Ready to learn about a new old series?
I have set the dials on the TBT time machine this week to bring to the
Vicki Barr Flight Stewardess Mystery series
written by both
Julie Campbell Tatham
I first heard of this series from my friend Dawn Frazier who was lucky enough to find a first edition copy of the fifth book in the series, THE CLUE OF THE BROKEN BLOSSOM, in wonderful condition at an antique shop! Way to go Dawn!
There are 16 books in this series published by Grosset & Dunlap from 1947 to 1964
#1 Silver Wings for Vicki
"If you are twenty-one to twenty-eight, and single - if you are a registered nurse, or if you have at least two years of college or of business experience in dealing with people - then here's the most appealing job in the world! Apply tomorrow!"
Petite Victoria Barr is excited when she reads the newspaper ad. Vicki decides that she wants to be an airline stewardess more than anything. She has completed two years of college, but she is below the age requirement and has no business experience. She is afraid that she doesn't have a chance of getting around the requirements, but she decides to apply for the job anyway in hope that the requirements will somehow be waived.
Vicki is fortunately accepted into the training program and ecstatically leaves for New York. Vicki completes her training and receives a passing grade.
Vicki finds being a stewardess exhilarating and everything that she dreamed it would be but soon notices a couple of mysterious passengers on some of her flights. Vicki must fulfill her duties as stewardess while she tries to discover whether the passengers are involved in criminal activity.
#2 Vicki Finds the Answer
Vicki notices the worried look of a young girl who sits alone on one of Vicki's flights. Vicki tries to find out what is bothering Joan Purnell, but Joan is at first reluctant to confide in Vicki. Vicki finally learns that Joan is running away from home because her father is in debt and may lose his lumber business. Vicki convinces Joan to stay with her aunt that night and then takes Joan back home the next day.
Vicki finds out that Mr. Purnell's partner, Jim Badger, is sending shipments of lumber via more expensive routes than necessary and is sending them too often. Mr. Purnell is unable to handle the lumber shipments and is going deeper in debt every day. Mr. Purnell needs a $25,000 loan, and his problems are compounded when he cannot get the loan because the bank president is away on vacation. Joan wants desperately to help her father and is becoming increasingly frantic every day.
Vicki suspects that Jim Badger is trying to force Mr. Purnell into bankruptcy so that he can buy the company outright. Vicki has no proof of her suspicions and must work quickly before Mr. Parnell loses everything and before Joan does something rash in an attempt to help her father.
#3 The Hidden Valley Mystery
Vicki is excited when she is accepted as stewardess on Federal's affiliated airline down in Mexico. Her excitement turns to dismay when she reads an article about Mexico's problems with amoebic dysentery. Vicki fears that her father will not allow her to go to Mexico, but with the help of her friends, Vicki finally convinces her father that she will be fine in Mexico. Vicki happily departs for Mexico with her favorite flight crew, Dean Fletcher and Captain Jordan.
Once in Mexico, Vicki and her crew are assigned to a run with a home base in the beautiful resort city of Acapulco. On one of their free days, Vicki and Dean fly to a small village that they had spotted from the air on one of their flights. Vicki wonders about the village leader, because he seems too refined for such a poor, remote village, and the village church contains a magnificent golden chalice that looks out of place in such a poor setting. After Vicki and Dean leave, they realize that they accidentally left Dean's camera behind in the village and plan to return for it later.
Back at Vicki's hotel, Vicki is shocked when she sees pictures of herself that Dean had taken in the remote village laying on the manager's desk. The manager claims that the pictures were on a roll of film that a guest had asked to be developed, but Vicki knows that there is much that he is not telling her. Vicki soon finds herself in the middle of a dangerous situation and must discover what connection the hotel manager has with the remote village before it is too late.
#4 The Secret of Magnolia Manor
Vicki is reassigned to the New Orleans-to-Guatemala City run and stays with Paul Breaux and his daughter Marie in their home in New Orleans. Marie is engaged to young Bill Graham, who is renovating the old Breaux plantation, Magnolia Manor, for the man who has bought it. When Paul Breaux learns that the parlor wall will be torn down during the renovation, he becomes enraged and orders that the wall not be touched, thus straining his relationship with Marie's future husband.
Paul Breaux appears to be greatly concerned about money, even though he recently received a large sum of money for the sale of Magnolia Manor. Why does he complain about his bills?
Strange events begin to occur at Magnolia Manor. Bill Graham mysteriously disappears, and the caretaker sees a ghost in the manor.
Vicki learns that the will which made Paul Breaux the executor of Marie's estate is likely not the only existing will and that another will may be hidden in Magnolia Manor. Vicki's search for Bill Graham and the missing will makes for an exciting conclusion to the mystery.
