The Sally Baxter Girl Reporter Series

The Sally Baxter Girl Reporter Series was published in the United Kingdom by World Distributors during the 1960s.  The books are green and white and come with dust jackets.  During the 1970s, the first three titles were reissued in the picture cover format.

This series is highly recommended.  Sally is a very human girl who makes mistakes and experiences anxiety but is also very capable of handling the most difficult of situations.  Sally believes very strongly in keeping her promises and treats the subjects of her stories with great respect.  She is able to bring happiness to many people while at the same time acquiring great stories for her newspaper.

Just like with many series, Sally's age is never mentioned, only that she is a teenager.  In Festival Holiday, we learn that Sally is 18 months younger than her friend Grace and that Grace is nearly 19.  As a result, Sally must be a little less than 17 1/2.  It is also mentioned that Sally has been a reporter for two years, which would mean that she is a little less than 15 1/2 during the first book.
Titles in the Sally Baxter Series:

  1. The Runaway Princess
  2. The Mystery Heiress
  3. On Location
  4. In Canada
  5. In Australia
  6. African Alibi
  7. Underwater Adventure
  8. The Holiday Family
  9. The Lost Ballerina, 1960
10. Hong Kong Deadline, 1960
11. The Greek Goddess, 1960
12. Festival Holiday, 1960
13. The Shamrock Mystery, 1961
14. Secret Island, 1961
15. Strangers in Fleet Street, 1961
16. The Golden Yacht, 1961

The series is written under the name Sylvia Edwards, and it is not known whether Edwards is a pseudonym.  I suspect that more than one person is author of the Sally Baxter books, because I detect a difference in tone in the last several books.  Additionally, while characters smoke cigarettes in many of the books, Sally is not mentioned as smoking herself until the later books.

All of the books in this series seem to be about equally easy or difficult to obtain, meaning that it is generally no harder to acquire the later titles as it is the earlier titles.  It appears that the books all went through the same number of print runs and that multiple titles were issued simultaneously.

View the Sally Baxter cover art.

Six short stories featuring Sally Baxter were published in the Cherry Ames Girls Annuals published by World Distributors from 1958 to 1964.  The stories are all credited to Sylvia Edwards and read very much like the books in the series.  The stories are good and could easily have been expanded into full-length books.

Sally Baxter stories from the Cherry Ames Girls Annuals

  #1 The Runaway Princess

Sally Baxter, teenage reporter from a small town, achieves her ambition by getting a job on a national paper, The Daily Cry, and knows that her life will become exciting.  She realizes that the fact that her uncle is the Editor will not help her, for she is to find jealousy among the staff.  A lucky break gives her a chance to travel to sun-drenched Venice to cover "the romance story of the year."

Sally travels to Italy to cover the story and soon finds herself pulled into a web of intrigue.  Princess Roma does not have permission to marry her love, singer Pat Sullivan, and wishes for Sally to help her leave Italy so that she can marry Pat.  In return, Sally will receive exclusive interview rights.  How can Sally possibly get Princess Roma out of Italy without her aunt's permission?

After Sally solves the problem of how to get Princess Roma out of Italy, she must prevent her rival newspapers from learning of the plan.  Sally is confronted with new obstacles at every turn, and just when she thinks that Princess Roma and Pat are homefree, something threatens to upset all of their plans.
  #2 The Mystery Heiress

When a teenage girl reporter is sent to the Far North in search of a missing American heiress, anything can happen.  Sally Baxter, on the second international assignment of her newspaper career, little thinks when she sails away one sunny day to Sweden that she will penetrate into the mysterious Arctic where she will live with the Lapps, some friendly, some strangely antagonistic.

Her quest is to solve the problem of what has become of Melita Burke, a rich girl from the United States, who is determined to shun publicity.  Melita disappeared one day from a Stockholm hotel with her luggage and a large sum of money.  What seems at first to be quite a straightforward story becomes complicated when both a rival reporter from another newspaper, and an agent from an Iron Curtain country, are determined to get the better of Sally.

