Ginny Gordon

Ginny Gordon was a mystery series written by Julie Campbell simultaneously with the Trixie Belden series. Unlike Trixie, however, the Ginny Gordon series has not been reprinted and is difficult to find.

Ginny and her peers bear some resemblance to the Bob-Whites of the Glen; only Ginny and her friends call themselves the Hustlers. The Hustlers live in quaint, tiny Harristown, just outside of New York City. There are five members: fourteen-year-old Ginny, dark-haired and spunky; John Blaketon, age 15, who loves architecture and carpentry; Ginny's best friend Lucy Tryon, plump, timid and blonde; and the thirteen-year-old Reilly twins, Babs and Whiz, known for their voracious appetites, red hair, and freckles.

The Hustlers are always looking for some new business venture and in the course of their mysteries set up a swap shop, snack barn, and lending library. They all live in town and the series is quite sophisticated compared to Trixie, who is very rural--however, Ginny Gordon is not fleshed out as well and one doesn't quite get the emotional satisfaction out of reading her stories, compared to the more lovable, and fallible, Trixie. Ginny is quite good in math; is an only child; keeps her grades up, is much more obedient to her parents and studies French and business besides. It is usually her big ideas that get them into, and out of, hot water and she is always on the trail of a mystery. John and Whiz tease her quite a lot like Mart, Jim and Brian tease Trixie.

The Ginny Gordon series is more mystery-focused and less relationship-oriented. The mysteries are well-plotted and thrilling; however, Ginny's best friend Lucy is hardly in the books at all and when she does make an appearance, is more of a hindrance than a help. Their relationship can hardly be compared to the intimate friendship Trixie and Honey share. We get the sense that Ginny and John are the only ones in the Hustlers with clear heads, and in fact they work quite well together. John is a combination of Jim and Brian--dark-haired, steady, and cautious--but he gets riled up when Ginny is threatened or in danger, and he is more willing to believe her wild theories. Romance isn't even hinted at but it's clear the two would make a cute couple. ;) They're sort of a toned-down version of Trixie and Jim; or perhaps Trixie and Jim are a more exaggerated version of Ginny and John.

It's interesting to note that the first Ginny book, the Disappearing Candlesticks, was published in 1948, the same year as Trixie's debut novel. The series ended in 1956 with the Broadcast Mystery. There are two different editions of the books known; Nos.1-3 were published in hardcover form with dustjackets while 4 & 5 had illustrated cellophane covers. 1-3 were reprinted in cellophane as well.

#1: Ginny Gordon and the Disappearing Candlesticks (1948)
#2: Ginny Gordon and the Missing Heirloom (1950)
#3: Ginny Gordon and the Mystery of the Old Barn (1951)
#4: Ginny Gordon and the Lending Library (1954)
#5: Ginny Gordon and the Broadcast Mystery (1956)

I have #1 and #3 in hardcover format, without the dustjackets, as well as #4 in cellophane. I have never seen or read the other two books, unfortunately, and I have never seen the dustjackets for the first three mysteries. All of mine came from the thrift store.

I actually found Ginny before I found Trixie, and it wasn't until much later that I realized the two were written by the same author. When I was eleven I found the first Ginny book on a trip to the thrift store; it was with the antique books, which I usually never looked through; but the title caught my eye because we shared the same name, and it was always rare to find a Ginny with a G! Plus it was a mystery--double win! I hope I'll be able to find the rest of the series in  future--I'm always on the lookout. ;)