The Beverly Gray Mystery Stories



Lenora tagged along after Beverly.  "Do you know what?  I have decided to accompany you as you attend to your duties today."

"To what do I owe this sudden honor?" Beverly laughed.

"I want to be a newspaper photographer.  You will note I have my camera with me.  You are about to provide me with subjects."

"I'm glad you told me." was Beverly's reply.

                                                                        —page 179, Beverly Gray's Return
The Beverly Gray series is a 26 volume series which was in print from 1934 through approximately 1955.  The first publisher was the A.L. Burt company, which printed the first 8 titles from 1934 to 1937.  In 1938, the rights to the series were sold to Grosset and Dunlap, which reprinted books 1 through 5, 7, and 8, and printed the new titles as they came out.  Volume 6, Beverly Gray at the World's Fair, was dropped when the publisher changed to Grosset and Dunlap because the publisher felt that the setting of the World's Fair would date the book too much.

When Beverly Gray at the World's Fair was dropped, volume 7, Beverly Gray on a World Cruise became volume 6 just as though World's Fair had never existed.  Unfortunately, the events which occur during World's Fair are significant to the development of the series and are mentioned in later volumes, so the reader feels like he or she has missed something when this volume is skipped.  Author Clair Blank was unhappy about the title being dropped and tried several times until at least 1943 to get Grosset and Dunlap to reissue World's Fair to no avail.  She was concerned about the continuity of the series and felt that readers would be confused by the missing events which occur in that volume.  Clair even offered to write a replacement volume to fill in the gap in the series, but her offer was rejected by Grosset and Dunlap.


Since Beverly Gray at the World's Fair only went through a couple of printings, the original edition is one of the most sought after of children's series books.  Fortunately, the story is no longer as difficult to find as it once was.  The book has been reprinted twice since 2003 by American Web Books.  Each print run was limited to around 100 copies.

Volume 24, Beverly Gray's Scoop, was the final title issued in a dust-jacketed edition right before the cancellation of the series.  In 1955, the final volume in the series, volume 25, Beverly Gray's Surprise, was issued by Grosset and Dunlap under its Clover Books division.  Volumes 16 through 24 were also reissued in the Clover Books edition at the same time that volume 25 was published.  The Clover Books are cheaply made cellophane-covered picture covers containing poor-quality paper which have not held up well over time.

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Titles in the Beverly Gray Series:

   1. Beverly Gray, Freshman, 1934
   2. Beverly Gray, Sophomore, 1934
   3. Beverly Gray, Junior, 1934
   4. Beverly Gray, Senior, 1934
   5. Beverly Gray's Career, 1935
   6. Beverly Gray at the World's Fair, 1935
7/6. Beverly Gray on a World Cruise, 1936
8/7. Beverly Gray in the Orient, 1937
   8. Beverly Gray on a Treasure Hunt, 1938
   9. Beverly Gray's Return, 1939
 10. Beverly Gray, Reporter, 1940
 11. Beverly Gray's Romance, 1941
 12. Beverly Gray's Quest, 1942
 13. Beverly Gray's Problem, 1943
 14. Beverly Gray's Adventure, 1944
 15. Beverly Gray's Challenge, 1945
 16. Beverly Gray's Journey, 1946
 17. Beverly Gray's Assignment, 1947
 18. Beverly Gray's Mystery, 1948
 19. Beverly Gray's Vacation, 1949
 20. Beverly Gray's Fortune, 1950
 21. Beverly Gray's Secret, 1951
 22. Beverly Gray's Island Mystery, 1952
 23. Beverly Gray's Discovery, 1953
 24. Beverly Gray's Scoop, 1954
 25. Beverly Gray's Surprise, 1955

Author Clarissa Mabel Blank Moyer was born on August 5, 1915, in Allentown, Pennsylvania.  Clair graduated from high school in 1933 and by one year after her high school graduation her first four books in the Beverly Gray series had been published.  Clair Blank had accomplished the amazing feat of being a published author at the age of 18.  According to Clair's husband, George Moyer, whom she married in 1943, Clair wrote the first four books while still in high school.  Two years after her Beverly Gray series was published, Clair wrote the novel The Adventure Girls at the K Bar O and was immediately asked by the publisher for two additional stories so that it could be made into a series.

