Jean and Louise Dana investigate the disappearance of their antique lamp.

Written by: Leslie McFarlane (1934)

Another Stratemeyer Syndicate publication written under the Carolyn Keene pseudonym. This book was written by the ghostwriter of The Hardy Boys series. 

Jean and Louise are due back at their school for the beginning of their sophomore year. As a surprise, their uncle Ned Dana, buys the girls a lamp that is then quickly stolen. The girls manage to track down the would-be thief but without evidence are forced to concede he may not be the criminal they’re looking for. Back at school, the girls encounter Lettie Briggs. A spoiled, rich girl that has it out for the Dana sisters. On top of that, the girls are also trying to help their friend, Evelyn Starr search for her missing brother. 

Phew! A lot going on. The Dana girls are a force to be reckoned with. They’re impetuous. Act now, think later type of girls. And I was completely okay with that. At times, their behavior bordered on insolence. But honestly, after reading so many Nancy Drew’s, it was a breath of fresh air to see two girls act this way. These girls give zero cares. Zero. All they want, is to catch the criminals and help their friend. 

This book is also set at an all-girls boarding school. So the girls have to work around the school rules to accomplish their detective endeavors. And they have to deal with the aforementioned, Lettie Briggs. This girl. She’s snooty and eager to get the Dana girls in trouble. Never works out for her. The Dana girls always get her back though. Always. 

Did I enjoy this book? Surprisingly, yes. Like in Nancy Drew, the Dana girls have a suspect early on. It’s all about gathering evidence against them.There were a few times where I had to suspend belief because some of the action in the book was over the top. I figured out the ending early on, too. But it was an entertaining read 🙂

2 thoughts on “By the Light of the Study Lamp (The Dana Girls Mystery Stories #1) by Carolyn Keene

  1. There’s always moments that seem too crazy to be true in mystery books, but gotta say, I’m more than willing to suspend my belief if it amps up the pace. There Dana sisters sound more up my street and like me basically, would you recommend this?


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