the trixie belden series
Trixie Belden is a series of mysteries written between 1948 and 1986. The first six books were written by Julie Campbell Tatham. The succeeding volumes were written by various in-house writers of Western Publishing under the pseudonym "Kathryn Kenny".
Beatrix "Trixie" Belden is a young teen living just outside the fictional town of Sleepyside-on-Hudson, in the Hudson Valley area of New York. She lives at Crabapple Farm, which had been in her family for generations, with her parents and three brothers, Brian, Mart, and Bobby. The first book establishes her friendship with lonely, sheltered rich girl, Honey Wheeler, whose family has just moved into the Manor House next door and soon the girls are embroiled in their first case.
Throughout the series, the two girls solve mysteries that baffled authorities and, along with brothers and friends, form a club called the Bob-Whites of the Glen, have adventures, travel, and struggle with school. Trixie has particular difficulties with math.
Beatrix "Trixie" Belden: Thirteen-year-old Trixie Belden is one of the two co-presidents of the Bob-Whites of the Glen. Described as being short with a sturdy build, she has short blonde ringlets (either sandy blonde or strawberry blonde depending on edition) and round blue eyes. She has a tendency to jump to conclusions, but her hunches often prove to be correct. One of Trixie's chores is to take care of six-year-old Bobby and, while she loves her little brother, she often loses patience with the mischievous child. She and Honey plan to one day open their own business: The Belden-Wheeler Detective Agency. Trixie has an amazing instinct for people and can accurately judge them before she gets to know them. Her best friends are Honey Wheeler and Di Lynch. Likes Jim Frayne towards end of ninth book.
Madeleine G. "Honey" Wheeler: Depending on the book, thirteen-year old Honey Wheeler is either vice-president or secretary of the Bob-Whites of the Glen. She is described as being tall, slender, and pretty, with shoulder-length golden-brown hair and large hazel eyes. Until moving to Sleepyside, she spent her life in boarding schools and summer camps barely knowing her own parents. Her friendship with Trixie and the Bob-Whites has given her more confidence and helped her to forge a relationship with her parents and adopted brother. Generally regarded as the sweetest and most tactful of the Bob-Whites, she is also their star swimmer. She now attends Sleepyside Junior-Senior High School with the rest of the Bob-Whites, where she consistently receives high marks and praise. Honey and Brian seem to like each other.
James '"Jim" Winthrop Frayne II: Fifteen-year-old Jim Frayne is the other co-president of the Bob-Whites of the Glen. The focus of the first two books, he is adopted by the Wheelers at the end of "The Red Trailer Mystery", after successfully running away from his abusive stepfather. He has a Springer spaniel named Patch. He is described as having red hair and green eyes, coincidentally the same coloring as his adoptive father, Matthew Wheeler. Jim is an expert horseman and 'rides like a centaur'. He and Trixie are fond of each other, and Jim gives Trixie an orchid and later his ID bracelet; however, the romantic angle is downplayed in later volumes. His goal is to one day use his inheritance to build a school for orphaned boys that will combine outdoor - naturalist activities with regular academics. Throughout the series, there is some inconsistency regarding his age.
Brian Belden: Brian Belden, sixteen, is the oldest of the four Belden children. Described as dark and handsome, he is by far the most level-headed of the seven Bob-Whites and plans to become a doctor after finishing school. Throughout the series, Brian often provides first aid to his sister, Trixie, as well others who are injured during the course of the Bob-Whites' adventures. Brian is very smart and mature, always the voice of reason and always trying to keep Trixie out of trouble. In the fifth book, Brian got his first car: an old jalopy which he purchased from Mr. Lytell, a storekeeper, for fifty dollars. Brian's first aid skills stretch to caring for automobiles, as he is often shown working on his car, and also to animals as when he is given responsibility to bandage an injured horse owned by the Wheelers.
