Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Arden Blake #1 The Orchard Secret by Cleo Garis

In The Orchard Secret, Arden Blake, Sim Westover, and Terry Landry arrive at Cedar Ridge College to begin their freshman year. The girls are warned of a danger in the old apple orchard that is near the college.  They also hear about a missing man.  Meanwhile, Arden is disappointed to learn that the college's swimming pool is unusable, since Sim agreed to come to Cedar Ridge solely based on its swimming pool.  Arden thinks that the missing man might be in the surrounding area, and she hopes that she can locate the man and claim the reward so that the swimming pool can be repaired.

The opening of the book is not as good as it should have been.  The girls are not described until page 19.  On the first page of the story, Arden and Sim’s surnames are given, but Terry’s is not.  This is a bit awkward.

The first day of college is in session on page 63.  "Something of an organization was arranged, the roll was checked and corrected, names were asked and given, everyone was on edge and nervous, even the instructors."  I like that the instructors were said to be nervous, because this is true.  Cleo Garis included some little bits of realism in her books that I really enjoy.

This is not a strong book, but I find it enjoyable.  It is a good average book from the 1930s.  It isn't as compelling as the better older series books, but it is far better than the many substandard series books.

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