Judy Bolton Days

Judy Bolton Days
First annual in 1991!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

RICK BRANT GOLDEN DRAGON 2

THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON
 or THE SOUTH SEAS CITY OF DEATH MYSTERY


A fan-written Rick Brant adventure from 1959. A sequel to The Phantom Shark.
To get all the chapters now available click on 'Golden Dragon' under Labels on the side bar.




Chapter Two: THE GOLDEN DRAGON

All chapters currently available are now at this alternate site:
THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON https://sites.google.com/site/rickbrantfanfiction/dragon







Thursday, January 27, 2011

RICK BRANT GOLDEN DRAGON

THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON
or THE SOUTH SEAS CITY OF DEATH MYSTERY


A Rick Brant fan-written adventure from 1959. This book could be considered as a sequel to The Phantom Shark. To get all the chapters currently available on this blog click on GOLDEN DRAGON under 'Labels' on the side bar.




Chapter One: STEALTH IN THE NIGHT 

All current chapters are now available on this alternate site:

THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON https://sites.google.com/site/rickbrantfanfiction/dragon









Tuesday, January 25, 2011

MARGARET SUTTON SHORT STORY

TWICE HAUNTED (Part 3)
by Margaret Sutton, author of the Judy Bolton mystery books

Sweet Sixteen Magazine - January & March 1947
Click on images to enlarge for reading. Then click on URL at bottom left of image to enlarge further.









Monday, January 24, 2011

MARGARET SUTTON SHORT STORY

TWICE HAUNTED (Part 2)
by Margaret Sutton, author of the Judy Bolton Mystery books

Sweet Sixteen Magazine November 1946
Click on images to enlarge for reading. Then click on URL at bottom left of image to enlarge further.





Click HERE for Part 3!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

MARGARET SUTTON SHORT STORY

TWICE HAUNTED (Part 1)
by Margaret Sutton, author of the Judy Bolton books

Sweet Sixteen Magazine Aug.-Sept. 1946
Click on images to enlarge for reading. Then click on URL at bottom left of image to enlarge further.







Click HERE for Part 2!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

FIRST JUDY BOLTON DAY 1991

JUDY BOLTON DAY 1991

This is the news article from the local Coudersport newspaper announcing the first annual Judy Bolton Day fan get-together in Coudersport PA in 1991. This year, 2014, will mark the 24th annual convening of fans of the mystery series by Margaret Sutton. Judy Bolton fans have met every year since 1991 in early October for a festive fun-filled weekend in the beautiful PA mountains, visiting Judy Bolton sites and the people who live in and around them.



Judy Bolton Day is a Judy Bolton Fans event. Formal visits and events have taken place each year since 1991, sponsored throughout the 1990s by Adelphia Cable Company, which was headquartered in Coudersport, and the Potter County Chamber of Commerce.

Some of the fans who go there now have taken claim to the inception of the event and count the years only since 2000 when they first came. They claim that nothing had been going on there before they first came. The truth is, everything they do from the hotel they stay in to the places they eat dinner to the sites they visit were in effect long before they ever came. These articles are proof of that. Our visits during the 1990s were real. LOL! Yes, we were really there. We even took Margaret Sutton back to the place of her birth, the Dry Brook Hollow house, in 1998, for a late morning brunch.

The first year this group attended there was a Judy Bolton Day parade in town, and a Halloween-themed square dance sponsored by Adelphia like the one in the Judy Bolton book The Haunted Road. I would call these 'formal' events and there just is no reason for the continual claim that nothing was going on before they came there and started things.



                                  Click on to enlarge for reading.

BRITISH HARDY BOYS

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED AT MIDNIGHT?


