The Roger Baxter Series   

The Roger Baxter Series
by Sam and Beryl Epstein

The Roger Baxter series consists of three books written by Sam and Beryl Epstein.  The first book was written as Charles Strong, and the other two books were written as Martin Colt.

1.  Stranger at the Inlet, 1946
2.  The Secret of Baldhead Mountain, 1946
3.  The Riddle of the Hidden Pesos, 1948

These books were written and published in the several years before the Epsteins began writing the Ken Holt books.  The Roger Baxter series tells the story of Roger and Bill Baxter, who become close friends with Slim Warner, a government agent.  In each book, Slim and the boys solve a mystery.

The Roger Baxter series is an outstanding series that will easily appeal to many series book enthusiasts.  The books are especially revered by Ken Holt fans.  Unfortunately, the Roger Baxter books are very hard to find, either with or without dust jackets.  While all three titles are approximately equally scarce, The Secret of Baldhead Mountain is slightly easier to find while The Riddle of the Hidden Pesos is slightly more difficult to find.

My Roger Baxter Blog Posts
The Roger Baxter Series:  Rescued from Obscurity

The summaries have been adapted from the front flaps of the dust jackets.

  #1 The Stranger at the Inlet                                              1946
Who is the stranger in the Baxters' small cottage overlooking the bay?  Roger Baxter thinks there is something suspicious about him, but his younger brother Bill likes the man.  The man's name is Slim Warner, and he is supposed to be recovering from a serious illness.  Roger notices that he lifts heavy things as if they were feathers.  Mr. Warner has a ramshackle old car, but its motor, to Roger's ears, throbs with tremendous power.

Roger dislikes the man and is angry because he and Bill had great plans for the little cottage that summer.  They had decided to build a windmill on top of the cottage to generate current for their electrical experiments.  Then Slim Warner appeared and rented the cottage, ruining their plans.

The Stranger at the Inlet
Soon, mystery and adventure replace the boys' anticipated scientific projects.  Even then, their knowledge of electricity helps them unravel the exciting plot involving smugglers and plenty of danger.
  #2 The Secret of Baldhead Mountain                               1946
Roger Baxter and his younger brother Bill spend the summer with their father at Pay Dirt in Colorado.  They plan to explore the country and perhaps prospect for gold.  When they find that a landslide has blocked the entrance to a tunnel being built through Baldhead Mountain, the boys change their plans.  Mr. Baxter, supervising the construction of the tunnel, sees nothing suspicious in the landslide, but the boys think differently.

Roger and Bill believe that they have found evidence of sabotage, and Willis, old prospector and night watchman at the tunnel, cautiously confirms their suspicions.  The boys decide to investigate on their own.  When Diego, a Mexican boy of their own age, turns his ankle, they take over his job as water boy.  Roger and Bill are friendly to Diego, who rebuffs them.

The Secret of Baldhead Mountain
The brothers continue their detecting, and when an accident ruins the water pumps, they convince their father that this is more than an accident.  Diego, too, is finally won over to their side, but not until he has surprised and disturbed them by telling them that he is not liked because of his Mexican parentage.  The three boys, good friends now, go ahead with their investigations.  A fire and cave-in occur, so Roger and Bill send for their friend Slim Warner to help them.
  #3 The Riddle of the Hidden Pesos                                  1948
Roger and Bill Baxter and Diego Montez go on a vacation trip to Mexico with their good friend, Slim Warner of the FBI.  They have scarcely crossed the border when one of the boys discovers a slit in the upholstery of Slim's brand-new car.  Hidden under the leather are two million Mexican pesos, which Slim recognizes as counterfeit money made in the United States.  Slim is faced with the dilemma of what to do about the money, which they have unwittingly smuggled into Mexico!

Two men had spoken to them at the border, a Mexican in a sleek fast sedan and an American in an equally fast convertible.  Suddenly the boys see the sedan in back of them.  When the convertible, too, seems to be deliberately trailing behind, they come to the grim realization that they are being followed.

The Riddle of the Hidden Pesos
Eluding their pursuers, the four friends spend a week in the mountains at a small village where Diego's relatives hide them.  With Slim's help, they discover the secret of the counterfeit money and reveal a sinister plot against the United States and Mexico.
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