I’m a fan of time-travel stories, always have been, and these connected books are entertaining ones. Susan Shaw lives with her father in an old apartment building in New York City. She’s having a very bad day when she meets an elderly lady on the street and rescues the lady’s hat. The woman mutters something odd as a thank you, “I’ll give you three.” Susan has no idea what this means, but soon finds out. Back home, she decides to get away from her problems by going up to the roof of the apartment. She enters the ancient, sluggish elevator and pushes the button for the top floor, the seventh. Something odd happens, and the elevator opens instead into the hallway of a very different place: a large Victorian home in a rural neighborhood in 1881. Susan soon meets a girl her own age who lives there, Vicky, and before long she’s drawn into a plot to try to save Vicky’s mother from a suitor who Vicky is sure is only after her mother’s money. Susan manages to adjust to the startling changes in her situation, and is soon using her acting ability to help Vicky and her brother Bobbie get rid of the slimy fortune hunter, Mr. Sweeney, by convincing him they’re penniless. Then they all discover that Vicky’s mother has lost her money for real, and the family must soon move away. All seems lost until Susan has an idea, but it will require her to return to her own time and place on the elevator. Will that use up the last two rides?
The second book continues the story with a much more complicated situation, in which Susan’s father travels back with her to 1881 on the elevator, and they are both hard pressed to save Vicky’s family from both the persistent treasure hunter and a truly awful relative, who’s arrive to take charge. Even the fortune they’ve found may not be enough to help.
I enjoyed rereading these, though the first book is better, the second gets overly tricky and complex. Still, both are recommended.