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From Molly: This has to do with Lisa M's nitpick; in #36, on page 14, in the copy that I just bought (1984), it says "Dan had lived in New York City, but now went to Sleepyside Junior-Senior High School"; Dan is in school, or one of the few alert Trixie editors caught it.
In #36, Honey, who has never called her mother anything but "Mother", calls her "Mom" on page 81 and 82
From Laurie: The _Sasquatch Mystery_, set in August, comes after _Mystery at Saratoga_, also set in August. So far, so good. But Brian, Mart, and Jim were absent for most of _Saratoga_ because they were camp counselors. Dan, on the other hand, remained in Sleepyside, working for Mr. Maypenny. In the first few pages of the cream pb of the _Sasquatch Mystery_, howveer, we find out that Dan didn't get to go to Idaho because he is now a camp counselor. It seems very odd that 3 of the male BWGs would do a stint as camp counselors, then come home only to have Dan leave to do the exact same thing. Wouldn't they all want to be camp counselors at the same time? I suppose you could argue there were different camp sessions, or that Dan worked for a different camp, but it feels like another easy (and inconsistent) excuse to keep Dan from yet another Bob-White trip.
From Jill (jpd): I just received my 1948 red hardback edition of "Secret of the Mansion" (think this is the same for all editions)...but on page 22 Trixie meets Honey & only introduces her "kid brother (Bobby) and I live down in the hollow in the little white frame house" on page 37 Trixie refers to Mart & Brian thinking of the lake as their own & Honey cries, "I want you to keep right on thinking that, Trixie. You and your brothers must come here as often as you like." But how did Honey know that Mart & Brian are her brothers? She doesn't mention that between pages 23 and 37!
Also, when Mrs. Belden is explaining to Trixie (page 17) what happened to Mrs. Frayne with the copperhead snake, she says that "he (Mr. Frayne) and his wife were very kind to your father and me when we moved up here from the city. That was before you were born and Brian and Mart were still babies." (aside: Couldn't have been THAT much before Trix was born if she & Mart are only 11 months apart!); but in either "Missing Heiress" or "Castaway Children" (sorry don't have my books in front of me) they mention the downstairs bedroom as the one that Peter & Helen occupy right after they marry and move into Crabapple Farm with Peter's parents....so that doesn't make sense to me!
From Debbie: I laughed when I read this! Everybody KNOWS how much Trixie can't sew/hates sewing... it's mentioned lots of times, for example, she "couldn't even master simple things like buttons" (Golden pb oval #20 Telegraph Road page 141), and an actual reference to knitting in particular is made in #3 Gatehouse (pb oval) pages 123/124... So in #36 Antique Doll (pb square) on page 182 WHAT is Trixie doing?? "knitting long, brightly colored scarfs for everyone she could think of" (for Christmas presents)... hmmm, now those would be interesting to see!
Also in #36 page 13, Jim is referred to as James Winthrop Frayne the THIRD
And while on #36, I don't recall anything ever happening to the oil burner that Mr. Lynch gives them for their clubhouse in #5 Glen Road, but now they've installed a small wood-burning stove from Mrs. De Keyser so "now they could meet in their clubhouse during the winter." (pages 181/182)
In #32 Whispering Witch (pb oval) page 108 "Trixie glanced at the little cottage's dirt floor"... I guess not only do they forget about Dan a lot, they also forget he won them lumber for the floor in #8 Black Jacket. The wood floor is back in #35 Memorial Day Fire (pb square) page 45.
In #35 Memorial Day Fire page 158, Trixie arranges to spend the night with Honey. Yet after the bad guys are caught Brian says "We'd better get you home to bed" pages 189/190.
Regan is teaching Bobby to ride on Mr. Pony in #18 Grasshopper (pb oval) page 31. I guess everybody forgot that Bobby was already "getting to be quite a horseman" after Jim gives him a ride on Lady in #3 Gatehouse (pb oval) page 94.
Let's count horses again. In #10 Marshland (pb oval) pages 189/190 The B.W.G.'s (without Dan) are planning to ride the next day "there'll be 6 of us" Brian counted. In the morning, as they saddled up and got ready to ride by Di's, leading a mount for her (the 6th horse)... Gaye was there, demanding that Regan saddle Lady. (7th ?!, she wasn't already one of the first saddled?)
To Debbie: Wonderful horse math, Deb.
Shouldn't Di have been riding Sunny, her palomino, anyway, instead of a Wheeler
horse? And why isn't there a groom for Sunny-- the Lynches are rich, right?
Perhaps the extra horse is the elusive Thunderer--sorry I forget which book Thunderer
appeared in-- maybe he (?) ended up dying from the cut on his leg getting infected when it
was given no further attention!
