Friday, February 28, 2020

The Clue in Blue

The Clue in Blue (1948) by Betsy Allen (Betty Cavanna) is the first book in the Connie Blair mystery series. The series is one of many that feature young women taking up professions (nurses, stewardesses, reporters, etc) and finding themselves mixed up with mysteries on a regular basis. Connie has just graduated from high school and she and her friends are looking ahead to college. Some with more enthusiasm than others--Connie, for instance, would rather head straight into the career world, possibly winding up in advertising. She gets her chance at becoming a working woman when her Aunt Bet, a stylist for Campion's department store in Philadelphia, asks her if she would like a temporary job as a model. Connie jumps at the chance and finds herself jumping straight into her first mystery as well.

An expensive beaver beret has gone missing and Aunt Bet mentions that this isn't the first odd disappearance in the store. She's not only worried that the valuable hat is gone, but she also doesn't know if she should expect more items to vanish. The items have subsequently reappeared, but the beret stays missing for quite some time. Meanwhile, a pearl necklace has also been taken and circumstances make Aunt Bet look like the guilty party. Connie knows her aunt isn't a thief and is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery. She'll have to answer a few questions first: Who was the man in the mirror wearing a woman's hat? Was he the one who hit Connie on the head? Why was Aunt Bet's apartment ransacked? Why was the stock girl Grace crying with fright in models' dressing room? And who would want to cast suspicion on Aunt Bet? Once she discovers the truth behind these questions, Connie is able to lead the store detective straight to the culprit. 

This is a pleasant little "career girl" mystery. Connie is a personable young woman and tenacious in her determination to investigate (even when Aunt Bet and the store doorman cast doubt on her story of the man who hit her). I appreciated her spunk and willingness to clear her aunt's name. But I have to say that of the career girl stories I've read, I prefer Beverly Gray (reporter) and Vicki Barr (airline stewardess). Connie is a fine young woman and a perfectly fine amateur detective, she just didn't resonate with me in the same way as the other two. The mystery does have an interesting sub-story that casts light on an interesting motive for "borrowing" others' belongings--stealing for love rather than gain.
★★★ and 1/2

Pick Your Poison: Reading Women (children's book with strong female lead)

1 comment:

Unknown said...

The clue in blue is a refreshing take on career based mysteries, where something happens at workplace to the people you love or care and you are the only person to fix it! Loved the review, looking forward to reading the book as soon as I get my hands on it. Please visit us at