The Linda Carlton Series

The Linda Carlton Series
by Edith Lavell

The tears came to her eyes, but she told herself that she was foolish.  She would probably have to get used to things like this, if she meant to do a man's work in the world.  It was worth it.  Oh, the glorious feeling of power which she had experienced that morning when she stepped into that huge plane, and knew that she could control its flight!  The satisfaction of conquering difficulties, solving problems, being of use to others as she had been today!  Yes, it was worth all the snubs of every society woman in the United States!

                                                                  —pages 135–136, Linda Carlton's Island Adventure

The Linda Carlton series is a five volume series that was published by A. L. Burt from 1931 through 1933.  The series was written by Edith Lavell, who also wrote A. L. Burt's Girl Scouts series and the Mary Louise Gay series.  The first three volumes were later reprinted by Saalfield.
Titles in the Linda Carlton Series:

  1. Linda Carlton, Air Pilot, 1931
  2. Linda Carlton's Ocean Flight, 1931
  3. Linda Carlton's Island Adventure, 1931
  4. Linda Carlton's Perilous Summer, 1932
  5. Linda Carlton's Hollywood Flight, 1933


The Linda Carlton series is one of the hardest series of which to collect a complete set.  The A. L. Burt editions of all five books are extremely hard to find.  Even the first three books are extremely difficult to find in the original A. L. Burt editions.  The final two volumes are truly rare, a word I do not use lightly, unlike most sellers on eBay.  I can assure you that every single "rare" series book on eBay is easier to find than the final two Linda Carlton books.  The final two volumes are just about impossible to find and seldom come up for sale.  Many years can pass with neither volume 4 nor 5 surfacing.

The first three titles were reprinted by Saalfield and are not that difficult to find in the Saalfield editions.  Unfortunately, volumes 4 and 5 were not reprinted by Saalfield, thus making them rare.

In early 2010, volumes 4 and 5 were reprinted by Jim Towey in a limited print run of 25 copies each, which quickly sold out.  Since the available copies all went to collectors, the reprints are not likely to become available secondhand, thus volumes 4 and 5 are still just about impossible to find.

There is a slight chance that Jim Towey may decide to do another print run of the reprints of volumes 4 and 5.  Please add a comment to this post in my blog if you would be interested.  He will not do another print run unless collectors indicate their interest.


Linda Carlton lives with her Aunt Emily in a nice house in Spring City, Ohio.  The Carltons do not think of themselves as wealthy, yet they are obviously very affluent and have servants.

Aunt Emily is a socialite who wants Linda to marry a wealthy man.  Aunt Emily feels that Ralph Clavering, who is from a very wealthy family, is the best choice for Linda.  Much to Aunt Emily's consternation, Linda has no interest in marriage.

Linda's father lives on a ranch in Texas and seldom comes back to Spring City to visit Linda.  He became a wanderer after Linda's mother died and left Linda in Aunt Emily's care.  Mr. Carlton comes home for Linda's high school graduation and gives her a brand-new airplane.  Linda is delighted, since her secret desire is to become a pilot.

During volumes 1 and 2, Louise Haydock is Linda's best friend and sidekick throughout her adventures.  Louise marries towards the end of volume 2, and Louise's new sidekick for volumes 3, 4, and 5 is another friend, Dot Crowley.

Linda has her share of outrageous adventures, including multiple plane crashes.  Any series book heroine who flies a plane will crash multiple times.  Linda also has many other harrowing adventures, such as getting trapped in a burning building and swimming through a swamp filled with alligators.

Linda Carlton Blog Posts

The illustrations accompanying the below summaries were taken from several sources.  The pictures for volumes 1 and 3 are from the dust jackets of the Saalfield editions.  The pictures for volumes 2 and 5 are from original A. L. Burt dust jackets.  The picture for volume 4 is from the black and white frontispiece illustration of the reprint edition.

  #1 Linda Carlton, Air Pilot                                                   1931
Linda Carlton receives a brand-new airplane from her father for her high school graduation.  Linda is thrilled, and immediately signs up for flight lessons.  Linda had hoped that Ted Mackay would be her instructor, but Mr. Carlton forbids Linda from having anything to do with him.  Mr. Carlton has had problems with Mackay's father, and is certain that the son is bad as well.

Ralph Clavering, a wealthy college student who likes Linda, also signs up for flight lessons.  After completing their coursework, both of them are awarded their licenses.  Linda and Ralph fly to Green Falls, where the young people are to spend their summer.

During the journey, a valuable necklace that belongs to Ralph's sister is stolen.  Due to circumstantial evidence, Ted Mackay is blamed for the theft, although Linda is certain that he is not responsible.

