Happy Tuesday! Today’s Top Ten Tuesday theme is books we wish we’d read as a child, and there were certainly many directions I could have taken this post. (see my list of diverse books I wish I’d read as a child HERE) I read A LOT – and fairly widely as far as genres – but mysteries were (and still are) my fave. Apparently, though, I had a bit of tunnel vision where those were concerned. I read mostly Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys & Trixie Belden & Perry Mason mysteries… with an occasional Bobbsey Twins or Boxcar Children or Sue Barton or Encyclopedia Brown for variety lol. But the longer I’ve been a part of the book world, the more I’ve discovered other mysteries that I could have been reading waaaaaay back then too! So here are some mysteries I wish I’d read as a child!
(PS – I still maintain that Frank Hardy was a much better book boyfriend than Ned Nickerson.)
Disclaimer: I know literally nothing about most of these mysteries, so if you read them as a child (or more recently) let me know whether they’re worth reading now or not!
Along with her popular mystery books for adults, Phyllis A. Whitney apparently also had a bunch of mysteries for younger readers. Titles such as Secret of the Samurai Sword, Mystery on the Isle of Skye, and The Vanishing Scarecrow aren’t necessarily for the age group we today consider ‘young adult’ but probably ‘middle grade’ instead.
I’m still not sure how I missed the Judy Bolton series by Margaret Sutton, especially when it has the distinction of being the longest-lasting juvenile mystery series written by an individual author (as opposed to the Nancy Drew or Hardy Boys series which were written by various authors under the same pseudonym for each series).
Yet another titian-haired teen solving crimes, the Kay Tracey series was written in response to the popularity of Nancy Drew but never achieved similar success. It lasted nine years and was written by 4 different women over those years.
The Penny Parker Mystery series was written by Mildred A. Wirt, who was an original author of the Nancy Drew series (under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, of course), and basically sounds like the same thing lol. Blond teenage girl (seriously, can’t brunettes solve crimes too? lol), daughter of a widowed father (a newspaper publisher instead of a lawyer), raised by her housekeeper, and solves mysteries with the help of her best friends.
The Happy Hollisters series is about a family that solves mysteries together, and the author based several of the characters on his own family & people they encountered. Even the dog and cat (which I think is a super cute fact).
Finally! A brunette crime solver! haha! The Cherry Ames series about a mystery-solving nurse who adds variety to her career by taking nearly every nurse-type job imaginable (mountaineer nurse, dude ranch nurse, department store nurse, etc.) was written by Helen Wells and Julie Campbell Tatham (the latter of whom created the Trixie Belden books).
The Dana Girls mysteries were written under the pseudonym of Carolyn Keene and followed the adventures of two teenage orphan sisters who solve mysteries at their boarding school or on vacation at their guardians’ home (their sea captain uncle and spinster aunt).
Enid Blyton’s Five Find-Outers mystery series is set in a fictitious British village and follows five children (and their dog) who have a propensity for stumbling onto mysteries & solving them before the unpleasant village policeman does.
Apparently there are more than 24 books in the Nate the Great series by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat – and I have read none of them to my recollection. Nate is a child version of Sam Spade who solves crimes and loves pancakes with his dog Sludge.
I love Peggy Parish (author of the Amelia Bedelia books) but I have never heard of the Liza, Bill & Jed Mysteries before now! They were published from 1966-1986 (though, sporadically, since there are only 6 books in the whole series) and feature twins Liza & Bill and their brother Jed.
What about you? Did you read any of these books growing up? What were some of your fave mysteries as a child?