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The Secret Pact

Mildred A. Wirt

Book Overview: 

PENNY PARKER is a teen-aged sleuth and amateur reporter with an uncanny knack for uncovering and solving unusual, sometimes bizarre mysteries. The only daughter of widower Anthony Parker, publisher of the "Riverview Star," Penny has been raised to be self-sufficient, outspoken, innovative, and extraordinarily tenacious. Her cheerful, chatty manner belies a shrewd and keenly observant mind. Penny was the creation of Mildred A. Wirt, who was also the author of the original Nancy Drew series (under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene). Wirt became frustrated when she was pushed to "tone down" Nancy Drew and make her less independent and daring. With Penny Parker, Wirt had a freer hand and received full credit. Wirt once said, " 'I always thought Penny Parker was a better Nancy Drew than Nancy is." In THE SECRET PACT, Penny sees a man savagely pushed off a bridge into the river one foggy night. The man is rescued, but his stubborn denial of the attack, combined with the grotesque octopus tattoo he bears on his back, alerts Penny to the possibility of a deeper mystery. When her editor father, reporter friends, and even the high school newspaper all reject her story about the incident, she takes matters into her own hands. With her friend Louise's help, Penny starts her own local paper, operating out of a formerly abandoned newspaper plant. As new clues emerge to the "Octopus tattoo" mystery, she enlists the help of anyone willing, even persuading Mrs. Weems to go "under cover." Nothing, not even threats and an unexpected tornado, can deter the determined Miss. Parker.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .With me in charge you’ll be able to dismiss your watchman.”

“I haven’t one.”

“No watchman?” Penny inquired innocently. “Last night when I drove past the building I saw a light on the third floor. Evidently someone is prowling about there, Mr. Veeley.”

[38]

“You’re certain you saw a light?” the man inquired, disturbed by the information.

“Oh, yes, indeed. Excuse me for advising you, Mr. Veeley, but you really should have someone to guard your property.”

Mr. Veeley smiled broadly. “You are a very convincing young lady. While I realize it is a foolish thing to do, I am tempted to let you have the key.”

“Oh, Mr. Veeley, that’s wonderful! You’ll never regret it!”

“I’ll allow you the use of the building for a month,” resumed Mr. Veeley. “At the end of that time we’ll discuss t. . . Read More