I found it at that grubby secondhand bookstore in Amcorp Mall -- the very one where I once found a first edition of Antonia Forest's The Player's Boy; and where, today, I found two old Kaye Webb-era Puffins: Catweazle by Richard Carpenter, and The Rifle House Friends by Lois Lamplugh.
But back to Susan Sand. O.M.G.
I've never seen or heard of this series before. It's a Nancy Drew wannabe of course, but I think it's also a parody of sorts.
"Look, Susan Sand!"cried Marge Halloran. "Those jagged rocks must be Raggedrock Ridge! Does this riding trail lead all the way up there?"
"I think it goes very nearly to the top," replied Susan Sand.
Susan Sand, the renowned mystery story author, and her friend, plump, red-haired Marge Halloran, were on a brief vacation, staying in the town of Foxboro where Susan was engaged in research for her next book.
"I haven't ridden a horse since last summer," said Marge, shifting in the saddle and patting the chestnut mare affectionately. ''I feel like a cowgirl."
"It's fun, isn't it!" rejoined Susan Sand, brushing a strand of raven hair from her forehead.
Susan isn't always referred to by her full name, only every other time she's mentioned! Of course, her hair is not just black, it's raven; just as Nancy Drew has titian, not just red hair. And Marge is, obviously, the ''plump but attractive" Bess Marvin equivalent. Just five pages into the book and Susan is already proving to be a young lady of limitless talent.
This webpage is a guide to all the different mystery series for girls -- I didn't know there were so many. I wonder if all these fictional young ladies (Betty Gordon, Melody Lane, Arden Blake, Mary Louise Gay etc) are bursting as full of talent and beauty as Nancy Drew. What would happen if they all met and had to work together? Would there be a power struggle, or would they compete to prove how humble and sporting they all really are?