Tuesday, October 9, 2018

Trixie Belden #35 Mystery of the Memorial Day Fire and #36 Mystery of the Antique Doll

In Trixie Belden #35, The Mystery of the Memorial Day Fire, the Bob-Whites are watching the Memorial Day Parade with the rest of the town when a large explosion occurs inside a downtown building.  The Bob-Whites are dismayed to learn that Nick Roberts' father's shop was the location of the explosion.  The shop has been destroyed and Mr. Roberts is suspected of being the culprit.  Trixie suspects a newspaper reporter of setting of the explosion, perhaps to create news.

Beginning with this book, the stories are around 20 pages shorter than the preceding books in the series.

The Bob-Whites are selling T-shirts to help Nick's father, and on page 122, Trixie claims that she doesn't know anybody, which makes it hard to sell anything.  She then states that she is afraid to try because she fears that "people will hang up on me or laugh at me."  Since when has Trixie ever worried about failure or what other people think?  This is such a major character inconsistency that I am dumbfounded.  How could the author screw up like this?

Later in the book, the Wheelers' tack room is on fire.  The horses are inside, and nobody removes them.  The horses are just left in there to inhale smoke while the fire department is called.  Sure, the fire is put out, but the horses still could have died of smoke inhalation.  Not only that, but Regan is absent without explanation.  I thought Regan is paid to take care of the horses.  I suppose that's why everyone just leaves the horses in the stable to die.

This book is overall good, but it is certainly below average as compared to most books in the series.

In Trixie Belden #36, The Mystery of the Antique Doll, Trixie and Honey are enlisted to help Mrs. De Keyser, an injured woman who lives on Glen Road.  A new antique shop has opened next to Mrs. De Keyser's house, and Trixie finds it strange that the owner, Mr. Reid, knows very little about antiques.  Later, Trixie and Honey plan to go to Paris for the weekend with the Wheelers as a reward for being finalists in a spelling bee.  Mr. Reid requests that the girls pick up an antique doll for him and bring it to the United States.

The problem with this book is that so much of it makes little sense.  It's odd for Trixie and Honey to be finalists in a spelling bee.  This is random and inconsistent with the rest of the series.

It's also odd that Trixie and Honey are suddenly on the school's newspaper staff along with Mart.

I kept wondering about the antique doll.  It is strangely not mentioned until page 70.  The titular subject is completely absent until nearly halfway through the story.

It's strange for Trixie and Honey only, and no other Bob-Whites, to get to go to Paris on a weekend in the middle of the story.  It's also bizarre for the Wheelers to turn the girls loose in Paris unchaperoned except for their cab driver, who was not known to them beforehand.

The next paragraph contains a plot spoiler, so skip it if you don't want to know.  I contend that this story is too stupid for a spoiler to matter, but I have done my duty in warning anyone who cares.

The antique shop owner was using the girls to smuggle something into the United States—something hidden on the doll.  You would think that the objects would be hidden inside the doll.  But no, the rather heavy and unwieldy items are sewn into the doll's dress.  How utterly obvious and stupid.  Oh, and the objects?  They are printing plates to be used to print counterfeit money.  OMG.

The book is actually overall good, but the plot is beyond stupid.

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