About Margaret Sutton Books

The official site for information about Margaret Sutton and her books.

Margaret Sutton (1903-2001) published her first Judy Bolton mysteries in 1932. The original series, 38 volumes, lasted until 1967, making it the longest lasting juvenile series written by a single author. Sales totaled nearly 5 million, including foreign language editions. The books are noted not only for their engaging plots and thrilling stories, but also for their realism and social commentary. To many young girls Judy was an ideal role model--smart, capable, courageous, nurturing and always unwavering in her core beliefs. 

Every book was based on something that really happened, and fans of the series have enjoyed learning about the events that inspired each book. 

Based on conversations with the author and her family plus extensive research, co-authors Kate Duvall and Beverly Hatfield wrote the last book in the series, The Strange Likeness which was published in 2012, based on Margaret Sutton's suggested title and plans for the future of the series. The book was edited by the author's daughter, Lindsay Sutton Stroh, and illustrated by another daughter, Marjorie Sutton Eckstein. 

Additional Judy Bolton mysteries include: “The Talking Snowman” (1997) by Margaret Sutton and Linda Joy Singleton, “The Whispering Belltower” (1993) by Kate Emburg, and “The Mystery on Judy Lane” (2018) by Beverly Hatfield with permission from the family of Margaret Sutton.

MORE BOOKS TO COME!  The author’s executor is arranging for more of Margaret Sutton’s original stories to be published!  Check this website for the latest news!

Biography of Margaret Sutton

Author Margaret Sutton circe 1949

SUTTON, Margaret  1903-[2001]
(Irene Ray)


Born Rachel Irene Beebe January 22, 1903; daughter of Victor and Estella (Andrews) Beebe; married William Henry Sutton, November 3, 1924; children: Dorothy Sutton Wolfe, Marjorie Sutton Eckstein, Eleanor Sutton Kratzat, Thomas Sutton, Lindsay Sutton Stroh. Education: Graduated from Rochester Business Institute, 1920.  Honorary degree from New York University; Religion: Unitarian-Universalist. Born in Odin, Pennsylvania, married in Coudersport, Pennsylvania, then lived in Brooklyn, Crestwood, Baldwin and Freeport, New York.  Married Everett Hunting October 1975 and moved to Berkeley, California and Loch Haven, Pennsylvania.


Worked as secretary for Stromberg-Carlson, Rochester, N.Y., 1920-21; held various printing jobs in Rochester, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, and New York (joined printer's union in 1923). Began writing stories for her step-daughter, and published book reviews and stories in Picture World magazine.  Judy Bolton series first published in 1932 followed by over 50 books. Teacher of adult education classes, Member: Women's National Book Association, Authors League.


Judy Bolton mystery series: The Vanishing Shadow, 1932, The Haunted Attic, 1932, The Invisible Chimes, 1932, Seven Strange Clues, 1932, The Ghost Parade, 1933, The Yellow Phantom, 1933, The Mystic Ball, 1934, The Voice in the Suitcase, 1935, The Mysterious Half Cat, 1936, The Riddle of the Double Ring, 1937, The Unfinished House, 1938, The Midnight Visitor, 1939, The Name on the Bracelet, 1940, The Clue in the Patchwork Quilt, 1941, The Mark on the Mirror, 1942, The Secret of the Barred Window, 1943, The Rainbow Riddle, 1946, The Haunted Apartment, Dodd, 1946, The Living Portrait, 1947, The Secret of the Musical Tree, 1948, The Warning on the Window, 1949, The Clue of the Stone Lantern, 1950, The Spirit of Fog Island, 1951, The Black Cat's Clue, 1952, The Forbidden Chest, 1953, The Haunted Road, 1954, The Clue in the Ruined Castle, 1955, The Trail of the Green Doll, 1956, The Haunted Fountain, 1957, The Clue of the Broken Wing, 1958, The Phantom Friend, 1959, The Discovery at the Dragon's Mouth, 1960, The Whispered Watchword, 1961, The Secret Quest, 1962, The Puzzle in the Pond, 1963, The Hidden Clue, 1964, The Pledge of the Twin Knights, 1965, Secret of the Sand Castle, 1967, all published by Grosset & Dunlap and reprinted by Applewood books, currently available in paperback.  The Talking Snowman, 1997, co-written with Linda Joy Singleton, self-published, copies available from ljscheer@yahoo.com.  The Strange Likeness, 2012, co-written with Kate Duvall and Beverly Hatfield, Applewood Books. 