Martin "Mart" Belden: Exactly eleven months older than Trixie, fourteen-year-old Martin Belden is often described as Trixie's 'almost-twin'. Mart is most well known for his love of eating and his out-sized vocabulary. He has a crush on Diana Lynch. He has a fondness for Cosmo McNaught space adventures books and in The Mystery of the Ghostly Galleon, bickers with Trixie that Cosmo is better than Lucy from the Lucy Radcliff books Trixie likes so much. He plans to become a farmer, although the Pet Show Mystery gave him an interest in computers. Despite his frequent arguments with his sister (they are constantly teasing and picking on each other), the two are quite close.
Diana "Di" Lynch: The prettiest girl in class, thirteen-year-old Diana Lynch has black hair and violet eyes (possibly due to the popularity of Elizabeth Taylor as a young actress at the time Diana's character was created.) She has both a set of twin brothers and a set of twin sisters who are much younger than herself. Her father recently made a lot of money, and Di hates being rich, though the Bob-Whites help her adjust. She joins the Bob-Whites in the Mysterious Visitor, while inadvertently providing them with another mystery. She shows great artistic ability in later books and can be a bit gullible at times. She is not the most intelligent, but is a good sport, smiling and laughing often, especially at herself when she makes mistakes. One consistent character trait established over the many stories is Di's love of the color purple.
Daniel "Dan" Mangan: Orphaned in New York City, Dan Mangan, left to his own devices, became mixed up in a street gang called 'The Cowhands'. The juvenile court sends him to live with his uncle Regan, the Wheelers' groom, in Sleepyside, although he actually lives with and works for Mr. Maypenny, the gamekeeper. After a rough start in Sleepyside, Dan reformed and became the seventh Bob-White in the Black Jacket Mystery. His age is unknown; he begins school in Mart's homeroom, but later must study during vacations to keep up with classes he takes with Brian and Jim. He intends to be a police officer in New York City.
Helen Belden (Moms): Trixie's mother, a kind and sensible homemaker. She loves her children and keeps them honest.
Peter Belden (Dad): Trixie's father, a smart, honest, and generous man. He works at the Sleepyside bank, and loves his family very much.
Robert "Bobby" Belden: The youngest Belden is only six when the series starts. Trixie babysits Bobby for her allowance, so she often has to check in on him and read him stories when she'd much rather be solving a mystery.
Reddy: The Belden's Irish Setter. He's affectionate, but resists all attempts to train him.
Miss Trask: She worked as a math teacher at Honey's old boarding school, but Honey liked her so much Mr. Wheeler hired her to be Honey's governess. Now she mostly manages the estate. She is smart, sensible and efficient; the Bob-Whites love Miss Trask, and she loves them. Miss Trask often accompanies the kids when they travel.
Bill Regan: The hot-headed but good-natured groom. In the first book he taught Trixie to ride horses, and has been well loved by all the Bob-Whites since. Twenty-two in the first book, Regan is a good friend to the Bob-Whites, always helping out when they need him. He seems to have a love interest as seen in The Mystery at Saratoga. He takes in his late sister's son, Dan Mangan, and brings him from New York City, to live in Sleepyside, with Mr. Maypenny as Mr. Maypenny's helper.
Sgt. Molinson: The local police sergeant who is often summoned to the scene of the crime or to warn Trixie against pursuing the mystery. He's not fond of the Bob-Whites' frequent interference in police business, and not shy about telling them so.
Mr. Lytell: The shopkeeper of the local market. He's very curious about the goings on in the neighborhood (often portrayed as nosy), but sometimes looks the other way because he is fond of Miss Trask.
Spider Webster: A local patrolman who is more welcoming of the Bob-Whites than is Sgt. Molinson.
Mr. and Mrs. Wheeler: Honey's parents, and later Jim's adoptive parents. They are often away on business, leaving Mrs. Trask to look after Honey and Jim.
Celia: The Wheelers' maid.
Tom Delanoy: The Wheelers' chauffeur, later married to Celia.
Mr. Maypenny: The gamekeeper on the Wheeler estate. A recluse, he lives on a pie-shaped piece of property in the middle of the game preserve.
Mrs. Vanderpoel: A kind woman who lives nearby and knows nearly everyone in the area, plus much of the local history.
Jonesy: Jim's abusive stepfather.
