Judy Bolton

The Judy Bolton Mystery Stories #1-12
by Margaret Sutton

The summaries on this page were written in their entirety by this site's webmaster, Jennifer White, in the early 2000s.  Since that time, the summaries have been copied to other series book websites without permission and without proper source attribution.
  #1 The Vanishing Shadow
Judy Bolton is resigned to spending several boring weeks at her grandparents' farm near Dry Brook Hollow.  Judy's summer suddenly becomes interesting when she overhears some men talking about the Roulsville dam.  Judy does not understand the conversation, but the men fear that she does and threaten her.

Judy becomes reacquainted with her childhood friend, Peter Dobbs, who gives her a cat that she names Blackberry, and meets the wealthy siblings, Arthur and Lois Farringdon-Pett.  As the days pass, Judy learns that the Roulsville dam is cracked and may break during the next rain, which reminds Judy of the conversation that she overheard.

The Vanishing Shadow
The moment of truth finally arrives when a torrential downpour threatens the dam.  Judy must rely on her seemingly cowardly brother Horace to warn the people of Roulsville of the danger.  All Judy can do is hope that the dam holds long enough for Horace to warn the townspeople in time.
  #2 The Haunted Attic
The Bolton family moves into their new residence in Farringdon.  Their new home once belonged to an infamous family of thieves and is reputedly haunted by the ghost of the previous owner who was murdered in the house.  The house certainly appears haunted, as Judy and Horace hear strange noises from the attic, and Horace vows to discover the source and unmask it at a ghost party.

Meanwhile, Judy finds herself in the middle of a very difficult situation when she is forced to choose between two groups of new friends.  Judy's friendship with wealthy Lois Farringdon-Pett is strained to the breaking point by Judy's new friendship with the poor girls who live near the Boltons. 

The Haunted Attic
Horace's ghost party provides the backdrop for a reconciliation of friends and the amazing revelation of the true identity of the ghost residing in the Bolton's new home.
  #3 The Invisible Chimes
"Doctor, I can't remember.  I can't recall—a—single—thing." The strange girl whom Judy calls 'Honey' appears to have no memory of her past.  Honey's sweet disposition endears her to both the Bolton and the Dobbs families, but Judy begins to wonder if Honey is hiding something.

Honey's behavior is strange, and she is evasive when questioned about her actions.  Adding to Judy's suspicion is the fact that Honey was in the company of thieves when she had the accident that caused her memory loss.  There is also the matter of the invisible chimes, which ring from an invisible source, and usually when Honey is around.

The Invisible Chimes
The source of the invisible chimes is soon revealed, and Judy's faith in Honey is greatly shaken.  In a bizarre twist, Honey learns a startling secret about her past that will change her life forever.
  #4 Seven Strange Clues
"Come on, everybody sing!  It's our last chance!"  Kay Vincent dances around singing the school song as Girls' Farringdon High burns to the ground.  Kay's behavior is appalling to the other girls who are devastated about the loss of their school.  Moreover, many girls, including Judy, have lost their posters which had already been submitted for an upcoming contest.

The fire leads to several unsolved mysteries.  First, several people suspect Honey of starting the fire out of maliciousness, and while Judy cannot believe the accusations, she admits that she doesn't know Honey that well.  Judy vows to exonerate Honey of all blame.

Seven Strange Clues
The mystery deepens when Judy learns that she is the winner of the poster contest!  Judy is mystified, since her poster burned in the school.  When Judy sees the winning poster, it is not her poster, but someone else's, with Judy's name on it!  Judy must discover who the real artist is, who submitted the poster in her name, and repair a strained friendship.
  #5 The Ghost Parade
Judy regrets that she is leaving Farringdon for a vacation in the Thousand Islands just as life in Farringdon gets interesting.  The police are on the trail of counterfeiters, but Judy won't be around to help them.  Excitement does follow Judy, however, when she impulsively purchases seven Indian masks at an auction.

Judy learns that the masks are rumored to be cursed and that misfortune befalls whomever owns the monster heads.  At first Judy refuses to believe the nonsense, but after the young people arrive at camp, the heads begin to appear and disappear and change location within the storage box.  Mysterious sounds are heard at night.  The monster heads appear to be alive!

The Ghost Parade
As with all mysteries, there is a logical explanation for the movement of the monster heads, and Judy's search for the solution proves to be more exciting and dangerous than she could ever have imagined.
  #6 The Yellow Phantom
Judy Bolton and Irene Lang travel to New York City for a visit with Pauline Faulkner.  While on their way into the city, the girls meet a handsome young author named Dale Meredith.  The girls, especially Irene, become intrigued with the idea of meeting him again.  By a stroke of luck, Judy secures a position in his agent's office.

When Dale's agent, Emily Grimshaw, sees Irene for the first time, she reacts as though she has seen a ghost.  Irene clearly looks just like someone from Emily Grimshaw's past, but who?  Complicating the situation, a stack of important papers is stolen, and soon after, Irene disappears as well.

