is with them, having stowed away in their car.  The girl's father suddenly appears, after having been told by Ethel that they took his daughter.  "The Indian burst in upon them, his eagle-like eyes spying his daughter.  In his hand the father carried a tomahawk.  Menacingly he converged upon the group."  Yikes.

On page 168, a fire has started in the woods.  When the firefighters arrive, the chief immediately demands, "Who started this fire?" before the men begin fighting the fire.  Shouldn't the fire be extinguished before interrogating the witnesses?  It turns out that Ethel started the fire to get revenge on Kay and her friends.  Nice.

I loved this book years ago, and I still love it.  Kay Tracey is at her best when the plots are crazy, and this one is the craziest one of all.

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Nancy Drew Solid Blue Books with Dust Jackets

I have never been particularly interested in the tweed Nancy Drew books with dust jackets.  This does not mean that I dislike them; rather, I am not interested in having a complete set of tweed books with dust jackets.  They have no special allure for me.  Just about the only tweed Nancy Drew books I own are the first printings of titles issued during the tweed era.  Otherwise, I do not purchase tweed books.

I am quite fond of the solid blue Nancy Drew books from the late 1940s.  These books have good quality paper, a plain paper frontispiece illustration, and blue silhouette endpapers.  They are the same size as the tweed books, but in my opinion, the books are much nicer.

The books that most interest me have dust jackets that list to The Ghost of Blackwood Hall or The Clue of the Leaning Chimney

The dust jackets often have an ad on the back panel with photographs depicting the Connie Blair series.  I like the ones with the Connie Blair ads the best.  The others have ads for Vicki Barr, Cherry Ames, or Beverly Gray.

I have not gone to any trouble to try to find these jackets, but I do keep them when nice examples fall into my possession.  This week I was fortunate to add five more to my set and at a reasonable price.  The new acquisitions are the last five books seen on the right: #18, 20, 21, 22, and 23.

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Kay Tracey #12 In the Sunken Garden

In Kay Tracey #12, In the Sunken Garden, Kay is mistaken for another girl who apparently looks just like her.  Kay is eager to meet her double, Mary Jane, but the girl proves to be elusive.  Soon, Kay is accused of causing a car accident and is sued.  Mary Jane was allegedly responsible, so Kay must find Mary Jane before she is forced to pay damages.

Kay's search leads her to an old mansion where a mysterious figure dances in the sunken garden at night.  This mysterious dancer may hold the key to the mystery.

Kay is in peril soon after the story begins.  On page 7, Kay cuts her hand with a kitchen knife, and blood gushes out.

On page 40, a heavy piece of wood crashes through a skylight during a storm.

Kay pretends to be Mary Jane in multiple scenes.  She dines with Mary Jane's beau, who proposes marriage.  Kay has to find a way to avoid answering the proposal.

On page 114, Mrs. Tracey makes the following observation.
"I can't make head nor tail of it myself," confessed Mrs. Tracey.  "You speak of so many persons who seem to have no connection with one another."
But that's a typical Kay Tracey mystery, and of course all of these people are connected.

On page 153, Kay looks for Mary Jane in the mansion.  Mary Jane's dog, Jerry, indicates interest in a certain locked room.  Kay calls out and receives no answer.  Kay tells the dog, "Mary Jane couldn't be in there now or she would answer."  Um, I can think of several reasons why Mary Jane wouldn't or couldn't answer.  And of course, Kay soon realizes that Mary Jane is indeed in that room.

On page 176, we learn that Kay and Mary Jane not only look just like each other, they are also the same size, including their feet.  Kay can wear all of Mary Jane's clothing!  How convenient.

The later Garden City and Book, Inc. editions have the same text as the Cupple and Leon books.

I enjoyed this story.  It's the usual Kay Tracey crazy.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Vicki Barr Series - Titles and Collecting Information

This is the text of an eBay guide that I created in 2006.  The guides are now orphaned pages that can only be found through an Internet search.  eBay plans to delete the guides in April 2018.

This eBay guide was viewed approximately 7,700 times.

The Vicki Barr Flight Stewardess Series, also known as the Vicki Barr Air Stewardess Series, was published by Grosset and Dunlap from 1947 through 1964.  The books were written by Helen Wells and Julie Campbell Tatham.  Julie Campbell Tatham was the author of the first six Trixie Belden books.  Wells and Tatham were also both authors of the Cherry Ames Nurse Stories.  

Volume 16, The Brass Idol Mystery, is credited to Helen Wells, but it is now believed that The Brass Idol Mystery was written by Walter B. Gibson, the creator and writer of "The Shadow."

