The Beverly Gray series has many followers and justifiably so. Published between 1934 and 1955, this 26 volume series follows the adventures of a young girl, first as a college student, then continues on and follows her exploits as a reporter for a New York newspaper. In addition, early in the series she takes a world cruise that takes three books to complete. Her adventures continue upon her return, and she becomes quite the girl sleuth in the ensuing years. The books have a continuity that makes one want to read the books in order. Some call the Beverly Gray books a sort of soap opera. Relationships are built, and characters become more developed as the saga progresses.
Originally published by the A.L. Burt company, the book rights were bought by Grosset and Dunlap after the first eight books had been published. These early books are somewhat hard to find in their original printings and dust jackets. When Grosset and Dunlap bought the book series, they decided not to reissue the title Beverly Gray at the World's Fair. Set in the Chicago World's Fair of 1934, the book was seen as dated by the new publishers. As a result, there were only a few printings of World's Fair, and the book was allowed to go out of print. The events in this volume were fairly significant to the series, and readers who were not aware of this missing title detected a gap in the continuity. Author Clair Blank offered to rewrite the book to alleviate the problem, but Grosset and Dunlap was not interested. Beverly Gray on a World Cruise, originally number seven in the series was reprinted as number six by Grosset and Dunlap, and World's Fair slipped out of circulation.
There have only been two reprints done over the years of this title. American Web Books, a division of Applewood Books, reprinted the book in 2003. As a result, this title is sought after not only by Beverly Gray fans, but series book collectors as well. I have a copy I bought from AWB, but I do not have an original. Several copies pop up from time to time, but the price tends to be high each time the book is offered. I have heard of this title selling for as much as $1000.00, so it can be costly to grab a copy. Of course, one can get lucky and find it somewhere a lot cheaper. If you ever see it at an affordable price, you should buy it. Resale value alone makes this title a very collectible book.
I'll talk more about this series and the fun of reading it in my next post.