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Hoofbeats on the Turnpike

Hoofbeats on the Turnpike by Mildred A. Wirt

Hoofbeats on the Turnpike by Mildred A. Wirt

Penny Parker is a teen-aged sleuth and amateur reporter with an uncanny knack for uncovering and solving unusual, sometimes bizarre mysteries. The only daughter of widower Anthony Parker, publisher of the “Riverview Star,” Penny has been raised to be self-sufficient, outspoken, innovative, and extraordinarily tenacious. Her cheerful, chatty manner belies a shrewd and keenly observant mind. Penny was the creation of Mildred A. Wirt, who was also the author of the original Nancy Drew series (under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene). Wirt became frustrated when she was pushed to “tone down” Nancy Drew and make her less independent and daring. With Penny Parker, Wirt had a freer hand and received full credit. Wirt once said, ” ‘I always thought Penny Parker was a better Nancy Drew than Nancy is.” In HOOFBEATS ON THE TURNPIKE, Penny is drawn to a remote hill community by a tantalizing tale of a headless horseman who ranges the countryside at night. While investigating the bizarre tale, Penny and her best friend Louise Siddell encounter a quirky array of hill folk, including a feisty “granny woman” who is at war with a wealthy landowner. The headless horseman seems to be targeting the landowner, who has ignored repeated warnings that the dam he owns is unsafe. The tale takes an unusually serious turn when the dam breaks, flooding the community. Trapped by the flood, Penny heroically does what she can to help the community and to get the story out to the world.

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Holiday House

Holiday House by Catherine Sinclair

Holiday House by Catherine Sinclair

Extremely popular when it was published, this book was one of the first to include fairy tales which were not only didactic but also enjoyable and entertaining. But beware! These are not only fairy tales! They have lessons to teach and can be viewed as a historical document telling us very vividly about the time they were written.

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The Silent Barrier

The Silent Barrier by Louis Tracy

The Silent Barrier by Louis Tracy

The Silent Barrier is a story of mystery and romance with Charles K. Spencer, a well-to-do young American mining engineer, as main character. Drinking his water in a hotel in London one day, he overhears a conversation between two young women, one of whom speaks of going to Switzerland. He decides to play “fairy godfather” and send the comparatively poor, but most amicable other girl there, without her knowing anything of him, under the pretext of furthering her career as a writer for a scientific journal. However, the girl is shadowed on her journey by the mysterious Mr. Mark Bower. Convinced from the first that Bower is a rogue, Mr. Spencer decides to follow them to protect the girl.

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The Case of the Golden Bullet

The Case of the Golden Bullet by Grace Isabel Colbron and Auguste Groner

The Case of the Golden Bullet by Grace Isabel Colbron and Auguste Groner

Joseph Muller, quiet mannered detective, tries to solve the mystery of a man who died in his study, by a bullet hole in the chest. But all windows and doors were locked, from the inside.

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The Cenci

The Cenci by Alexandre Dumas

The Cenci by Alexandre Dumas

Another famous Italian story is that of the Cenci. The beautiful Beatrice Cenci–celebrated in the painting of Guido, the sixteenth century romance of Guerrazi, and the poetic tragedy of Shelley, not to mention numerous succeeding works inspired by her hapless fate—will always remain a shadowy figure and one of infinite pathos.

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The Delafield Affair

The Delafield Affair by Florence Finch Kelly

The Delafield Affair by Florence Finch Kelly

New Mexico’s hot, dry winds are taking their toll: cattle suffer long treks to get food and water. But it is not just a hard time for them. Lucy Bancroft has sought a milder climate so she can recover from typhoid fever. She and her father stop to see Curt Conrad, a rancher, on their way to their new home. The two men discuss politics (some of it crooked) at the state level. they also talk about an easterner, a man named Delafield, who years earlier cheated Conrad’s father out of his considerable wealth. Curt has vowed to seek revenge on Delafield if he can ever find the crook. thus begins a harrowing tale of determined search and blossoming love in the hot, dry climate of New Mexico

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The Million-Dollar Suitcase

The Million-Dollar Suitcase by Alice MacGowan

The Million-Dollar Suitcase by Alice MacGowan

Private detective Jerry Boyne is hot on the heels of a bank teller who has just embezzled nearly a million dollars in a suitcase. Cornered in his seventh-story apartment, the thief seems to vanish into thin air. Boyne continues the chase, aided by Barbara Wallace, a young women with observational and deductive powers that put Sherlock Holmes to shame.

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The Red and the Black

The Red and the Black by Stendhal

The Red and the Black by Stendhal

Stendhal – a German pen-name for a French writer who hated the English. Contemporary to some of the great names of French literature like Balzac and Flaubert, Stendhal is quite often considered a writer that doesn’t seem to fit a defined genre. Some say he’s a Romantic, others that he’s a Modernist and that Le Rouge et Le Noir is the first modern novel. On one point they are all agreed: the novel is a masterpiece that shows a young theology student – Julien Sorel – intelligent, handsome and who is determined to rise above his humble peasant origins. Stendhal presents the reader with a satirical plot that will involve you in passions, intrigues, last-minute reversals and, mostly, the hypocrisy by which society operates.

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The Bobbsey Twins on a Houseboat

The Bobbsey Twins on a Houseboat by Laura Lee Hope

The Bobbsey Twins on a Houseboat by Laura Lee Hope

The Bobbsey family are are staying on a houseboat for summer vacation! At first all seems to be going well – what with fishing, playing with friends, and exploring the river. But then a mean farmer arrives, who seems determined to stop the trip. Why? Where has Will Watson, his mistreated hired boy, run away to? Who is stealing food from the houseboat? Who or what made the strange noises the cook heard? And can the twins solve the mystery?

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The Zeppelin’s Passenger

The Zeppelin's Passenger by E. Phillips Oppenheim

The Zeppelin's Passenger by E. Phillips Oppenheim

The Zeppelin’s Passenger is a tale of German espionage in England during World War I. Dreymarsh is a fictional “backwater” area in England with no apparent military value. The story begins with Dreymarsh residents discovering an observation car from a German zeppelin along with a Homburg hat near Dreymarsh. The mystery is further complicated when an Englishman, Mr. Hamar Lessingham, presents himself at Mainsail Haul which is the residence of Sir Henry Cranston. Lessingham bears with him, hand-carried letters from Major Richard Halstead, and a British prisoner of war in Germany. He presents them to Halstead’s sister, Phillipa and Helen, Halstead’s fiancée who have had no word of Richard’s fate and are deeply concerned. Phillipa, Sir Henry’s wife, is smitten with Lessingham, after Sir Henry appears to her to be a coward since he will not become involved in the war effort. Lessingham appears to be the perfect gentlemen but he is not who he pretends to be. Eventually, Phillipa and Helen discover that the delivery of Halstead’s letters come with a price. All becomes clear near the end to discover the secret of Lessingham, Sir Henry, and Mainsail Haul.

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