Thursday, September 13, 2018

Trixie Belden #17 Mystery of the Uninvited Guest and #18 Mystery of the Phantom Grasshopper

In Trixie Belden #17, The Mystery of the Uninvited Guest, Trixie's cousin, Hallie, comes to visit, and Trixie is furious.  Trixie and Hallie have never gotten along, and Trixie takes offense at everything Hallie does.  Meanwhile, Bobby acts strangely, talking about a wheelchair that only he saw on Glen Road, and food keeps disappearing out of the Beldens' kitchen.  As Trixie tries to puzzle out the mysterious events, she helps the Wheelers plan the wedding of Jim's cousin, Juliana.

On page 53, Bobby says that he doesn't have a bike.  This is strange, since Bobby has a new bicycle in Trixie Belden and the Marshland Mystery.

I have read this book at least twice before.  I seem to recall that I did not like it very much.  On this reading, I thoroughly enjoyed it.  Hallie always annoyed me, but this time I found Trixie's behavior towards Hallie to be far more annoying than Hallie herself.

This book is very interesting from start to finish and held my attention well.  This is an excellent story.

In Trixie Belden #18, The Mystery of the Phantom Grasshopper, Hoppy the weather vane disappears from its perch above city hall.  Trixie has always loved the weather vane and is upset that it has vanished.  Later, a valuable coin collection also vanishes from a school classroom.  Trixie fears that Miss Lawler and her friend, Sammy, may be responsible for the coin theft.  Trixie really likes Miss Lawler and fears that she is guilty.

On page 15 the word "pixilated" is used.  This is not the same word as "pixelated," which is used to describe photos that have been blown up large enough to show the pixels.  "Pixilated" describes a person who is crazy, confused, or mentally unbalanced.

Sammy calls Miss Lawler "Cis," but Trixie hears "sis," not knowing that it is a name.  The reader knows, because of the spelling.  Later, an awkward scene occurs when Sammy is referred to as Miss Lawler's brother, which upsets her.  This part of the plot is unnecessary and obnoxious.  It's obnoxious because the reader sees the name spelled correctly and never thinks what Trixie does.  I recall finding it confusing the first time I ever read this book.

Additionally, the two culprits use songs with "Louis" in the title to send each other messages about whether to pick something up on Louis Road.  One culprit calls the radio station all day long with requests for one song so that his partner would know what to do.  When plans change, he uses another song.  This is a bit stupid, especially considering that having a radio station play songs with "Louis" in the title draws more attention to the situation than using some other method of communication.  How about just putting a message in a hollow oak or something?

The two plot points mentioned above are likely why I never enjoyed this book.  They bothered me.  This time I was able to ignore those parts and ended up thoroughly enjoying the book.  This is a very good to excellent story.

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