Ben Riker: Honey's fun-loving cousin. His pranks - like switching the salt and sugar on the dinner table - sometimes rub others the wrong way.
Uncle Andrew: Peter Belden's brother. He owns a sheep ranch in Iowa and a mountain cabin in the Ozarks. He has no children of his own, but he's fond of the Bob-Whites and invites them to stay with him when he can.
Ned Schulz: Son of Uncle Andrew's neighbor in Iowa. He plays on the local high-school basketball team. Takes a liking to Trixie during the Bob-Whites' visit to Iowa.
Bob and Barbara Hubbell: Twins from near Uncle Andrew's sheep ranch in Iowa, close friends of Ned Schulz. They play and sing folk songs together, including some that they've written.
Hallie: Trixie's cousin from Idaho. They don't always get along.
Nick Roberts: A fellow student, he is very good at art - particularly sketching and painting. His father runs a local trophy shop in town.
Harrison: The Lynches' butler. His very proper manner often clashes with Di's desire for a normal life.
Dr. Ferris: The local physician, who sometimes makes house calls to the Belden or Wheeler home.
1: "The Secret of the Mansion" (1948) For Sale
Trixie's summer is going to be sooo boring with her two older brothers away at camp. But then a millionaire's daughter moves into the next-door mansion, an old miser hides a fortune in his decrepit house, and a runaway kid starts hiding out in Sleepyside!
2: "The Red Trailer Mystery" (1950) For Sale
Trixie and Honey's friend Jim has run away from Sleepyside - before anyone could tell him that he is the only heir to the huge Frayne fortune. The girls set out across upstate New York in a trailer to track him down . . . and stumble onto another mystery along the way!
3: "The Gatehouse Mystery" (1951) For Sale
When Trixie and Honey explore an abandoned gatehouse, they discover more than dust and spiderwebs. Stuck in the dirt floor is a huge diamond! Could a ring of jewel thieves be hiding out in Sleepyside?
4: "The Mysterious Visitor" (1954) For Sale
Trixie and Diana Lynch were friends for years before Di's family became fabulously rich. So when Di's long-lost uncle starts ruining her social life, Di turns to her old friend for help. But Trixie thinks Uncle Monty isn't just an annoying relative - she thinks he's an impostor!
5: "The Mystery Off Glen Road" (1956) For Sale
When a storm blows through Sleepyside, the Bob-Whites' clubhouse is crushed by a fallen tree. Trixie, Honey, and their brothers set to work at the Wheelers' game preserve to raise the money to repair it. Of course, no one expected Trixie to stumble across the trail of a dangerous poacher!
6: "The Mystery in Arizona" (1958) For Sale
Di Lynch's Uncle Monty has invited Trixie, Honey, and the rest of the Bob-Whites to his Arizona dude ranch for winter vacation. There will be lots to do - horseback riding, swimming, festivals - but Trixie is hoping for an activity that isn't on the usual list. She wants another mystery.
7: "The Mysterious Code" (1961) For Sale
Principal Stratton wants to get rid of all clubs in Sleepyside High School, including the Bob-Whites! The only way they can save their club is to prove that they help out other people, too. Trixie quickly comes up with a plan to host a benefit antique show and sale. But are the precious antiques in danger from thieves?
8: "The Black Jacket Mystery" (1961) For Sale
There's a new kid in town - a tough boy from New York City who wears a black leather jacket and pointy cowboy boots. Trixie doesn't trust him for a second. She's sure about one thing: Don Mangan is trouble!
9: "The Happy Valley Mystery" (1962) For Sale
Uncle Andrew needs Trixie's help. Trixie and the Bob-Whites are spending spring break at his farm in Iowa, and his sheep keep disappearing. He thinks they're being stolen! Trixie may not know sheep, but she does know thieves. And she has an idea where to start looking for them - near the mysterious flickering lights in dark, dangerous Walnut Woods!
10: "The Marshland Mystery" (1962) For Sale
The weather is finally warming up in Sleepyside and Trixie has plans for her and her best friend Honey. They're going to lonely Martin's Marsh to collect herbs and flowers for botany class. But Honey's family has a visitor, a child who wants to tag along on Trixie's and Honey's expeditions. How can Trixie explore the mysterious burned-out house by the marsh and look for Captain Kidd's hidden pirate treasure with a kid along?