#5 The Clue of the Broken Blossom
Vicki spends her vacation in Hawaii with her friends Bob and Helen Kane. She finds a lei laced with rare, poisonous flowers shortly upon her arrival in the Honolulu airport. When Vicki learns of the kidnapping of heiress Frances Millet from the Honolulu airport at about the time that Vicki arrived, she becomes convinced that the lei provides a clue to the kidnapping.
Meanwhile, Bob Kane is worried about one of his pupils, a young Waluian boy named Loi, who is missing. Loi came home from school one day and just disappeared. Bob tries to contact Loi's father, Kali, who lives and works on the island of Walu, which is coincidentally owned by Frances Millet's father. Bob learns that Kali has been discharged. The Kanes know that Kali is not dishonest and can think of no reason why he would have been discharged.
Vicki has a hunch that the disappearances of Kali, Loi, and Frances are all intertwined. Vicki soon discovers the surprising whereabouts of Frances Millet and the two Waluians and the real reason for the three disappearances. How Vicki resolves their problems by way of a difficult confrontation with Gregory Millet will thrill the reader.
#6 Behind the White Veil
Vicki meets an old friend of her father's, Professor Hyacith, during one of her flights. The professor has heard a rumor of a valley warmed by hot springs which remains fertile throughout most of the harsh Alaskan winter. The valley is said to be shrouded by a mist most of the time which makes it nearly impossible to spot from the air. The professor plans an exploratory flight into Alaska in search of the valley and invites Vicki to go along as the flight stewardess. The cost of the flight is shared by all of the passengers, about whom the professor knows very little.
The searchers find the valley, but the plane is damaged by a rough landing on the valley floor. Unable to take off or communicate with the outside world, the passengers face the horror of possibly never being rescued from the valley. The white veil shrouding the valley prevents them from signaling a rescue plane. The only way to escape is to find a way to scale the sheer walls of the valley.
Escape is not the only problem since several of the passengers begin bickering almost as soon as the plane lands in the valley. Additionally, several of the passengers appear to have hidden agendas. Vicki finds an old letter dropped by one passenger which reveals that stolen crown jewels are likely to be found in the hidden valley. While the pilot works to repair the plane, Vicki races to discover the jewels and finds herself in grave danger.
#7 The Mystery at Hartwood House
Vicki Barr's current assignment is helping Ruth Benson interview applicants at the Hartwood House Hotel in Chicago. Events take a strange turn when an attractive applicant named Linda Murray tries to leave before her interview and claims to have lost her memory. At the time, Vicki does not doubt Linda's story, since Linda appears nervous and confused. When Vicki tries to take Linda home to the address she supplied on her application, Linda flees from Vicki. Does the girl suffer from amnesia, or is she playing some type of bizarre prank?
A famous actress, Chalice Dawn, occupies the room adjoining Vicki's. Vicki tries to help Miss Dawn when her vial of perfume, Chadawn, goes missing. Miss Dawn is quite superstitious and believes that she cannot go on stage on opening night unless she is wearing her Chadawn. Miss Dawn is frantic with worry that she won't be able to find it.
Vicki is struck by something about Chalice Dawn that reminds her of Linda Murray. She can't quite figure out exactly what the similarity is, but Vicki is convinced that the unknown similarity is the key to solving both of her mysteries.
#8 Peril Over the Airport
Vicki Barr's greatest desire is to obtain her pilot's license. Vicki signs up to take lessons with Bill Avery, who owns a small airport north of town. Bill's airfield serves small, unscheduled cargo flights. Vicki immediately learns that Bill has his hands full running his small airport and that Bill is hopelessly disorganized. Vicki tries to help him straighten up his disorderly office and put some order in his affairs.
Bill's chief competitor, Andrew Corey, owns a neighboring airfield and is putting pressure on Bill to sell out to him. Bill refuses to sell his airfield, and shortly thereafter, one of Bill's planes is sabotaged. Could it just be coincidence, or could Andrew Corey or Bill's mysterious new mechanic, Spin Voight, be involved? All that Vicki knows for certain is that Spin appears to hold a grudge against her.
Bill's problems multiply as a mysterious company named Land and Sky, Inc. tries to buy his airport, and local farmers seek an injunction to close Avery Airport. Vicki remains convinced that both Andrew Corey and Spin Voight are behind Bill's problems and works to uncover the plot before Bill's time runs out.
#9 The Mystery of the Vanishing Lady
An elderly woman who is found loitering at Bill Avery's airfield pleads for Vicki to fly her to a nearby community. Vicki consents, and once the flight is underway, the plane begins to list to the left. Vicki lands to check the problem, and both women go in opposite directions to find help. Vicki returns with a pilot who discovers nothing wrong with the plane. Vicki is puzzled that the elderly woman has not returned and waits a long time for her. Finally, Vicki is forced to return home, and after she returns, she finds a bank book inside the plane with the name Edward Denton inside.
