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Girls' Crystal Annual.

The Girl's Crystal Annual was first published in 1939 with the usual mix of girls stories written by the male A. P. staff and lasted into the late seventies gradually changing through the Fifties into picture strip form. Copies of the first four issues are extremely difficult to find.

A major attraction of the early Girls' Crystal Annual was the Noel Raymond series of detective stories written by "Peter Langley" (Ronald Fleming) which ran for a number of years. It was unusual on 3 points: first the lead character was a male in a girls paper full of girl heroines, secondly Fleming used a male pseudonym, almost unheard of in the girls papers, and thirdly - quite often the reader didn't know who the guilty party was until the very end!

Some of the stories were taken from the Girls Crystal, a weekly storypaper first published in 1935.

For the January 1994 Collectors' Digest Dennis Bird wrote an article providing some background to Ronald Fleming - you can read it here.

You can see some of the cover illustrations here.


  Year Noel Raymond Story Source
1940 The Vanished Schoolgirl  
1941  The Schoolgirl Detective  
Noel and that Strange Umbrella  
1942 The Clue Of The Chocolate Biscuits  
1943 The Mystery Of The Locked Belfry GC 163 03.12.38
1944 The Trail Of False Clues GC 186 13.05.39
1945 The Black Pirate's Threat GC 255 07.09.40
1946 Noel's Four-Footed Assistant GC 227 24.02.40
1947 The Puzzle Of The Yuletide Doll  
1948 Mystery At The Art School  
1949 The Trail Of The Mystery Parcel  
1950 The Mystery Of The Museum [strip]  
1951 The Mystery Of The Circus Ape  
1952 Noel's Riverside Mystery [strip]  
1953 Noel's Strange Seaside Find [strip]