This is the dust jacket cover of the British Harold Hill & Sons edition of this book from the 1940s. It sort of makes you wonder 'what really happened at midnight?' The story eventually tells us that Joe got abducted, but here it looks more like he's gonna get a surprise smooch from this thug, eh?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

BRITISH HARDY BOYS

THE GREAT AIRPORT MYSTERY
British edition dust jacket


Harold Hill & Sons British DJ 1940s (click to enlarge)

JUDY BOLTON GRADUATION PHOTOS

Judy Bolton HIGH SCHOOL Graduation Photos

These photographs sit atop a piano in an old farmhouse in Potter County PA near Coudersport, the real location of 'Farringdon' in the Judy Bolton Mystery series books. They are from the early 1940s and highly resemble what the main characters in the books would have looked like in that era - Judy Bolton, the main character, of course, her brother Horace, Arthur Farringdon-Pett, and Peter Dobbs, the fellow Judy eventually marries.

Judy Bolton fans visit this house every year on Judy Bolton Day weekend and marvel over these likenesses, who are family members of those who live in the house. The house itself also has a real Judy Bolton association: the father of Margaret Sutton, author of the Judy Bolton books, helped to build the house and also built some of the furniture still used in the house.

Judy, Horace, Arthur, and Peter!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

JUDY BOLTON AUTHOR SHORT STORY

TWICE HAUNTED by Margaret Sutton

This spooky short story was serialized in SWEET SIXTEEN Magazine for Girls in late 1946 and early 1947.


THE COMPLETE TEXT WILL BE POSTED HERE SOON!


 "When the twins planned a vacation to New York, they didn't plan to spend it with a mystery!"

                                  click to enlarge


MILDRED WIRT BENSON BIBLIOGRAPHY

MILDRED WIRT/CAROLYN KEENE/NANCY DREW/PENNY PARKER are only some of the names we associate with Mildred Wirt Benson, who wrote dozens of juvenile mystery books for boys and girls such as the Nancy Drews, Dana Girls, Penny Parkers and so many more.

Here is a bibliography of all the titles Millie wrote using both pseudonyms and her own names. Click on the photos to enlarge.


HARDY BOYS BOOKS FORMATS

ORIGINAL HARDY BOYS FORMATS SHEET

This is the original Hardy Boys formats sheet used throughout the 1980s by collectors before the self-appointed guru guide makers came up with their totally speculative and bibliographically incorrect  versions of guide books, based on the theme first set up here.

                                      click on to enlarge!

JUDY BOLTON SNOW MANSION

JUDY BOLTON'S FARRINGDON-PETT MANSION IN WINTER

This shows the Judge Lewis House in Coudersport PA, which was used as the Farringdon-Pett mansion in the Judy Bolton Mystery Series by Margaret Sutton, who grew up in the northern PA town. The house is visited yearly by fans on the annual Judy Bolton Day held in early October, and it is currently being renovated into a Bed and Breakfast Inn, hopefully ready to accomodate guests soon.

This fabulous Victorian red brick home is located on Route 6 North just east of the town center, and it is one of the few remaining homes of its type in the northern tier of the state, most of them built in the late 1800s by the local tycoon lumber barons.




(click on photo to enlarge)

more HARDY BOYS EASTON PRESS

HARDY BOYS EASTON PRESS EDITIONS

Here is an additional advertisement for the fabulous Easton Press editions. Does anyone know how many of the books were actually produced in these editions?



(click on pictures to enlarge for reading)

Saturday, January 8, 2011

HARDY BOYS EASTON PRESS

THE HARDY BOYS EASTON PRESS EDITIONS

These fabulous editions, leather-bound and in slipcases, were available for a limited time in the early 1990s. They are extremely rare now and highly sought-after, commanding high prices when offered, which most Hardy Boys books no longer do because of their easy availability on eBay, Bonanza, and similar sites, and because of the ruination of almost everything collectible by the bad economy of the last few years.

Click on the pictures so you can enlarge them for reading.




Thursday, January 6, 2011

NANCY DREW/JUDY BOLTON CONNECTION

                                 Click on image to enlarge for reading.

