For readers, particularly young women, Velda Johnston provides easy-to-read novels with interesting, carefully planned plots. The mystery in each novel is presented early, and progress toward the solution is logical and evenly paced. Beyond the sheer entertainment of her fiction, however, Johnston, who clearly enjoys the process of writing, seems to have a message for young readers. She provides examples in her novels of young women who seek happiness and fulfillment in a more assertive, independent manner than have the women of the previous generation. The mother or the aunt who reared the heroine has often been abandoned or widowed and left in financial straits by the man on whom she depended. Although often dismissed early in the story, the maternal character’s life stands in vivid contrast to that of the heroine. The motif of the independent young woman is consistent throughout Johnston’s work, and those who read two or more of her novels are unlikely to miss it. From the publication of her first novel in 1967 through the late 1980’s, Johnston produced one or two novels per year, presenting in each a mystery to test the heroine’s intelligence and eagerness to solve problems.