Sally follows Melita's trail into the Arctic Circle on a difficult journey which requires Sally to live the same rough life as the Lapps.  Sally's job of finding Melita is next to impossible, since communication with the Lapps is extremely difficult, for very few of them speak any English.  How Sally overcomes her obstacles and solves the mystery will amaze and delight readers.
  #3 On Location

Sally Baxter, teenaged reporter, is sent for her third foreign assignment, as escort to the winner of the Evening Cry competition for Britain's Best Amateur Actress, Rosemary Hunter, to Hollywood where she stumbles on the mysterious case of Maria Teckla, a German girl who is also aspiring to fame.

From New York to Los Angeles, to Hollywood and the desert of New Mexico where the film is being shot, Maria receives strange anonymous threats, and the wonder of the trip is spoiled by the anxiety and the dangers to which they are all exposed.  The threats become a reality when Maria is briefly kidnapped while sightseeing.  Why is Maria is danger, and who wishes to harm her?

Sally's unease grows when she hears mysterious voices while alone inside a deserted hotel in the old western 'Ghost' town of Fidelia.  But Sally, determined and plucky, solves the mystery after a hair raising adventure in Fidelia, and wins a scoop story as her reward.
  #4 In Canada

Re-routed from New York to Alberta, Canada, instead of home as she had hoped, Sally Baxter follows up the strange story of the English emigrants, Jim and Barbara Baxter, who are reported to have found gold on their land.

Instead of the easy job she has expected, Sally meets with determined opposition in the shape of J.B. Hanna and his accomplice, Raoul Ledoux, who instantly antagonize Sally because she has the same last name as the Baxters.

But Sally also makes good friends in the little town of Bennettville, including Corporal O'Brien of the Mounties, and the son and daughter of the local newspaper owner.  With their help, Sally survives the harsh Canadian cold and gets her story after incredible adventures and hardships.

  #5 In Australia

"No wild goose chases, Sally," warns Don Howe, Editor of the London Evening Cry, when he sends Sally Baxter, junior reporter, to Australia to cover a visit of British Young Farmers.

But on board ship, Sally meets Nan Groves who is going to Woolola, Northern Territories.  A strange encounter with an aborigine in Brisbane catapults the two girls into a wild, terrifying adventure with the Stone Age People of the Aboriginal Reserve.

Why is Nan's grandfather so interested in the natives, and why has he disappeared?  Why does the coming of Nan alter the lives of the abos?  What is the secret of Nan's ability to do tricks with a loop of string?

With Sergeant Traill and Australian friends, Sheena and Bob Anderson, the girls start out on an adventure which ends with the discovery of centuries old cave paintings, and themselves make history.

  #6 African Alibi

Why is Marius Lems on the "City of Fremantle" when his own private yacht is anchored in Perth Harbour?  Just a simply query, but to Sally Baxter, junior reporter on the the London Evening Cry, homeward bound from Australia, it suggests a mystery—and a story.

Marius Lems, wealthy South African diamond man, hides away on an obscure passenger ship—practically sneaking into Durban.  Sally keeps in the background, her nose twitching for a newsbreak, and her intuition brings her to a man named Basuto Pete, to the news staff on the Durban City Star—and to the mystery of the vanished green diamond known as the Star of Basutoland.

Ostensibly, Sally is to meet her cousin, Fiona Baxter, in Pretoria and to fly back to London with her.  But fate and a new story intervenes and her path crosses those of Otto Statler and the beautiful Anna Lems, leading finally to an exciting chase through the streets of Durban and the wild of Natal.

  #7 Underwater Adventure

When Sally Baxter takes a holiday in the South of France she imagines she will be able to forget all about the Evening Cry, the newspaper on which she is a junior reporter.  Sally quickly becomes bored with her freedom and even begins to wish for a story to come her way.  Sally soon finds that her vacation is to be anything but boring. 

When Sally tries to befriend two French teenagers, Georges and Violette, in hope that she can spend her vacation with them, she is rudely rebuffed by the pair, seemingly because she is English.  Sally becomes fascinated with the pair when she notices that Georges and Violette spend all day scuba diving from their boat, The Revenge.  Sally's intuition tells her that there is a story behind both their scuba diving and their hatred of the English.

