Sunday, January 27, 2019

Judy Bolton #13 The Name on the Bracelet and The Mystery on Judy Lane

In Judy Bolton #13, The Name on the Bracelet, a telegram arrives announcing the birth of Judy Irene Meredith, Judy's namesake and the daughter of Dale and Irene Meredith.  Judy is asked to come to Tower House to be Judy Irene's nursemaid until one can be hired.

After the baby is brought home, Judy is horrified to discover that the bracelet on Judy Irene's wrist belongs to another baby.  The babies were switched!  Judy and Dale frantically begin searching for the other baby while Dale is determined to keep the truth from Irene.  Judy realizes that their lives will be destroyed by the secret, so she vows to find the baby.

This book is rather melodramatic, and I rather wanted to slap Dale at times.  However, the story is excellent and quite compelling.

In November 2018, one final Judy Bolton book, The Mystery on Judy Lane, was published with the permission of Margaret Sutton's family.  This book fits seamlessly between volumes 13 and 14 of the original series by Margaret Sutton.  The book was written by Beverly Hatfield.

In The Mystery on Judy Lane, Judy assists Peter in his law office during the holiday season.  Peter is once again assisting the Piper family—this time with a will.  Meanwhile, Judy shops for Christmas presents, and as she shops, she notices a strange woman spying on her.  Who is this woman, and does she have something to do with the Piper family?

The subplot in which Judy searches for Christmas presents is delightful.  I especially enjoyed getting to know Judy's grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. Smeed, who really come alive in this book.  I love Judy's gift to her grandparents.  It is quite special.  I was also a little sad knowing that the Smeeds would not live much longer.

In the beginning of the story, I found the references to earlier mysteries to be a bit distracting and seemingly overdone.  The references to past mysteries continue throughout the book, but I found them interesting rather than distracting as I continued reading.

Some time later, after I had read further into the original series, I realized that the writing style and references to past mysteries more closely match Margaret Sutton's style for the later Judy Bolton titles, like #25 and up.  That was my problem, since I had just read #13 and had not reached the later books yet.  Margaret Sutton's style shifted somewhat over the 35 years that she wrote the series.

I am in awe that Beverly Hatfield was able to so closely match Margaret Sutton's writing style.

The book strikes the right tone and meshes quite well with the original series.  This is an excellent addition to the Judy Bolton series that is just as good as the original books.

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