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The Trixie Belden mystery series included thirty-nine books published between 1948 and 1986 by Western Publishing. Julie Campbell Tatham created Trixie Belden and wrote the first six books of the series. In-house writers under the name Kathryn Kenny wrote the rest. The series was out of print from 1986 until 2003 when Random House began reprinting the books.
Tatham’s family moved to Wolf Hollow in the Hudson River Valley in Westchester County. Trixie’s home, Crabapple Farm, was modeled after the Tatham home. Tatham lived on Glendale Road and Trixie lived on Glen Road. Trixie lived outside the fictional town of Sleepyside-on-Hudson. Visitors to the area are able to pinpoint locations described in the series.
Trixie Belden was considered the antithesis of Nancy Drew, who Tatham claimed to dislike. Trixie and her best friend Honey Wheeler formed a semi-secret club called the Bob-Whites of the Glen with Trixie’s brothers and friends. Their motto was to help others whenever they could. The characters in the series were all best friends.
The first book, The Secret of the Mansion, set the stage for the friendship between Trixie and Honey who had just moved into the mansion next door. Trixie was short with a sturdy build and had short blond ringlets. Honey, in contrast, was tall, slender, had long golden-brown hair and large hazel eyes.
Honey was very rich, spending most of her life at boarding schools and summer camps until moving to the area. She then started attending the local high school with the rest of the Bob-Whites.
Trixie lived with her mom, dad, and three brothers. Brian was fifteen at the beginning of the series and his age was later frozen at seventeen. He was described as dark, handsome and level headed, and he planned to be a doctor. He was considered the voice of reason and tried to keep Trixie out of trouble.
Her next older brother, Martin (Mart) was eleven months older than Trixie, loved to eat, used long words and complex sentences when he was trying to rile Trixie, and planned to be a farmer.
Bobby was a six-year-old who could not keep a secret. Trixie earned much of her allowance as his babysitter.
Other Bob-Whites included Jim Frayne, Honey’s adopted brother, Diane Lynch, and Dan Mangan. Miss Trask, Honey’s former math teacher and current governess was smart and efficient. Bill Regan, a groomsman, taught Trixie to ride in the first book, and often helped the Bob-Whites when needed.
The popular series provided many hours of reading pleasure to young readers throughout the years as Trixie and her friends solved cases that often baffled authorities. Trixie Belden and the Bob-Whites live on in the hearts of their fans.
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