Titles in the Vicki Barr Series:

  1. Silver Wings for Vicki, 1947
  2. Vicki Finds the Answer, 1947
  3. The Hidden Valley Mystery, 1948
  4. The Secret of Magnolia Manor, 1949
  5. The Clue of the Broken Blossom, 1950
  6. Behind the White Veil, 1951
  7. The Mystery at Hartwood House, 1952
  8. Peril Over the Airport, 1953
  9. The Mystery of the Vanishing Lady, 1954
10. The Search for the Missing Twin, 1954
11. The Ghost at the Waterfall, 1956
12. The Clue of the Gold Coin, 1958
13. The Silver Ring Mystery, 1960
14. The Clue of the Carved Ruby, 1961
15. The Mystery of Flight 908, 1962
16. The Brass Idol Mystery, 1964


The earliest titles in the series were printed with solid blue boards.  Later, the series was printed in the blue tweed boards of the 1950s.  Volumes 1 through 15 were printed in dust jacket.  Volume 16 was only printed in picture cover.  Volume 16 is considerably difficult to acquire, as is volume 15 in dust jacket.

First printings:

The copyright page is not useful when trying to determine the age of a Vicki Barr book.  Grosset and Dunlap very rarely made changes to the copyright page, so all printings of Silver Wings for Vicki will have the identical copyright page with the only year listed as 1947.

The two easiest places to look in order to determine the age of a Vicki Barr book are on the dust jacket’s front flap, if the book still has its dust jacket, and on an interior list of titles.  The last title present in the list of Vicki Barr titles will tell you what the age of the book is.  For instance, if the dust jacket's front flap lists to Peril Over the Airport, then the book was printed in 1953, which is the year of publication for Peril Over the Airport .  Or, if the dust jacket's front flap lists to The Clue of the Carved Ruby, then the book was printed in 1961, which is the year of publication for The Clue of the Carved Ruby.  When the book is missing its dust jacket, refer to the interior list of titles, if present.  For the picture cover books, refer to the list that is present on the back cover.   

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Nancy Drew #57-175 Wanderer/Minstrel/Aladdin Paperbacks

This is the text of an eBay guide that I created in 2006.  The guides are now orphaned pages that can only be found through an Internet search.  eBay plans to delete the guides in April 2018.

This eBay guide was viewed approximately 9,700 times.

The purpose of this guide is to list the paperback titles in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series so that buyers have a handy reference for title information.

The original 56 Nancy Drew books were published in hardcover by Grosset and Dunlap.  Simon and Schuster began publishing the Nancy Drew books with the release of volume 57.


Volumes 57 through 78 were published with the Wanderer imprint in paperback.

Volumes 57 through 78 were also printed in very limited quantities in hardcover with dust jacket.  The Wanderer hardcovers were mainly made available to libraries.  Some few copies were sold to individuals.  As a result, the vast majority of the surviving dust-jacketed Wanderer hardcover editions are library discards and are in rough shape.  Due to the limited quantities, the Wanderer dust-jacketed hardcover editions are extremely difficult to acquire in any condition.  Most collectors do not have a complete set of the Wanderer hardcover editions, and many people who are not interested in the Wanderer hardcover editions do not realize the extreme scarcity of these books. 


Beginning with volume 79, the imprint changed to Minstrel, and volumes 57 through 78 were reprinted with the Minstrel imprint.  The cover art also changed for volumes 57 through 78.  Volumes 57 through 163 were printed with the Minstrel imprint.  During the latter years of the Minstrel printings, many of the lower-numbered paperback titles went out of print.


Volumes 164 through 175 were published with the Aladdin imprint.  The higher-numbered Minstrel titles that were still in print when the imprint changed to Aladdin were also reprinted with the Aladdin imprint.  During the last printings, the books changed to a solid yellow spine that is very reminiscent of the Grosset and Dunlap books.  The original Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series was discontinued with volume 175 in 2003.

