Wednesday, February 14, 2018

"Joyce of the Secret Squadron:
A Captain Midnight Adventure"

How secret can your squadron be when the airplanes are bubble-gum pink?

  • Title: Joyce of the Secret Squadron
  • Subtitle: A Captain Midnight Adventure
  • Author: Russell R. Winterbotham (1904-1971)
  • Illustrator: Erwin L. Darwin, a pseudonym for Erwin L. Hess (1906-1977)
  • Edition: 1942, Whitman Publishing Company
  • Based on: This novel is a spin-off of the Captain Midnight radio serial, which aired from 1938 to 1949. World War I aviator Captain Midnight leads the Secret Squadron team, which also includes good guys Chuck, Ichabod and Joyce. The bad guys on the radio serial included Ivan Shark, his daughter Fury, Gardo and Fang.
  • Copyright mentions: (1) The Wander Company, licensed by Famous Artists Syndicate of Chicago; (2) "The jacket photo of JOYCE RYAN, as she appears in the CAPTAIN MIDNIGHT radio series, is by Maurice Seymour, Chicago." (The photo features either Marilou Neumayer and Angeline Orr, the actresses who voiced Joyce on the radio.)
  • Original price: Unknown
  • Pages: 251
  • Format: Hardcover
  • First sentences: Almost lost in the great ocean expanse of the central Pacific is a small island which is not found on commercial maps. South of Hawaii and north of Palmyra, it is somewhat to the east of the Honolulu-Sydney steamship lane, and therefore wholly unimportant in ordinary times.
  • What's the island? It's referred to simply as "No. 542."
  • Last sentences: Now some of the Secret Squadron planes were landing on the beach of the little island. There would be enough of them to carry everyone back to an American base, where the spies would be turned over to authorities and the others would be safe from attack. "Come on," Chuck said to Joyce. "I'll race you to the nearest Secret Squadron plane."
  • Random sentence from middle: Captain Midnight's face grew red.
  • Goodreads rating: 4.0 stars out of 5.0.
  • Excerpt from a Goodreads review: In 2015, Olivia wrote: "This book was soooooo good! I really can't stress that enough. I read this in a few hours because I simply could not put it down. I had gotten it when I had bought a group of books I wanted and it just happened to be along. I didn't plan on reading it since it sounded dull and I had actually put it in a box with other books to take to the bookstore. I'm not sure what made me take it out but I'm so thankful I did. ... This book works great for boys and girls. Joyce is great because she's just as tough as any boy. She flys planes like a pro and knows how to use a gun. When the Barracudas swarm attacks them in the air, Joyce is itching to man the gun and send some shots into the enemy planes. Carla is also great as a heartless spy, showing that not all females are sugar and spice and everything nice."
  • Amazon rating: 3.6 stars out of 5.0.
  • Excerpt from an Amazon review: In 2012, John Wipff wrote: "Joyce saved the day!! ... She wasn't really in much of the book until the last 2-3 chapters. Then she shone like a diamond. ... I felt the book was slanted toward girls more than guys, not only because of the name but because Joyce DOES take the initiative and saves the day. And it's probably slanted more toward pre-teen people than older ones. Be that as it may, I HIGHLY recommend it to ANY person wanting to add to his/her collection of Secret Squadron stuff."

Dust jacket back cover

Endpapers illustration

No comments:

Post a Comment