Against all odds, Sally becomes friends with Georges and Violette and strives to help them on their secret quest to prove their father's honor, a quest that is threatened by a rival diver and unwanted publicity.
  #8 The Holiday Family

Most of Sally Baxter's assignments as a girl reporter have been in foreign countries.  When she is asked to spend some weeks on the South of England coast covering the doings of a Mr. and Mrs. Martin, winners of an Evening Cry Happy Families competition, she fancies life will be dull.  Much to Sally's surprise, the opposite proves to be true.

Not only do the Martins prove to be a charming family and fun to be around, they have an unknown enemy who is trying to destroy their happiness.  Who is the Martins' enemy, and why would anybody want to hurt such a nice family?

At first, Sally suspects that the losing family in the Happy Families competition is to blame.  The Harrogates are very ungracious and unfriendly, but they have rock solid alibis whenever the Martins are attacked.

After the Martins return to their farm, their troubles continue, and it is only then that Sally realizes that the Martins' enemy is someone with a personal grudge against Mr. Martin from back when Mr. Martin was a prisoner of war.
  #9 The Lost Ballerina

Sally Baxter is plunged into the fascinating world of ballet dancing when she discovers a teenager she believes is destined to become a prima ballerina.  Sally convinces The Daily Cry to finance Iolna Szedella's training at the famous Sara Lovran ballet school.  Iolna outshines all of the other students and seems destined for greatness.

However, great talent also breeds jealousy, and fellow student Diana Stuyver's stepmother is extremely envious of Iolna and will stop at nothing to guarantee that Diana will earn top honors at the school in spite of having no talent.  Mrs. Stuyver's plan works all too well, devastating Iolna, who disappears without a trace.  Sally and Diane search frantically for Iolna in an attempt to right the wrong.  Where has Iolna gone, and how can they ever find her?

Iolna's trail leads to mysterious India, where the girls experience a harrowing adventure in a strange world wrought with superstition.
  #10 Hong Kong Deadline

When an airline offers the Evening Cry a free trip to Hong Kong, Sally Baxter, the girl reporter, is chosen to make the glamorous trip. Her trip is supposed to be a holiday in the sun, but Sally's nose for news scents a story when she meets Jean McFinlay, the only girl skipper of a junk in the South China Sea.  Sally discovers that Jean smuggles people into Hong Kong for money and writes about Jean's work as well as the squalid living conditions in the city tenements.  Not only does Sally raise Jean's ire, she makes a deadly enemy out of Mr. Yut, the wealthy tenement owner.

Several attempts are made on Sally's life, making her feel that she must leave Hong Kong, but she is given a new assignment to discover the truth behind daily pilgrimages the people make to a certain island.  Sally nervously begins work on her new assignment.

Will Sally finish her new assignment before another attempt is made on her life?  Jean agrees to help Sally, and the two girls travel to the mysterious island to seek out answers to their many questions.
  #11 The Greek Goddess

Usually Sally Baxter, junior reporter on the Evening Cry is enthusiastic about any assignment given to her by the news editor, but the idea of going on a trip to Athens with a party of Archaeologists leaves her cold.  Sally is certain that the archaeologists will be scholarly individuals who will be difficult to understand and feels that she will be unable to write about archaeology.

Sally is thrilled when she befriends young Coral Quinn, a roving Australian teenager who is traveling Europe in search of ancient treasures.  Not only does Sally have a new friend, Coral promises to help Sally with her stories for the newspaper.

Sally's trip has barely started when she finds that two of the archaeologists, Mr. and Mrs. Hennessey, have taken a violent disliking to her.  Why do the Hennesseys hate Sally, and what secret are they hiding?

  #12 Festival Holiday

The whole newspaper office agrees that Sally Baxter, the hard-working girl reporter, needs the holiday she plans to take in the Austrian Tyrol with her friend, Grace, the librarian, who promises faithfully to keep Sally away from typewriters and telephones.  But Sally soon finds herself on the scent of a story she cannot forget.