The Yellow Phantom
Judy, Pauline, and Dale are worried sick about Irene, and it is not until after a long and difficult search that they learn the truth.  Irene Lang's life reads like a fairy tale, and like a fairy princess, Irene, now the 'Golden Girl,' receives an inheritance and captures the heart of Dale Meredith.
  #7 The Mystic Ball
Judy Bolton, Irene Lang, and the rest of their friends attend the presentation of a fortune teller at the Farringdon theater.  Irene is called to the stage, and the fortune teller warns Irene not to go to New York to marry Dale Meredith.  Irene becomes nervous and worried after her consultation with the fortune teller, and Judy fears that Irene will ruin her life based on the dire prediction.

Judy knows that the fortune teller is tricking the audience in some fashion, but how can she prove that the fortune teller has some unscrupulous means of acquiring information?  And how does the fortune teller determine which people to ask on stage for a consultation?

The Mystic Ball
Judy's wits are put to the test as she struggles to find a solution to this complex mystery in time to prevent superstitious Irene from making a drastic mistake.
  #8 The Voice in the Suitcase
The girls from Farringdon High have a picnic in the country, and during the picnic, two unkempt men arrive and ask for food.  They have a suitcase with them from which comes a strange wailing noise.  Judy is intrigued and wonders what kind of device is hidden in the suitcase.

Later, Judy and Honey are accidentally left behind when the buses leave the picnic grounds.  As they walk along a country road, they encounter a man lying in a ditch with a suitcase next to him.  Judy feels certain that this man is somehow connected to the other two men and that the suitcase is the same suitcase.

The Voice in the Suitcase
Judy and Honey are rescued by Peter and Horace, who also take the man home to his family.  Judy learns that his name is Brady, and when she meets a new neighbor, Selma Brady, she feels certain of a connection.  Judy travels with Selma to help clean house for her grandparents wedding anniversary.  She once again meets the strange man from the ditch and becomes involved in a new and dangerous mystery.
  #9 The Mysterious Half Cat
Judy is thrilled when she learns that her old friend, Dora Scott, is returning to Farringdon.  The girls plan a huge welcoming party for Scottie at the railroad station, but Judy realizes that their plans were a mistake when she sees Scottie's reaction.  Scottie is tired and impatient and has her little sister Carol in tow.

Carol is a very unusual child who is unresponsive to all sound except music and whistling.  Scottie expects Judy to help her find a way to help Carol.  Judy is uncertain how to proceed and feels that Scottie expects too much of her.

The Mysterious Half Cat
Judy also has two other mysteries to solve.  Something mysterious is happening at the Chinese laundry in Farringdon, and objects keep disappearing from the houses on Grove Street.  How Judy solves Carol's problem and how it relates to the other mysterious happenings makes for a thrilling story.
  #10 The Riddle of the Double Ring
Judy Bolton is stunned when Arthur Farringdon-Pett slips an engagement ring, a pigeon's blood ruby, on her finger.  Judy forces Arthur to promise to keep the engagement a secret, as everything is happening much too quickly.  Judy still feels torn in her feelings between Arthur and Peter and needs more time to think.

Meanwhile, Lorraine Lee guesses that Arthur has proposed to Judy.  Lorraine decides to try to capture the thieves who robbed a fur store in Farringdon in an attempt to prove to Arthur that she can be just like Judy.  Lorraine disappears, and Judy and Arthur begin a desperate search for Lorraine, with no clue as to where she has gone.

The Riddle of the Double Ring
Judy and Arthur fly in Arthur's plane, which crashes.  Arthur is hurt, and Judy knows what must be done, if only she can locate Lorraine.  Judy's search for Lorraine also leads her to the fur thieves and an exciting confrontation.
  #11 The Unfinished House
Judy and Peter work to expose and outsmart a group of real estate swindlers.  The Piper family has won a piece of property in Roulsville which is 15 feet by 100 feet.  Since the property is not wide enough for a house, Mrs. Piper must purchase the adjoining property at a much higher than usual price so that she can build a house.

Peter is determined to help Mrs. Piper, so the young people design a home that can be built on a narrow lot of land and hire men to begin building the home.  Soon after construction begins, the young people are warned to beware of the Red Circle.

The Unfinished House
Strange sounds are heard at night as the Piper home is built.  Several people become sick with a strange illness apparently caused by the Red Circle.  Judy's search for the mysterious culprit becomes even more desperate when her beloved cat Blackberry falls ill!
  #12 The Midnight Visitor
When Judy and Peter become stranded in an abandoned house during a storm, the last thing they expect is to meet a ghost.  The ghost turns out to be a girl named Sally who insists that she is being plagued by ghosts.  While Judy and Peter hardly believe the girl, they do like her and want to help her.

Judy takes her home, only to have her disappear during a party.  Later, Judy and Peter learn that Sally's full name is Sally Vincent, of the crooked Vincent family.  Sally is fortunately not like the rest of the family.  She is to receive an inheritance in a will but the rest of the family is contesting it.

The Midnight Visitor
Peter agrees to be Sally's attorney even though fighting against the Vincent family could prove to be dangerous.  As the case unfolds in court, Judy makes a shocking discovery that will mean everything to Sally and will thwart the plans of the rest of the Vincent family.
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