Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Book cover: "The Valdmere Mystery, or The Atomic Ray"

  • Title: The Valdmere Mystery, or The Atomic Ray
  • Author: Milo Milton Oblinger (1890-1963), writing under the pseudonym Milton Richards
  • About the author: Oblinger lived most of his life in Minnesota. He authored the Dick Kent Series, also known as The Boys of the Royal Mounted Police Series, which was published between 1927 and 1934. The Valdmere Mystery, or The Atomic Ray is noted for its science-fiction element.
  • Cover illustrator: Chris Schaare (1893-1980)
  • About the illustrator: Christian Richard "Dick" Schaare Jr., also known as C.R. Schaare, was born in Ohio in 1893 and was the son of German immigrants. After his service in World War I, his career as an illustrator began to blossom. He did much work on Wild West themed books for children and sports- and military-themed pulp magazine covers. According to an in-depth biography by David Saunders on, "between 1932 until 1941 [Schaare] painted a remarkable series of eighty-two covers for the boxing periodical, The Ring."
  • Publication year: 1929
  • Publisher: A.L. Burt Company, New York (There is at least one other edition of this book, by Saalfield Publishing Company.)
  • Original price: Unknown
  • Pages: 250
  • Format: Hardcover
  • First paragraph: It was the largest influx of people that Brownsville had ever known. From all parts of the world, thousands were flocking into the little western town to be on hand for the great event of tomorrow, to view with their own eyes what promised to be — in the language of the press — "the most unusual and far-reaching scientific demonstration of modern times." Professor Valdmere, America's most distinguished scientist, had invited the public to come here and witness the wonders of his newly discovered Atomic Ray.
  • Last sentence: "Another thing — something I've wanted to do all my life — you're going to teach me how to fly."
  • Random sentence from middle: The Russian's leering half-smile vanished and in its place there leaped a dangerous look.
  • Goodreads rating: There's only one. In 2012, Bob Jackson gave it three stars (out of five) and wrote: "This is a boy's adventure written in 1929. Very corny, but I enjoyed it."
  • Dust jacket notes: Other juvenile-fiction adventure books that are advertised include In the Camp of the Black Rider by Capwell Wyckoff, The Flight of the Mystic Owls by Philip Hart, The Boys Scouts Under Secret Orders by Howard Payson, and The Grizzly Trail by Cave Leddy.

Here's a look at the back cover of the dust jacket...

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