11: "The Mystery at Bob-White Cave" (1963) For Sale
The Bob-Whites are off to the Ozarks to spend some time with the Beldens' Uncle Andrew. Trixie can't wait to explore some dark, damp, and most of all, mysterious caves, because she has another scheme up her sleeve. A national magazine is offering a reward to anyone who can find three "ghost cave fish." Nothing will stop Trixie from finding them - not bats or wild cats or even a real ghost!
12: "The Mystery of the Blinking Eye" (1963) For Sale
"Trixie Cuidadito!" After a Mexican fortune-teller slips a strange Spanish poem into her purse, Trixie and the Bob-Whites find themselves in the middle of a New York City mystery. Villains and thieves and danger are all foreseen by the fortune-teller, but what do thieves want with Trixie?
13: "The Mystery on Cobbett's Island" (1964) For Sale
When the Bob-Whites arrive on Cobbett's Island for vacation, Trixie finds a mysterious letter. Many years ago, a fortune was hidden. But the clues in the letter are hard for Trixie to understand. What does "start sailing" mean? Is this a treasure hunt on land . . . or on sea?
14: "The Mystery of the Emeralds" (1965) For Sale
Trixie's on the trail of a century-old mystery! She's headed to Williamsburg, Virginia, to find an old plantation house, Rosewood Hall, that was the home to the Sunderland family during the Civil War. Rumor has it that a cursed emerald necklace is buried in a secret passageway there. But after all that time, Rosewood Hall is just a ruin. Is it too late for Trixie to find the missing emeralds?
15: "The Mystery on the Mississippi" (1965) For Sale
It's anchors away for Trixie as she travels down the Mississippi River. No, it's not on the old-fashioned paddle-wheel steamship she always dreamed of, but the trip is still more exciting than she ever imagined. Someone is shadowing her every move, trying to steal to the mysterious graph papers Trixie found in a trash can in her hotel room in Memphis. Why are the papers so important? Could there be more to the childish drawings than meets the eye?
16: "The Mystery of the Missing Heiress" (1970) For Sale
The commotion inside the house became bedlam...a combination of falling furniture, cries of "Where are the lights?" Bobby's shrieks, doors slamming, and rushing feet. "Where are you, Trixie?" her father's voice called. "Trixie!" Brian echoed. "The lights are all out, all over the house. What is happening?" "He must have cut the wires..
17: "The Mystery of the Uninvited Guest" (1977) For Sale
Trixie attends the wedding of Juliana and Hans only to find out personal property - such as bikes and a ring - are suddenly disappearing! Could it be Hallie? She was acting strange! Read on to find out in this mystery, adventure story.
18: "The Mystery of the Phantom Grasshopper" (1977) For Sale
Trixie and Bobby search for Hoppy, the missing grasshopper, while someone that's new in town is eager to collect the reward money before them. Can Bobby help Trixie solve this mystery? You must read this exciting story to find out.
19: "The Secret of the Unseen Treasure" (1977) For Sale
It's the first day of summer, and Trixie is looking forward to fun and maybe a mystery or two. But the mystery starts earlier than expected when she and her friends head to a neighbor's house to make a delivery. They show up in time to keep a stranger from burning down Mrs. Elliot's shed. Over the next few weeks, Social Security checks are stolen and a water pump stops working. Who is behind these attacks? And why?
20: "The Mystery off Old Telegraph Road" (1978) For Sale
Well, the Bob-Whites are at it again. Trixie and Honey, et al, decide to organize a bikeathon to raise money for the school art department. But several people don't want the bikeathon to continue, including Honey's messed-up cousin Ben Riker, the school's best artist Nick Roberts, and a person who leaves mysterious notes around threatening the bikeathon. Add to that a counterfeiting ring and Sleepyside is wide awake over this mystery.