From Laurie: The Kathryn Kenny who wrote "The Mystery at Saratoga" made the same mistake as the one who wrote"The Mystery Off Old Telegraph Road," which I noted in a previous nit-pick On page 30 of the cream paperback of #24, "The Mystery at Saratoga," the author says, "Di and Trixie had not become friends until after Di's father had made a fortune practically overnight and moved his family into the mansion on the other side of the Manor House." Not true! As we know from #4, Di and Trixie were friends when the Lynches were poor and grew apart *after* they made their fortune.
One of the clues in "Mystery at Saratoga" is a pair of Regan's prized riding boots which Trixie and Honey find in a pawnshop in Saratoga, letting them know they are on Regan's trail. On pp 93-94 of the cream pb of "Mystery at Saratoga," Trixie remembers Regan's lecture on the importance of good riding boots: "Trixie in particular remembered the first time Regan had told her about his feeling for good boots. She'd ridden in tennis shoes the first few times, and Regan hadn't said anything.Then, when he's realized Trixie was serious about being a good rider, he'd laid down the law: "No more riding for you, young lady, until you get some decent footgear." He gives her a lecture about good boots, and the section concludes with "And Trixie had volunteered for extra chores at home and worked hard to raise money for riding boots of her own."
But in the deluxe #3, "The Gatehouse Mystery," it doesn't seem that Regan is that strict about boots. On page 128, Brian asks, "We don't need to bother with boots, don we? I outgrew mine this summer." "Boots?" Jim said with a grin. "What are they? Only Dad and Mother wear them around here." Trix got the boots lecture after "the first few times" she'd ridden, so it would have had to have taken place during the summer of the first three books. (And about those "extra chores;" I know a farmer's work is never done, but you'd think the Beldens would be running out of 'extra chores' to do, or Trix would run out of time to do them!!)
From Laurie: On page 35 of the cream pb of The Mystery at Mead's Mountain, Trixie says she looked up Vermont in the school's encyclopedia before they left for their trip. Mart replies, "Undoubtedly when you should have been studying for your math final," implying that she took it before they left (Trix would never start studying for exams weeks in advance!!). But in #6, Mystery in Arizona, Jim and Brian tutor Trix in Math (and English) *during* the trip, so that she'll pass the mid year exams which take place *after* Christmas Break. Odd that one year the exams take place before break and another year they take place after it.
From Lisa M.: More on poor neglected Dan! Not only does he miss out on all those trips, in #36 The Mystery of the Antique Doll (Gold paperback edition), he doesnt even attend school. What do I mean by this you ask? On p. 14 it reads, and I quote, Dan was the only Bob-White who didnt go to Sleepyside Junior-Senior High School. How silly! Of course he attends school.
When I re-read #7 The Mysterious Code (oval cream paperback) a month ago, I noticed the following nit-pick. It involves the music box found in the Wheelers attic. Its kind of hard to explain, so bear with me.
Fact One: Jims own dad died when he was 10 (We know this from #3 The Gatehouse Mystery, p. 114, British cream hardback edition).
Fact Two: Jims mother met, and married, Jonesy sometime after that.
Fact Three: The Spencer children hid the music box in the Wheelers attic when they were 8 and 10 years old (p. 80).
Fact Four: The Spencer girls are now grown up and married (p. 76).
Fact Five: Aunt Nell suspected Jonesy of stealing the music box (p. 81).
Im confused?? The music box would have been missing for years before Jonesy appeared on the scene, so how could he be a suspect. We know from p. 82 that Aunt Nell noticed the disappearance of the music box when she arrived back from Europe, and immediately suspected Jonesy because he was always asking them for money. This passage implies that Jonesy and Jims mother were married at the time. Therefore, the Spencer girls should only be about Jims age (probably younger in fact), but clearly they are not. Anyway have a look for yourselves, and see what you think
In #3 The Gatehouse Mystery p.153 (British cream hardback) when Tom Delanoy is introduced, Mart says he (Tom) likes both cars and horses, not to mention kids of all ages. However, in #7 The Mysterious Code p. 113; oval paperback (this book has a lot of inconsistencies) Honey states "Regan surely can use some help. Hes had Tom, our chauffeur, riding. If theres anything Tom hates more than a horse, I dont know what it is." To which Trixie replies, "Thats true."
Also from #7 (still cream paperback). Even though the Bob-Whites couldnt possibly accept the oil burner donated by Dis father (p. 54), earlier in the book (p.39), they appeared quite happy to make use of the charge account set up by Mr Wheeler at Wimpys.
This ones always bothered me! In #4 The Mysterious Visitor p. 183 (British oval hardback) Diana says "So shes (Dis mother) fired Harrison and the nurses, and Im going to get paid for helping her take care of the twins." I checked Julie Campbells later books #5 and #6. No mention of Harrison or the twins nurses in connection with Di. Yet in #17 The Mystery of the Uninvited Guest, p. 51, cream paperback edition, it states that Harrison managed a "tight ship," with each set of twins cared for by its own nurse. Moreover what about in #26 The Mystery of the Headless Horseman? Harrison (still the Lynchs butler) was at the centre of a mystery. So, did Harrison and the nurses get re-hired, or were they ever really fired? You decide. (Debbie writes that in #17 on page 50 (cream oval paperback), it explains the firing and re-hiring of the servants.)
