Last August, we discussed a Cozy Mystery series that got many young readers interested in mysteries, myself included – Nancy Drew. It turns out that Nancy Drew is just one of the characters who turned us into what we are today: Cozy Mystery readers! Some of us started our mystery reading journey with Nancy while others started with sleuths such as the Bobbsey Twins, Hardy Boys, and Trixie Beldon.
The first Trixie Belden book, The Secret of the Mansion, was originally released in 1948, and new books were periodically released until 1986. The first six books were written Julie Campbell Tatham, a very real author who also wrote the similar teenager mystery series Ginny Gordon and a Rin Tin Tin novel, among other things. After that, various authors employed directly by publisher Western House, releasing an additional 33 books to bring the total Trixie Belden book list to 39!
One of the big differences between Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew appears to be that a bigger effort was made to make Trixie seem like a slightly more realistic view of a teenage girl. It was hard to imagine Nancy Drew having trouble with anything, and while this made her a figure to look up to, it also sometimes made her a bit harder to identify with than the more realistic Trixie.
In contrast, Trixie sometimes felt frustrated by her brothers (something I think anyone with siblings has felt from time to time), and despite her obvious intelligence, she had difficulty with certain school subjects >> particularly math. All of this likely goes a long way toward making Trixie feel more like a real person than the ethereal, at times almost-too-perfect Nancy Drew.
Unlike Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden hasn’t seen the same efforts to update and reinvigorate the series. Regardless of how you feel about the changes made to the Nancy Drew books to “modernize” them, this does at least make sure that a new edition is periodically released so new readers (and those of us who might be feeling a bit nostalgic) can pick up the series.
Please leave a comment below if you remember reading about Trixie’s adventures!
(Thank you, ALL, for your comments! There were so many, I thought I would post a Trixie Belden Follow-Up rather than try to respond to each of you. I hope this is OK!