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The Vanishing Shadow (Judy Bolton Mysteries #1)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  262 Ratings  ·  31 Reviews
In the first book of this mystery series, Judy Bolton is resigned to spending several boring weeks at her grandparents' farm near Dry Brook Hollow. Her summer suddenly becomes interesting when she overhears some men talking about the Roulsville dam. Although, Judy does not understand the conversation, the men fear that she does and threaten her. Judy also becomes reacquain ...more
Paperback, 218 pages
Published July 31st 2008 by Applewood Books (first published 1932)
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May 19, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
While I was happy that Judy was indeed more badass and self-sufficient than Nancy (as the person who recommended these to me said), I was really bothered by the constant insults towards Judy's brother for being a "sissy" "mama's boy" (and also by the villain being a dude who wore pink nail polish)--it seemed like this book was saying there is only one way to be brave, that embodied by Judy and all the appropriately masculine guys. Also, Judy's willingness to keep the promise that was violently e ...more
May 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a cliffhanging mystery with a great heroine! Judy Bolton is such a great charector- she has spirit, a temper,red hair, and brains. She is not your classic Nancy Drew detective. She has her faults. But that makes it all the better.
I also like how most of her stories involve people instead of items. You really get to know charectors as they grow and change and find out mysteries together, like Horace and Honey and Peter and Arthur and Lois and Lorraine and Irene. I also like how they get m
I'm working on a new project at work (surveying American girls mystery series, 1930-1960), and Judy Bolton was stop #1 in my survey. I liked Judy a great deal, much more so than I remember liking Nancy Drew: she's spunky, plucky, resourceful, clever, and (to borrow one from Pinnochio) very much a real girl, flaws and all. I was somewhat surprised by the constant and very real physical danger that Judy found herself in through the first half of the book, and I was also somewhat surprised by her r ...more
I'm disappointed. The lesson here seems to be a poor one. Judy and Edna overhear a conversation between two workman about the new dam that has just been constructed by the lowest bidder. The workmen are afraid that the girls will tell someone about the conversation. Edna takes a bribe to keep quiet. Taking a bribe is wrong! Only a girl with no integrity would take a bribe!

But Judy has integrity. Judy doesn't take a bribe. So Judy is kidnapped and held prisoner by the workmen who give her no foo
Nancy Bandusky
This is an enjoyable read involving a young girl who stumbles upon a mystery that impacts her entire home town. The characters are enjoyable and even a bit old-fashioned (which adds to the appeal of the book).

One aspect that I thought was poor was the idea that one should keep a promise made under duress. However, the novel was written for a different time and Judy does come up with a way around it.
Maggie Holmes
I'm starting a Judy Bolton reading group all of my own. Quick reads, of course, but bring me back to my childhood. I had forgotten how weak Horace was in this first book. It was nice to see how Judy met all the people who continue on in the series. These are so different from the children's books written today.
Sarah Crawford
Jan 16, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the very first Judy Bolton mystery. We get introduced to the characters. Judy is 15. She's smart, but she's not as self-reliant as, say, Nancy Drew. She has an older brother, Horace, who she thinks is basically a coward. Mrs. Smeed is her grandmother. Both her parents are alive.

A dam is being finished near the town and she overhears an argument among two workers. Before long she's kidnapped, ending up in a room in a swampy area. She's released upon promising to her captors that she will
Oct 09, 2013 rated it liked it
I will begin with the book, itself. It was published by Applewood Books, the same company that brought back the original Nancy Drew Mysteries. It seems to be of very good quality, for a paperback. The cover is glossy & the binding is solid. After one reading, there are no visible creases in the spine. The pages are made of quality paper. There are several illustrations featured throughout the book. They are a little dark but are otherwise clear & easy to make out.

This is the first Judy B
Judy Bolton is the daughter of a small town doctor. She's something of a headstrong girl, who sniffs at the dangers of riding a semi-tamed horse, and once ran off in a temper and stayed at a friend's overnight without telling her family. But she will not break a promise, no matter how it was extracted. She has a close but not unproblematic friendship with her brother, who was sickly as a child and as a result is inclined to be cowardly (earning him the name "Sister" from colleagues).

Reading a bo
Jul 15, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I feel really bad giving this one single star since I have NEVER given ANY book that rating before, but this was not good at all. The writing was so poor, I just don't understand how it went on to be such a long running series. Loving Nancy Drew, I was really excited to give it a try since Judy Bolton is her rival, but truly the writing doesn't even compare. As for the characters, they're NOT lovable in the least, specifically Judy herself. She's treats her brother horribly! I was choking on som ...more
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Margaret Sutton was born Rachel Irene Beebe in Odin, Pennsylvania in 1903. She was the daughter of Victor Beebe, a well-known historian, and Estella Andrews Beebe. Being a spirited nonconformist, she dropped out of high school, but in 1920, graduated from the Rochester Business Institute. After graduation, she worked for several years as a secretary and in printing. During that time, she met Willi ...more
More about Margaret Sutton...

Other Books in the Series

Judy Bolton Mysteries (1 - 10 of 39 books)
  • The Haunted Attic (Judy Bolton Mysteries, #2)
  • The Invisible Chimes
  • Seven Strange Clues (Judy Bolton)
  • The Ghost Parade (Judy Bolton)
  • The Yellow Phantom (Judy Bolton Mysteries, #6)
  • The Mystic Ball (Judy Bolton)
  • The Voice in the Suitcase (Judy Bolton Mysteries, #8)
  • The Mysterious Half Cat (Judy Bolton Mysteries, #9)
  • The Riddle of the Double Ring (Judy Bolton)
  • The Unfinished House (Judy Bolton)