The Ken Holt Series

The Ken Holt Series
Summaries of #10-18

The summaries for #13-18 have been adapted from the front flaps of the dust jackets.
  #10 The Mystery of the Green Flame
Ken and Sandy drive their convertible down to Mexico.  They plan to meet up with Richard Holt in Mexico City and will take a three-week tour of Mexico.  Ken and Sandy's trip takes an unexpected turn when a strange man approaches the boys once they enter Mexico.  The man's lighter burns a green flame, and the man acts like the boys know what he wants.

Right after this encounter, the boys are approached by Mort Phillips, who claims to be a student from Mexico City.  Phillips needs a ride back to Mexico City, and the boys reluctantly let him hitch a ride.  The boys soon realize that Mort is not the student that he claims to be and is instead a government agent.

Phillips agrees to let the boys aid him as he follows several suspects through Mexico in an attempt to discover their hideout.  One suspect is captured but refuses to talk.  The other suspects continue to elude Phillips and his men.

The Mystery of the Green Flame
Ken and Sandy, following one of Ken's unlikely hunches, discover the crooks' hideout.  Unfortunately, no one knows about the boys' trip to the hideout, and the boys find themselves in grave danger with no possible escape.
  #11 The Mystery of the Grinning Tiger
Timothy Crandall, the world's youngest millionaire, is whisked away in a limousine as soon as he arrives in the United States.  Ken and Sandy were promised an interview that evening at the Crandall estate, but Timothy's attorney refuses admittance.  Ken and Sandy become suspicious due to some strange behavior in the vicinity of the Crandall estate.  The boys worry that Timothy has been kidnapped.

The boys' suspicions grow after a man matching the description of the Crandalls' chauffeur turns up in a nearby hospital.  The boys suspect that someone attacked the chauffeur and took his place in the Crandalls' limousine in order to kidnap Timothy.  The man disappears from the hospital before anyone can identify him for certain.  Ken and Sandy begin looking into the chauffeur's background.

The Mystery of the Grinning Tiger
The trail of clues finally proves that Timothy has indeed been abducted, and Ken and Sandy face grave danger as they attempt to rescue him.
  #12 The Mystery of the Vanishing Magician
Brentwood is captivated when Magnus the Magician performs at Brentwood High School.  Bert is surprised, because he recognizes Magnus as Chris Bell, a man who saved his life years before.  Bert agrees to be one of the volunteers from the audience so that he can speak to Magnus.  Bert is stunned when Magnus denies that he is Chris Bell and shocked when Magnus disappears before the end of the performance.

Later, Magnus is hospitalized due to an accident, and he is revealed to be Chris Bell, who is wanted for a jewel store robbery.  Charges are filed, but Bert knows that Bell can't be a criminal.  Ken and the Allens speak to Bell and decide to help clear him of the charges.  Unfortunately, the other men involved in the robbery have named Bell as their primary accomplice.  Bell maintains that they forced him to do it.

The Mystery of the Vanishing Magician
Ken and Sandy try to find some means to prove Bell's innocence.  They finally get a break, but their adversaries will stop at nothing to prevent them from revealing their knowledge.
  #13 The Mystery of the Shattered Glass
When Ken and his pal Sandy Allen board the freighter Helen Rogers, their prospects of becoming involved in a mystery are pretty remote.  The long-anticipated trip to Europe, where they are to join Ken's father, a famous foreign correspondent for Global News Service, is supposed to be a well-earned vacation for the boys.  But just when it seems that nothing can possibly upset the relaxing routine of the Helen Rogers, Ken and Sandy receive a radio message from Global News and abruptly find themselves involved in a crime committed over a thousand miles away.

Before they are fully aware of it, the boys are matching wits with one of the wiliest adversaries of their experience—a criminal clever enough to discredit every move the boys make.

The Mystery of the Shattered Glass
In an exciting climax, deep in the ship's cargo hold, Ken and Sandy discover almost too late that their quarry is as ruthless as he is clever.  Their very lives are at stake when the boys face a man determined to let nothing interfere with the success of his evil plans.
  #14 The Mystery of the Invisible Enemy
There is no hint of either mystery or danger in the routine assignment handed to Ken Holt and his friend, Sandy Allen, one brisk autumn evening.  Sandy's father, owner and editor of the Brentwood Advance, has sent them to cover a purely social event—the annual Halloween party for the employees of the Brentwood Foundry and Casting Company.  Even Sandy, whose nose for mystery can sniff trouble miles away, scents nothing more dangerous in their immediate future than the possibility of eating too much of the tempting food at the festive buffet supper.

