16. The Secret of the Barred Window (1943)
17. The Rainbow Riddle (1946)
18. The Living Portrait (1947)
19. The Secret of the Musical Tree (1948)
20. The Warning on the Window (1949)
My journey through the Judy Bolton series continues. I can’t remember how many of these books there are altogether – 30-odd, I do believe – but I only have about a half dozen more. I’m undecided as to whether or not I should try and purchase the ones I’m missing, as the later ones aren’t as common and tend to be a little more expensive. However, I have been enjoying Judy’s adventures, and actually thought these five were pretty solid reads.
At first, I just assumed that these books were set more or less at the time they were written, but as you can see, this batch was published during and after the war (I find it interesting that Sutton was publishing these regularly one or more a year, but missed 1944 and 1945) yet no mention of it is made by her characters. It’s possible that these are actually happening somewhat earlier in time – there are cars and such, so maybe the 1930’s?
Anyway, this batch was particularly fun because Judy and Peter get married in The Rainbow Riddle, so the next few books are their early days of marriage, living in Judy’s grandparents old farmhouse.
I felt that The Secret of the Barred Window was the weakest of the bunch, but it’s also critical because this is where Judy meets Roberta, a precocious child around the age of 10 or 12. Roberta reappears at Judy’s wedding in the next book, and at the end of that story Judy and Peter end up taking Roberta in as a sort of foster child. This all works out for Sutton’s storytelling as Peter has joined the FBI and goes off for training and then is busy traveling in and out with his new job throughout The Living Portrait, but thanks to Roberta’s presence, Judy still has someone with whom to chat and work through mysteries.
All in all there is nothing that makes these books particularly outstanding, but they are enjoyable stories with a lot of high drama and adventure. Judy and Peter are just too adorable as newlyweds, and while I haven’t read any synopses for the later books, I’m holding out hope that a baby will soon appear!!