Sunday, September 9, 2007

Happy Birthday, Phyllis Whitney!

Author Phyllis Whitney turns 104 today, and her website is accepting birthday wishes which will be shared with her (some of these messages are fun to read). She wrote 76 books (some of which I began reading in elementary school), refusing to be limited to one genre or one country but let her love of travel and many interests inspire her to write children's mysteries, adult suspense, books on writing, and juvenile fiction. I remember the dust jackets of her books emphasized the fact that she had grown up overseas, primarily in Japan and China, and her settings ranged from Southern plantations, Norway, Catskill resorts, the Blue Ridge mountains, and more.

My two favorites were The Highest Dream, about a young woman who goes to work as a tour guide at the United Nations, and Mystery on the Isle of Skye, about orphan (of course!) Cathy's trip to meet her new family in Scotland (Whitney was herself of Scottish descent) and the mystery she finds there. I made sure to do the United Nations tour myself once, and thought about Phyllis as I did so.

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