By Dale Bick Carlson



Rarity of rarities, it's a science fiction-based mystery series for girls, and without a single unicorn or talking animal! Jenny Dean, daughter of a veterinarian and a psychologist, lives in Winter Falls, Kansas, a small town populated with aliens, an evil Nazi scientist (named "Adolf Hess,") mind control, quintuplets, and bad-seed children. She and her friends investigate the creepy goings-on in this Grosset and Dunlap series, which was published in picture cover format in 1983-1984. 


Excerpt from The Mystery of the Hidden Trap:

Darkness had fallen. Jenny Dean could hear the spill of Bitterblue River's water not far off and the crunch of fallen October leaves under her feet. Jenny not only noticed all the natural -- and sometimes unnatural -- details of life around her, she made mental lists of them. She made a mental note now of the next sound she heard. It sounded like a crying child, who seemed to be in the dark underbrush just ahead.

Jenny was about to plunge deeper into the Bitterblue Woods to investigate the muffled crying, when a louder sound demanded her more immediate attention.

"Help! Jenny where are you?"

It was the voice of her father, Winter Falls' veterinarian, Dr. Howard Dean, with whom Jenny had come to the woods that night on an unusual case.

"Jenny, help!" her father's voice came again.

Jenny came crashing through the trees, beaming her flashlight in all directions except up, which is where her father turned out to be.

"I'm up here! Help me get down," roared Dr. Howard. He was swinging upside down from an oak tree branch, his ankles caught in a thick rope. "Watch it, release it carefully, easy now," he directed his daughter.

When Jenny's powerful, muscular father was once more upright and in control of his own movements, he roared again. "This is the kind of rope used for catching wild animals. Why are there wild animal traps, forbidden ones at that, in the middle of farm country in northwest Kansas? That's what I want to know!"

"And who else is crashing around in that bush?" asked Jenny.

  1. The Mystery of the Shining Children -- "Jenny Dean, teenage detective, suspects that a doctor's experiments on children at a private foundation are part of a plot to achieve mind control." -- illustrated by Suzanne Richardson. 1983, Grosset & Dunlap; 1985, Dragon.

  2. The Mystery of the Hidden Trap -- "Sixteen year old Jenny Dean and her friend Mike Ward try to discover the significance of a twelve year-old boy's presence at the scene of four nearly fatal accidents involving four different people living in four different towns." -- illustrated by Suzanne Richardson. Cover art by Gino D'Achille. 1983, Grosset & Dunlap; 1985, Dragon.

  3. The Mystery of the Third Eye -- "Teenage sleuth, Jenny Dean, tries to stop a scheming businessman from using and abusing the mental powers of a Grand Lama." -- illustrated by Suzanne Richardson. Cover art by Gino D'Achille. 1983, Grosset & Dunlap; 1985, Dragon.

  4. The Secret of the Invisible City -- "Jenny is puzzled by her invitation to Krishna-la, a crystalline city where aliens from a distant galaxy make it possible for Jenny and her friends to live out their most-dreamed about fantasies." -- illustrated by Suzanne Richardson. 1984, Grosset & Dunlap.


Jenny Dean series books

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