In #16 The Mystery of the Missing Heiress (cream paperback, p. 18) the only person who is allowed to ride Jupiter, apart from Jim and Mr Wheeler, is Brian! I dont remember Brian having that privilege in other books. I though Regan, Jim and Mr Wheeler, were the only exceptions.
From Jill (JPD):
1. When do the Beldens learn to ride? In "Secret of the Mansion" [cello] Mr. Belden tells Trixie that Brian and Mart learned how to ride at camp [p. 173] so he's glad that she's learning at Manor House. But in "The Gatehouse Mystery" [cello], the plan is to hide the diamond in the toe of Brian's OLD riding boots that are too small for him and still too big for Mart (p. 136). On p. 142 Brian says he outgrew his boots this summer (while he was away at camp LEARNING to ride?) and in "Happy Valley" [cameo] p. 26 Mrs. Gorman says "Your Uncle Andrew is always talking about the way his niece and nephews ride." But presumably, they only just learned to ride the previous summer (it's only April at this time).
2. Another rip in the space-time continuum??? When the girls present the Cellini music box they found in the Wheeler's attic in "the Mysterious Code" [cello] Jim says that it is something that Jones was accused of stealing. Yet Jim's father, Winthrop Frayne, died when Jim was 10 (Gatehouse Mystery) and Jim is now only 15; Mrs. Nell Frayne, however, has been gone at least 10 years according to the "Secret of the Mansion." Additionally, Jim never even met his great uncle according to "Mansion": "when I was born, my father's Uncle James sent me this mug; and at the same time, he wrote Mother and Dad that he and Aunt Nell were naming me in their will as their sole heir. Shortly after that Aunt Nell died, and Mother never heard from him again" (Cello, p. 52). So really, when would Jonesy have met the Fraynes? In "Code" (p. 92), Jim says that even his Mother thought Jones stole the music box "My mother thought he did, too. My Aunt Nell and Uncle Jim Frayne never liked him. They loved my mother, and they couldn't understand why she ever married Jonesy. Nobody could." And later says that "Jonesy used to ask my aunt and uncle for money, and, when my mother wouldn't let them give him any more, I guess Aunt Nell thought he stole the jewel box."
3. How old is Manor House? Trixie says "it was empty as long as she could remember" (Mansion) and she is only 13. In "Mysterious Code" Mrs. Wheeler calls up the Spencers who allegedly built Manor House and moved away after their 2 daughters were married. The Spencer girls were "ten and eight years old" when they took the box from Ten Acres and Mrs. Frayne was alive at that time. But now, Mrs. Frayne has been dead 10 years (yet Jones was accused of stealing the box, and he was only married to Jim's mother from the time Jim was 10-13) so either the Spencer girls are still quite young, (but already married) or this is another unexplained time warp! And even so, if the Spencers built Manor House, why would the gatehouse, now the clubhouse, have ever been needed? By 1948, when the first TB was written, cars and garages are common place, yet the gatehouse was supposedly where they kept carriages and sleighs (Gatehouse cello, p. 16). So maybe the Spencers were really old when they had children? Or Manor House was there a lot longer than intimated in "Mysterious Code."
4. Is it Jim Frayne or Jim Wheeler? Most of the time he is referred to as Jim Frayne, Honey's adopted brother, but in "Mysterious Code" for one, he is referred to as "Jim Wheeler."
From Debbie: In #11 Bob-White Cave (Whitman hardcovers editions cameo, p.230 as well as deluxe, p.210), after the sinkhole rescue: Trixie opened her eyes and looked into Jims anxious blue eyes. Quietness came. Im safe, she thought, safe. Luckily, Trixie can really feel safe in the Golden paperback oval edition, p.175, because Jims eye colour has been corrected to green.
All the following are from Golden paperback oval editions:
In #4 Mysterious Visitor (p.140) if Tom and Celia take the clubhouse to live in, there is nowhere else to store the sports equipment. However in #1 Mansion (p.227) the summerhouse at Ten Acres did not burn. And the suddenly appearing barn in #21 Castaway Children (p.140) did not burn (which brings up another question of why they didnt ever hunt here for the loot in #1). Since Ten Acres is owned by Jim, they could have used either of these.
Speaking of the clubhouse, who actually found it seems to be questionable. In #2 Red Trailer (p.142) Trixie calls it the old tenant house on Wheelers property but it seems to me it must be the same place and Mart and Brian and I found it. This actually seems the most logical, because the Beldens grew up there, exploring, and most certainly would have been the ones to find it. In #3 Gatehouse (p.25) it was Jim and Honey who happened to find it. In #5 Glen Road (p.34) Jim says to Trixie until you and Honey discovered it. In #8 Black Jacket (p.51) Trixie and Honey had found it the summer before and they continue to get credit in #18 Grasshopper (p. 66). In #24 Saratoga (p.15) The Bob-Whites had discovered it.
