294Q: Time travel in red

A book read in the 1970s – then in paperback – set in New York City about 1870 – on the upper East Side, perhaps 58th Street, near Bloomingdale’s Department Store. The first chapter opens with a crime committed on the block. It might have been winter time – not sure. It might have been a murder or it might have been some other type of crime on a person. Chapter two describes a similar crime. Same block. But 100 years later – now in the present period. Thereafter each chapter alternates the time periods – 100 years earlier, then the current period. Subsequent action took place on or around the same city block in New York. The “aha” moment came close to the end of the book when the connection was made between the two time periods. The word “Red” may have been part of the title but Google and other searches on “Red” and time warp or time shift or time travel have not revealed the title.

292G: On a bluff overlooking the water

I remember reading this book in the early to mid 1970s – gothic mystery, paperback, set in a big mansion on the coast of NC. A woman is hired as a secretary, to a wealthy man, and moves to (New Bern, NC?) to work for him, in his home. She rarely sees her boss, who has some strange rules about where she can and cannot go in the house – one of which, I believe, is a central courtyard area, where she discovers a number of young women walking around at night. At some point, she finds a hidden doorway to an elevator – an entrance to a basement harem of beautiful women who are basically being held against their will, guarded by eunuchs. When she is discovered, (if I am recalling this correctly), she gets added to the harem but eventually manages to escape. Focus was leading up to the discovery of and being held in the harem. The escape was only the last 1/4 of the story if I recall correctly.

It’s been quite a while since I read this so my facts may be slightly off. It was a really good story, badly written – but I would love to find the name of it again and re-read it. No idea who the author was or the main character’s names – Seems to me the cover was a photo of the house with the ocean behind it – maybe her in a dark red dress, fleeing the house which is up on a bluff overlooking the water.  Very dark and foreboding. Any help finding this one would be appreciated. I’ve searched and searched….

291U: It definitely wasn’t Harriet the Spy

I’m looking for a book I read as a child in the 1960s. My clues are very vague (sorry!), but here goes:

The book was a middle-grade novel about two girls who play at being detectives. They follow people around and write in their notebooks. I thought the title was The Key House Mystery or The Key-House Mystery (with a hyphen), but I haven’t found it on sites I’ve tried.

Unfortunately, that’s all I remember.  I don’t know the color of the cover, whether there were illustrations, or when it was published.

The book definitely wasn’t Harriet the Spy.

279F: 1970s Kids Detective Book

This was a series of books that I read between 1975 and 1981 (I think).  Each book featured 20 or so stories (2-6 pages long) of a super sleuth who solved a mystery, that invited you to figure out how he solved it.  Answers were in the back of the book.   The lead detective was a “Dr.” and he had a sidekick who narrated, and were set in England.

Thank You!

278D: Halloween story featuring a new teacher

I have been searching for this book for so long with no luck.  Unfortunately, I don’t remember the title.

I got it when I was in elementary school in the 1970’s.  It was probably published early to mid 70’s.  I got it through one of the school’s reading program catalogs, so it may be a Scholastic book or another company like that.  My best friend and several other students also purchased it.  It was a Halloween book.  It was about school students who have a young, pretty new teacher come to their school.  Her name was Miss – something.  Maybe Miss Grey.  (I don’t trust my memory that far though.)  The students think there is something odd about her.  She wears a big, wide-brimmed hat.  Of course, she’s suspected of being a witch.

The book was a thin paperback.  The illustrations were pencil drawings in black and white.  That’s about all I’ve got on it.  It was such an unusual story and I’ve never seen the book again.  Wish I knew where my copy got off to.  Probably gave it away when I felt I was too old for children’s stories…  geez…


When I search online, the later 80’s series about “Miss Nelson” pops up, but that is not it.


Thank you for your time!

273C: Four Corners Young Adult Mystery

It’s a young adult mystery set in Four Corners area (Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Arizona).  A family moves to the Four Corner Area and the teen aged kids get involved with a museum.  The mystery involves oil and artifacts from the area.  The name of the book include the words “Black Gold,” but I’m not sure.  I read the paperback in the later 50s or early 60s.

265E: A girl wants to be an investigative reporter (Solved)

I’m looking for a book that I would have read no later than 1992. It was almost certainly published in the mid/late 80s or very early 90’s. A light, funny YA (possibly upper-middle grade or tween) book in the vein of Ellen Conford or Paula Danziger, although I don’t believe it was actually by either of them. The version I read was a hardcover, with an illustrated cover that was more cartoonish than realistic. I believe the cover features a girl in a dumpster or garbage can, although it’s possible that was just an episode in the book that I’m conflating with the cover in my memory.

It’s about a girl who wants to be an investigative reporter. She’s working for the school newspaper and begins to uncover some kind of light mystery. (Not a murder or anything like that.) The most specific thing that sticks out in my mind is that the girl and her friend use a lot of lingo and abbreviations in casual conversation, including the shorthand “L.L.A.” to mean “lifelong ambition.”

I believe the title has the girl’s name in it. I feel like the title might have a similar construction to Otherwise Known As Sheila the Great, although it’s obviously not that book. The book is also not Buffalo Brenda by Jill Pinkwater. Anyway, it’s driving me crazy. (I still think about my L.L.A.’s all the time.) Please help me put this to rest!