Harriet Adams, better known to Nancy Drew fans as Carolyn Keene, is pictured here as one of the founders of The Women's Club of Maplewood NJ being honored at a special luncheon back in 1981. She is posing with Mrs. Alfred Merten, who was the mother of Reverend Bob Merten, a minister in Coudersport PA during the 1990s. Bob became very good friends during those years with Margaret Sutton, author of the Judy Bolton books, a series similar to Nancy Drew. She was living at the time in a nearby retirement/nursing home.



This newspaper article is an example of how oddly people and situations can be connected. Reverend Bob's mother was a friend and associate of Harriet Adams, who was Carolyn Keene and wrote/produced the Nancy Drew books, and Bob himself was a dear friend of Margaret Sutton who wrote the Judy Bolton books.

The Reverend Bob Merten (right) with Mike DeBaptiste, co-founder of the annual Judy Bolton Day in Coudersport PA, on Judy Bolton Day 1998.


(click on photos to enlarge)

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

NEWLY FOUND RICK BRANT BOOK

 All Current chapters now available on this alternate site:



(To get all the chapters currently available on this blog, click on Golden Dragon under 'Labels' on the side panel)

Wow, get set for a new fan-written Rick Brant I found included in a series book collection I recently bought from New Brunswick, Canada. It appears to be a really terrific story, hand-written in old collegiate tablets and it takes place in, of all places, a couple islands off the coast of Papua New Guinea the summer after The Phantom Shark.

And how about this title?
THE QUEST OF THE GOLDEN DRAGON
or The South Seas City of Death Mystery


Hearkens back to the old-fashioned Tom Swift double-titling, and there were plenty of Swifts and similar in this collection. Also included are some original short stories and other writings about some of our fave characters. Always great to find fan-written stuff. Fun to read and lots of it is good.

RARE NANCY DREW BOOK



NANCY DREW AS A COLLECTIBLE IS DEAD!

AND NONE OF THEM ARE ANY LONGER RARE!


Well, this one is rare - but none of the others!

There really is no such thing as a 'rare' Nancy Drew book anymore. They are all so totally commonplace and easy-to-get. Some collectors still carry on about how RARE the books are, but it's all hype to get you to fork over your cash. The only ones worth any money nowadays are the very first printings of the early books, the first ten or so, and, yo buds! - you just ain't gonna find those. They are all locked up now by celebrity collectors who paid big bucks for them in the 1990s, and they won't see the light of day for a long time to come.

The Nancy Drews and Hardy Boys books you see for ridiculous high prices on eBay and Bonanza were almost all bought at those same sites for a few dollars each, then repriced high and re-listed. I know, because those dealers bought the books from ME. If you watch, those books seldom sell. They run for 30 days at the high Buy It Now prices, then are relisted again. And again. And again. These dealers are not making money. They are using their Paypal Credit to buy vast quantities of Drews and Hardys and similar series books, and then trying to resell them all at higher prices. It doesn't work. Soon enough, they are in over their heads owing Paypal money they can't pay back, and having a vast supply of books they can't sell at $20-plus prices because the smart buyers know how to get them for $5 or $7.

If you pay big bucks for any of these books you are being had. Take your time and look through all the listings and you'll find what you want at decent prices. The books are NOT rare anymore! The booths on Bonanza are especially offensive - they have common books for $30, $40, $50 or more, and advertise them as rare and hard-to-find, when they found them easily on eBay for a few bucks and are using Paypal Credit to finance a book business that's gonna bust them. In truth, the books are only hard-to-find for someone who is a dolt and does not know how to scour the listings and find the books at realistic prices.

This same scenario has happened with many other collectibles since the advent of Internet sales and auction sites has made every desirable article common. Don't let yourself be taken in by clever ads or pretty site booths. Nancy Drew, like Norman Rockwell, Hummels, Lladro, baseball cards, comics, and numerous other collectibles, is pretty much DEAD.


Monday, January 3, 2011

BIFF BREWSTER CHINESE RING


















BIFF BREWSTER #2
 
MYSTERY OF THE CHINESE RING



Simplicity is often one of the best rules to follow in art, and this book is a beautiful example of simplicity. The plot is spare: Biff flies to Rangoon in Burma to visit his Uncle Charlie who is an aviator. Uncle Charlie is missing over the border in Red China. Biff and his Burmese buddy Chuba go look for him. Will they find and rescue him in that land of terrors? Ah, read the book.