The Robin. In #4 Mysterious Visitor (Golden paperback p.232-233) The Robin is given to Trixie and Mart by Mr. Lynch as a reward. They wouldnt accept it as a clubhouse but they gave it to Tom so they could keep their clubhouse. In #8 Black Jacket (p.32-33) Honey says Maybe Regans planning to lend them (Tom and Celia) money to buy the trailer theyre living in Ive heard Tom say hed buy it if he could ever raise five thousand dollars to do it. In #13 Cobbetts Island (p.27) it states Tom and Celia moved into the Robin which Mr. Lynch had given them as a wedding present. But alls corrected in #30 Midnight Marauder (p.124) which Mr. Lynch had once given to Trixie and mart but which now belonged to Celia and Tom.
There had been Beldens at Crabapple farm for 6 generations in #8 Black Jacket (p.22) and #14 Emeralds (p.15). However, in #16 Missing Heiress (p.19), #17 Uninvited Guest (p.14) and #30 Midnight Marauder (p.16), there were only 3 generations of Beldens.
In #7 Mysterious Code (p.37) why are the BWGs calling Regan, not Tom, to pick them up after the board meeting?
The Case of the Multi-Sided Posters. In #8 Black Jacket (p.56) We have several of the antique sale posters laid away in the clubhouse, Brian called out. Why cant we use the reverse side for our carnival announcements? And that is what is done. Then in #10 Marshland (p.188) Lets get the ice carnival posters off the shelf and see how many we can salvage for the sale. Brian suggested. My first guess would be none. But they were all soon at work on the posters.
From Debbie: Reading Whitman hardcover cameo edition #9 Happy Valley, page 50- they are talking about the tight places they'd been in. "Yes," Trixie agreed."The time, for instance, that Jim's brute of a father set fire to Jim's uncle's old mansion." Honey replies "And you were the one who saved Jim's half-million dollar inheritance."
Oh, my. 1. The "brute" was Jim's STEP-father... 2. It implies that Jonesy deliberately set the place on fire, but it was his cigarette butt smoldering that did it... 3. It was Jim's GREAT-uncle... 4. Trixie didn't save the half-million dollars, that was in a trust set up by Frayne and administered by Mr. Rainsford. There was money in the saved mattress that Jim could live on but he stated in his farewell letter that it wasn't the half-million.
Horses: A previous nit-pick by Lil mentioned the sudden appearance of a new horse, Thunderer, in #8 Black Jacket, Deluxe. He also shows up in my paperback oval. And THEN there's Spartan - (p.149) Regan: "Maybe we can spare old Spartan for the lad (Dan) to use." Jeepers! The Wheelers have horses coming out of the woodwork.
Also from the oval #8 (p.183) regarding Susie: "the Wheelers had bought the little mare so Trixie could ride with Honey." Not so. In #3 Gatehouse (oval p.233) Regan states Trixie should buy Miss Trask the mare from the diamond reward money. This is confirmed in #5 Glen Road (oval p.106) that the "horse theoretically belonged to Miss Trask but... Trixie felt Susie really belonged to her."
OK, get out your perpetual calendars. This is getting really picky, but I couldn't help myself. The first "day date" we are given is Tuesday, August 22. (#3 Gatehouse oval p.13). The next is November 16, the day after Tom and Celia's wedding. (#5 Glen Road oval p.71). Tom and Celia's wedding was on a Sunday. THEREFORE, November 16 should not be a Monday, it should be a Thursday, and Tom and Celia got married on a Wednesday. Following along, the next day date we get is in #8 (Black Jacket oval p.93) where the ice carnival is on February 27, a Saturday. Nope, Feb.27 would be a Tuesday.
From Debbie: First a slight correction on an earlier nit-pick by Laurie re not finding out about Brian's birthday until #28. We first find out Brian's birthday is in October in #3 Gatehouse (Oval p.39). Still doesn't explain why his birthday isn't mentioned in #18.
OK, now my nit-pick: This regards Trixie's allowance. It was established that she got $5 a week. This stuck with me cause I thought that was a LOT of money when that book was written (maybe somebody who has the earlier versions can confirm that this amount was "updated")... But then when I was re-reading and got confused as to HOW this money was earned - was it an allowance or a wage and was taking care of Bobby separate or part of the deal...
In #1 Mansion (HC ugly p.15) Mrs. Belden negotiates the $5 with Trixie (paraphrasing) "I'll pay you something every week if you help me with Bobby and housework.... Dad would increase your allowance if you take on extra chores."
In #2 Red Trailer (PB oval p.17) Mr. Belden hands her the $5 as her first week's salary... so all's right with the world
THEN I come across this in #4 Mysterious Visitor (PB oval p.90) "Moms always pays me twenty-five cents an hour when I do (babysit Bobby), and I get an allowance of a dollar a week."
