The Clue in Blue

The Clue in Blue by Betsy Allen (1948) This is the first book of the Connie Blair Mystery Series—all of the books have a color in the title—the next being The Riddle in Red, and so on. I like that kind of thing. There are 12 books in all, in a ten year run, and the first 11 were written by Betty Cavanna, using Betsy Allen as a pen name, so says Internet. Some or all of the books use Connie's current job as a backdrop for the mystery. In this first book, summer after high school, Connie accompanies her Aunt Bet, a career woman she looks up to, to Philadelphia to work as a model in a department store. We don't get to know that much about Connie's family before she leaves, including her twin sister Kit, and younger brother. She's immediately enveloped in a mystery in this huge, old style department store—where items have taken to disappearing—when she's whacked over the head and knocked unconscious in a kind of weird and shocking situation (stranger still because no one believes her!) Without going into details, she's thrust into issues of women in the workplace, as well as class, and sensitive personal politics—very subtly presented, perhaps, but present. There's also a little romance, and romance for the city experience, seen through the eyes of someone new to it. The mystery part of the story is solid, too, and compelling—I've definitely become a Connie Blair fan and I'm going to look for the next book.