Other writings: The Magic Makers and the Bramble Bush Man, Grosset, 1936; The Magic Makers and the Golden Charm, Grosset, 1936; The Magic Makers in Backwards Land, Grosset, 1936; (under pseudonym Irene Ray) Kay Darcy and the Mystery Hideout, Whitman, 1937; (with Pelagie Doane) Baby's Day in Rhymes and Pictures, Grosset, 1938; Summer on the Farm, Grosset, 1938; Lollypop: The True Story of a Little Dog, Grosset, 1939; A Shepherd Boy of Australia, Grosset, 1941; Jemima, Daughter of Daniel Boone, Scribner, 1942; Tommy True: A Little Boy Who Was Hungry, Oxford University Press, 1942; Two Boys of the Ohio Valley, Grosset, 1943; Gail Gardner Wins Her Cap, Dodd, 1944; Gail Gardner, Junior Cadet Nurse, Dodd, 1945; Who Will Play With Me?, Grosset, 1953; Palace Wagon Family, Knopf, 1957; The Weed Walk, Putnam, 1965. Author of several texts and adaptations. 

Contact & Information

For questions and comments, contact MargaretSuttonBooks@gmail.com

More information about the Judy Bolton Mysteries including the Annual Judy Bolton Weekend can be found at www.JudyBolton.com.


Letters To Live By, a children’s book by Margaret Sutton and her daughters!

Letters To Live By Book Cover

Letters to Live By, a delightful book of alphabet verses and stories, is designed to encourage discussion of values. It was written by Margaret Sutton and two of her daughters, Lindsay Stroh and Marjorie Eckstein. The book, with wonderful illustrations, is available at Amazon in paperback, hardcover and e-book formats! It comes with a free Discussion and Activity Guide, which you can download here:

Download the Free Discussion and Activity Guide (Word Doc)

For an autographed copy of Letters to Live By (hardback or paperback) email us for price and details.

Judy Bolton Weekend

The Judy Bolton Weekend was held October 5-8, 2023 in Margaret Sutton’s hometown, Coudersport, Pennsylvania. Fans of the Judy Bolton Mystery Series gather annually for a weekend of tours, dinners, contests and lots of fun! To read more about the 2023 gathering, visit www.JudyBolton.com

Margaret Sutton Writing Contest 2023 Winners

A total of 64 students in grades 7-9 residing in Potter County, Pennsylvania entered a short story in this year’s Margaret Sutton Writing Contest. The challenge for 2023 was to write a story about someone who was falsely accused. Each year, the theme is inspired by one of the Judy Bolton mysteries written by Margaret Sutton, who was born and raised in Potter County.

The 2023 Awards Dinner was held on October 7 at Kaytee’s Family Restaurant and Marketplace. First place was awarded to Leah Seeley, age 13, of Genesee for her story, “The Mystery of the Dumped Paint.” Second prize was given to Miranda Jacoby, 14, also of Genesee.  The third prize winner was Leanna Jones, 14, of Harrison Valley.  The winners received cash prizes donated by Judy Bolton fans. Honorable mention certificates were given to Haydon Bieser, Savannah Kio, Madalyn Palmatier, Persephone-Sky Smyth, Peytin Sollinger, Camila Stager and Mariah Wright. All this year’s winners and finalists attend Northern Potter Middle and High School.

The contest is held each year during the annual Judy Bolton Weekend to honor the memory of author Margaret Sutton and to encourage young creative writers.

Above: 2023 First Place Winner, Leah Seeley

Read the 2023 winning entry (PDF)

The Strange Likeness (2012)

Based on conversations with the author Margaret Sutton and her family plus extensive research, co-authors Kate Duvall and Beverly Hatfield wrote the last book in the series, The Strange Likeness. It was published in 2012 and was based on Margaret Sutton's suggested title and plans for the future of the series. The book was edited by the author's daughter, Lindsay Sutton Stroh, and illustrated by another daughter, Marjorie Sutton Eckstein.  The Strange Likenesss is available for purchase at Applewood Books and at other booksellers.