Saturday, April 25, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Author: Nicolete Meredith Stack a.k.a Kathryn Kenny
This is the first Trixie Belden book to be on home soil in some time. Trixie's entire family including Reddy the dog star in what would be probably the most predictable mystery to date (In fact one has to wonder why did it take Trixie so long to figure this one out?) The new era of the 70's is fazed into the mix with a change in language (except for the Trixieism's like Jeepers! and Gleeps! which are possibly overused for the first time. ) and even a station wagon for the crew.
This story even manages to bring back some of the Bob White's old villainous foes. Although it is predictable and the era change is noticeable in an unfamiliar way in the words it is still an entertaining read. The main story centers on a girl with amnesia and with Trixie trying to find out who she really is and why someone is trying to kill her. On a positive note all Bob Whites are present and accounted for in this story. It possibilly would of rated higher if I didn't read it straight after some of the best Trixie books to read in the series. Ratings ** 1/2
Author:? a.k.a Kathryn Kenny
Trixie and the whole of The Bob Whites are in New York for the holidays. Staying at Honey's parents New York Apartment they show the local sites to Ned, Bob and Barbara from Iowa. (Characters from The Happy Valley Mystery) Dangerous thieves are following Trixie everywhere she goes and it seems the poem that Trixie received from a Mexican fortune teller seems to be coming true.
One of the best Trixie books and the first one to give Dan something to say and do since his inclusion in the Bob Whites in The Black Jacket Mystery. A real plus for Dan fans.
Loved the idea of Trixie having a poem she at times needed to decipher. Rating:*****
Author: Julie Campbell Tatham
Author: unknown a.k.a Kathryn Kenny
An excellent adventure that gets off to a great start. Trixie & Honey are trying to gain extra credit in biology class by collecting specimens at the local marsh.
Two stories are entwined into the one book, one of the best written. This would have to be my favourite Trixie Belden that I have read. ( I am currently up to book 22 which I interrupted to begin the Beverly Gray Series which would have to be my ultimate favourite series.)
The Marshland Mystery features all Bob Whites except Dan who is only briefly mentioned. Rating:*****
"The Bob - Whites of Glen." are invited to spend Christmas holiday's at Diana Lynch's Uncles "Dude Ranch." in Tucson, Arizona. On arrival they find that most of the staff have disappeared and they volunteer to work on the ranch to help out Di's Uncle.
The first few chapters are rich in information on Arizona and American Indians rather than being focused on a mystery and for mystery lovers they may find it like a history lesson they don't need. There is mention in the end of the book how Sally, Bob & Billy would make good "Bob - Whites" when they find out they live near them back home but as this is the last book that Julie Campbell wrote there was no follow through with these characters. Rating:***1/2
The first book in the series, Trixie Belden is a thirteen year old tomboy who lives on Crabapple Farm, New York. The story starts with the large Manor House next door seeing the arrival of new neighbors including a rich girl of Trixie's age, Honey Wheeler. The pair fast become friends and discover a runaway Jim Frayne.
Friday, April 3, 2009
This is a good stand alone story as a lot of the ones from this era (Assignment is from 1947) to read:
15. Beverly Gray's Challenge, 1945
16. Beverly Gray's Journey, 1946
17. Beverly Gray's Assignment, 1947 and
18. Beverly Gray's Mystery, 1948
are all easy reads for people that have never read any of the others from the series.
Kay at this stage in the series isn't so much the major character that the book portrays her as, though as the Beverly Gray Mystery Series has so many minor characters and Beverly has so many friends it is often the case that a story becomes of someone we have heard of once or twice before.
I wouldn't consider this or any of the Susabella World Cruise books as the best choice of books to read first as Beverly has her friends with her and it can be harder to follow names and attributes when they are all together and you are new to the characters.
That said this is a great story and again Lenora accompanies Beverly for most of her adventure.
At times during the series I think that Larry Owens isn't the best suitor for Beverly. Part of the reason is that he is often around Beverly for only a day and has itchy feet to leave on his next adventure in some of the books. In this particular case it is probably more the problem he has with Beverly's success and the fact that Beverly is portrayed as the modern career woman, striving for success as a Reporter, Author and Playwright.
Beverly Gray is given a personal struggle of trying to live up to the expectations of all her commitments, showing the modern day woman (of 1943) needing to learn that at times she needs to say no to others in order to still have some time for herslef and her own needs.
An enjoyable read to the end of College years.
Beverly shows her independance and a desire for more in life when she rejects Larry's marirage proposal and a love triangle is formed as both Larry and Jim rescue Beverly together, aware of each others common interest.
For a reader that is use to a story that finishes with the unraveling of the major mystery a Beverly Gray book can be a bit daunting when the mystery is solved before the book is half way. This book is one such book. In true soap opera fashion however Beverly stumbles straight into more adventurous situations.
For Beverly Gray fans this is the first book to introduce Larry Owens, Beverly's romantic interest of the series and Charlie Blaine, Beverly's future boss.
The book is fast paced and still holds a modern appeal even though it was written in 1934.
“Freshman” does have adventure (Beverly goes missing and is held prisoner – what is to become a favourite theme of what to do with our heroine) and the book builds strong character profiles and relationships for the future books of the series.The emphasis is on Beverly’s college life and this is one of the few books we get to see a glimpse of her life and her friendships pre- college years.
Interesting to note Beverly’s father states he does not think Beverly is that into Jim Stanton, which is probably our first indication that another suitor will turn up for Beverly Gray sooner or later in the series.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Kay friends are the Worth twins Betty and Wendy which are both in the story as well as a male friend Ronald and a school nemesis Chris.
It's cover artwork like this that makes me wish that someone had created lovely artwork for this book series. This is amongst the worse.
Non appealing cover beside this is a great book for those that love the travel exploits of Beverly as she travels across America by car with Shirley and Lenora and then heads overseas to find Larry. And of course I couldn't forget that Beverly and co are captured by a head shrinking tribe in the middle of the Jungle.
This is the first book in which Michael McKay appears.
The first chapter I wasn't hooked due to the fact the writing style had been so different from what I had been reading lately (Beverly Gray Mysteries of the 1940's and 1950's.) After a few chapters I was more interested and started to really enjoy the idea of reading other Dana Girls books.
As a mystery goes I struggled with the portral of the policeforce in the story who seemed to be on beck and call to accompany the Dana Girls for whatever the Dana girls wanted. The ending to the story was also a bit disappointing and I felt it was a cop out (pun intended for those that have read the book)
Several different characters through the book gave their philosphical / historical quotes from famous people but as they were stated out of the blue from different characters as opposed to just being a trait from one character in the story they came across as forced and quite self indulgent on the authors part and therefore lacked true impact or possible humour if they had been a part of one characters way of communicating with others.
That said I was left very interested to read more in the series especially some of the early ones in the series.
The revised series from 1972 was:
1. Mystery of the Stone Tiger 1972
2. *The Riddle of the Frozen Fountain 1972
3. *The Secret of the Silver Dolphin 1972
4. *Mystery of the Wax Queen 1972
5. The Secret of the Minstrel's Guitar 1972
6. The Phantom Surfer 1972
7. *The Secret of the Swiss Chalet 1973
8. The Haunted Lagoon 1973
9. Mystery of the Bamboo Bird 1973
10. *The Sierra Gold Mystery 1973
11. The Secret of Lost Lake 1974
12. The Winking Ruby Mystery 1974
13. The Ghosts in the Gallery 1975
14. The Curious Coronation 1976
15. The Hundred-Year Mystery 1977
16. The Mountain-Peak Mystery 1978
17. The Witch's Omen 1979