Clair Blank with her dog, Rusty, early 1940s
The Adventure Girls series consisted of just three titles, The Adventure Girls at the K Bar O, The Adventure Girls in the Air, and The Adventure Girls at Happiness House.


Clair Blank in 1965
Unlike Beverly Gray, Clair Blank did not lead the exciting life of a newspaper reporter and traveling writer.  Clair never traveled to any of the exotic places that she describes in the Beverly Gray books.  Clair graduated from college, worked as a typist and secretary, and during World War II worked as a volunteer for a group that drove visiting Army officers around locally.  Clair quit her secretarial job after she married, choosing to write and take care of her two sons, who were born in 1947 and 1953.  Clair was disappointed when her series was canceled by Grosset and Dunlap in 1955.  In 1960, Clair was diagnosed with cancer and died on August 15, 1965, at the age of 50.
Source for information about Clair Blank:  Yellowback Library, Issue #66, December 1989
The Beverly Gray series is much like a soap opera in that it contains high drama and features a continuing storyline from book to book.  The following pages contain plot summaries for each of the 26 volumes in the Beverly Gray series.  Due to the continuing story, it is necessary to reveal the conclusion of each book in order to summarize the next book.  Therefore, any person who has not yet read the Beverly Gray series is warned that the summaries on the following pages will reveal important plot information that not all readers would wish to know before reading the stories.

#1-6 Beverly Gray's College Years, Career in New York, and Visit to the World's Fair
Beverly Gray attends Vernon College where she becomes a member of the Alpha Delta Sorority along with Shirley Parker, Lenora Whitehill, Anne White, Rosalie Arnold, and Lois Mason.  During her time at Vernon, Beverly meets Larry Owens and reporter Charlie Blaine.  After graduation from Vernon College, Beverly moves to New York City to seek her fortune along with Shirley, Lenora, and Lois.

#7-9 Beverly Gray's World Cruise and Hunt for Treasure
Beverly and her friends embark on a world cruise on the Susabella in which they travel to exotic places in the far east.  Danger and intrigue follow their every move as a couple of ruthless men try to steal a treasure map which is in the young people's possession.  As the cruise draws to an end, Beverly is successfully impersonated by another young woman, and Beverly must discover the purpose behind the deception.

#10-14 Beverly Gray:  Reporter, Writer, and Government Agent
Beverly helps the government trap some spies who have stolen valuable military plans, and then must face her insecurities in her romance and writing career.  She travels to South America with her friends to find two other friends who are missing in the jungle, and as she returns, she delivers some military plans safely to the Army.  Beverly is asked once again to work undercover as a government operative only to find that her cover may be blown by rival reporter Kay Merrill.

#15-18 Beverly Gray:  Sleuth, Heiress, and Investigative Reporter
Beverly helps Shirley discover who is trying to prevent Shirley from staying in Montana long enough to claim her newly-inherited property.  Beverly leaves Montana for England where she must find Larry and at the same time prevent an impersonator from stealing her inheritance.  Beverly is next assigned to locate missing rival reporter Kay Merrill and to discover who has stolen a valuable horse.

#19-22 Beverly Gray's Vacation, Top Secret Mission, and Search for Her Missing Friends
Beverly and her friends journey to Canada by way of Panama on the Susabella where they help capture some fur thieves.  They next travel to Hawaii where Beverly is given some valuable but cursed pearls that cause no end of trouble for the group.  Beverly soon must leave the trip in order to conduct an investigation for Charlie Blaine.  Later, Beverly is shocked when the Susabella fails to arrive home and frantically searches for her missing friends.

#23-25 Beverly Gray Uncovers a Fake Art Ring and Exonerates a Friend
Beverly investigates and breaks up an international fake art ring that is responsible for defrauding a number of wealthy art collectors.  Next, Beverly helps Jim Stanton prevent an imposter from claiming his inheritance.  Finally, Beverly travels to Montana with Lenora and Larry to gather evidence that will exonerate Michael McKay of the theft and betrayal of which he is accused.
Beverly Gray suffers from more close calls than other series book protagonists.  View a list of Beverly's harrowing adventures, which do not include the numerous misfortunes of her close friends.

The unforgettable exploits of Lenora Whitehill are central to the Beverly Gray series.  Discover what makes Lenora one of the most memorable characters from series books.
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