But she's back up to $5 a week (household AND Bobby inclusive) in #5 Glen Road (PB oval p.15)...
Anyway, happy reading!
From Laurie: Once again, there's a rip in the space-time continuum, as the BWGs, having just gotten out of school in #19, Secret of the Unseen Treasure, are now in the spring of another school year in # 20, Mystery off Old Telegraph Road (page 117 of the cream paperback). It would make more sense if Unseen Treasure, a summer book like #'s 13-17, came before #18, Phantom Grasshopper, which takes place in October. That way, the fact that #20 takes place in spring would make a little more sense.
On page 36 of the cream paperback of Mystery off Old Telegraph Road, Kenny writes, "Di had grown up n Sleepyside, but she and Trixie hadn't become friends until after Di's father had made a fortune practically overnight and moved his family to a mansion near the Wheelers'." But in the book where we meet Di, #5, Trixie talks about how she and Di used to be friends *before* the Lynches becaome wealthy.
In most of the books it's stated that Trixie is both shorter and "sturdier" than Honey or Diana. In #2, she is able to wear Honey's out-grown clothes on the trailer trip. And in the Hudson River mystery, when Trixie and Honey dress up as each other, neither one can fit right into the other's clothes. But on p 32 of the cream pb of Mystery off Old Telegraph Road, Trixie wears Honey's clothes to go riding, and on p 107 of the same book, Honey borrows some of Trixie's clothing.
On page 198 of the cream pb of The Mystery Off Old Telegraph Road, the BWGs are talking about the end of the case. They talk about "Nick's courage, and Trixie's daredevil actions..." Both Trixie and Nick did the same thing: went to the hideout of the criminals intending to put a stop to their evildoungs. So why is Nick called "courageous" when Trixie gets called a "daredevil?" They did the same thing!!
From Laurie: On page 24 of the cream paperback of The Mystery of the Missing Heiress, Trixie is talking about the fun the BWGs have had ever since Honeys family moved to Manor House, and Dis family moved hereand Dan! A small point maybe, but while Honey and Dan moved to Sleepyside, Di grew up there; she went to grade school with Trixie.
On page 53 of the cream paperback of #17, The Mystery of the Uninvited Guest, Bobby says, If I ever get a bike. What happened to the one he had in #10, the Marshland Mystery, the one Gaye stole to get to Martins Marsh?
On page 142 of #18, The Mystery of the Phantom Grasshopper, we find out that Mrs. Wheelers birthday is in October, since Honey buys her birthday gifts. It seems odd that no one mentions that Brians birthday is also in October. Maybe thats because we dont find that out until #28, The Hudson River Mystery.
On page 21 of the cream paperback of The Mystery of the Phantom Grasshopper, we learn that this mystery takes place in October. It seems that the Endless Summer of books 13-17 is over. However, on the very first page of the cream paperback of the next book in the series, #19 The Secret of the Unseen Treasure, Trixie says, Oh, Moms! I feel so free! Just think! School is out! Im free for the whole summer. Must be the shortest school year on record!
On page 24 of the cream paperback of The Secret of the Unseen Treasure, it says, Jim had been rescued from a very cruel stepfather by Honeys parents Trixie and Honey should get the credit for the rescue, shouldnt they? Mr and Mrs Wheeler didnt show up til the end of The Red Trailer Mystery.
On page 74 of the cream paperback of Secret of the Unseen Treasure, Brian drives Trixie along Glen Road to check the neighbors mailboxes, and there seems to be quite a few of them. But in #1, The Secret of the Mansion, the neighborhood seems much less populated. In fact, Mrs. Frayne dies of the snakebite because no one comes down Glen Road. If there were really all those neighbors around, youd think Mr. Frayne could have gotten help.
Just another note on the endless So what age are they now?? discussion: on page 86 of the cream paperback of Secret of the Unseen Treasure, it says, June turned into July. Jims birthday is in July; we know that from The Gatehouse Mystery. Since it was explicitly stated in #18, The Mystery of the Phantom Grasshopper, that Jim and Brian both were 17 (p 17 of the cream paperback), Jim should turn 18 this month, and Mart should be 16 since his birthday is June 1. But on page 93, Dan has to drive Trixie, Honey, Bobby, and Mart out to Mrs. Elliots, since Jim and Brian are at camp. And in #16, Mystery of the Missing Heiress, Mart says itll be almost a year till he can get his license, supporting the fact that we already know, that he is 15 (assuming that at the time you had to be 16 to get a drivers license). So while Mart and Dan are former classmates (according to #8, The Black Jacket Mystery, anyway), Secret of the Unseen Treasure seems to imply that Dan is older than Mart. Moreover, Jim and Brian seemed to have had several birthdays while Trixie is forever stuck at 14. And whatever happened to the boy geniuses Brian and Jim, who as we know from The Gatehouse Mystery skipped several grades and by now should be well into college? What a nightmarish SAT math question: what ages are the Bob-Whites anyway????
