The Ted Wilford Series
by Norvin Pallas

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When the series starts, Ted is a high school student in the small rural midwestern town of Forestdale working part-time on the local paper, The Town Crier. Ted ages as the series progresses and goes to college, all the time staying a part-time reporter and solving mysteries

Author: Norvin Pallas (1918-1983)

Publishers: Ives Washburn Inc.
Starting in 2016, some titles are being reprinted by Wildside Press.

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Click on any cover to enlarge it.
01: The Secret of Thunder Mountain (1951) - For Sale
An old recluse dies and leave behinds a coded clue to the whereabouts of his gold mine. Ted and his pal Nelson get involved with the mystery.

When Old Goldie, a prospector rumored to have had a hidden gold mine, passes away, he leaves an envelope addressed to "T. A. F." It contains only a photograph of a small cabin.

Who was Old Goldie, and who is T.A.F.? Is there really a mine? Ted Wilford and his friend Nelson Morgan set out to answer these questions. If the mine exists at all, they soon realize, it must be on Thunder Mountain. From that point the race is on. A mining engineer, a secret code, a Native American, a rival reporter -- and most of the people from the two nearest towns -- are also looking for the mine. Whoever finds and claims it first may win a fortune. And some of them will stop at nothing to get it...

02: The Locked Safe Mystery (1954) - For Sale
A mystery involving the theft of $13,000 from Ted's high school safe, which only three people knew the combination of.

Ted Wilford, as editor of his high school paper and school correspondent for the local weekly, is eager for a scoop on the story of who took $13,000 from the school safe after the money had been raised for charity by a carnival. How could the money have been stolen from a locked safe whose combination was known only to three reputable school officials?

Ted works hard for his scoops and comes up with some very surprising leads. The working of a school newspaper office provides a fascinating and authentic background for the unraveling of this puzzle

03: The Star Reporter Mystery (1955) - For Sale
Ace reporter Barry Knight disappears and it's up to Ted and brother Ronald to find him.

Ronald Wilford, cub reporter on the Cleveland Star, is asked by his editor to find a missing colleague and friend, Barry Knight, and discover why he disappeared. Knight, who pulls no punches when he writes, has many enemies among the local racketeers and shady politicians he has exposed. Ronald, with the help of his younger brother Ted (hero of The Locked Safe Mystery), uncovers a strange and fascinating puzzle. An unusual ending to this absorbing mystery is provided when Ronald is faced with an interesting ethical problem, both as a reporter and a friend, which he must solve in order to wind up the case.

04: The Singing Trees Mystery (1956) - For Sale
Ted and Nelson are camp counselors and someone is trying to force the camp to sell its land for the sake of a newly discovered copper mine.

Ted thinks teenagers are getting a bad rap when they are blamed for vandalism. But when summer comes and the local Y camp for disadvantaged boys is vandalized, it looks bad for the kids! As Ted investigates with his friend Nelson, things take a strange turn when they see things happen that apparently couldn't. A serach for a Native American treaty in the Singing Trees Valley is mysteriously linked to the vandalism. Who are the real culprits? And can Ted unmask them in time to save the summer camp?

05: The Empty House Mystery (1957) - For Sale
Some blueprints for a new highway have been stolen and then lost by the thief. It's up to Ted to find the plans and who pilfered them.

The Empty House Mystery combines a real puzzle with the story of Ted Wilford's strenuous efforts to get out the bi-weekly Town Crier while the editor is ill. Ted and his friend, Nelson, who have just graduated from high school, devote part of their pre-college summer to finding the thief of a set of plans for the new state thruway.

It all began for Ted one day in the office of The Town Crier when a man came in to advertise in the "Lost and Found" column for a missing folder with a peculiar zipper. Later, when it was brought to the office by the finder, Ted, carried away by his desire to demonstrate the splendid service offered by the paper, personally left the folder at the advertiser's address. It turned out to be an empty house, but Ted had reasons for thinking it was logical to leave it there. However, later when he discovered that the folder really contained plans stolen from the highway department, Ted knew he must find it as quickly as possible.

The quest leads Nelson and him into adventures in several empty houses, into an investigation of the mysteriously ringing telephones, and, finally, to a completely different solution than he or the reader had anticipated. The daily doings in a small-town newspaper office plus a well-plotted story make another satisfying Ted Wilford mystery.

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06: The Counterfeit Mystery (1958) - For Sale
Ted is involved with a mystery involving counterfeit trading stamps.

Not long before Ted Wilford leaves for college, he is asked by the Town Crier's editor to keep an eye on the salesman who is setting up a trading stamp plan in their town. The editor has no particular reason to suspect anything is wrong, but as a sponsor of the plan, he feels that Ted, with his extensive experience during his high-school days on the paper, can keep a careful eye on the whole set-up if he works in the company's local sales office for a few weeks.

