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One of the unsolved mysteries of series fiction is that of Louise M. Thurston, a promising author who wrote part of a series about siblings for Lee & Shepard -- then, apparently, just stopped writing. Thurston's brief career covers the four years between 1868-1872 and intersects with two significant trends in 19th-century children's publishing, the growth of Sunday-school libraries and the practice of issuing children's books in series. Her career illustrates in microcosm the markets for beginning writers, and its early termination raises questions about some of the problems they might have encountered. Entwined with Louise's history is that of her own sibling, Clara W. T. Fry, who also wrote for children -- even more briefly than did Louise -- and whose fiction, like Louise's, displays autobiographical elements (albeit of a different nature than her sister's). Adding to the mystery surrounding Louise Thurston is the paucity of information about her later years, leaving her biography, like her series, incomplete.

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