21: "The Mystery of the Castaway Children" (1978) For Sale
When Trixie finds a baby in Reddy's doghouse, it starts the Bob-Whites and their families on a quest to find the baby's family. But why was he left in the doghouse? Where's his older brother? And why are his parents receiving ransom notes? It will take all of Trixie and Honey's skills to solve this case before something truly awful happens.
22: "The Mystery on Mead's Mountain" (1978) For Sale
When Mr. Wheeler invites the Bob-Whites to investigate the ski resort he's thinking of buying during their Christmas break, they jump at the chance. A week of cross country skiing and fresh mountain air sounds wonderful. But they arrive to find a ghostly visitor has left them a warning in their room. Then Trixie overhears a strange conversation and more weird events start happening. What is going on?
23: "The Mystery of the Queen's Necklace" (1979) For Sale
Trixie is excited when her best friend Honey's family extends an invitation to visit England. Officially, they are going to track down Honey's mother's family tree with a possible connection to Shakespeare and also try to find out about a necklace that Honey just inherited from a great aunt. But that should leave them with plenty of time for sight seeing, too.
And it's the sight seeing that gets them into trouble. While touring London, Trixie spots a pick pocket. And then she starts seeing him everywhere he goes. Meanwhile, Trixie doesn't trust their new guide even though everyone else in the group loves him. What is going on?
24: "The Mystery at Saratoga" (1979) For Sale
It's August, and with Jim, Brian, and Mart at camp, it's quiet in Sleeyside. That is until Honey calls Trixie with horrible news - Regan has vanished. The Wheelers' groom has left a note saying he hopes to be back soon, but he hasn't explained where he went or why.
However, a trip to the library puts Trixie and Honey on his trail. It seems seven years ago, before he went to work for the Wheelers, he was working with race horses in Saratoga. One of them was drugged, and suspicion fell on the then teenager. Now, Regan has gone back to clear his name. Trixie and Honey manage to get a trip to Saratoga as well. Can they track down Regan and prove his innocence?
25: "The Sasquatch Mystery" (1979) For Sale
Miss Trask and the Bob-Whites (except Dan) go camping with the Belden cousins (Knut, Cap, and Hallie) in Idaho, where they see what appears to be a sasquatch. The mystery deepens when the creature seems to commit a violent act.
26: "The Mystery of the Headless Horseman" (1979) For Sale
The day before Trixie and the other Bob-Whites are putting on a bazaar at the Lynch estate, Di Lynch's butler, Harrison, vanishes. This is especially bad because with Mr. and Mrs. Lynch out of town, were only comfortable with the bazaar being on their property if Harrison was there to supervise.
When the friends go out and hunt for him, they find him trapped in the basement of a neighboring house. Only his explanation for how he got there doesn't make sense. Looking into it further leads Trixie to the trail of a stolen Ming vase and crosses her path with the Headless Horseman. What in the world is happening?
27: "The Mystery of the Ghostly Galleon" (1979) For Sale
Trixie and the rest of the Bob-Whites are reluctant to go along with Miss Trask on her visit to see her brother and the family home, an inn that Mr. Trask had finally turned around thanks to pirate theming. However, she insists they come and she lures them there with a tale of her ancestor Captain Trask. The captain was a pirate who vanished from the inn's dining room in front of a crowd of people and no one knows how he did it.
When the group arrives, they soon realize that this old mystery is the least of their worries. A series of strange accidents have been occurring. There's one guest who acts weird. And that's before Trixie and Honey witness a ship glowing in the darkness. Is it a warning of more danger to come?
28: "The Hudson River Mystery" (1979) For Sale
A trip to pick up older brother Brian and his lab partner Loyola from the shores of the Hudson River lead to a mystery when Trixie thinks she sees a shark fin in the water. Despite the fact that everyone tells her there is no way it could be true, she is certain of what she saw. Thea Van Loon, a children's author who is working on a book about the area, backs up Trixie. But why does Trixie think there is something off about Thea?
But Trixie has a mystery closer to home to solve as well. Brian isn't acting like himself. He's even questioning if he still wants to be a doctor, and he feels sick and tired. What could be causing the shift in his personality?
