Nick Petrie Series

Stuart Palmer Books In Order

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Publication Order of Hildegarde Withers Books

The Penguin Pool Murder (1931)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder on Wheels (1932)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder on the Blackboard (1932)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Puzzle of the Pepper Tree (1933)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Puzzle of the Silver Persian (1934)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Riddle of the Blueblood Murders (1934)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Puzzle of the Red Stallion (1936)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Puzzle of the Blue Banderilla (1937)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Puzzle of the Happy Hooligan (1941)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Miss Withers Regrets (1947)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Four Lost Ladies (1949)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Green Ace / At One Fell Swoop (1950)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Monkey Murder (1950)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Nipped in the Bud (1951)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cold Poison / Exit Laughing (1954)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Trap for a Redhead (1955)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hildegarde Withers Makes the Scene (1969)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Hildegarde Withers: Uncollected Stories (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Howie Rook Mystery Books

Unhappy Hooligan (1956)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Rook Takes Knight (1968)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Collections

The Riddles of Hildegarde Withers (2022)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Publication Order of Anthologies

20 Great Tales of Murder(1952)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Daring Detectives(1969)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes(1987)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder Plus(1992)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Phantom Perfumes And Other Shades(2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Murder On The Railways(2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Stuart Palmer is an American author of fiction. He specialized in the mystery genre. Born in 1905 in Baraboo, Wisconsin, Palmer worked a variety of jobs before he published his first-ever novel. He worked in journalism, in copywriting, in apple picking, and eventually picked up writing thanks to the publication of his first book in 1931, Ace of Jades. He passed away in 1968.

His second novel would be the one that would help him establish his writing career officially, and that would be the release of his book The Penguin Pool Murder. This is what started off the Hildegarde Withers series of novels.

The sequel was titled Murder on the Blackboard and it was published in 1932. There would be another book in the series, which continued to be published throughout the thirties, the forties, and the fifties. It focuses on schoolmarm Hildegarde Withers. There were several movies made out of his books, including the Penguin Pool book, which was filmed and produced by RKO Pictures Inc.

The character of the school marm Withers turned out to be a very popular character with American audiences. Readers enjoyed the character and the adventures so much that she would end up being in thirteen full novels of their own, which included the 1947 novel Miss Withers Regrets as well as the 1951 novel Nipped in the Bud. Palmer eventually would also end up writing for Hollywood and the big silver screen too.

The Penguin Pool Murder is the debut novel in the Withers series. Hildegarde works as a school teacher at Jefferson School and one day the students and the teacher get to take a field trip. The students are all very excited to go on a rare trip away from school and all of the third graders are looking forward to going on the field trip. They’re going to go see the aquarium and have some fun on their day out.

When they go to the New York Aquarium, the kids are in for a lot more excitement than anyone really planned on having. A thief has stolen a purse, and he runs past the students on his way to freedom and the exit. But that is precisely when the third grade teacher Miss Withers decides that she will intervene and knock the thief down, tripping him up with her umbrella in an expert act of good timing.

The police show up and start talking to the security guards, and pretty soon they are all arguing among each other about what they should do with Chicago Lew. That is the name of the thief, but in the middle of all this debating the man in question has already escaped. But then they all get another surprise when Miss Withers and the students find a corpse in the pool.

That was definitely not supposed to happen, but what can you do? In the penguin tank is the floating body of a stockbroker. He appears to have been murdered– people don’t just end up in tanks at an aquarium on their own (at least not usually). The kids have no idea what could have happened, and just like that, a murder mystery case is born.

The teacher may be a spinster, but that doesn’t mean that she is not sharp. Withers works with Detective Oscar Piper to find out what exactly is going on in this murder mystery is case and incidentally starts up her career and series of many adventures to come.

One thing is for certain; there is a killer on the loose. The mystery is confusing, but can the teacher solve it along with Detective Oscar? If she can wrangle a group of kids in a classroom, this school marm thinks that taking down a killer shouldn’t be tough at all. Read this classic novel to find out if they can catch the killer and ultimately be successful by picking it up for yourself!

Murder on the Blackboard is the second novel in the Withers series by deceased author Stuart Palmer. The teacher Miss Withers is back at it again, and you would think that she would have seen enough dead bodies by now. Even though she is watching over the detention hour, the teacher is shocked when she discovers the corpse of a fellow teacher at the school.

Hildegarde never thought that Anise Halloran and herself had much in common. The young woman is pretty and wears high heels to teach school– something Miss Withers herself would not ever do, but she’s not going to cut down a peer just because of that.

Anise is very pretty and fairly young, but Miss Withers considers her to be one of the staff. She does hear a few whispers among the students about her having a crush on the principal, but doesn’t condone this type of gossip. Buster Jones is nine years old and she hears him talking about Miss Halloran and the principal and so sentences him to write discipline one hundred times on the chalkboard.

Anise actually stays after school too. But unlike Buster, she is never going to leave. It is Miss Withers who finds the young teacher on the floor of the cloakroom. She’s wearing those high heels, but she’ll never walk in them of her own accord ever again because her skull has been bashed in. Someone wanted to make sure that this pretty young lady was dead, and stayed that way.

The teacher knows that she must call for the assistance of the only person that she knows qualified to take on this case. So it is that Miss Withers calls Inspector Piper in to help. She helps him from time to time with murders and hopes he can return the favor. But by the time he gets there, the body is gone.

Withers only knows one thing for certain; there is a killer on the loose. They have already struck inside the school, and will likely do so again. But Withers is an expert on teaching lessons on discipline. It looks like she has another student that needs to be put in time out. Can she catch the killer? Pick up Blackboard by Stuart Palmer to find out!

Book Series In Order » Authors » Stuart Palmer

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