Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The latest Oz reading

Technically, the latest book I read isn't Oz. It's Mary Louise Stands the Test by Edith Van Dyne. "Hey," I can hear you say, "isn't Edith Van Dyne a pen name for L. Frank Baum? So isn't this then an Oz-related book?" Well, yeah, except that the copyright date is 1921, two years after Baum died. So yes, this is one of those books by Emma Speed Sampson, who took over the Mary Louise series (and later started a very short Josie O'Gorman series). But I have a lot of other books by "Edith Van Dyne", so why stop?

And boy, is this one a doozy! Mary Louise is really put through the wringer in this one! First off, I gather that she got married in the last book. Good for her! However, now her beloved grandfather (and guardian) has gotten paranoid and is being just awful to her husband, so he decides to accept a position with his firm — in China! Fortunately, grandfather eventually comes to his senses and makes peace with Mary Louise — just before he dies! Then word comes that the ship her husband on was wrecked, and all hands lost! And finally, her grandfather's fortune can't be found! Poor Mary Louise! Whatever can she do? Fortunately, she has great, dear friends who help her out, and Josie O'Gorman, girl detective, is on the case! It's sheer melodrama, so not to be taken too seriously. I also seem to have assimilated Baum's style enough to recognize, even if I hadn't already known it, that this was not written by Baum.

1 comment:

Hungry Tiger Talk said...

I have become quite a fan of Emma Speed Sampson. Her books are quite enjoyable and in many ways i like her MARY LOUSIE and JOSIE books better than Baum's MARY LOUSIE titles.

Somehow she understands better that Josie is the interesting girl and they're more full-on mysteries usually with a wacky twist. Wait till you get to JOSIE O'GORMAN AND THE MEDDLESOME MAJOR!