I picked up this book along with a couple of Bobbsey Twin mysteries at our local flea market. I’d never heard of the Judy Bolton series, but I’ve read enough Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden to know what I was getting myself into.
In this book (the fourteenth in the series–oops), Judy and her fiance stumble upon a mystery when a stranger thrusts a bag into Judy’s hands and runs off. The bag appears to contain a blackmail note, leading Judy and Peter (the “young lawyer,” as the author is fond of calling him) to believe there has been a case of mistaken identity. Despite her distinctive red hair, Judy does indeed have a double, and she and her friends must attempt to warn this person before she gets in real trouble.
Of course, there are close calls and red herrings and all those 1940s mystery aspects, but unfortunately this book couldn’t hold a candle to my beloved Nancy Drew. It’s dated, of course, but that’s not the real problem. Mostly I just didn’t have a connection with the characters, and they didn’t have enough life in them for me to make a connection. Maybe if I had started at the beginning of the series and followed along as Judy grew up, I would have enjoyed this book more. But out of context, it just didn’t do it for me. I’ll put it on the shelf with my Nancy Drew and Bobbsey Twin collections, but I doubt I’ll be searching for any more of the Judy Bolton series.