List of titles

  57. The Triple Hoax, 1979
  58. The Flying Saucer Mystery, 1980
  59. The Secret in the Old Lace, 1980
  60. The Greek Symbol Mystery, 1981
  61. The Swami’s Ring, 1981
  62. The Kachina Doll Mystery, 1981
  63. The Twin Dilemma, 1981
  64. Captive Witness, 1981
  65. Mystery of the Winged Lion, 1982
  66. Race Against Time, 1982
  67. The Sinister Omen, 1982
  68. The Elusive Heiress, 1982
  69. Clue in the Ancient Disguise, 1982
  70. The Broken Anchor, 1983
  71. The Silver Cobweb, 1983
  72. The Haunted Carousel, 1983
  73. Enemy Match, 1984
  74. The Mysterious Image, 1984
  75. The Emerald-Eyed Cat Mystery, 1984
  76. The Eskimo’s Secret, 1985
  77. The Bluebeard Room, 1985
  78. The Phantom of Venice, 1985
  79. The Double Horror of Fenley Place, 1987
  80. The Case of the Disappearing Diamonds, 1987
  81. The Mardi Gras Mystery, 1988
  82. The Clue in the Camera, 1988
  83. The Case of the Vanishing Veil, 1988
  84. The Joker's Revenge, 1988
  85. The Secret of Shady Glen, 1988
  86. The Mystery of Misty Canyon, 1988
  87. The Case of the Rising Stars, 1989
  88. The Search for Cindy Austin, 1989
  89. The Case of the Disappearing Deejay, 1989
  90. The Puzzle at Pineview School, 1989
  91. The Girl Who Couldn't Remember, 1989
  92. The Ghost of Craven Cove, 1989
  93. The Case of the Safecracker's Secret, 1990
  94. The Picture-Perfect Mystery, 1990
  95. The Silent Suspect, 1990
  96. The Case of the Photo Finish, 1990
  97. The Mystery at Magnolia Mansion, 1990
  98. The Haunting of Horse Island, 1990
  99. The Secret at Seven Rocks, 1991
100. A Secret in Time, 1991
101. The Mystery of the Missing Millionairess, 1991
102. The Secret in the Dark, 1991
103. The Stranger in the Shadows, 1991
104. The Mystery of the Jade Tiger, 1991
105. The Clue in the Antique Trunk, 1992
106. The Case of the Artful Crime, 1992
107. The Legend of Miner's Creek, 1992
108. The Secret of the Tibetan Treasure, 1992
109. The Mystery of the Masked Rider, 1992
110. The Nutcracker Ballet Mystery, 1992
111. The Secret at Solaire, 1993
112. Crime in the Queen’s Court, 1993
113. The Secret Lost at Sea, 1993
114. The Search for the Silver Persian, 1993
115. The Suspect in the Smoke, 1993
116. The Case of the Twin Teddy Bears, 1993
117.  Mystery on the Menu, 1994
118. Trouble at Lake Tahoe, 1994
119. The Mystery of the Missing Mascot, 1994
120. The Case of the Floating Crime, 1994
121. The Fortune Teller’s Secret, 1994
122. The Message in the Haunted Mansion, 1994
123. The Clue on the Silver Screen, 1995
124. The Secret of the Scarlet Hand, 1995
125. The Teen Model Mystery, 1995
126. The Riddle in the Rare Book, 1995
127. The Case of the Dangerous Solution, 1995
128. The Treasure in the Royal Tower, 1995
129. The Baby-Sitter Burglaries, 1996
130. The Sign of the Falcon, 1996
131. The Hidden Inheritance, 1996
132. The Fox Hunt Mystery, 1996
133. The Mystery at the Crystal Palace, 1996
134. The Secret of the Forgotten Cave, 1996
135. The Riddle of the Ruby Gazelle, 1997
136. The Wedding Day Mystery, 1997
137. In Search of the Black Rose, 1997
138. The Legend of the Lost Gold, 1997
139. The Secret of Candlelight Inn, 1997
140. The Door-to-Door Deception, 1997
141. The Wild Cat Crime, 1998
142. The Case of Capital Intrigue, 1998
143. Mystery on Maui, 1998
144. The E-mail Mystery, 1998
145. The Missing Horse Mystery, 1998
146. The Ghost of the Lantern Lady, 1998
147. The Case of the Captured Queen, 1999
148. On the Trail of Trouble, 1999
149. The Clue of the Gold Doubloons, 1999
150. Mystery at Moorsea Manor, 1999
151. The Chocolate-Covered Contest, 1999
152. The Key in the Satin Pocket, 2000
153. Whispers in the Fog, 2000
154. The Legend of the Emerald Lady, 2000
155. The Mystery in Tornado Alley, 2000
156. The Secret in the Stars, 2000
157. The Music Festival Mystery, 2000
158. The Curse of the Black Cat, 2001
159. The Secret of the Fiery Chamber, 2001
160. The Clue on the Crystal Dove, 2001
161. Lost in the Everglades, 2001
162. The Case of the Lost Song, 2001
163. The Clues Challenge, 2001
164. The Mystery of the Mother Wolf, 2002
165. The Crime Lab Case, 2002
166. The Case of the Creative Crime, 2002
167. Mystery by Moonlight, 2002
168. The Bike Tour Mystery, 2002
169. The Mistletoe Mystery, 2002
170. No Strings Attached, 2003
171. Intrigue at the Grand Opera, 2003
172. The Riding Club Crime, 2003
173. Danger on the Great Lakes, 2003
174. A Taste of Danger, 2003
175. Werewolf in a Winter Wonderland, 2003   

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Nancy Drew Files #1-124 List of Series Titles

This is the text of an eBay guide that I created in 2006.  The guides are now orphaned pages that can only be found through an Internet search.  eBay plans to delete the guides in April 2018.

This eBay guide was viewed approximately 9,100 times.