On page 20 of the cream paperback of Secret of the Unseen Treasure, Brian has Tom fix his old $50 jalopy. Talking about fixing the engine, Tom says, It would have been simpler if you hadnt messed around with it first. Brian replies, Sometimes engines are better off without my help. Yet in #5, The Mystery off Glen Road, there are numerous references as to what a great mechanic Brian is. Mrs. Belden says, What Brian doesnt know about cars isnt worth knowing. (p 42 cream paperback). And talking about the car he and Mrs Belden had on their honeymoon, Mr. Belden says, If only wed had Brian along to tell us what was wrong with it when it kept breaking down! Brian then mumbles, Ah, gee Dad, Im not that good a mechanic, but the narrator tells us, But he was, Trixie knew. (p 46 cream pb). It seems Brian was a better mechanic 14 books ago!!
From Anonymous: In _The Black Jacket Mystery, Starlight is referred to as a mare: "they [Trixie and Honey] took long, deep breaths as they trudged along leading their favorites, Starlight and Susie. Once they were past the clubhouse . . .they mounted and trotted the two mares along the road" (123). However, in _The Gatehouse Mystery, Starlight is referred to as a gelding. Without digressing into the differences between a gelding and a mare, or a gelding and a stallion for that matter (consult Regan on that issue) it would also seem that Honey is fickle in her choice of "favorite" mounts. Strawberry is referred to as Honey's horse at the beginning of the series. However, when Mart and Brian enter the series in _The Gatehouse Mystery, Honey switches her allegiance to Lady, her mother's horse: "Do you want to ride Strawberry, Mart? I like Lady, especially when I'm tired and sleepy" (141-142). Honey's favorite mounts range from Strawberry to Lady, Lady to Starlight, and evidently back to Lady for the remainder of the series.
On p 15 of the cream paperback of The Mystery of the Missing Heiress, the BWGs are given a car by Mr. Wheeler, and not a single one of them voices any objection. Yet in #7, The Mysterious Code, Trixie temporarily refuses Mr. Lynch's gift of an oil burner for the clubhouse, saying, "Diana, please...I meant you know we can't take it as a gift. Jim thinks we should be careful to keep our rule: Earn everything we use for the club." True, they do eventually accept the oil burner, but no one seems at all concerned about that rule when it comes to the car.
On page 15 Mart says that he has to wait almost a whole year before he can drive the car. That's correct (for once) since he just turned 15 on June 1. But then he tells Dan that Jim and Brian can begin to give him [Dan] driving lessons right away. Does that mean Dan, Mart's sometime classmate, is already 16 or not? Hard to say, because Jim got driving lessons from Brian and Dick in The Gatehouse Mystery, when he was only 15.
On p 21 of the cream paperback of The Mystery of the Missing Heiress, we find out Jim is going to stencil the name of the club on the car in red paint. The BWGs are supposed to be a semi-secret club, right? Wouldn't putting your name in bold red letters on a car make you somewhat less of a secret? :)
On page 26 of the cream paperback of The Mystery of the Missing Heiress, we find out that there is a strip of marshy, swampy land around the Wheeler Game Preserve. Why wasn't this brought up in The Marshland Mystery: if the Belden's grandfather got his herbs from that land, Trixie and Honey wouldn't have had to go all the way to Martin's Marsh to get theirs. But there seems to be a general case of amnesia about Martin's Marsh, because when the BWGs find out the marshy land is going to be drained, Mart wonders, "What'll we do for stuff for botany?" (p 28).
On page 31 of the cream paperback of The Mystery of the Missing Heiress, Miss Trask is referred to as the housekeeper, yet she is really the manager of the Wheeler estate.
On page 52 of the cream paperback of The Mystery of the Missing Heiress, Trixie says she is afraid of jumping. Is this the same girl who in #1 is so eager about horseback riding that she wants to do it even after being thrown off a horse? It seems a little out-of-character that Trix would have this much trouble with jumping.
On page 202 of the cream paperback of Mystery of the Missing heiress, Spider tells the BWGs that Snipe Thompson is out on parole. Let's see...Snipe went to jail for trying to steal the antiques from the show in #7, The Mysterious Code, which only took place the previous winter. So what kind of sentence did Snipe get for theft--maybe six months, at the most? He must have gotten a lot of time off for good behavior!
Finally, on page 230 of the cream paperback of The Mystery of the Missing Heiress, Trixie says it has been 2 years since they last saw Jonesy (who is called simply Jones for most of the book, for some reason). Jonesy last appeared in #1, which only occurred in July of last year. Of course, given the "Tainted Timeline," maybe it has been 2 years in Trixie land!!
