Annette Vetter Adventure #1
The Mystery at Hickory Hill
Annette Vetter Adventure #1
A gunshot reverberated in the air
at the same time a bullet sprayed
dirt up from the ground just in front
of Annette. Glancing up, she saw Paulo Volivar sitting on his horse
at the edge of the cliff ...
While visiting a ranch in the Cochetopa Hills of Colorado, Annette and her best friend Penny get more than they bargained for when their new friend, Mandy, leads them on horseback into forbidden territory.
A missing professor, a suspicious yellow envelope, and a mysterious old mountain man are the ingredients for mystery, adventure and a spark of romance, in this '60s era introduction to the Annette Vetter mystery series.
Time travel back to the Sixties with Annette Vetter and her friends. The first book takes place while the girls are on vacation. But soon they will be back in their Wisconsin hometown, where mysteries galore await them!
An excerpt from Chapter 2 - The Light Over the Hills
Mandy walked over to the window. “Maybe I ought to close this,” she said. “It might get cold.”
“Oh, don’t.” Annette scrambled to her feet. “The fresh air feels great.”
Mandy smiled. “Well, right now it does. But we’re at a high elevation, remember.”
“How high is it?” Penny asked out of curiosity.
“Above 8,000 feet,” said Mandy.
“We are in the mountains,” murmured Annette.
“I’m glad you like the room,” said Mandy. “You’ll be able to see the barn and stables from here in the morning, and you’ll love the view of the mountains.”
Annette went to the window, and gazed out into the darkness. “I think I see a tree line.”
“Way out there?” Mandy pointed off into the distance. “Across the valley, a coupl’a miles away, are the hills, where you’ll find some real rough country. A lot of pine forest and even some swamp land.”
Penny had walked over to the window. “I don’t see any lights. Doesn’t anybody live around you?”
“Not in that direction,” said Mandy. “The hills are very mysterious. Do you see those ridges over there?” She pointed with her finger. “There’s a flat area before you cross Cochetopa Creek. Our land boundary runs along the edge of Hickory Hill Road. It’s not too far from the national forest.”
“Wait a second,” cried Annette. She was thinking, remembering something.
“What’s wrong?” asked Penny.
“What you said.” Annette looked at Mandy. “What did you say the name of that road was -- you know, where your property ends?”
“Hickory Hill Road?”
“Penny!” Annette’s blue eyes were wide as she turned to her friend. “That was the address that was on the yellow envelope!”
“What yellow envelope?” Penny scrunched up her face.
“The one that old man on the jet grabbed from my hand.”
Penny gasped, and her green eyes expanded.
“What’re y’all talkin’ about?” demanded Mandy.
Annette stared out the window. “Mandy, does anyone live there?”
Mandy hesitated. “Why?” she asked carefully.
Annette then began to tell Mandy about the episode on the jet, starting with how Penny had noticed the bearded stranger in the Chicago air terminal, and how they had watched him on the jet to Denver, then how his briefcase had opened and papers had spilled in the aisle. She ended by telling both of them the address she had read on the yellow envelope before the old man with the white beard had rudely snatched it away.
At the mention of the name, Mandy’s mouth dropped open and she sank onto Annette’s bed.
“Does the name mean something to you?” asked Annette.
“Jacob Carter Hickory,” Mandy murmured. Then she looked up at her two new friends. “The old mountain man who owns those hills is named Jebb Hickory.” . . . . . .
Read what the characters have to say about themselves from
A Different Kind of Catalog
Mandy Mitchell: Annette and Penny came to stay a week with us at our ranch in Colorado. Boy, are we ever havin' fun! I couldn't wait to get those two on horseback and take a ride over to the hills, never mind that my parents forbade me to go there. At the time I guess it was just too temptin' ...
Who BEST can
hawk her books?
Penny Duncan: It was so cool that Annette asked me to fly to Colorado with her to visit the Mitchell ranch. It was our first ride on an airplane, for one thing, but for me it was the first time on a horse. I almost fell off ... well, actually I DID fall off!
Britches: I work for the Mitchells and live out in their stable, where they have a spare room. I couldn't confide in anyone. I was sworn to secrecy, to protect the woman I love. I s'pose Mandy and the other girls believed I'm some kind of criminal. Well, it got complicated ... but then Jebb Hickory got kidnapped too. That other feller ... he was more innocent than the rest ... and he got the worst of it.
AUTHOR: The Mystery at Hickory is the first in the Annette Vetter adventure series. The first draft was written when I was 15 years old. Later on, I changed the location from Texas to Colorado, but most everything remained the same. Nearly 40 years later, the book got published. All of the books that follow this first adventure are set in Wisconsin, Annette's home state (as well as mine).