29: "The Mystery of the Velvet Gown" (1980) For Sale
Every year, the freshman class at Sleepyside Junior-Senior High School comes together to put on a play. This year's play, under the direction of Miss Darcy, is Romeo and Juliette, and Trixie's friend Diana Lynch has landed the part of Juliette. Everyone is thrilled for her - well almost everyone. There's Jane Morgan, who wanted the part and seems to have a grudge against the Bob-Whites in general.
However, Trixie's focus is on Miss Darcy. Just as rehearsals are getting under way, Miss Darcy learns that her father, a diplomat, has been kidnapped in London. Naturally, she's upset, however, her actions still seem a bit odd. Even odder is her fiancée, Peter Ashbury. Can Trixie figure out what is really happening?
30: "The Mystery of the Midnight Marauder" (1980) For Sale
When Trixie wakes up that Saturday morning in March, she is only worried about Reddy, the Belden family dog. He's missing, and she feels like it is something more than him off chasing rabbits. But then her brother Mart starts acting funny. And when she and the Bob-Whites arrive at school to help with some cleanup, they find it's been attacked by someone calling himself the Midnight Marauder.
The biggest shock comes when Trixie learns that Mart is Sergeant Molinson's prime suspect. With the town quickly turning against teens in general because of this and other vandalism in town, Trixie's going to have to act fact to clear her brother and find the real culprit. But who might it be?
31: "The Mystery at Maypenny's" (1980) For Sale
A furniture company wants to purchase some of Mr. Maypenny's land and some of Mr. Wheeler's land on the game preserve in order to expand. Mr. Wheeler is willing to sell, but Mr. Maypenny refuses. Sleepyside residents are equally torn about the issue. Also, Mr. Maypenny's nephew arrives for a visit.
32: "The Mystery of the Whispering Witch" (1980) For Sale
A classmate of Trixie's moves into a house rumored to be haunted by the spirit of a witch who was burned to death many years before by angry townspeople. Trixie Belden and her best friend Honey help to solve the mystery of the house and the mysterious witch!
33: "The Mystery of the Vanishing Victim" (1980) For Sale
Trixie Belden and the rest of her friends are working on putting together a rummage sale to benefit the town's hospital. When they get a donation of an antique car, they are shocked and thrilled, until it breaks down on the way home. A stranger stops to help them only to be the victim of a hit and run as soon as he leaves them. While he recovers from his injuries in the hospital, Trixie can't help but wonder if he was hit on purpose. Who was he? And what is he doing in Sleepyside?
34: "The Mystery of the Missing Millionaire" (1980) For Sale
The book opens on a hot August day as Trixie and her best friend Honey Wheeler are out exercising the horses that the Wheelers own. They find a wallet on the side of the road and quickly take it to Mr. Lytell who owns the shop nearby so he can get in touch with the owner.
However, the response Mr. Lytell gets surprises all of them. Laura Ramsey shows up to claim her father's wallet, hoping it will hold some clue to where he is. He's disappeared and she is frantic with worry. Trixie is thrilled when a PI is brought in to help find the missing millionaire. But will she actually be able to help solve the case?
35: "The Mystery of the Memorial Day Fire" (1984) For Sale
Trixie Belden searches for an arsonist after a fire destroys a local store and a warehouse during the annual Memorial Day parade.
36: "The Mystery of the Antique Doll" (1984) For Sale
Delivering a doll to a mysterious antique dealer leads fourteen-year-old Trixie Belden to investigate a case of counterfeiting.
37: "The Pet Show Mystery" (1985) For Sale
Trixie suspects someone of trying to sabotage the pet show that she and the Bob-Whites are staging in order to raise money to feed the starving game-birds.
38: "The Indian Burial Ground Mystery" (1985) For Sale
Participating in an archaeological dig on an Indian burial ground, Trixie suspects a greedy, treasure-hunting college student of burglarizing several mansions in the area.
39: "The Mystery of the Galloping Ghost" (1986) For Sale
Vacationing on a Minnesota horse ranch, Trixie and her friend, Honey investigate the reported sightings of a legendary ghost and join the search for a missing Arabian horse.