Louise and Jean Dana  

The Dana Girls Mystery Stories
#1-10 (First Set)

The summaries on this page were written in their entirety by this site's webmaster, Jennifer White, in the early 2000s.  Since that time, the summaries have been copied to other series book websites without permission and without proper source attribution.
  #1 By the Light of the Study Lamp

Jean and Louise Dana are given a valuable study lamp by their Uncle Ned.  The girls plan to place it in their study room at Starhurst when they return for their sophomore year.  But before the girls leave, the lamp is stolen!  After the sisters return to Starhurst, they discover the lamp in a secondhand shop and buy it back.  Unwittingly, the girls make an enemy of their classmate, Lettie Briggs, not only because the girl had planned to buy the lamp but because the Danas' room is the one Lettie wanted to have at Starhurst.
By the Light of the Study Lamp
The Danas are overjoyed when they discover that their friend Evelyn Starr has returned to Starhurst.  Evelyn's family once owned Starhurst, but Evelyn and her brother now have very little money, and Evelyn is unsure that she can pay for the tuition.  The Danas hope that they can find a way to help Evelyn stay at Starhurst, little realizing that the solution to Evelyn's problem is held within the antique study lamp.
  #2 The Secret at Lone Tree Cottage

Miss Tisdale, Jean and Louise Dana's favorite teacher, disappears mysteriously one afternoon.  The Danas search for clues and discover her car abandoned on a nearby road.  The key is still in the ignition, and there are signs of a struggle.  Miss Tisdale has been abducted!

Jean and Louise learn that Miss Tisdale has been supporting her widowed twin sister, who has been disowned by their parents ever since she married.  Mrs. Brixton is being threatened by her husband's former partner, and the Danas suspect that this man is responsible for Miss Tisdale's strange disappearance.

The Secret at Lone Tree Cottage
The police cannot be contacted, because Miss Tisdale's father is in frail health and the shock of her disappearance could kill him.  The Danas seek Uncle Ned Dana's help in tracking down Miss Tisdale, and the three Danas undertake their difficult mission without assistance.
  #3 In the Shadow of the Tower

"It's all the money I have in the world—" The pathetic hunchback, Josy Sykes, despairs as a fox runs off with her one thousand dollar bill.  Louise and Jean help the lonely orphan by having her first come to Starhurst and then to a friend's during Christmas vacation.

Josy's luck changes when a hunter finds her one thousand dollar bill, but when the hunter accidentally humiliates Josy because of her deformity, she runs away.  The hunter also runs away, upsetting his employer, Miss Melbourne, and the Dana girls' friend, Miss Marsh, who is in love with him.  The Dana girls are puzzled at this strange turn of events.

In the Shadow of the Tower
The mystery deepens when Miss Melbourne learns the name of the man who sent Josy the thousand dollar bill, Joseph Sykes, and collapses, insisting that Josy be found immediately.  The Danas must find Josy as quickly as possible in order to save Miss Melbourne's life.
  #4 A Three-Cornered Mystery

Louise and Jean Dana's new friend, Edith Darrow, invites them to stay at her home for the weekend.  While the girls are touring the property, they discover a hidden stash of objects in the barn which appear to be linked to Ed Carillo, a man wanted for swindling a real estate agent.  Louise and Jean spend the night in the barn, hoping to discover who left the items in the barn.  During their vigil, an injured man stumbles into the barn.  The girls go to the main house for help and discover that Edith has disappeared and the house has been ransacked!  What could have happened?
A Three-Cornered Mystery
The mystery takes several more strange turns when the girls meet another person swindled by Carillo and then meet Carillo's mother, a nice person who is unaware that her son is a swindler.  The girls work diligently on their complicated mystery, hoping to find Carillo, help the injured man, restore the stolen property to the rightful owners, and spare Mrs. Carillo the hurtful truth about her son.
  #5 The Secret at the Hermitage

"Nina Regan!  I've captured you at last!"

Delusional Harold Norton, ex-warden of the Pinecrest Reformatory, accuses Louise Dana of being escapee Nina Regan.  Louise clears herself, only to find that Norton continues to stalk her every move.  After Louise is attacked by Norton, she is lost in the woods and spends the night with a strange hermit.

Upon Louise's return to Starhurst, she becomes intrigued with Nina's strange case.  Nina was never proved guilty of her crime, so Louise wants to help her.  The girls discover that the old hermit may know where Nina is hiding.

