Whitney, Phyllis Ayame

About the author

Phyllis Ayame Whitney (1903–2008) was a prolific romantic novelist, who produced more than 70 novels in her long career. She was born in Yokohama, Japan, where her father represented an American shipping line. Her childhood was also spent in the Philippines and China, until the death of her father, when the family moved to America. Although she wanted to be a dancer, her first job was in a department store, selling children’s books. She wrote mostly for adults, but continued her interest in children’s literature throughout her career. She worked in the Children’s section of the Chicago Public Library; her first books were written for children; she worked as a children’s book editor on a newspaper, and taught the art of writing children’s literature.

Her one horse book is a mystery story, but she continues to be best known for her romantic mysteries, for which she has been compared to Mary Stewart. Time magazine described her as “one of the best genre writers.”

Finding the book
Easy to find in the USA. It was not published in the UK.

Links and sources
Terri A. Wear: Horse Stories, an Annotated Bibliography, Scarecrow Press, 1987
Phyllis A Whitney’s website
Daily Telegraph obituary, 15 February, 2008
The Guardian obituary , 15 February, 2008

Bibliography (horse books only)

The Mystery of the Crimson Ghost

Westminster Press, Philadelphia, 1969, 190 pp
Scholastic, 1969, 256 pp, cover Clifford Schule

Janey visits her aunt at Lake Kimi, and because she is horse had, she’s delighted to see a horse on the other sidee of the lake. However, the mare’s owners are secretive, and make it plain that they’re not happy to see strangers.