The Flash Evans Series   

The Flash Evans Series
by Mildred A. Wirt (as Frank Bell)

Introducing a new series of flashing mystery and adventure stories by a promising new writer, whose clever plots, compelling action and staccato style impel us to predict that the FLASH EVANS books will be a sure-fire "hit" with boy readers all over the country.

The hero is Flash Evans, a sixteen-year old boy, who is as human and real and likeable as any boy you ever met.  Starting his career as a newspaper cameraman on The Brandale Ledger, Flash pursues the trail of adventure and mystery, getting the news in pictures.  Later, he transfers to newsreel work.

You'll find Flash Evans wherever news is breaking—covering fires, bank robberies, ocean disasters, strikes, floods, earthquakes, and in the war zones shooting pictures of land battles, air raids and submarine attacks.

                                                    —taken from the front flap of the dust jackets

The prediction that the Flash Evans books would be "a sure-fire hit" did not come to fruition.  This short-lived series consists of two volumes which were published by Cupples and Leon in 1940.  The series was written by Mildred A. Wirt Benson under the pen name of Frank Bell.  Due to the brief duration of the series, both books are very hard to acquire, even without the dust jackets, and are as difficult to find as the Trailer Stories for Girls.
  #1 Flash Evans and the Darkroom Mystery                    1940
Jimmy Evans has always dreamed of becoming a newspaper photographer.  Ever since his high school graduation, Jimmy has made the rounds of the various newspapers, but no jobs are available.  Jimmy's lucky break comes when he finds himself in the right place at the right time and snaps photos of the capture of two notorious criminals.  He is the only photographer on the scene, and his photos win him a position at the Ledger.

Jimmy is immediately given the nickname of Flash by a fellow photographer, and the new name sticks.  Flash's first assignment is to cover a fight, but he overexposes the film.  He is saved by another photographer, but Flash's bad luck continues.  Flash obtains excellent photos of a fire, but his film is ruined while developing.  Flash is tempted to pass the loss off as his own mistake, except that his bad luck continues with additional photos disappearing before reaching the editor.

Flash Evans and the Darkroom Mystery
Flash concludes that somebody wants him to lose his job at the newspaper—but how can he discover the culprit?  Flash's main suspect has an alibi, and finally Flash uncovers the answer in a surprising fashion and is shocked at the identity of his enemy.
  #2 Flash Evans Camera News Hawk                               1940
During his month's vacation from the newspaper, Flash Evans travels to Indianapolis to watch the auto races.  Flash's friend, Joe Wells, takes the same train to Indianapolis to meet his NewsVue partner.  During the journey, the train derails, injuring many people, including Joe.  Joe is unable to walk and so asks Flash to take his place temporarily at NewsVue.

Flash is welcomed coldly and reluctantly by Joe's partner, George Doyle.  Despite Flash's inexperience with the news camera, he takes some splendid films of the races and is praised by Doyle's boss.  Doyle refuses to acknowledge Flash's skill and tries to get Flash to quit so that one of Doyle's friends can take Flash's place.  Flash continues working so that Joe will not lose his position to somebody else.

Flash Evans Camera News Hawk
Flash learns of the death of Albert Povy, a spy who is suspected of stealing government secrets for use by his own country.  Oddly, Povy's body is claimed by Herbert Rascomb, an upstanding citizen who seemingly has no connection to Povy.  Flash senses a mystery, and his investigation reveals an amazing plot with Rascomb at the center.  Rascomb proves to be a deadly enemy, and Flash faces grave danger until Rascomb is apprehended.
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