Mas critquerias (rough Spanish equivalent of "more nit picks!"): In the Spanish version of The Sasquatch Mystery (El misterio del Sasquatch), Trixie says, "...pues cada vez que miraba a Mart se veia a si misma: rizos de un tono pajizo..." (Every time she looked at Mart she saw herself: straw-colored curls...") I guess "straw-colored" isn't a bad equivalent, although it doesn't seem too flattering to me! But Trixie and Mart must have gotten some Clairol before Misterio al Bosque and Misteri al Bosc (the Spanish and Catalan versions of Mystery at Maypenny's). On page 11 of Misterio al Bosque it says, "Mart era muy parecido a Trixie. Tenia once meses mas que ella y los mismos cabellos rojizos y pecas." And on page 11 of Misteri al Bosc it says, "En Mart s'assemblava molt a la Trixie. Tenia onze meses mes que ella, i els mateixos cabells rojos i les mateixes pigues." Both quotes translate to something like this: "Mart greatly resembled Trixie. He was 11 months older than her and had the same reddish hair and freckles." At this rate, everyone in Westchester County is going to have red hair!!
Not only are there some inconsistencies with Dan's grade in school, it seems there is some question about his and Mart's heights. On page 147 of the cream paperback of The Black Jacket Mystery, Mart states, in connection with the break-in at the clubhouse, "Especially when this footprint's a good inch longer than mine in my heaviest boots, and I know Dan wears a smaller size than I do." This doesn't necessarily mean Dan is shorter than Mart, but it does imply that's the case. Furthermore, there are lots of references throughout this book that Mart is having a growth spurt: On page 14, it states, "Lately he had grown a couple of inches taller than Trixie, and was extremely proud of it, except that he was growing out of his clothing." And finally, on page 237, Mart says, "Say, mine's [his BWG jacket] too small anyhow. I can let him Dan] have it till Honey can get around to making me one that fits. Would you, will you, Honey? " Mart was sensitive about his wrists hanging out two inches from the jacket sleeves." If the jacket that is too small for Mart would fit Dan, that must mean that he is shorter than Mart, like the "boot size" quote implies. But then on page 15 of the cream paperback of The Marshalnd Mystery, it states, "Even having his [Mart's] hair clipped and standing tall didn't help; he was only an inch or so taller than Trixie." Now, Trixie is repeatedly called short throughout the series. If Mart is only a couple of inches taller than she is (even after the growth spurt of #8), where does that put Dan? I have trouble picturing him as only a little taller than our short, sturdy girl detective!!
Working my way through the Spanish translationsof the Trixie series, I noticed in El Misterio de rio Hudson (Hudson River Mystery), that on page 12 Regan is referred to as "...el guarda de los Wheeler." According to my Harper-Collins dictionary, a "guarda" is a "guard, keeper, or gamekeeper." But the translator didn't give Regan Mr. Maypenny's job, because on page 14 "el senor Maypenny" is referred to as "el guarda de la reserva de caza de los Wheeler" or (literally) "gamekeeper of the Wheelers' hunting reserve." What Regan's title means is a "misterio" for Trixie, I guess!
APRILS IN THE CORNFIELD, SHE GOOFED TOO
Got this email from Dan "Hi April. I see that youre just as bad as all the authors who ignore me worse actually, at least they have me work or go to summer camp. What do you do with me? Stick me in a cornfield when for once I was actually in the adventure! Hello, dont you remember that in Mississippi #15, I was the one who stuck up for Trixie? I know youre a Jim fan, but gee, I thought at least we were friends! Leaving me out of one of the few adventures I was in - Im crushed! Sheesh! Wait until my REAL friend Shana hears about this! Dan PS. Theres no e in lightning, either!"
Sent this one back - "Dear Dan, Im really sorry! What can I say? How can I ever make it up to you? Tell you what, Ill come take your place in the cornfield and Ill give you some really good speaking lines and say how good looking you are in my next story. You can even call me Kathryn Kenny all month, but please dont be hurt! I wrote this late at night and was just lazy not to research it well enough. I didnt do it to be mean! (So please dont tell Shana!) Dan, Im sorry! Please, lets still be friends! April"
TOWER OF BABEL
On page 41 of the cream paperback of Mystery on the Mississippi, Trixie says, "Honey, you know Spanish." Dan replies,"Sure, Honey knows some Spanish. Remember how she translated parts of the Mexican fortune-teller's prophecy?" But it gets better. Honey replies, "Gosh, Trixie, it doesn't really look like Spanish. It's a kind of dialect, though, not like the kind of Spanish I learned in boarding school."
Where to start with the picking? In #12, it is actually Miss Trask who translates the poem, since, as we learned in the Gatehouse Mystery, Honey took French in boarding school. And I don't even want to specualte what this Kathryn Kenny meant by the dialects of Spanish that barely look like Spanish. There are dialect of Spanish, of course, but they are mutually intelligible, unless Honey is talking about the indigenous languages of South America. . And she is quite right in stating that the Spanish you learn in school is not what you would hear by a native, although the ironic part is that "Este puntual," the phrase that Kathryn Kenny gives for "Be on time," sounds ridiculously formal for a bunch of crooks to be using.
