Thursday, June 12, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Trixie Belden Series


Throwback Thursday is a new feature at Reading Lark. We'll still be doing some Book Boyfriend Posts and Book BFF Posts on Thursdays as well, but the Larks wanted a little variety on Thursdays. Throwback Thursday will allow us to celebrate some of the reads we loved way back when...

Trixie Belden Series
By: Julie Campbell & Others
Release date: 1948-1986


The Trixie Belden series of mysteries formed a massive part of my childhood. From the age of 7 onwards I devoured this series, reading all of the books available to me over the next few years. I shared them with my friends who also loved them, and Trixie’s adventures played a big part in our playground games (and, it must be said, my creative writing projects!). I, of course, played the role of Trixie, with my best friend playing Honey. We solved mysteries of our own making and ran away from evil witches and ghosts. 

The series follows the adventures of Trixie Belden, a teenager living in a semi-rural setting on the Husdon River. When heiress Honey Wheeler moves into the mansion down the road, Trixie at first finds her stuck up, but soon they bond over the mystery of the runaway Jim Frayne and from that point on they are best friends. Trixie, Honey, Jim and Trixie’s two older brothers, Mart and Brian, form a club known as the Bob-Whites. Through the 30-odd books that follow, Trixie and the Bob-Whites find themselves involved in one mystery after another, with just the right amount of peril to make you wonder whether this time, the Bob-Whites have gone too far. 

 The first book, The Secret of the Mansion, was published in 1948 and the 39th and final book, The Mystery of the Galloping Ghost, was published in 1986. Reading these in the early to mid-80s, I had no idea that Trixie’s early adventures were already 35 years old. Perhaps in the era of smart phones and the internet, Trixie’s adventures may seem a little old fashioned, but to me they were completely contemporary. 

 Looking into the authors of the Trixie Belden series reveals a mystery almost worthy of Trixie herself. The first six books were written by Julie Campbell who created the characters and based the Belden house, Crabapple Farm, on her own home. When she stopped writing the series, the publisher attributed further books in the series to Kathryn Kenny. There was no such person. There appear to have been eight authors responsible for the remaining stories in the series, but there is no definitive answer as to which author wrote which installments

 No matter who wrote them, the Trixie Belden series is an excellent children’s adventure series that helped shape my love of reading and developed a love of mysteries that persists to this day. 

 Note: In researching this post, I discovered http://www.trixie-belden.com/ which is where much of the information comes from, particularly regarding the authors. I am indebted to Jenni Johns and have shamelessly taken advantage of her extensive research.


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