The purpose of this guide is to list the titles in the Nancy Drew Files series.  The series began in 1986 and gave Nancy Drew trendy clothes, an interest in boys, and cases that usually involve murders.  The Nancy Drew Files series ran for 124 titles until it was discontinued in 1997. 

Some people confuse the title of this series with the Hardy Boys Casefiles series and refer to this series as the Nancy Drew Casefiles, while in fact it is simply the Nancy Drew Files series.

In most discontinued series, the higher-numbered titles are generally more difficult to acquire than the lower-numbered titles.  The same is true of this series to some extent.  However, I have come across multiple extras of quite a few of the higher-numbered titles and suspect that the hardest to find titles in this series may actually be scattered volumes from in the middle of the series.

    1. Secrets Can Kill, 1986
    2. Deadly Intent, 1986
    3. Murder on Ice, 1986
    4. Smile and Say Murder, 1986
    5. Hit and Run Holiday, 1986
    6. White Water Terror, 1986
    7. Deadly Doubles, 1987
    8. Two Points to Murder, 1987
    9. False Moves, 1987
  10. Buried Secrets, 1987
  11. Heart of Danger, 1987
  12. Fatal Ransom, 1987
  13. Wings of Fear, 1987
  14. This Side of Evil, 1987
  15. Trial by Fire, 1987
  16. Never Say Die, 1987
  17. Stay Tuned for Danger, 1987
  18. Circle of Evil, 1987
  19. Sisters in Crime, 1988
  20. Very Deadly Yours, 1988
  21. Recipe for Murder, 1988
  22. Fatal Attraction, 1988
  23. Sinister Paradise, 1988
  24. Till Death Do Us Part, 1988
  25. Rich and Dangerous, 1988
  26. Playing with Fire, 1988
  27. Most Likely to Die, 1988
  28. The Black Widow, 1988
  29. Pure Poison, 1988
  30. Death by Design, 1988
  31. Trouble in Tahiti, 1989
  32. High Marks for Malice, 1989
  33. Danger in Disguise, 1989
  34. Vanishing Act, 1989
  35. Bad Medicine, 1989
  36. Over the Edge, 1989
  37. Last Dance, 1989
  38. The Final Scene, 1989
  39. The Suspect Next Door, 1989
  40. Shadow of a Doubt, 1989
  41. Something to Hide, 1989
  42. The Wrong Chemistry, 1989
  43.  False Impressions, 1990
  44. Scent of Danger, 1990
  45. Out of Bounds, 1990
  46. Win, Place, or Die, 1990
  47. Flirting with Danger, 1990
  48. A Date with Deception, 1990
  49. Portrait in Crime, 1990
  50. Deep Secrets, 1990
  51. A Model Crime, 1990
  52. Danger for Hire, 1990
  53. Trail of Lies, 1990
  54. Cold as Ice, 1990
  55. Don't Look Twice, 1991
  56. Make No Mistake, 1991
  57. Into Thin Air, 1991
  58. Hot Pursuit, 1991
  59. High Risk, 1991
  60. Poison Pen, 1991
  61. Sweet Revenge, 1991
  62. Easy Marks, 1991
  63. Mixed Signals, 1991
  64. The Wrong Track, 1991
  65. Final Notes, 1991
  66. Tall, Dark and Deadly, 1992
  67. Nobody's Business, 1992
  68. Crosscurrents, 1992
  69. Running Scared, 1992
  70. Cutting Edge, 1992
  71. Hot Tracks, 1992
  72. Swiss Secrets, 1992
  73. Rendezvous in Rome, 1992
  74. Greek Odyssey, 1992
  75. A Talent for Murder, 1992
  76. The Perfect Plot, 1992
  77. Danger on Parade, 1992
  78. Update on Crime, 1992
  79. No Laughing Matter, 1993
  80. Power of Suggestion, 1993
  81. Making Waves, 1993
  82. Dangerous Relations, 1993
  83. Diamond Deceit, 1993
  84. Choosing Sides, 1993
  85. Sea of Suspicion, 1993
  86. Let's Talk Terror, 1993
  87. Moving Target, 1993
  88. False Pretenses, 1993
  89. Designs in Crime, 1993
  90. Stage Fright, 1993
  91. If Looks Could Kill, 1994
  92. My Deadly Valentine, 1994
  93. Hotline to Danger, 1994
  94. Illusions of Evil, 1994
  95. An Instinct for Trouble, 1994
  96. The Runaway Bridge, 1994
  97. Squeeze Play, 1994
  98. Island of Secrets, 1994
  99. The Cheating Heart, 1994
100. Dance Till You Die, 1994
101. The Picture of Guilt, 1994
102. Counterfeit Christmas, 1994
103. Heart of Ice, 1995
104. Kiss and Tell, 1995
105. Stolen Affections, 1995
106. Flying Too High, 1995
107. Anything For Love, 1995
108. Captive Heart, 1995
109. Love Notes, 1995
110. Hidden Meanings, 1995
111. The Stolen Kiss, 1995
112. For Love or Money, 1995
113. Wicked Ways, 1996
114. Rehearsing For Romance, 1996
115. Running Into Trouble, 1996
116. Under His Spell, 1996
117. Skipping a Beat, 1996
118. Betrayed by Love, 1996
119. Against the Rules, 1997
120. Dangerous Loves, 1997
121. Natural Enemies, 1997
122. Strange Memories, 1997
123. Wicked for the Weekend, 1997
124. Crime at the Chat Cafe, 1997    

