Let's face it. A new series written by the syndicate responsible for Nancy Drew and The Happy Hollisters et al has an in the hole to begin with. Add to this the fact that the new series is about a California ranch, about youngsters to whom horses are second nature, and that each title involves a mystery -- and you can't miss. BUT -- couldn't someone in the syndicate of writers be found who would give a bit more professional flavor to the dialogue, draw characters that are better than two-dimensional, avoid the cliches and the provincialisms, add just a mite of literary flavor to the writing, and occasionally have something go wrong in the heroic bits in which Linda and Kathy and Bob (ages rage from sixteen to eighteen) win their Laurels? One wonders. Please note- this is the type of series where we shall cover the first four, perhaps, then take them on faith and simply announce additions.