Tom Quest    

Tom Quest Adventure Series

The summaries for volumes 1 through 5 were taken from the front flaps of the dust jackets.
  #1 Sign of the Spiral
A ghost town in Texas, a strange rumbling in the earth, a cry in the night—and a thrilling new adventure series is off to an exciting start!

Fran Striker, popular author of many boys' books, now introduces young Tom Quest.  Tom is the son of the famous scientist-explorer Hamilton Quest, whose disappearance on an ill-fated expedition into unexplored Peru has been a mystery of ten years' standing.

A single clue found in a newspaper photograph encourages Tom and his loyal friend Gulliver, a burly Texan, to hope that Tom's father may still be alive.  When Whiz Walton, ace news correspondent, joins them, the three friends follow the strange trail of the spiral that leads them straight to the heart of danger.

Sign of the Spiral
What Tom finds at the end of the trail and how the indomitable Gulliver and the keen-witted newshawk help him to handle the startling complications that develop make a story that will thrill every lover of fast-paced adventure.
  #2 The Telltale Scar
Tom Quest, the hero of this new and exciting adventure series, sets out with his two loyal friends, the gargantuan Gulliver, and the crack newspaperman, Whiz Walton, on an expedition deep into unexplored Peru.  The trio are searching for Tom's father, Hamilton Quest, the famous scientist-explorer, who had disappeared years before.

When an unknown enemy tries to thwart Tom's plan, it becomes obvious that someone definitely does not want Hamilton Quest to be found—dead or alive.  More convinced than ever that the solution lies somewhere in Peru, Tom and his friends follow a trail that is filled with hardship and danger.

Deep in the jungle, events march rapidly to a climax, touched off by Tom's discovery of an ugly scar on a native's hand—a telltale scar last seen on a hand thousands of miles away.

The Telltale Scar
From then on, action, suspense, and one thrill after another punctuate a book that equals the best of Fran Striker's famous adventure stories.
  #3 The Clue of the Cypress Stump
Vacationing in Florida, Tom Quest and Gulliver, the irrepressible Texan, are drawn into a mystery almost as impenetrable as the very cypress swamps that hide its solution.

Whiz Walton, crack reporter and Tom's friend, needs help in landing what promises to be the biggest news scoop of the year.  Somewhere in the Florida Everglades is hidden a cache of stolen platinum.  Following a lead on the criminals' hide-out, Tom, Whiz, and Gulliver set out to keep a midnight rendezvous with a "ghost" ship.

But what awaits them only deepens the mystery.  Who unleashed deadly fumes on the boat?  Who trapped the Indian in the air lock?  Who drew the crude sketch of a cypress stump?

The Clue of the Cypress Stump
To find the answers to these questions, the three friends undertake a perilous trip into the tangled swamps.  The thrilling climax comes in a knockdown, drag-out fight in which treachery is avenged—and the cypress stump finally yields its secret.
  #4 The Secret of the Lost Mesa
The quiet vacation trip in Mexico planned by Tom Quest and his friends Whiz Walton, ace reporter, and Gulliver, the redoubtable Texan, overnight turns into an adventure jam-packed with mystery, excitement and the constant threat of sudden death.

Things start to happen from the moment Tom finds a little waterproof camera floating on the water at Tampico, attached to a small parachute.  The film inside the camera is only 35-millimeter, but its sensitized surface has captured the image of an unknown mesa on which stands an ancient Aztec city untouched by the progress of one thousand years.

Fired by the enthusiasm of his father Hamilton Quest, the famous scientist-explorer, Tom sets out with Whiz and Gulliver to locate the lost mesa.

The Secret of the Lost Mesa
It soon becomes painfully clear that someone—very much in the present—will stop at nothing to prevent the three explorers from uncovering the carefully guarded secret concealed behind the ancient walls atop the mesa.  What Tom and his friends find on the lost mesa, and how they finally overcome a dangerous enemy from out of the past, climaxes one of the most electrifying adventure stories ever written by this popular author.
  #5 The Hidden Stone Mystery

When these headlines attack Tom Quest's father, Tom springs to the defense of the famous scientist-explorer's reputation.  So do his two loyal friends, Whiz Walton the shrewd reporter, and Gulliver the mighty Texas cowman.  When the now famous stone was first discovered out in the Mandan Indian country in North Dakota, Tom's father examined it and pronounced it genuine.  Later, sent to a famous university, authorities there called it an obvious fake.

