Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Indian Mummy Mystery by Troy Nesbit

The Indian Mummy Mystery was my first Troy Nesbit book. I read it sometime in 1967 on a cross-country trip to the Grand Canyon. We also stopped at the Mesa Verde dwellings in Colorado which is the setting for this story. I have been hooked on western legends and locations ever since. Originally published in 1954, this is the now highly sought after Whitman Publishing reprint from 1965. Troy Nesbit was a pseudonym for Franklin Folsom who wrote many fine adventure novels for young readers. Essentially a story about Joe Cutler and Denny Grogan one summer as they encounter legends of lost gold, old mummies and Indian cliff dwellings. Nesbit’s characters are usually young men on the cusp of manhood, about sixteen years old, enthusiastic and eager to explore the world. The Indian Mummy Mystery is a lighthearted coming-of-age story but lacking any overt moral preaching. Another element you’ll find in a Troy Nesbit novel is the positive influence of National Park Rangers who often play secondary roles. It’s important to remember that during the 50s and 60s when Nesbit was popular such magazines as Boys Life were found in most households and the cynicism of the counter-culture movement hadn’t yet seeped into young adult books published by Whitman or Scholastic. This is a typical, wholesome and satisfying adventure. I’ll be including additional Troy Nesbit books on this blog in the future. I have never found a photograph of Franklin Folsom AKA Troy Nesbit and if anyone reading this post knows of one please feel free to contact me, thanks!

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