Sally is captivated by a golden voice she hears singing in the open air and wishes to write a story about her.  Sally's interest turns to concern when she learns that an Italian couple has a strange interest in the girl and may be intending to exploit the girl.  Sally makes it her job to track the girl down and warn her.  Unfortunately, Sally is too late, for Else has been spirited away by the Italian couple.

What are the couple's plans for Else, and how can Sally locate them before it is too late?  Sally begins a breathless search across Austria, ending in a dramatic confrontation.
  #13 The Shamrock Mystery

When Sally Baxter, junior reporter for the Evening Cry, is sent to Ireland on an assignment, she meets a family of teenagers, the proud, passionate, penniless O'Deas, who, in order to make a living, are trying to turn their huge, rambling old house into a holiday center for young people.  Fired by her instant liking for the O'Deas, Sally becomes enthusiastic and determines to help them.

But not only teenagers arrive as guests; there is also a mysterious, older couple, who bring with them a locked suitcase
. . . and a threat to the happiness of the whole madcap O'Dea family.

What do the Whitmores hope to gain?  Why do they refuse to leave when the O'Deas ask them?

The O'Deas soon find disaster facing them at every turn.  The house is literally falling apart in front of their eyes, and every time they try to fix something, it comes undone.  The O'Deas find themselves short of money, and Sally must find a way to help the O'Deas keep their home and fight the unseen forces which are working against them.
  #14 Secret Island

Sally needs sunshine, decides John Baxter, Editor of the Evening Cry, when his niece Sally, junior reporter, is recovering from the flu.  So he sends her to Tunis, with instructions to keep her eyes open for newspaper stories.

What he doesn't know is that the first person she meets, Stella Machell, will pull her into a breathless adventures along a path which takes Sally and Stella from the luxury of the modern, air-conditioned hotel to the scorching heat of a desert and the sinister silence of a palm-fringed island.

Stella is searching for a rug that her father hid for her on a certain island.  She no longer has her father's letter because it was stolen by thieves.  Sally and Stella suspect that two men who follow Stella everywhere may be the thieves who stole the letter.

With the help of their young Arab friend, Salah, Sally and Stella work out a daring plan to outsmart the men and find the precious rug before the men are able to discover its secret location.
  #15 Strangers in Fleet Street

When the Evening Cry runs a competition for overseas readers, offering a fortnight in London as a prize, Sally Baxter, the popular junior reporter, is detailed to act as guide.  Her group of guests includes crippled Pritchard Wood and meek sheltered Maryse Platt from America, young Salah from North Africa, and mysterious young Mike Silvine from Canada.  Enthusiastically Sally takes the visitors on many tours, including one of the mammoth newspaper building in Fleet Street in which she works.

However, Sally's enthusiasm wanes when mysterious disappearances throw suspicion upon her group of guests.  It seems certain that one of Sally's guests is guilty, yet Sally remains convinced that all of her guests are innocent.  Is it just a coincidence that the thefts all occur when Sally's group is nearby?

Sally has to use her wits to discover the truth behind the thefts, a solution that gives her a sensational scoop.
  #16 The Golden Yacht

"What's It Like to Be a Millionaire" is a light-hearted series of articles in the Evening Cry, and Sally Baxter, junior reporter, thinks she is lucky to be assigned to a rich man's yacht on a cruise in sun-lit waters.  Sally loves the lavish life on the yacht with Marcia Carezza and her father, but she secretly yearns to join a crew of students whose broken-down boat sails the same course.

When the students' yacht is wrecked during a fierce storm, two of the students join Sally's yacht as part of the crew.  Sally, Gareth, and Dilys soon find themselves at the center of a thrilling adventure when a mysterious package given to them by strangers turns out to be a fortune in smuggled gold and silver ingots.

Marcia's father is accused of smuggling, and the young people must work quickly to prove his innocence.  Sally's quest first leads her to the island of Pompo, where feuding families live in poverty, and finally back to the golden yacht, where she is able to bring happiness to Marcia and her father.
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