Later, Vicki learns that the bank was robbed earlier in the day and that Edward Denton disappeared mysteriously from the bank. Vicki worries that she might have been an accessory to the crime. Vicki becomes further concerned when a cagey man named Skip Barker shows up at Bill's airfield looking for the elderly woman.
Vicki is convinced that both the elderly woman and Skip Barker had a role in the bank robbery. Vicki must find a way to locate the elderly woman and bring both people to justice if they are in fact guilty of the robbery.
#10 The Search for the Missing Twin
Vicki worries about Mary Verga and her family, who live on Fortune Island which has been devastated by a recent storm. Vicki volunteers to fly a relief plane loaded with food and clothes to the island. Vicki and Mary are shocked when Mrs. Verga faints at the sight of a little woolen dress which was brought in with the relief supplies. The girls learn that Mary had an identical twin sister named Jennifer who was lost at sea fifteen years ago. Her sister had been believed dead, but with the discovery of her dress, Mrs. Verga now hopes that Mary's sister is alive and can be found.
Vicki wishes to help but must return to work. Months later, she convinces her family to vacation on the island in hope that they might help the Vergas. The Vergas tell the Barrs the story of how they lost Jennifer and how they believed that she had drowned. Now that they have found her dress, they believe that Jennifer must be alive somewhere and ask Vicki to help find her.
Vicki begins a long and difficult journey in her attempt to locate Jennifer. Vicki quickly obtains proof that Jennifer did not die at sea but her every clue leading to Jennifer's whereabouts results in nothing. In an exciting climax, Vicki travels to Texas where she learns what really happened to Jennifer.
#11 The Ghost at the Waterfall
Vicki's old school acquaintance, Ruth Hall, asks Vicki to fly her north into Canada so that she can nurse her injured brother. Vicki and Ruth run out of gas while over a remote part of Canada and are forced to land in the wilderness. They hike to a cabin in the woods which appears to be inhabited. The girls hide when two men arrive at the cabin arguing belligerently.
The girls deduce that the men are mink smugglers after overhearing their conversation. Much to their chagrin, the girls are discovered and become captives. After the men learn that Ruth is a nurse, they force her to care for their injured leader.
The girls find their every move under close scrutiny. How can they escape their captors?
The girls' chance for escape arrives once the two men leave the cabin with a shipment of mink furs. The girls must leave the men's injured leader behind. Vicki knows that she must come back to help the injured person and later returns with a Canadian Mountie. Vicki helps the Mountie capture the smugglers and at the same time reveals the truth behind an old legend about a haunted waterfall.
#12 The Clue of the Gold Coin
Vicki Barr, young, pretty stewardess for Federal Airlines, is delighted when given her new assignment aboard the New York-to-Tampa run. But a shipment of priceless antique gold coins, bound for an exhibition at Tampa's famous Gasparilla Pirate Festival, disappears on one of Vicki's first Tampa flights.
The official list of suspects includes Vicki's friend, young Joey Watson, besides a silky-smooth import-export agent called "The Duke."
Vicki, however, cannot forget two of her passengers on that fateful flight: the frightened old man, Amos Tytell; the other, Wesley R. Eaton-Smith, the suave but disturbing travel agent from Tampa.
Their trail leads Vicki to Tampa's old Latin Quarter of Ybor City, and a startling series of discoveries that almost cost Vicki her life. But it is on a trip to Havana, with her friends the Curtins, that Vicki fits into place the scattered pieces of the dangerous puzzle.
How Vicki daringly thwarts the desperate smugglers in a breakneck race between two careening planes is the climax to yet another exciting adventure with Vicki Barr, Air Stewardess.
#13 The Silver Ring Mystery
For young and pretty Vicki Barr, the giant, jet-powered Electra is the most challenging assignment of her career as air stewardess with Federal Airlines.
But Vicki's first flight on the Electra's coast-to-coast run involves her in a search for a missing Cinderella that gives new dimensions of excitement, mystery, and danger to her travels.
Why are the elderly, wealthy Bryants having such trouble finding their missing granddaughter, Lucy Rowe, a girl whom they have never seen? At Mrs. Bryant's request Vicki undertakes to help them, and immediately uncovers disturbing clues that have not been found by Thurman Dorn, the Bryants' suave young lawyer.
In the maze of conflicting details there is one thing Vicki is sure of: the missing Lucy Rowe will be wearing a unique silver ring that is a family heirloom.
Vicki's fascinating search leads her from the Bryants' New York mansion to San Francisco, and finally to a strangely lonely house in the Sierra Nevada foothills. In a thrilling, fast-paced story, rich with colorful characters and scenes, Vicki Barr solves the most complex mystery of her adventure-packed career!
