Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Beverly Gray's Secret: Review

Beverly Gray's Secret (1951) is the 21st book in the series by Clair Blank. Unlike the Nancy Drew series, Clair Blank was a single author who wrote all 25 books in the series. The books begin with Beverly's freshman year in college and follow her from there through various adventures, work for the government, and finally as a newspaper reporter. 

This particular adventure finds Beverly and her friends preparing to sail for home from a trip to the Hawaiian islands. But Bev receives a terse telegram from her editor, Charlie Blaine, terminating her employment with the newspaper. No explanation, just five words: 


She's certain there must be a mistake and requests confirmation by return telegram. When the answer comes stating that there has been no mistake. She and her fiance Larry fly back to New York so she can demand an explanation in person. 

After getting no better answer from Blaine in person, she clears out her desk and leaves the building--still very upset and confused. But Blaine meets her at her car and explains that he needed her official connection with the paper to be severed so she could take on an investigation for him. Blaine wants her to go to Florida and get to the bottom of counterfeiting accusations which have been leveled against the son of one  his friends. He fervently hopes it's not true, but if it is, he want's Beverly's help to find out what's really going on so he and Philip Barton's father can plan the best defense.

Beverly heads to Florida and manages to get a job working for Philip's airline. The counterfeit money was found stashed aboard one of his planes. But since that discovery, his airline has faced one disaster after another--forcing him to miss delivery deadlines that could cost him his business. Her investigation leads her to believe that Philip is honest, but somebody wants to put him out of business. Is it the counterfeiters? Or is there someone else sabotaging his airline for purposes of their own? It doesn't take our investigative reporter long to get to the bottom of the problem. She not only discovers the counterfeiters, but arranges for the arrest of the saboteur as well.

Beverly Gray is another heroine that I wish I had met when I was young. I would have loved reading about a detective with my own name! She's resourceful and independent and a good role model for young girls. On the one hand, she's a bit more realistic than Nancy Drew--going to work and living away from home in the big city. But then, I think she gives Nancy a run for her money in the number of close scrapes she has. She also has way more adventures than most of us do in everyday life, but the stories wouldn't be nearly as exciting without them.  

The mysteries aren't terribly intricate. It's hard to have twists and turns in the plot when there are so few suspects to be had. But it was still fun watching my namesake investigate and run the culprits to earth. Or maybe I should say run the culprits "to air" since the grand finale takes place aboard one of Philip's planes--for a breath-taking finish. ★★

[Finished 2/13/18]

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