Friday, May 11, 2018

Kay Tracey #11 When the Key Turned

In Kay Tracey #11, When the Key Turned, Rosa Lusardi may not be able to play in Carmont High School's upcoming recital since her father's Stradivarius violin has been stolen.  Rosa must lend her own violin to her father, leaving her without one.  Kay promises to help Rosa, and Kay's search for the violin leads her into a dangerous mystery.

On page 4, Kay must proofread music as part of an audition.
Not the least bit nervous, the girl seated herself at the piano.  With confidence and ease she played a well-known air.  Mr. Ward nodded approvingly and placed before her the same selection he had given Ethel.  Fortunately Kay could read music quickly and played the simple number without a flaw.
Kay is so perfect, just as perfect as Nancy Drew.

Kay is lucky to get out of this book alive.  Ethel puts some kind of poison powder on the piano's keyboard, and Kay gets knocked out.  Kay and Wilma are trapped in a burning house.  Kay falls through a hole into a basement.  Kay is attacked by a bear, so she hits it over the head with a violin.  Kay gets locked in a trunk.  Kay gets stuck in a quagmire.

Ethel is present when the house burns with Kay and Wilma inside.  The two escape, but Ethel doesn't know this.  Ethel rushes to the Tracey home as fast as she can.  When Mrs. Tracey answers the door, Ethel happily tells her that Kay and Wilma "were both burned to death in a fire!"  Yikes.  Fortunately for Mrs. Tracey, Kay and Wilma show up a few pages later.

On page 181, Betty and Wilma go for help after Kay gets stuck in a quagmire.  When they return, Kay has vanished!  The girls feel certain that Kay was pulled under and is dead.  Wow.

The Garden City and Books, Inc. texts look to completely identical to the Cupples and Leon edition.

This story has such a flair for the melodramatic.  I love it.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Penny Parker Mystery Stories - Titles and Information

This is the text of an eBay guide that I created in 2006.  The guides are now orphaned pages that can only be found through an Internet search.  eBay plans to delete the guides in April 2018.

This eBay guide was viewed approximately 6,600 times.

The Penny Parker Mystery Stories is a series of books published by the Cupples and Leon company.  The series was written by Mildred A. Wirt Benson, who is best remembered as the author of the early Nancy Drew books.  

List of titles:

  1. Tale of the Witch Doll, 1939
  2. The Vanishing Houseboat, 1939
  3. Danger at the Drawbridge, 1940
  4. Behind the Green Door, 1940
  5. Clue of the Silken Ladder, 1941
  6. The Secret Pact, 1941
  7. The Clock Strikes Thirteen, 1942
  8. The Wishing Well, 1942
  9. Ghost Beyond the Gate, 1943
10. Saboteurs on the River, 1943
11. Hoofbeats on the Turnpike, 1944
12. Voice from the Cave, 1944
13. Guilt of the Brass Thieves, 1945
14. Signal in the Dark, 1946
15. Whispering Walls, 1946
16. Swamp Island, 1947
17. The Cry at Midnight, 1947

Determining the year of printing by using the dust jacket list:

As with other series of books, the easiest way to determine the age of a book is to find a list of titles on the dust jacket.  The Penny Parker dust jackets each have a list of titles on the front flap.  The last title present on the list determines the year of printing for the book.  For instance, if the last title listed on the front flap is The Secret Pact, then the book was printed in 1941, which is the year of publication for The Secret Pact.  Or, if the last title listed on the front flap is Whispering Walls, then the book was printed in 1946, which is the year of publication for Whispering Walls.

It is important to never use the copyright page to determine the age of a book.  Cupples and Leon operated much like Grosset and Dunlap in that the copyright page was never updated.  The Penny Parker books each have a list of titles present on the copyright page, but this list represents the list of titles that were in print at the time of the first printing of that book.  All subsequent printings of that book have the identical copyright page list; it is the list of titles on the front flap of the dust jacket that was changed rather than the copyright page list.  

Determining the year of printing when the dust jacket is missing:

Unfortunately, it is impossible to narrow down the year of printing beyond a range of years whenever the dust jacket is missing.  The only list of titles inside the book is the list on the copyright page, and as stated above, the copyright page list is useless.  However, it is possible to make certain observations about a book in order to determine the approximate age of a book that is missing its dust jacket.

