The Connie Blair Mysteries
This vintage series features a teenage sleuth who is a bundle of energy and bursting with positive attitudes. Each story is set between the late 1940's to 1950's. They were written by Betsy Allen (Betty Cavanna in real life) and are similar to the Nancy Drew mysteries in that a young female takes the lead role.' Connie is rather independent and enabled for the era in which she was written. She is employed at an advertising agency and throughout the books she works her way up through the ranks. Also, she has a female boss or two, which is inspiring and encourages Connie to be ambitious in pursuing a career.
She is an artist and special attention is given to colours, style, materials and textures throughout. In each volume she finds herself drawn to a mystery of some sort, which she naturally manages to solve. They are all short, light, easy reads and are in general entertaining due to their dated-ness. They're funky experiences in a Barbara Stanwick sort of way.
Although there has been a certain amount of criticism concerning specific moments where Connie uses her femininity to achieve her goals, a significant amount of praise has been given for her interest in carving out her own professional path. She is not on the immediate lookout for a boyfriend or husband. If you find one in a used bookstore, give it a try and see what you think - it'll probably be fun!