Simplicity also rules the writing - plain straight forward prose and dialogue, nothing convoluted or exotic like in the previous volume in this series by Walter Gibson (Brazilian Gold Mine Mystery), whose stunning verbose prose can sometimes give you a headache. And even though this book was written at the height of the cold war about cold war territories, there is no propaganda in it favoring any participants, contrary to what some other reveiwers claim. It helps to have lived during the era, which I did, to sort out propaganda from the truth.


This book starts out at A, goes on to B, then C, and on and on in a very logical unconfusing manner as plot and action carry the story on without choppiness or episodic passages. I'd really like to know who wrote this Biff (it sure wasn't Walter Gibson): it is one of the best written series books I have read. I'd compare it to the smoothness and quality of the better Ken Holts and Connie Blairs, and Nancy Drew's The Password to Larkspur Lane, although simpler.

In this story, Biff flies to Rangoon in Burma to spend a couple weeks with his Uncle Charlie, who runs a flying business out there. Biff carries with him a ring belonging to an ancient Chinese "House" that was given to him back home under strange circumstances. He is followed by suspicious-acting Asian men on the airplanes and is immediately kidnapped upon arrival. But he unexpectedly escapes in a really good scene that rivals the best of Hollywood escape scenarios, and he meets up with his uncle's partner who takes him upcountry where the flying company is located near the Chinese border.

It does not take long for Biff to learn that Uncle Charlie went on a secret flying mission into China and has not yet returned. Next day a garbled radio message is received from Uncle Charlie telling them that he is in danger. Biff has befriended Chuba, a native boy who works at the outpost and is familiar with the nearby China territories, so naturally they plan to sneak into China and rescue Uncle Charlie. Heck, I would have done it at sixteen. So would you.

When I first read this book in 1960 I was fifteen years old. I was thrilled beyond all get-out at the idea of a boy my age trying to sneak into Red China. Heck, everyone wanted to get OUT of there, not into it. It was a daring plan and a thrilling reading experience. The two boys' entry into China, through jungle perils and past armed guards, is presented so realistically and with such breathtaking suspense that I had to stop and go back and reread the whole thing all over again.

There is nothing about this book that is rushed or silly or unbelievable or childish - it all makes perfect sense. Two such boys on their own could actually do it, and they do. Once in China, they begin the long trek to the area in which it is believed Uncle Charlie ran into his problems. Clues seem to fall into their hands much too easily and Biff begins to wonder if he's being manipulated and led into a trap himself. Is there some secret about the Chinese ring he has with him that is intertwined with the fate of his uncle and the reason for his captivity?


The author of this book does not skimp on this either. There is a reason for the captivity and it's a good one. Biff and Chuba eventually do get captured and their imprisonment is nerve-wracking because they are unable to do anything about it. No secret escape hatches here. But they do have an ace up their collective sleeve and the waiting for that ace to get popping is a great ploy by the author to keep up the suspense. And I won't tell anymore because you gotta read it!

It is not known who wrote this book. What a shame because it is one of the best-loved boys series books. I rate this book a rock hard ten out of ten. It's good enough to be on the same shelf with Rick Brant's The Caves of Fear and The Pirates of Shan, Ken Holt's The Secret of Skeleton Island, Nancy Drew's The Password to Larkspur Lane, Connie Blair's Peril in Pink and The Yellow Warning, the Hardy Boys' The House on the Cliff, and the few other vintage series books that I think are the best of the genre. It's easy to follow, has great characters and suspense, and keeps you turning the pages and just does not let you down at all!

And if you are one of these trendy readers who are hooked on Harry or Percy or any of these non-human or already-dead heroes who have silly magical powers and impossible adventures, toss them aside and read this book to see how a real boy can have a a REAL adventure far more exciting than any make-believe ones in fantasy land!