The Billie Bradley Series
by Janet D. Wheeler

There was something in the way the words were spoken that made the girls look more closely at Mrs. Bedoe.  The woman's face had grown solemn, almost somber.  "Yes," she said, "I'll be glad of company, I will that!"

Vi's fork paused in its journey toward her mouth.  It remained arrested in midair, three beans balanced precariously on the end of it.

"It must be pretty spooky living here with only the trees for company," she suggested.

"Ah!" breathed the old woman.  "If it was only the trees!"

The girls started.  From Vi's fork the beans dropped one by one, unnoticed, to her plate.

"Wh-what do you mean?" stammered Laura.

"The lodge doesn't happen to be h-haunted, or anything, does it?"

The girls expected an emphatic denial of this preposterous theory.  Instead, Mrs. Bedoe continued to stare somberly at her clasped hands as they rested upon the head of her cane.  She shook her head irresolutely.

"A while back, I'd have known well enough what to answer to such a question," she returned.  "Now, I don't know—"

—pages 124-125, Billie Bradley at Sun Dial Lodge

The Billie Bradley series is a Stratemeyer Syndicate series that was published first by Sully and then by Cupples and Leon from 1920 through 1932.  The series was written under the pseudonym of Janet D. Wheeler.

According to James Keeline (per a post in the Nancy Drew Sleuths group), the first volume was written by Elizabeth M. Duffield Ward, who wrote the Blythe Girls series.  Ward may have written the entire series.

Titles in the Billie Bradley Series:

  1. Billie Bradley and Her Inheritance, 1920
  2. Billie Bradley at Three Towers Hall, 1920
  3. Billie Bradley on Lighthouse Island, 1920
  4. Billie Bradley and Her Classmates, 1921
  5. Billie Bradley at Twin Lakes, 1922
  6. Billie Bradley at Treasure Cove, 1928
  7. Billie Bradley at Sun Dial Lodge, 1929
  8. Billie Bradley and the School Mystery, 1930
  9. Billie Bradley Winning the Trophy, 1932

Formats and Illustrations

Dust Jacket and Book Gallery

The Cupples and Leon books have at least three formats which are shown on the above page.  The Cupples and Leon dust jackets have two formats.  At least the first eight books were issued with the first format dust jacket.  All nine books were issued with the second format dust jacket.

These frontispiece artists are known:

               #1-2  H. L. Hastings
               #5     Walter S. Rogers
               #7-9  Russell H. Tandy


Billie Bradley is a teenage girl who lives in North Bend, New York.  North Bend is a small city of approximately 20,000 people and is located around 40 miles from New York City.  Billie is quite naturally the most popular girl in school.  Billie is known to speak her mind, and she is drawn towards people who need help.

Billie's best friends are Laura Jordan and Violet Farrington.  Laura is the daughter of Raymond Jordan, who owns a large jewelry factory.  Laura is rich and a little spoiled.  Violet is more timid, and her father is a lawyer.

Laura's brother, Teddy Jordan, is very fond of Billie, and Billie admires him in return.  In addition to Teddy, Billie's brother, Chet, and his friend, Ferd Stowing, always accompany the young people on their many adventures.

The girls attend a boarding school, Three Towers Hall, while the boys attend Boxton Military Academy.  Three Towers Hall and Boxton Military Academy are located on the opposite shores of Lake Molata, so the girls and boys are able to visit each other when not in class.

This series is very similar to the Betty Gordon series.  It also has much in common with some aspects of the Beverly Gray series.  Read my blog posts for my thoughts about the similarities between Billie Bradley and Beverly Gray.


My Billie Bradley Blog Posts

Building a Set

The Billie Bradley series is scarce.  I was fortunate to obtain a complete set all at once, so I cannot state for certain which volumes are the hardest to find.  If what I know about other series holds true for this series, then volumes six through nine should be the harder to find volumes, with the final volume not necessarily the hardest one to find.  Sometimes the penultimate volume in a series is the hardest one to find.

The second format dust jackets are definitely harder to find than the first format dust jackets.  The Sully books are much harder to find than the Cupples and Leon books.

I estimate that the value of a book with a dust jacket ranges from $10 for a book with a dust jacket in fair condition to $50 for a book with a dust jacket in very nice shape.  The first few books tend to be worth less than the later books.

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