Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Trixie Belden #3 Gatehouse Mystery and #4 Mysterious Visitor

In Trixie Belden #3, The Gatehouse Mystery, Trixie and Honey explore the old gatehouse on the Wheeler property.  When Brian and Mart return from camp, they along with Trixie, Honey, and Jim form the Bob-Whites, making the old gatehouse their secret clubhouse.

Trixie finds a diamond embedded in the floor of the gatehouse, and she concocts a strange theory where a gang of thieves stayed in the gatehouse, losing one diamond.  Trixie suspects the Wheelers' new chauffeur, Dick, but everyone else thinks she is crazy.  Trixie sets out to prove that she is right.

Only the third floor of the Wheeler house is air-conditioned.  I did not think this strange years ago, but now I do.  I realize that it was uncommon back then for homes to be air-conditioned.  However, the Wheelers are so rich that I feel they should have done the entire house.  Why not?

I only partially enjoyed this book on this reading.  I know the story by heart, and I was not very interested in the later part of the story.  I also was not interested in the culprit's lengthy explanation of every detail, so I skimmed the climax of the story.

In Trixie Belden #4, The Mysterious Visitor, Trixie and the Bob-Whites become friends with Diana Lynch, who is struggling to adjust to being wealthy.  Di is inducted into the club, and the Bob-Whites help Di plan a Halloween party.  Di's Uncle Monty, a long-lost relative, has recently appeared, and Uncle Monty seems determined to make Di's life difficult.  For this reason, Trixie is certain that Uncle Monty is an impostor.  She is determined to uncover the truth, despite the danger.

On page 54, Trixie wonders whether the "person Di hated so violently" was Uncle Monty.  I mention this because I like using the word "violently" in front of "dislike" to indicate my feelings.  One time recently, a coworker expressed surprise at my use of the word "violently" as if I were strange to use it.  I started wondering about my usage of the word.  I knew I got it from somewhere, and I was glad to see it in this book.  Do any of you use "violently" in this fashion?

The Bob-Whites, particularly the boys, are disgusted about all of the rubber creatures that Uncle Monty hid for the party in order to scare the guests, saying that the pranks are "dangerous."  I never have seen them as such a big deal as the Bob-Whites do, which shows how times have changed.  Nowadays, this sort of prank would be considered very tame and probably one used just for younger children.

On page 197, Trixie tells the others that if she is wrong that they can "chop off [her] head."  This is followed by some banter about corpses and heads being chopped off.  This never bothered me before, but in the last 20 years many heads have been chopped off by terrorists, so I now find the flippant nature of the passage to be in bad taste.  The passage would not have been considered in bad taste at the time it was written.

This book holds up well, and I enjoyed it as much as ever.  The entire story is excellent.

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