The earlier books are around 1 1/4 inches thick with good quality paper and glossy frontispiece illustrations.  The later books are around 1 inch thick, have poor quality paper that has deeply yellowed or turned brown, and have plain paper frontispiece illustrations.  In between the earlier and later books are books slightly under 1 inch thick with good quality paper and glossy frontispiece illustrations.

The color of the binding is not a very good indicator of the age of the book since there are many exceptions.  Generally, the earlier books are red and the later books are blue, but there are scattered volumes that have yellow, pink, or green bindings.

The dust jackets for each volume all have the same cover art, except that the colors used were changed for various printings.  There is no clear pattern to how the colors were changed.  Some volumes have few variations while other volumes have many variations.     

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Trixie Belden Series Titles and Collecting Information

This is the text of an eBay guide that I created in 2006.  The guides are now orphaned pages that can only be found through an Internet search.  eBay plans to delete the guides in April 2018.

I left a note in this guide about eBay hiding the pictures, since it shows how inept eBay can be at times.  

This eBay guide was viewed approximately 22,000 times.

The Trixie Belden series is a series of books originally published by the Western Publishing Company under the divisions of Whitman and Golden from 1948 to 1986.  More recently, Random House has reprinted the earlier titles in the series.  Most of the titles in the series are still out of print.

The series was created by Julie Campbell Tatham, who quit writing the series after the first six titles.  Beginning with volume 7, the series was written by a variety of authors under the pseudonym of Kathryn Kenny.

List of titles:

  1. The Secret of the Mansion, 1948
  2. The Red Trailer Mystery, 1950
  3. The Gatehouse Mystery, 1951
  4. The Mysterious Visitor, 1954
  5. The Mystery Off Glen Road, 1956
  6. Mystery in Arizona, 1958
  7. The Mysterious Code, 1961
  8. The Black Jacket Mystery, 1961
  9. The Happy Valley Mystery, 1962
10. The Marshland Mystery, 1962
11. The Mystery at Bob-White Cave, 1963
12. The Mystery of the Blinking Eye, 1963
13. The Mystery on Cobbett's Island, 1964
14. The Mystery of the Emeralds, 1965
15. The Mystery on the Mississippi, 1965
16. The Mystery of the Missing Heiress, 1970
17. The Mystery of the Uninvited Guest, 1977
18. The Mystery of the Phantom Grasshopper, 1977
19. The Secret of the Unseen Treasure, 1977
20. The Mystery Off Old Telegraph Road, 1978
21. The Mystery of the Castaway Children, 1978
22. The Mystery on Mead's Mountain, 1978
23. The Mystery of the Queen's Necklace, 1979
24. The Mystery at Saratoga, 1979
25. The Sasquatch Mystery, 1979
26. The Mystery of the Headless Horseman, 1979
27. The Mystery of the Ghostly Galleon, 1979
28. The Hudson River Mystery, 1979
29. The Mystery of the Velvet Gown, 1980
30. The Mystery of the Midnight Marauder, 1980
31. The Mystery at Maypenny's, 1980
32. The Mystery of the Whispering Witch, 1980
33. The Mystery of the Vanishing Victim, 1980
34. The Mystery of the Missing Millionaire, 1980
35. The Mystery of the Memorial Day Fire, 1984
36. The Mystery of the Antique Doll, 1984
37. The Pet Show Mystery, 1985
38. The Indian Burial Ground Mystery, 1985
39. The Mystery of the Galloping Ghost, 1986


The purpose of this guide is to provide a starting place for buyers and sellers who are interested in the Trixie Belden series.  This guide does not attempt to give the value of the different Trixie Belden books.  The values are constantly changing based on supply and demand.  If I were to attempt to give values, they would soon be meaningless.  There are way too many factors to consider.  The only statement that can be made with certainty is that the last few titles in the series are much more difficult to acquire and do consistently sell for higher prices.

If you are planning to sell some Trixie Belden books and need to get an idea of the current pricing, search the completed Trixie Belden auctions on eBay to get an idea of the selling prices.  If you are planning to buy Trixie Belden books, you should also search the completed auctions to see what the selling prices are.


Note:  There are supposed to be pictures in this section, but I have noticed that eBay doesn't always show them.  Sometimes eBay will show some of the pictures and not the rest.  I cannot do anything to make eBay show them each time.   Try reloading or go to my About Me page, visit my series book website, click on the Trixie Belden section, and look at the pictures there.  I am very aware that this section is incomprehensible without the pictures, and I do apologize.

The series has been printed in a wide variety of formats during its years of publication.  The first three books were originally printed in hardcover with dust jacket from 1948 to 1953.  Early reprints of these books were printed with the same cover art but with boards protected with cellophane.  Unfortunately, the cellophane is very prone to peeling.

