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Danger at the Drawbridge

Mildred A. Wirt (Benson)

"Clayton Kippenberg made a mint of money in the chain drug business. No one ever knew exactly the extent of his fortune. He built an elaborate estate about a hundred and twenty-five miles from here, familiarly called 'The Castle' because of its resemblance to an ancient feudal castle. The estate is cut off from the mainland on three sides and may be reached either by boat or by means of a picturesque drawbridge."

Danger at the Drawbridge is the third of the seventeen-book Penny Parker Mystery Stories, written by Mildred A. Wirt and published in 1940 by Cupples & Leon Company, an early publisher of series fiction for boys and girls. Like Nancy Drew (many of whose books were written by Mildred A. Wirt under the pseudonym of Carolyn Keene), Penny Parker had a natural talent for stumbling into mysteries and a fearless determination to solve them. In this adventure a marriage goes awry at a secluded mansion linked to land only by a drawbridge.

Mildred A. Wirt (Mildred Augustine Wirt Benson, 1905-2002) didn’t get to see her name on most of the scores of youth series books she wrote during her long life and career. With the Penny Parker series she was able to use her own name and she often said that this was her favorite series. Penny is even more irrepressible than Nancy Drew, probably because the Penny Parker series was not under control of the Stratemeyer Syndicate. The famous Stratemeyer Syndicate produced many of the popular youth series in the early twentieth century and insisted on pseudonyms for the authors of their books, enforced by strict legal contracts of secrecy with their faceless authors. However, Benson is now established as the author of 23 of the first 30 Nancy Drew mysteries and was largely responsible for developing Nancy’s persona, one of a confident, independent, fearless girl, a personality that was also typical of her other series characters. She wrote all or some of the following series: Nancy Drew, Kay Tracey, Penny Parker, Dana Girls, Penny Nichols, Ruth Darrow, Madge Sterling, Ruth Fielding, and Dan Carter, among others, including non-series titles. In all she contributed to over a dozen series and 130 titles.

Book publisher: New York: Cupples and Leon Company
Book copyright: 1940
Book edition: First Edition, ~1946 printing
Pages: 211
Size: 5-1/4″ x 7-1/8″
Dust jacket: Yes
Illustrations: frontispiece
Back matter: none
Digital edition © 2009, 2021 Curtis Philips. All Rights Reserved.

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