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In THE CLUE OF THE SILKEN LADDER, Penny investigates multiple mysteries. What is the purpose of the singular silken ladder made by the secretive and somewhat sinister old Japanese curio shop owner? How can the "Riverview Star" obtain evidence that a popular troup of spiritualists really are heartless con artists? Last, who is perpetrating the gravity-defying burglaries that have rocked the town ? Meanwhile, the Parker housekeeper, Mrs. Weems, has come into an inheritance and plans to leave Riverview, much to the Parkers' dismay. Can Penny change her mind? PENNY PARKER is a teen-aged sleuth and amateur reporter with an uncanny knack for uncovering and solving unusual, sometimes bizarre mysteries. The only daughter of widower Anthony Parker, publisher of the "Riverview Star," Penny has been raised to be self-sufficient, outspoken, innovative, and extraordinarily tenacious. Her cheerful, chatty manner belies a shrewd and keenly observant mind. Penny was the creation of Mildred A. Wirt, who was also the author of the original Nancy Drew series (under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene). Wirt became frustrated when she was pushed to "tone down" Nancy Drew and make her less independent and daring. With Penny Parker, Wirt had a freer hand and received full credit. Wirt once said, " 'I always thought Penny Parker was a better Nancy Drew than Nancy is." - Summary by Cheryl Adam