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