I reviewed the first five books in this series last month, so you may remember that the Judy Bolton mysteries were published in the 1930’s and focus on the titular character, around age 15 in the first book, who lives in a small country town but nonetheless finds herself entangled in many adventures. There were about 35 books published in this series, and I own a lot of them. I’ve collected them off and on over the years, so there are several that I haven’t read yet, and the rest I haven’t read in years. So it’s been fun to delve back into this series.
6. The Yellow Phantom (1933)
7. The Mystic Ball (1934)
8. The Voice in the Suitcase (1935)
9. The Mysterious Half Cat (1936)
10. The Riddle of the Double Ring (1937)
Basically, these have all been 3* reads for me. While perfectly nice, they aren’t anything outstanding. Some of them are definitely worse than others (The Yellow Phantom seems to have been mostly about how amazing Judy is), while others have side plots that make no sense (a character in The Mysterious Half Cat is apparently only deaf sometimes…???). However, they do seem to be getting somewhat better as Judy gets older. She’s practically engaged at the end of The Riddle of the Double Ring, so we are making slow but sure progress!
There are funny things that are reflections of the time. While Judy overall is pretty modern, honestly – quite interested in a career and not a fan of housework – it’s still interesting how other things come through. For instance, one of Judy’s friends gets married between The Mystic Ball and The Voice in the Suitcase… and she’s only 17! Judy graduates from high school before she’s 17, and although she isn’t quite 18 yet at the end of Double Ring, she’s already received (and turned down) a marriage proposal, and is basically engaged to someone else. She actually almost sticks with the first guy because she’s just graduated and “doesn’t know what else to do with her life”!
I don’t love these as much as I hoped that I would, but I have still been enjoying them overall. I’m taking a break from them right now so I can get some other reading done, but will hopefully return to these in a few weeks and read the next ten. Who knows what Judy will get up to next!
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