But before the evening is over, Ken and Sandy find themselves agreeing to match wits with a criminal—an extortioner who quickly proves himself even more clever than the boys at first suspect, who seems to anticipate their very move to uncover his identity.

The Mystery of the Invisible Enemy
It is only when their lives are in jeopardy that the boys realize their invisible adversary is as deadly as he is clever.  Trapped and helpless, Ken and Sandy face the fact that their enemy will stop at nothing to ensure the success of his criminal scheme.
  #15 The Mystery of Gallows Cliff
When Ken Holt and his friend, Sandy Allen, decide to visit an archaeological dig in the small town of Gallows Cliff, Arizona, they expect to encounter nothing more dangerous than a few stone tools left behind by ancient cave men who lived a hundred centuries ago.  But before their stay is twenty-four hours old, they make the startling discovery that the sleepy little village of Gallows Cliff is an important way station in a vicious smuggling operation that threatens to drag both Mexico and the United States into some international unpleasantness.

Working feverishly to find the border leak that has so far defied detection by skilled investigators, Ken and Sandy soon begin to realize the crafty ability of the smuggling ring.  Outwitted at almost every turn, the boys are ready to admit defeat when they hit on an idea that leads them to the ruthless criminal brain behind the smuggling operation—and into a terrifying trap from which there seems to be no escape.

The Mystery of Gallows Cliff
How Ken and Sandy solve the most complex mystery they have ever faced will keep the reader taut with suspense until the very last page of this spine-tingling, adventure-packed story.
  #16 The Clue of the Silver Scorpion
It all starts when Ken Holt and his friend Sandy Allen spot someone trying to break into their convertible.  Quick action on the boys' part scares off the would-be thief before he can do more than slash his knife into the car's top.  Other things begin to happen—things that seem to have nothing to do with the foiled robbery, but which do, somehow, appear to be linked either to Ken and Sandy or to something that they mysteriously have in their possession.  But what it is and who their enemies are remain unanswered questions.  Ken and Sandy have just one clue:  a silver scorpion cuff link.

It is when the boys are following the cuff-link clue that they are led into a trap and finally discover why the criminals are after them.  But by then it looks as if neither Ken nor Sandy will ever have the opportunity to reveal this information to the police.

The Clue of the Silver Scorpion
How the boys manage to avoid the fate intended for them makes this adventure one of the most action-packed and suspenseful they have ever experienced.
  #17 The Mystery of the Plumed Serpent
When Ken Holt and his friend Sandy Allen drive to a bus stop in their home town to meet a visitor from Mexico, they have no idea that Ricardo Montez, through no fault of his own, will involve them in a series of dangerous events.  Almost instantly, strange things begin to happen.  Before more than a few hours have passed, Ken and Sandy realize that the young Mexican attracts danger as surely as sugar attracts flies.  Mystery piles on mystery.  What is the strange heirloom that isn't really an heirloom?  Why has Ricardo's family been guarding the silver amulet for three generations?

What begins innocently as a short excursion to show their new friend the wonders of New York City becomes an adventure that takes the three boys thousands of miles to a Mexican city, high in the mountains.  There a desperate battle of wits develops between the boys and two sinister strangers intent on possessing the amulet—the key to a long-forgotten treasure.

The Mystery of the Plumed Serpent
How Ken and Sandy pit all their ingenuity against the criminals' diabolical cleverness, and how they uncover the amazing secret of the plumed serpent, makes another suspense-charged Ken Holt Mystery.
  #18 The Mystery of the Sultan's Scimitar
News reporter Ken Holt and his photographer friend, Sandy Allen, are vacationing in southern Europe.  True-born newsmen that they are, things just happen when they're around.

Minutes after they view the invaluable Knossos cylinder—the Golden Key to the language of the ancient Cretans—this prize artifact is stolen form the Athens Museum.  What can they do?  Nothing, Ken and Sandy decide.  They're just tourists in      Greece—strangers in a strange country where they don't know the language.

But before twenty-four hours have passed, the boys find themselves involved in this bizarre mystery.  A suspicious-acting peddler sells them a Turkish scimitar.  A newspaper clipping about the daring theft of the artifact mysteriously vanishes.  And a friend from Athens flees when he sights them in the ancient city of Dubrovnik, Yugoslavia.

The Mystery of the Sultan's Scimitar
Unraveling the clues to a weirdly complex international gang takes as much brainwork as bravery.  But the Golden Key is worth the effort.  And, of course, there's a front-page story in it for the young newsmen.
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