Original cover, volume 3
|Publisher||Grosset & Dunlap|
|Published||1948 to 1958|
Connie Blair is the central character in a series of 12 mystery novels for adolescent girls written by Betty Cavanna under the pseudonym Betsy Allen. Cavanna wrote volumes 1 through 11. The author of volume 12 remains unknown. The series was published by Grosset & Dunlap between 1948 and 1958. Book titles were distinguished with a color in the title such as The Clue in Blue and The Riddle in Red.
The series was initially published with dust jackets. When the first four titles were republished in the early 1960s, however, costs were cut by dispensing with the dust jackets in favor of full color cover illustrations. All twelve titles were published as paperbacks in the 1960s. In 1978, three titles were republished in paperback editions with entirely new cover illustrations.
In the beginning, teenager Connie Blair models clothes at an exclusive department store in Philadelphia. She then becomes a secretary at an advertising firm, and works her way to a more important position. Her various jobs are the backdrops for the mysteries she encounters and solves.
The Connie Blair series has been criticized for its sexism. As critic Bobbie Ann Mason writes, "[t]he series stresses appearance, popularity, and femininity as I.D. card for entry into the business world"  Mason cites several moments from the series in which Connie uses sex appeal, rather than brains, to achieve her goals:
She put a hand on his arm and looked at him in a way that would have melted a stronger man.
She tried to look especially appealing and demure, because she wanted to get her information in a hurry.
However some fans have argued that the series is in fact pro-feminist. Connie encounters many women excelling at jobs that were considered more suited for men at the time such as detective and head of an advertising agency. Connie herself also states throughout the series her wish to be a 'career woman' and does not feel the need to find a husband or even steady boyfriend.
List of titles
- The Clue in Blue (1948)
- The Riddle in Red (1948)
- Puzzle in Purple (1948)
- The Secret of Black Cat Gulch (1948)
- The Green Island Mystery (1949)
- The Ghost Wore White (1950)
- The Yellow Warning (1951)
- The Gray Menace (1953)
- The Brown Satchel Mystery (1954)
- Peril in Pink (1955)
- The Silver Secret (1956)
- The Mystery of the Ruby Queens (1958)
- Connie Blair at The Series Bookcase
- The Connie Blair Mystery Stories
- Mason, Bobbie Ann. The Girl Sleuth.
- Allen, Betsy. The Yellow Warning, p. 123.
- Allen, Betsy. The Silver Secret, p. 64.
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