chez_jae: (Books)
Before Ieaving for vacay, I decided to pick up a short, light read, and last night I finished it. The book was The Mystery on the Mississippi, by Kathryn Kenny, and it's the 15th installment of the vintage Trixie Belden mysteries.

Trixie and the rest of the Bob-Whites get a chance to travel to St Louis when Honey's father has a conference to attend. As soon as Trixie and Honey get to their hotel room, they find a briefcase in the closet, left by the previous occupant. When they pick it up to take to the front desk, the case opens, and several papers fall out. While the girls are busy trying to collect the scattered papers, the case's owner returns and berates them for handling his property. He snatches up the papers and briefcase and leaves. Later, the girls find a few scattered pages that the man missed. Trixie is certain he's up to no good, and she puts the papers in her purse for safe-keeping.

The Bob-Whites get the chance of a lifetime to travel down the Mississippi River on a towboat. While on board, Trixie becomes suspicious of two new workers who seem a bit sketchy to her. Later, someone ransacks her stateroom, which is when the rest of the Bob-Whites begin taking Trixie's theories about the shady man at the hotel seriously.

There was a lot of activity crammed into only a few days' worth of trip. Trixie nearly died three times, and by the third time, I was getting weary of it. I really love this series, but this one was much darker and more sinister than previous books. There were kidnappers, guns, a mysterious map, and too many close calls to count. Not my favorite in this series by a long shot.

Favorite line: "You're just like a bulldog with a hold on a tramp's leg."

Meh. Three stars:

***
chez_jae: (Books)
Last night, I finished reading The Mystery of the Emeralds by Kathryn Kenny. It is the 14th book in the "Trixie Belden" series for young adults.

While helping her mother clean out the attic, Trixie discovers an old letter, mentioning a hidden emerald necklace. Sensing a mystery, she involves the rest of the Bob-Whites. They travel to Virginia with Diana's parents, which is where the letter originated from. Trixie begins to piece clues together, and along the way, they make new friends and encounter a shady character who is also bent on finding the hidden emeralds.

The story was engaging and well-plotted, and it was a refreshing change from murder mysteries and urban fantasy.

Favorite line: "This trip has been about as useful as a refrigerator at the North Pole."

Four out of five:

♦♦♦♦
chez_jae: (Books)
I needed something quick and light to cleanse my reading palate, so on Thursday I read The Mystery on Cobbett's Island, which is the 13th book in the Trixie Belden mystery series. This was vintage Trixie at her best!

Shortly after school lets out for the summer, Trixie and her fellow BWGs are invited to spend ten days on Cobbett's Island with Honey's family. While trying to find something in the library to read, Trixie discovers an old letter that mentions a chart and a treasure of $1,000.00. Of course, she can't leave it alone, and she recruits her friends and brothers to help her work out the mystery.

The teens meet a boy from the neighboring estate, and they let him in on the secret. Peter turns out to be a great help, and they all have fun chasing down clues.

These books are fun, simple and refreshing, and they make me nostalgic for my own tweens and teens!

Four hearts:

♥♥♥♥
chez_jae: (Books)
I had the day off of work, and I used the down time to finish reading another Trixie Belden book. It was The Mystery of the Blinking Eye, by Kathryn Kenny, and it's the 12th book in the series.

This one was much more exciting than the last one I read. In the story, Trixie and her fellow Bob-Whites are in New York City to meet up with some friends from Iowa. At the airport, Trixie helps an elderly woman get to the proper gate to catch a plane, and the woman gives Trixie a small, straw purse that contains a note. The woman is a fortune teller, and the note warns Trixie of danger.

Later, Trixie discovers an odd little idol in an antique shop and buys it. Afterward, strange things begin happening, including several attempts by thieves to steal the idol from Trixie. She is astonished to realize that the events are unfolding in accordance to the fortune given her by the woman.

The story was fast-paced and exciting, and it was even dangerous at various points. Very good!

Four stars:

★★★★
chez_jae: (Books)
I needed some lighter fare after so many murder mysteries and urban fantasies, so I broke out another Trixie Belden book and read it. This was #10 in the series, The Marshland Mystery, by Kathryn Kenny.

The story wasn't so much a mystery to solve, however. Instead, Trixie's friend Honey had guests staying at her family home, including a precocious, seven year-old violin prodigy named Gaye. I spent most of the book wanting to give the little brat a swat. At one point, she ran away, but Trixie was able to put some clues together and find where the girl was hiding. During the hunt for her, Trixie stumbles on an old cottage in the marsh, where she meets a sweet little old lady whose home is in danger of being torn down to make way for a new, paved road. Trixie and her friends jump in to help by offering to assist the woman with selling some of her household items. Instead, they discover that an old brass box that had been in the woman's family for years was actually more valuable than thought.

These are cute, lighthearted stories that remind me of my own childhood. I typically give them four stars, but this one gets only three.

★★★
chez_jae: (Books)
On Thursday, I finished reading Trixie Belden and the Happy Valley Mystery by Kathryn Kenny. It's the ninth installment of the vintage "Trixie Belden" mysteries that I grew up reading.

In this story, Trixie and the rest of the Bob-Whites travel to Iowa to visit her uncle's farm. Uncle Andrew has been having trouble with someone stealing his sheep, and Trixie vows to solve the mystery for him. She and her brothers and friends meet some of the local teens and make new friends. They all help out on the farm, and in the meantime, Trixie searches for clues and digs up information. When she makes a couple of wrong assumptions, Trixie is teased for it, but that only makes her more determined to succeed.

In addition to the plot, the author introduces a budding romance between Trixie and Jim.

All in all, a fun, light read.

★★★★

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