 Volumes 4 through 10 were also printed in the Cello Edition.

The next format of Trixie Belden books was printed from 1954 to 1964.  These books are known as the Cameo Editions, because a cameo picture of Trixie appears in the upper left corner of the front cover.

Volumes 1 through 13 were printed in the Cameo Edition.

After the Cameo Editions come the Deluxe Editions which were printed from 1965 to 1967.  The Deluxe Editions are tall books that have several color pictures scattered throughout the text.

Volumes 1 through 15 were printed in the Deluxe Edition. 

The Thin Hardcover Editions were printed during the early 1970s, and these books were made with cheap materials have have not lasted well.

Volumes 1 through 16 were printed in the Thin Hardcover Edition.

In 1977, the series changed to paperback with the publication of volume 17.  The earlier paperback editions are known as the Oval editions.

Volumes 1 through 34 were printed in the Oval edition.

In 1984, the paperbacks changed style and cover art, and these paperbacks are known as the Square editions.

Volumes 35 through 38, as well as most of the earlier titles in the series, were printed in the Square edition.  Some scattered volumes were never printed in the Square edition.

Random House is currently reprinting the Trixie Belden series, and the earlier titles are now back in print.  Unfortunately, the majority of the titles in the series remain out of print.  The high-numbered titles in the series went through fewer print runs and are much more difficult to acquire than the earlier titles in the series.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Kay Tracey #10 The Murmuring Portrait

In Kay Tracey #10, The Murmuring Portrait, Kay, Wilma, and Betty are robbed by Monty the Mole while on a picnic.  Later, the girls hear about the Moleson Mansion, and they believe that Mrs. Moleson might be Monty's mother.  While at the mansion, the girls learn that Mrs. Moleson is in terrible health.  Mrs. Moleson's doctor and nurse appear to be trying to gain control of her fortune.  Kay searches for Monty while she tries to keep Mrs. Moleson's fortune safe.

Kay meets a young woman, Miss Robbin, who was engaged to Monty.  Miss Robbin accidentally drops her engagement ring, and Kay keeps it on purpose.  Kay plans to show the ring to Monty, if she can find him.  Keeping the ring is completely inappropriate and it's incredible that Kay does this, even though she does intend to give the ring back.

Kay becomes a thief again later in the story.  She sees a portrait that she knows once belonged to Monty.  The man refuses to give it back, so Kay takes it when she has a chance.  When Kay tells Cousin Bill what she has done, he tells her that it was okay for her to take the portrait.  This is amazing.  Kay really doesn't know if the man has a legitimate claim to the portrait, and she should not have stolen it.

Besides Kay's inappropriate behavior, this book is full of the usual crazy events.  Monty gets impaled by a pitchfork, but he isn't killed.  Monty steals an ambulance and crashes it.  Kay gets lots of bloody cuts on her hands and lower arms.  The girls hear strange mumbling from behind the portrait.  A man known as the Ruler controls all the vagabonds and disabled people who live in the area.

The Garden City and Books, Inc. editions were not revised except for the final page of the story.

The Cupples and Leon edition leaves the fate of the painting hanging at the end.  Kay is supposed to dispose of the portrait.  She doesn't want to keep it, and the text states that the disposal of the painting provides her with another adventure.  This is odd, since the reader never hears anything further about the painting in later adventures.

The final page was revised in the Garden City and Books, Inc. editions to have Kay sell the portrait to an art gallery.  At least in those editions, the reader knows what happened to the painting.

I always feel like Kay Tracey is at her best when the story is crazy from start to finish.  This one certainly delivers.  I greatly enjoyed it.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Judy Bolton Series - Titles and Collecting Information

This is the text of an eBay guide that I created in 2006.  The guides are now orphaned pages that can only be found through an Internet search.  eBay plans to delete the guides in April 2018.

This eBay guide was viewed approximately 12,000 times.

The Judy Bolton series is a series of books published by Grosset and Dunlap from 1932 through 1967.  The series consists of 38 titles that were all written by Margaret Sutton.  This series is popular with collectors of Nancy Drew, the Dana Girls, Beverly Gray, Trixie Belden, and other similar series.

The ads for the series stated that each book was "based on something that actually happened," and Margaret Sutton did indeed incorporate events from her life into each book.  

The last titles in the series are much more difficult to acquire than the earlier volumes, due to fewer printings and lower print runs.

The Judy Bolton books were never revised like a few other Grosset and Dunlap series.  All hardcover Judy Bolton books have the original unrevised text of the story, regardless of printing, with the exception of The Vanishing Shadow which does exist in a slightly revised 1964 printing.  The 1964 text of The Vanishing Shadow does have 1964 on the copyright page, so it cannot be confused with the original 1932 text.

