The Empty House Mystery (Ted Wilford #5), by Norvin Pallas (epub/Kindle/pdf)

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This fifth mystery by Norvin Pallas combines a real puzzle with the story of Ted Wilford’s strenuous efforts to get out the bi-weeklv 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. Before they have solved this problem, they must discover how a telephone can ring in an empty house with no risible connection between the house and a telephone wire.

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, both for his fans and those who are meeting Ted for the first time.