#14 The Clue of the Carved Ruby
Paris, London, Rome! Vicki Barr finds it hard to believe her good fortune. Now that she is a transatlantic stewardess for Worldwide Airlines, she can visit the most romantic cities of the world—and where Vicki goes, adventure and mystery surely will follow.
Even before her first New York-to-Paris flight, Vicki becomes involved in an interlocking series of events which leads her right into the arms of a gang of international criminals.
It all starts in New York City when a series of fabulous jewel thefts headline the newspapers. Unwittingly, Vicki and her Swedish roommate Karen foil the thieves' master plan by accepting an envelope containing a picture post card of Grand Central Station and a key to a luggage locker—both meant for someone else. Vicki, of course, cannot resist a mystery, and she traces the key to its source—where a paper bag filled with valuable jewels awaits her.
In Paris and New York, Vicki and Karen can find no escape from the entangling web of intrigue, which involves them with a very handsome but mysterious young man and a much-too-charming socialite couple.
Join Vicki Barr on her first transatlantic flight into a whole new world of excitement, romance, and spine-tingling adventure.
#15 The Mystery of Flight 908
When Stewardess Vicki Barr feels the gun in her back, she knows Flight 908 is being hijacked. But remembering airline policy is "no dead heroes," Vicki unlocks the door to the flight deck.
Ordered to alter course for a tiny island-state off the coast of South America, Captain Mallinson protests that the big jetliner has not enough fuel and he lacks the necessary navigational charts. But the hijackers are unrelenting in their demand. So pilot and crew, concerned for the safety of their passengers, tackle the task of finding the small island—before they are forced to ditch the jetliner in the ocean!
Who are their captors? Why have they hijacked the plane?
Vicki and the crew live through long, tense hours, resolving one crisis only to be confronted by another. On the island of Guairacorda, passengers and crew are treated like guests—only they are prevented from using any means of communication.
Then, surprisingly, the pilot is alerted for take-off—carrying one extra passenger. During the flight back to the United States, Vicki glimpses the always-hidden face of the mystery man and realizes she will be in double danger if the hijackers find out. How the pretty stewardess assists the FBI in bringing the culprits to justice is the thrilling climax to The Mystery of Flight 908.
#16 The Brass Idol Mystery
On her first flight to exotic India, an adventure in itself, Vicki Barr, attractive stewardess with Worldwide Airlines, steps into a mystery immediately upon her arrival.
Who is the excited, publicity-seeking young woman at Palam Airport in New Delhi? What is the secret of the small idol Vicki purchases as a souvenir for her good friend Jack Dillon Smith? Why are suspicious-looking men watching the brassware shop in the bazaar district where Vicki purchases the idol?
These and other puzzling questions remain unanswered until Vicki returns to New York, only to find that mystery has arrived ahead of her. She and Jack Dillon Smith, a skilled private investigator, tackle the perplexing case from every angle and uncover some startling clues.
Throughout Vicki's adventures there is a chain of international intrigue in which the goddess of luck plays a deciding role. But whether luck is with her or against her, the pretty stewardess cannot tell, until crossed trails bring her the very facts she seeks. Even then, the dramatic outcome hangs in the balance, with Vicki making one of the most daring decisions of her thrilling career.
These books are no longer in print.
Check with your local used book sellers, antique shops, or online sellers.
Helen Wells (1910-1986)
was the author of nurse Cherry Ames books, a series for young teens. She wrote volumes #1-7 and #17-27. She was also the author of the first four Vicki Barr books and possibly the last Vicki Barr book.
Julie Campbell Tatham (June 1, 1908 – July 7, 1999)
was a US writer of children's novels, who also wrote for adults, especially on Christian Science. As Julie Campbell she was the creator of the Trixie Belden series (she wrote the first six) and the Ginny Gordon series. As Julie Tatham she also took over the Cherry Ames series andVicki Barr series from Helen Wells.
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Answer to Whodunit Wednesday
ALL IN THE FAMILY - SOLUTION
"George Gleason didn't have a chance to ask any questions," Wilson explained confidently. "He saw the victim's bloody head and the rifle and assumed Lovett had been shot. But, of course, he hadn't been."
"And that indicates his innocence?"
"Absolutely. He's protecting his kids."
"Which is exactly what he wants us to think."
Wilson frowned. "What are you talking about?"
"Gleason wants us to think he's making a false confession. He knew we'd pick up on his mistake and strike him off our suspect list. Very clever of him."
"How do you figure that?"
"Because he knew Lovett had been killed last night. Lovett is often here early, but he rarely stays past noon. An innocent man would have assumed Lovett had been killed in the morning. Only the person who telephoned him last night and lured him here would know when Lovett had been ambushed and killed."
Okay, I had Lovett's wife, then I had her father. Then when he confessed, I thought he did it for his daughter.
LOL One day I'll get one right. :-)
How did you do?
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