Monday, January 1, 2024

11th Annual VNRN Awards

Hello again, and welcome back to our annual roundup of the best vintage nurse novels of the year! The most significant win goes to Bill Neubauer, whose Best Book award this year gives him the most of anyone in that category, with an amazing seven! (You can now buy a number of the Best Books as ebooks republished by my company Nurse Novels Publishing, which is just celebrating its first anniversary!) My perennial nemesis Peggy Gaddis also captured her seventh award—but for Worst Book, so the distinction is less laudable, but why not pop a champagne cork for her as well?

We are greeted by a number of other familiar names among the Best and Worst Books this year: Dorothy Fletcher claimed two of the top prizes, bringing her total to five Best Books;  Marjorie Moore, Ida Cook (writing as Mary Burchell) and Elizabeth Gilzean (writing as Elizabeth Houghton) captured their third Best Book awards this year, while newbies Violet Finlay Stuart and Betty Neels joined the Best Book list for the first time.

The Worst Books category also yielded little surprise, as perennial losers Peggy O’More Blocklinger (her fourth raspberry), Suzanne Roberts (win #3), Richard Wilkes-Hunter (writing as Diana Douglas for #2), Norah Bradley (writing as Sharon Heath for #2) and Adeline McElfresh (#2) appear again. We don’t look forward to more books by first-timers Doris Knight and Margaret McCulloch.

It must be admitted, however, that terrible books can frequently yield glorious quotes, as a number of the worst books provided amusing pearls for our Best Quotes of the year. Why is that, do you wonder?

Fine print: Winners are chosen from the 42 VNRNs I read this past year, which were penned by 31 different authors. The Best and Worst Publishing Houses categories includes all the VNRNs reviewed for this blog (558 to date). As much as I would have loved to include Nurse Novels Publishing, which would have easily bagged the Best Publishers top slot, it just didn't seem fair ...


Best Books
1.      Hospital Corridors by Mary Burchell (pseud. Ida Cook)
2.      New Yorker Nurse by Dorothy Fletcher
3.      The Fifth Day of Christmas by Betty Neels
4.      The Dilemma of Geraldine Addams by Diane Frazer (pseud. Dorothy Fletcher)
5.      Prison Nurse by William Neubauer
6.      Doctor Sara Comes Home by Elizabeth Houghton (pseud. Elizabeth Gilzean)
7.      Doctor Lucy by Barbara Allen (pseud. Violet Finlay Stuart)
8.      Peter Raynal, Surgeon by Marjorie Moore
9.      To Please the Doctor by Marjorie Moore

Worst Books
1.      Seacliff Nurse by Peggy OMore
2.      The Nurse and the Star by Peggy Gaddis
3.      Hope Farrell Crusading Nurse by Suzanne Roberts
4.      Nurse on Terror Island by Doris Knight
5.      Flight Nurse by Adeline McElfresh
6.      Nurse at Shadow Manor by Sharon Heath (pseud. Norah Bradley)
7.      Second Year Nurse by Margaret McCulloch
8.      Nurse Crane … Emergency by Ann Gilmer (pseud. W.E. Dan Ross)
9.      New Orleans Nurse by Diana Douglas (pseud. Richard Wilkes-Hunter)


Best Quotes
“I never supposed he thought of anything but cutting people up in the neatest and most miraculous way possible.”
Hospital Corridors by Mary Burchell (pseud. Ida Cook)

“How can he tell me how pretty my eyes are in one breath and then start talking about thrombophlebitis?” 
Hope Farrell Crusading Nurse by Suzanne Roberts

“The trouble with you, Gail, is that essentially you’re too honest. You always level with people. I don’t, and life is far more exciting.”
Nurse in Doubt by Isabel Capeto

“The only time I went to the Wayside Inn was with a freshman from the University. Emphasis on fresh. It’s one of those places where you get so mixed up under the table because of lack of space that when you want to go to the john you have to say, ‘Excuse me, may I have my legs back?’
Nurse Turner Runs Away by Diane Frazer (pseud. Dorothy Fletcher)

“Are you still shaky from the shark episode?” 
Nurse on Terror Island by Doris Knight

“A man of such romantic temperament that he can make love among the white enamel fittings of a hospital kitchen is not to be lightly dismissed.”
Hospital Corridors by Mary Burchell (pseud. Ida Cook)

“Rosemary’s been coming to the beach for the past two weeks. Upton and I were immediately drawn to her superior mind.”
Nurse Audrey’s Mission by Isabel Cabot (pseud. Isabel Capeto)

“You carry a gun, don’t you? Couldn’t you arrange to have it go off sort of by accident, you know?” 
Highway Nurse by Florence Stuart (pseud. Florence Stonebraker)

“This is why nursing is not an overcrowded profession. Word has gotten around that it isn’t all handsome doctors and gay pulse-taking.”
Nurse Crane … Emergency by Ann Gilmer (pseud. W.E. Dan Ross)

“A lot of clear thoughts can come to a man while he’s eating squirrel stew.”
Hope Farrell Crusading Nurse by Suzanne Roberts


Best Covers
Nurse on Terror Island
The Dilemma of Geraldine Addams, illustration by Harry Bennett
Visiting Nurse
Prison Nurse, illustration by Robert Maguire
Nurse Craig

Best Publishing Houses
Perma Books
Pocket Books

Worst Publishing Houses
Popular Library
Dell Candlelight


  1. I have only just discovered your blog and am having such fun making up for lost time! I’m a fellow nurse romance addict, though my collection is minuscule compared to yours. Peggy Gaddis is likewise my nemesis. Looking forward to more nurse hijinks in 2024!


  2. I'm glad you found me! I hope you enjoy --