His reputation at stake, Tom's father decides to return to the Mandan village, with Tom, Whiz, and Gulliver, and ask his good friend Chief Wahkee what has been going on.  On the eve of departure, a complete stranger is found inside Tom's father's house, obviously slugged from behind.  The next day Tom and Gulliver narrowly miss death in a murderous attack in an old barn.

The Hidden Stone Mystery
But not until they reach the Mandan village, only to find Chief Wahkee missing, do Tom and his party realize something bigger is at stake than one man's professional reputation.  How they uncover the diabolical plot behind the stone and find its ingenious hiding place makes an exciting story that will satisfy every lover of thrills and adventure.
  #6 The Secret of Thunder Mountain
Tom's vacation on Gulliver's ranch in Texas takes an alarming turn when Tom innocently picks up some rocks on nearby Thunder Mountain.  Half of the rocks are mailed to Hamilton Quest in New York City, who promptly identifies the rocks as from an unusual formation that contains gold.  Whiz Walton is told about the gold, but Whiz is puzzled when Quest later insists that he made a mistake.  What is going on?

Meanwhile, Tom's rocks on Gulliver's ranch disappear!  When Whiz arrives, Tom tells him that they will go to Thunder Mountain to find more of them.  Sick with worry, Whiz wonders how he can keep Tom away from Thunder Mountain.  Hamilton Quest specifically told Whiz to make certain that Tom stays away from the mountain and picks up no more rocks.

The Secret of Thunder Mountain
Tom and Whiz work on finding the source of the disturbance that causes static on Zeb Oliphant's new television.  Whiz feels that this task will keep Tom safely away from Thunder Mountain, until the source of the disturbance leads them straight to the mountain!
  #7 The Inca Luck Piece
What is the significance of the strange markings on the back of the Inca gold medallion?  And can the markings really lead to an unknown uranium source in Peru?

The Inca gold medallion is set in a triangular stone that was removed from an Inca temple.  The stone tests positive for uranium!  The United States government has pledged the Quests to secrecy.  Only a few select government agents know that the Inca luck piece owned by railroad magnate John Bosworth could hold the key to a hidden uranium mine.  Yet somehow, communist agents know about the stone.

Gulliver, Whiz, and the Quests stay with John Bosworth as Hamilton Quest works to decipher the strange markings.  Quest hopes that the markings will give him the clues he needs to determine the location of the temple from which the stone was removed.

The Inca Luck Piece
Strange events transpire in the Bosworth home.  The Quests feel certain that someone is after the stone, but the possible intruder leaves few clues.  Can the secret of the stone be kept from enemy agents?
  #8 The Mystery of the Timber Giant
Halfpint Hoolihan needs help.  A mysterious lumber syndicate is trying to force him to sell his land at well below value.  Enlisting the help of Tom and Whiz, Gulliver journeys into the timberland of northern California.  During the journey, both Tom and Whiz try to get more information from residents.  An old friend of Whiz's denies that a syndicate exists, and a shopkeeper refuses to talk to Tom about it.  The group wonders what is going on.

Once Tom and his friends reach the timberland, they get some real information—after nearly getting shot.  Ponderosa Pete tells the group how the syndicate tricks the owners into signing a contract that allows for the land to be cleared of timber before the new owner pays for the land in full.  Halfpint Hoolihan is the latest owner to be tricked by the syndicate, and the contract appears to be airtight.

The Mystery of the Timber Giant
A blown-up bridge, wildfire, and murder—the culprits will stop at nothing to accomplish their sinister goal.  Can Tom and his friends help Ponderosa Pete and Halfpint Hoolihan before both men lose everything?
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