At first Ted thought the stamp plan was a splendid idea for the town, the stores, and the customers. But several unexplained incidents puzzled him, and almost at once he found himself in the midst of a full-fledged mystery. With the help of his newspaper editor, Ted uncovers a fascinating scheme for counterfeiting the trading stamps. Mixed up in the strange pattern of events is a girl who says she has "lost" her home town. The workings of the trading stamp plan and the ingenious counterfeiting game, plus what Ted learns about the dangers of circumstantial evidence, make the solution of this sixth Ted Wilford mystery especially exciting and interesting.

07: The Stolen Plans Mystery (1959) - For Sale
Petty thievery is repeatedly taking place in stores in the two weeks prior to Christmas and a part-time Town Crier employee suddenly then behaves oddly, then his family disappears. Can Ted solve both mysteries?

Ted almost pushed the panic button when he heard that Mr. Sawyer had disappeared. He was the one on the newspaper who was responsible for getting all the papers scheduled and delivered to the right places.

He called his friend, Nelson, who was also at home from college for the Christmas holidays and, while solving the delivery problem, they got involved in more mysterious ones. There was a Christmas promotion contest in which "LULU", the electronic computer (newly installed in the office) was to decide the winner. Some plans were stolen, as well as merchandise, from the stores and even a Robin Hood Santa Claus got mixed up in the story. Ted also had to figure out how to get out of a locked meat freezer. There's lots of suspense and excitement, in addition to solid facts about the newspaper business.

08: The Scarecrow Mystery (1960) - For Sale
Can Ted solve the mystery involving a car run off the road with a missing canister with microfilm in it?

09: The Big Cat Mystery (1961) - For Sale
A leopard is reported running loose in the woods by a crazy old geezer. Ted and Nelson are sent to investigate and find an increasingly puzzling mystery.

When a report reaches the Town Crier office that a leopard is loose in the woods around Vanishing Lake, skepticism is the natural reaction. Is the animal really a leopard? If so, how did it get there? If not, what kind of wild animal is it? Or is the whole thing a hoax with a mysterious purpose behind it? Ted Wilford, working as usual for the bi-weekly newspaper during his summer vacation from college, and Nelson Morgan, the wizard with a camera, are sent to track down the truth behind this strange report. If it proves to be faked, they have the prospect of a few carefree days at the lake as the guests of the paper. If not, there could be lots of excitement and real danger as they attempt to solve the mystery.

10: The Missing Witness Mystery (1962) - For Sale
A bank teller on vacation is sought for questioning in an embezzlement. It's up to Ted to find him and solve the mystery.

A bank embezzlement, an invisible witness, a hidden room filled with Civil War material about the Underground Railroad, and other intriguing ingredients make this tenth Ted Wilford mystery a fine addition to the series.

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11: The Baseball Mystery (1963) - For Sale
A statewide amateur baseball tournament comes to Forestdale and soon a mystery developes.

When "The Town Crier," the semi-weekly newspaper for which Ted Wilford writes and Nelson Morgan takes pictures during their college vacations, decides to bring the statewide baseball tournament to Forestdale, Ted and Nelson need about ten hands and a forty-eight hour day to handle it all. Ted is in general charge of all the complicated scheduling and housing arrangements, while Nelson is an official scorer. Suddenly, in spite of the apparently smooth progress of the tournament, they begin to suspect something is wrong somewhere, and know they had to do something about it...

12: The Mystery of Rainbow Gulch (1964) - For Sale
A mysterious fatal plane crash, a foundling, a hermit, curious footprints, a cipher, and more all add up to a mystery for Ted to solve.

Ted and Nelson stay at Bob Fontaine's ranch. As the boys arrive, a plane crashes, and one occupant vanishes. Meanwhile, a mystery surrounds an old hermit, and footprints indicate that someone has been watching the ranch...

13: The Abandoned Mine Mystery (1965) - For Sale
A coal mine explosion causes a crisis in the company town where it's located. A tip leads Ted to investigate it.

Strange doings on an ore boat! Ted and Nelson to go undercover as unskilled deck hands on the S.S. Shamrock unravel the truth. Is it just bad luck, or is something more nefarious afoot? Stir in a stowaway, a realistic shipping setting, and a series of puzzling events and you get a classic entry in the Ted Wilford series.

14: The SS Shamrock Mystery (1966) - For Sale
Strange things are happening on an Mrs. Dundee's ore boat and Ted investigates.

15: The Greenhouse Mystery (1967) - For Sale
The disappearance of a package containing rare plant cuttings leads to a series of mysterious events which Ted must solve.

David Bauman's Ted Wilford Article