The Secret at the Hermitage
Meanwhile, Harold Norton relentlessly hunts for Nina, endangering both Louise and the old hermit.  Louise and Jean must quickly discover Nina's whereabouts and learn whether she is guilty.
  #6 The Circle of Footprints

The Dana girls are plunged into another mystery when they befriend the Doke family shortly after Mason Doke unfortunately crashes into their uncle's ship with his airplane.  The Danas interrupt a burglary at the Doke home and discover that the would-be thief was attempting to steal a box full of money.

Mrs. Doke fears greatly that the money was stolen by her husband, and the Danas assume responsibility for the money until Mrs. Doke can decide what to do with the money.  The thief learns from Lettie Briggs that the girls live at the Starhurst school, and the girls are forced to move the money several times in order to prevent a theft.

The Circle of Footprints
Mr. Doke dies of his injuries, and Mrs. Doke requests that the girls help her discover the rightful owners of the money so that she can right the wrongs of her husband.  The Danas face many harrowing adventures as they search for the owners and narrowly escape being poisoned by an insane woman.
  #7 The Mystery of the Locked Room

The students are Starhurst are excited about Mrs. Crandall's plans to purchase a piece of property at Moon Lake for a girls' camp.  Five girls, including Louise and Jean Dana, earn the privilege of accompanying Mrs. Crandall to the proposed site on a weekend outing.  Much to the Danas' dismay, Lettie Briggs makes the trip as well since Mrs. Crandall has promised her parents to look after Lettie while they are away.

The trip proves to be exciting, because the house located on the proposed camp property appears to be haunted.  At any rate, someone else is staying in the house inside the locked attic room and only comes out at night when the Starhurst group is asleep.

The Mystery of the Locked Room
With difficulty, the girls convince Mrs. Crandall to extend their stay so that the mystery can be solved.  If the girls can prove that the proposed camp property is not dangerous, Mrs. Crandall will purchase the property for the school.
  #8 The Clue in the Cobweb

Louise and Jean help Captain Dana find Katherine Blore, a woman who disappeared mysteriously from his ship before it docked.  The Danas trace Miss Blore to her current residence, but she refuses to see them.  The Danas try once again to see Miss Blore but find her home empty except for the landlord, who is locked in a closet.

The landlord, Mr. Wharton, has suffered a heart attack, so Louise and Jean help him get the house rented by showing it to prospective tenants.  While in the house, Louise falls strangely unconscious and remains asleep for 12 hours.  Later, the same fate befalls Mr. Wharton and one of the new tenants.

The Clue in the Cobweb
Louise begins researching herbs, thinking that a poisonous herb may be the culprit for the sleeping illness.  The girls divide their time between searching for the mysterious herb and searching for Miss Blore, who has left the state.  The girls must travel to a distant ranch and back home again before they can solve the mystery.
  #9 The Secret at the Gatehouse

Louise and Jean become enmeshed in another mystery when they chance to meet Mrs. Zerbe, who used to work for Mr. Warrington, one of the owners of Captain Dana's ship.  Mrs. Zerbe is devastated that she lost her job at Mr. Warrington's estate.  During her conversation with the Danas, Mrs. Zerbe mentions a secret which she has kept for Mr. Warrington.

The girls are intrigued but refrain from prying into Mrs. Zerbe's affairs.  Later, they are to recall the conversation when Mr. Warrington tries to discover whether Mrs. Zerbe revealed any personal information to them.

The Secret at the Gatehouse
The mystery deepens when Mrs. Zerbe dies of a heart attack, Mr. Warrington's valet, Nat Kaner, tries to steal Mrs. Zerbe's belongings, and Mr. Warrington vanishes.  The girls are left with a complex mystery to solve which has an astonishing solution.
  #10 The Mysterious Fireplace

Jean and Louise are excited to be spending Christmas vacation at Highfort, a property that Captain Dana's friend Tom Fairweather is in the processing of purchasing.  The Danas' trip turns out much more exciting than anticipated, because several other people show up at Highfort claiming ownership to the property including arrogant Mrs. Plimpton and the Danas' school friend Sonya Olavu and her brother Tranley.  Mr. Fairweather disappears before his arrival at Highfort, further complicating the situation.  The Danas feel loyal to Mr. Fairweather, but he cannot defend his claim to the property.
The Mysterious Fireplace
The situation becomes more grim with the disappearance of Sonya's jeweled star and a mysterious nighttime visitor who wrecks the Christmas tree.  The Danas must solve the mystery but are at a loss to know how to begin.
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