Saturday, August 25, 2018

Trixie Belden #7 Mysterious Code and #8 Black Jacket Mystery

In Trixie belden #7, The Mysterious Code, the school board is concerned about the existence of clubs in Sleepyside after several acts of vandalism.  The Bob-Whites are informed that they may have to disband.  In order to prove the worth of the club, the Bob-Whites plan an antique charity show.  After a lap desk is stolen, Trixie searches for clues to the people who are causing trouble in Sleepyside.

This is the first book not written by Julie Campell.  It has a very different tone.  The teasing banter that was present in the first six books is absent from this story.

Bobby is suddenly quite mature and can put together complete sentences and can pronounce words correctly.

On page 108, a Japanese man is interested in the swords.  Trixie observes that he keeps bowing.  Trixie's observation serves no purpose, and neither does the constant bowing.  It struck me as an unnecessary racial stereotype.

On page 110, the Japanese man "shows his white teeth in a broad smile."  My thought was, Why do white people not show their white teeth?

On page 161 we learn that Trixie's birthday is May 1.

I have never liked this book.  The entire plot feels forced.  There is no real reason for anyone to think the Bob-Whites are to blame for anything, and the Bob-Whites come up with an immediate charity event on the spot with no trouble at all.  It didn't ring true for me.

I also have read this story far fewer times than the rest of the first 16 books.  I am not certain whether I ever read this book in the sixth grade.  Regardless, I still do not like it.  I find it uninteresting.  I skimmed the book on this reading.

In Trixie Belden #8, The Black Jacket Mystery, a boy named Dan Mangan starts school in Sleepyside and lives with and works for Mr. Maypenny.  Dan wears a black jacket that has a name on the back that has been painted over.  Trixie is suspicious that Dan is a member of a gang and that he is up to no good.

Thankfully, the fun banter is back with this volume, so the tone is much improved from the previous book.  The banter is what makes the Trixie Belden series so entertaining.  My all-time favorite Trixie retort is when she puts Mart in his place on page 30.  "The use of too many polysyllabic words is definitely a symptom of immaturity."  Poor Mart is flabbergasted!

Not only does Dan have a black jacket, but he wears cowboy boots.  This considered quite unusual.  This book was published during the 1960s, so I'm sure it was odd at that time.  However, it wouldn't be considered odd now.

Dan's gang is called "The Cowhands."  What kind of stupid name is that?  I have always thought it stupid.

I really feel that The Black Jacket Mystery should have been written and published before The Mysterious Code.  If The Mysterious Code had been published after the introduction of Dan Mangan, then it would have been logical for the school board to have questioned the Bob-Whites' legitimacy as a club.  Dan's presence would have marred their reputation, due to his shady history as a gang member in New York City.

I don't like this book as much as I once did.  It is good, but I skimmed parts of it.

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