Linda Carlton, Air Pilot
Ralph is convinced that Ted Mackay is guilty, and Linda's friendship with Ralph is strained.  Linda comes up with a plan to help Ted, and she departs in her plane with her best friend, Louise Haydock, in hopes of establishing a solid alibi for Ted Mackay.
  #2 Linda Carlton's Ocean Flight                                          1931
Linda Carlton decides that she wants to become a commercial pilot, so she and Louise enroll at a school in St. Louis.  Before they depart, Kitty Clavering organizes a Flying Club.  Linda joins the club, but Louise refuses since she despises Bess Hulbert, an aviatrix who is jealous of both Linda and Louise.

Linda soon learns that a wealthy woman has promised a $25,000 prize to the first woman who flies from New York to Paris without a man's accompaniment.  Linda decides that she wants to make the attempt.  At the same time, Bess Hulbert also decides to attempt the flight.

Meanwhile, Mr. Carlton has gone into business selling fine lace imported from a convent in Canada.  Soon, Mr. Carlton learns that somebody bought up the rest of the lace at a higher price than he paid, yet is selling the lace at a loss to the department stores.  Mr. Carlton's business has been destroyed, and Linda will have to give up her dream of flying across the Atlantic.

Linda Carlton's Ocean Flight
Linda has a suspicion that Bess Hulbert might have been involved in destroying her father's business.  Linda and Louise fly to Canada to investigate and find themselves in a very difficult situation.
  #3 Linda Carlton's Island Adventure                                   1931
Having recently become a commercial pilot and an airplane mechanic, Linda Carlton decides to purchase an autogiro and makes plans for her next task.  Linda accepts a job dusting crops in Georgia, since this will be a great way to spend the summer until she can obtain a permanent job.  Linda makes the proper preparations and departs for Georgia.

Since Linda has become famous for her achievements in aviation, the newspapers carry the news of Linda's departure for Georgia.  A group of bandits takes advantage of this opportunity and intercepts her as she flies over a desolate swamp.  Linda is taken captive and forced to help the bandits smuggle their loot out of the country.  After the bandits are finished with Linda, they plan to demand a ransom for her safe return.  Linda escapes from the bandits and reports them to the police.

Linda Carlton's Island Adventure
Just when Linda thinks her ordeal is over, she finds herself cut off from the rest of the world with no means of escape.  Can Linda find a way out of an impossible sequence of events before it is too late?
  #4 Linda Carlton's Perilous Summer                                   1932
Linda Carlton and Aunt Emily vacation at Green Falls, Michigan with the usual crowd.  Linda and her friend, Dot Crowley, take a pleasure jaunt in Linda's autogiro over Lake Michigan to Wisconsin.  During the trip, the girls witness a hit and run accident, in which a girl is struck by a car and thrown into a ditch, unconscious.  The girls land and take the girl to a hospital.

The girl has amnesia as a result of the accident, so Linda and Dot take her back to Green Falls.  The girls name the victim Amy Johnson, after the famous aviatrix.  "Amy" appears to be cultured and educated, yet she does not know what many common words, such as radio, tennis, and movies, mean.  Linda is mystified about the girl's background.

Soon, an unfriendly woman arrives claiming to be Amy's aunt.  Linda does not trust her, and Amy is certain that she has never seen the woman before. 

Linda Carlton's Perilous Summer
Finally, the woman gains custody of Amy, and too late, Linda realizes that the woman is perpetrating a hoax.  Can Linda save Amy before it is too late?
  #5 Linda Carlton's Hollywood Flight                                   1933
Linda Carlton and her friends take in a movie at the Spring City theater.  Linda is stunned when a newsreel announces that the famous aviatrix, Linda Carlton, has signed on to do stunts in a new Hollywood film.  Linda's friends at first believe the news story, but Linda convinces Dot and her aunt that the woman mentioned in the story is not she.

Linda and Dot immediately plan to fly the Ladybug to Hollywood to expose the impostor.  During their journey, the girls are forced to land on a newspaper building.  Dot impulsively gives the witnesses fake names so that Linda can avoid publicity.

Newspapers widely report the emergency landing of "Sallie Slocum" and "May Manton," so when Linda arrives at the film studio, the secretary thinks that Linda is Sallie Slocum, and therefore, an impostor!

Linda Carlton's Hollywood Flight
Linda provides her licenses as proof, but the secretary takes them, and later, Linda's double identifies Linda's licenses as her own.  Linda now may be imprisoned for someone else's crime, and she must use all of her wits to prove herself the real Linda Carlton.
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