Thursday, 10 March 2016

TrixieBelden #1 The Secret of the Mansion by Julie Campbell

My eldest niece is about to turn 10. I've been waiting for this moment for quite some time.

In my tenth year, my aunt  gave me two books - Trixie Belden #1 and Trixie Belden #3 (sadly #2 was not available at the time of her initial gift purchase, although I quickly rectified that with the judicious spending of my pocket money) - however these two books began a reading obsession that lasted for the next 6 years.

The Secret of the Mansion was first published in 1948, but in 1977 Western Publishing Golden Press re-released the first 16 books - at a mere 95c a piece. They also commissioned the next series of the books that completed the series at #34...or so I thought...until a few years later I discovered they had published another 5 books.

By then, I was 'too old' to read Trixie, but I had to buy the books for my collection.

I've been waiting all this time to re-gift my box of Trixie Belden's to my niece.

But before I could pass on this box of wonderful reading memories to my niece, I felt that I needed to reread the first few to see if they had stood they test of time.

Ohhh and they do! They do! They do!

At least #1 does.

It's easy to see why I fell so hard in love with this series.

Trixie is a very authentic protagonist. She says the wrong things sometimes, she can be impulsive and clumsy. She gets carried away with her own imaginings. She has chores to do, struggles with her homework and argues with her brothers.

The mysteries that Trixie and her friends get caught up in are full of action, drama and human relationships. They have a logic and plausibility that satisfies. The mystery is always solved, but the main relationships are allowed to develop with the series.

The Secret of the Mansion introduces the main characters and the setting - a new neighbour, a dying neighbour, a runaway and missing millions.

I was equally hooked at 48 yrs of age as I was at ten.

I really hope that Random House (who I believe has the rights for these books) decides to republish the entire series so modern readers can discover the joys of Trixie.

The language is a little dated and, of course, there are no ipads, smart phones or viral youtube videos.
I'll be very curious to see what my very modern niece thinks of them.

I, for one, will love Trixie till the day I die.

  1. The Secret of the Mansion, 1948
  2. The Red Trailer Mystery, 1950
  3. The Gatehouse Mystery, 1951
  4. The Mysterious Visitor, 1954
  5. The Mystery Off Glen Road, 1956
  6. Mystery in Arizona, 1958
  7. The Mysterious Code, 1961
  8. The Black Jacket Mystery, 1961
  9. The Happy Valley Mystery, 1962
10. The Marshland Mystery, 1962
11. The Mystery at Bob-White Cave, 1963
12. The Mystery of the Blinking Eye, 1963
13. The Mystery on Cobbett's Island, 1964
14. The Mystery of the Emeralds, 1965
15. The Mystery on the Mississippi, 1965
16. The Mystery of the Missing Heiress, 1970
17. The Mystery of the Uninvited Guest, 1977
18. The Mystery of the Phantom Grasshopper, 1977
19. The Secret of the Unseen Treasure, 1977
20. The Mystery Off Old Telegraph Road, 1978
21. The Mystery of the Castaway Children, 1978
22. The Mystery on Mead's Mountain, 1978
23. The Mystery of the Queen's Necklace, 1979
24. The Mystery at Saratoga, 1979
25. The Sasquatch Mystery, 1979
26. The Mystery of the Headless Horseman, 1979
27. The Mystery of the Ghostly Galleon, 1979
28. The Hudson River Mystery, 1979
29. The Mystery of the Velvet Gown, 1980
30. The Mystery of the Midnight Marauder, 1980
31. The Mystery at Maypenny's, 1980
32. The Mystery of the Whispering Witch, 1980
33. The Mystery of the Vanishing Victim, 1980
34. The Mystery of the Missing Millionaire, 1980
35. The Mystery of the Memorial Day Fire, 1984
36. The Mystery of the Antique Doll, 1984
37. The Pet Show Mystery, 1985
38. The Indian Burial Ground Mystery, 1985
39. The Mystery of the Galloping Ghost, 1986

12 comments:

  1. I recently went up in the attic and dug out my Trixie Belden books for my daughter. She is ten just like your niece. I don't have the whole collection, I wish I did. I also have introduced her to Nancy Drew and she has been taking them out of the library in stacks.

    It is so nice when childhood books are as good as you remember them to be.

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    Replies
    1. It's very hard to find the whole series, esp the whole series in one cover design.

      I never got into Nancy Drew - she didn't appeal to me the same way Trixie did. Trixie was such a feel-good read for me in my tween years. I reread my favourites soooooooooooo many times - they were usually the ones that highlighted that the relationship stuff rather than the sleuthing.

      #1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 11, 12 & 24 were read more often than all the rest :-)

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  2. My daughter (now 15) loved these, but they were really hard to find. I remember having a bunch of them, and I did read them, but I didn't have such a good opinion of them. I guess I'm just a Three Investigators girl at heart. :)

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    Replies
    1. With Trixie, the mysteries, or sleuthing, were a little light on compared to some series that solved more serious crimes. I noticed with this reread how many accidents befall the characters - from falling off bikes and horses, to diving in shallow water, being chased by a rabid dog and bitten by a copperhead snake!

      For me, it was the relationships between the characters that hooked me in with each book rather than the sleuthing.

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  3. I loved Trixie too....and Cherry Ames.....and of course, Nancy Drew. Nothing though, compared to Louisa May Alcott's girls - all of them!

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  4. Oh, you make me want to re-read these! I loved Trixie and Honey - and especially Jim! My parents gave me the Nancy Drew books, and my sister Trixie Belden - but I spent as much time reading Trixie as I did Nancy.

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  5. I have such wonderful memories of Trixie Belden. I had all the books and also tapes of her stories that my sister and I listened to over and over again on the car rides to our vacation destinations. (Needless to say, my parents didn't enjoy Trixie as much as I did.) Trixie Belden, the Five Friends, and the St. Clare twins (or Hanni and Nanni, as they were called in German). Do let us know how your niece likes Trixie Belden!

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  6. Oh, it's been so long since I thought about Trixie Belden! I loved her stories when I was little, but other than one book that had been my mom's, all my copies came from the library. I don't even know if I could get them there today. Thanks for the memories this brings back!

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  7. She was so imperfect - I loved that: all freckled and messing things up. Such an antidote to perfect Nancy Drew. My pocket money took a real dent with these too.

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  8. I've got a box of Trixie Belden books in the garage. I haven't got around to rereading her as an adult, so I'm very glad to hear that she stands the test of time! Trixie didn't make the 1001 cut, but the first Nancy Drew did.

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  9. I agree whole heartedly with everything you said. My mum introduced me to the series when I was only a little girl, readings them to me until I was old enough to read them whole series myself. I'm lucky enough to own all 39 books, and I adore them all. My research tells me that there were more to be released and written but sadly the publisher decided to end the series. It hurts my heart knowing that there are unread manuscripts sitting in a warehouse somewhere. I hope one day they will be released!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Blair, there is an unofficial #40 (Mystery at Mansion House) by Melanie Knight that is available in pdf form. I've read in various forums that Ms Knight had written a couple additional books and the publishers were planning to publish them, but apparently those plans fell through because it's been years since I read about that and still no new books 😢

      Delete

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