Additionally, the first four Judy Bolton titles were issued in paperback by Tempo Books, a division of Grosset and Dunlap, in 1967.  The Tempo books do have slightly revised texts.

List of Judy Bolton titles:

  1. The Vanishing Shadow, 1932
  2. The Haunted Attic, 1932
  3. The Invisible Chimes, 1932
  4. Seven Strange Clues, 1932
  5. The Ghost Parade, 1933
  6. The Yellow Phantom, 1933
  7. The Mystic Ball, 1934
  8. The Voice in the Suitcase, 1935
  9. The Mysterious Half Cat, 1936
10. The Riddle of the Double Ring, 1937
11. The Unfinished House, 1938
12. The Midnight Visitor, 1939
13. The Name on the Bracelet, 1940
14. The Clue in the Patchwork Quilt, 1941
15. The Mark on the Mirror, 1942
16. The Secret of the Barred Window, 1943
17. The Rainbow Riddle, 1946
18. The Living Portrait, 1947
19. The Secret of the Musical Tree, 1948
20. The Warning on the Window, 1949
21. The Clue of the Stone Lantern, 1950
22. The Spirit of Fog Island, 1951
23. The Black Cat's Clue, 1952
24. The Forbidden Chest, 1953
25. The Haunted Road, 1954
26. The Clue in the Ruined Castle, 1955
27. The Trail of the Green Doll, 1956
28. The Haunted Fountain, 1957
29. The Clue of the Broken Wing, 1958
30. The Phantom Friend, 1959
31. The Discovery at the Dragon's Mouth, 1960
32. The Whispered Watchword, 1961
33. The Secret Quest, 1962
34. The Puzzle in the Pond, 1963
35. The Hidden Clue, 1964
36. The Pledge of the Twin Knights, 1965
37. The Search for the Glowing Hand, 1966
38. The Secret of the Sand Castle, 1967


The purpose of this guide is to provide a starting place for buyers and sellers who are interested in the Judy Bolton series.  This guide does not attempt to give the value of the different Judy Bolton books.  The values are constantly changing based on supply and demand.  If I were to attempt to give values, they would soon be meaningless.  There are way too many factors to consider.  The only statement that can be made with certainty is that the last few titles in the series are much more difficult to acquire and do consistently sell for higher prices.

If you are planning to sell some Judy Bolton books and need to get an idea of the current pricing, search the recently completed Judy Bolton auctions on eBay to get an idea of the selling prices.  If you are planning to buy Judy Bolton books, you should also search the completed auctions to see what the selling prices are.

The illustrations:

Only volumes 1 through 10 were printed with the four glossy illustrations during the 1930s.  Volumes 11 and 12 were printed with one glossy illustration during the late 1930s and early 1940s, and during the same time period, volumes 1 through 10 were reprinted with only one glossy illustration.  Volumes 13 and up never had glossy illustrations; these volumes had the plain paper frontispiece illustration.

First printings:

Never use the copyright page to determine the age of a Judy Bolton book.  Grosset and Dunlap very rarely made changes to the copyright page.  Even when a list of titles does appear on the copyright page, the list will almost always not be accurate.

The two easiest places to look in order to determine the age of a Judy Bolton book are on the dust jacket’s front flap, if present, and on an interior list of titles.  The last title present in the list of Judy Bolton titles will tell you what the age of the book is.  For instance, if the dust jacket's front flap lists to The Mystic Ball, then the book was printed in 1934, which is the year of publication for The Mystic Ball.  Or, if the dust jacket's front flap lists to The Forbidden Chest, then the book was printed in 1953, which is the year of publication for The Forbidden Chest.

When the book is missing its dust jacket, refer to the interior list of titles, if present.  The earlier books from the 1930s and early 1940s have post-text ad pages with lists of titles.  The later Judy Bolton books will usually have a pre-text list of titles which will give you the same information.

Important:  When I refer to a pre-text list of titles, I do not mean a list that may appear on the copyright page.  Since Grosset and Dunlap rarely updated the copyright page, any list of titles that appears on the copyright page will almost always not be accurate.  If there is a pre-text list of titles that can be used to date a book, it will appear on a separate page from the copyright and title page, usually right after the endpapers.  However, with the early thick green Judy Bolton books, do not use an interior list that occurs in the front of the book but not on the copyright page.  For the thick green books, some of them have a list of titles on a page in the front of the book that is not the copyright page; these lists were also never revised. 

Identifying the age of a book:

It helps greatly to learn what the outside of a Judy Bolton book looks like for the different formats so that you can easily see by a seller’s picture how old the book likely is.  I have chosen not to add detailed pictures to this page since the number of pictures that eBay will allow on the guide is too restrictive for me to show you what you need to see.  I already have a very detailed formats page on my own website.  My formats page has pictures of all of the different types of Judy Bolton books.