Vicki Finds the Answer (1947) by Helen Wells
In Vicki's second adventure since becoming an airline stewardess, she befriends a troubled young woman on her latest route between New York and Norfolk, Virginia. Joan Purnell is running away from home--her parents are tense and there's something very wrong and she just can't take it anymore. Vicki talks with her and gets her to agree that facing up to troubles and trying to solve the problem is a better plan than running away from it. But Joan begs Vicki to come home with her and help. Vicki can't resist a mystery and soon she and her friend Dean (a co-pilot with the airline) are learning more about the lumber business than anyone could want to know and helping the Purnells find out why their successful company is suddenly losing money.
These books are normally more career-focused, Vicki behaves here more like the typical girl detective than usual--there's very little airline hostessing going on. The mystery is a solid one for the target age group...nothing too intricate and, of course, no murders. Vicki and Dean are able to see that the bad guy is brought to justice and all ends happily for the Purnell family. A decent, end-of-the-year read--but I didn't find it quite as compelling as my previous trips with Vicki the airline hostess. ★★★--just barely.
First line: New York glistened in the sun this fine Autumn Sunday.
Last line: The telegram came from Ruth Benson, and it read: "A LITTLE EARLY BUT HERE'S YOUR CHRISTMAS PRESENT, VICKY. YOU'RE GOING TO MEXICO, CONGRATULATIONS!"