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.