On page 147 of the cream paperback of the Mystery on the Mississippi, the narrator states, "Honey cringed, remembering the bats in the frightening Ozark cave they had visited the summer before."
I know it is seems unbelievable, Honey, but this is actually still the same summer as the Ozark adventure. I wish my summers lasted this long.
From Roberta: In the Black Jacket Mystery (Whitman hardcover, 1970 printing), on page 33 Honey says that Regan told Miss Trask told her that he had to send money to his sister to make ends meet. Yet, in the same book, on page 189 Mr. Maypenny says that Dan's mother was Regan's only sister and Regan lost track of her until he heard she was dead and Dan was in a street gang fight. So which is correct? Either Regan has two sisters or he kept in touch with his one sister.
In the Happy Valley Mystery (Whitman hardcover, 1971 printing) on page 18 it says that Uncle Andrew sized people up quickly and never made a mistake doing it. Yet in the Mystery at Bob-White Cave, Uncle Andrew hires Slim to guide the Bob-Whites.
From Karen C.: Why do the last 5 books mess things up so considerably? In reading #38, Indian Burial Ground Mystery, the writer states (as they did in another previous yellow paperback) that Lady is Trixie's favorite horse and that Honey rode Susie because Miss Trask never had time. In all the other books, isn't the opposite true?
From JoAnne: I discovered another "problem" while I was reading The Secret of the Unseen Treasure. It just so happens that I had just finished The Marshland Mystery a day or two ago. Anyway, I have the Oval paperback version of the Unseen Treasure, and on page 161 the BWG's are discussing the unusual plant Trixie discovered in nice Mrs. Elliot's corn field. Jim says that he is no Botanist, and Brian says "neither am I." But in the Marshland Mystery, Rather A Big Deal is made of Brian knowing Botany, and how he had a huge collection of plants pressed in a book. Granted he isn't into Marijuana, but still, he should know what it looks like.
From JoAnne: I have noticed one thing so far. (This is the first time I've reread the series since I was a kid--I think I used to have them memorized, ha ha.) In The Mystery in Arizona, the Whitman hardback that falls apart easily, Maria the cook leaves to join her inlaws. On page 201 the boys are saying they can do the cooking. Brian claims he can make the chocolate turkey sauce and Mart says, "Wait till you taste my guacamole." When it comes time to actually make the food, on pages 216-17, Mart is doing the chocolate sauce and Brian makes the guacamole.
From Lil: These things have always bothered me:
In Mystery in Arizona, #6, Deluxe, when the BWGs are exchanging gifts at the end of the book, pg. 247, it says -
Brian, the embryo doctor, found his package contained a miniature stethoscope.
In the hardback 70's glossy cover, it says "Brian, the future doctor".
In Black Jacket, Deluxe, #8, pg. 41. The Wheelers apparently have a new horse.
Mart interrupted the laughter his remarks started. "We're due over at the stables. Regan wants to show us how to bandage Thunderer's cut leg...". (We all know the 5 Wheeler horses are Lady, Strawberry, Jupiter, Susie and Starlight).
Also in Black Jacket Mystery, Deluxe, #8, pg. 157, Tom the chauffeur turns formal all of the sudden.
"Miss Trask says your folks will be home any day now, Miss Honey", Tom said respectfully. He was always a little formal with Honey. (I know Tom was introduced in Gatehouse and was a friend of the Beldens when Trixie recommended him for the chauffeur job - he was working at the Cameo at the time, and he was never formal till this book).
In Mystery of the Emeralds, Deluxe, #14, pg. 66 -
Jim amazed them by feeding his pet catbird, Cheerio. (All of the sudden a new pet and where is Patch?)
From Sandi W.: I don't know if this really qualifies, because it's just a discrepancy between editions. We're all familiar with the nickname "Schoolgirl Shamuses", which originated in the Gatehouse Mystery (#3, yellow oval?, p. 40). However, I was reading an earlier edition (I don't know the names, but it was published in 1954, hardback with the cellophane) and that same passage (p. 42) used the phrase "Moll Dicks" instead. I guess the word Dick (used to mean detective) scared them, because later in the story they change "Dick the Dick" (Honey: "Dick the Dick sounds better to me ... I'm sure he's a detective" - old, p. 133) to "Dick the Drip" ("Dick the Drip sounds better to me ... But maybe he's a detective" - new, p. 113).
From Laurie: On page 29 of the cream paperback of The Mystery of the Emeralds, it says "Jim, the oldest of the Bob-Whites..." This is an interesting mistake because there is quite a bit of emphasis in the earlier books that Jim is in fact younger than Brian but they are in the same grade.because of all the extra work Jim has done.
On page 37 of the cream paperback of The Mystery of the Emeralds, Mart says "Remember how he [Reddy] came for help when we were lost in the blizzard..." Mart implies here that he was lost in the blizzard too when in fact it was Brian, Jim, and Trixie.who were stranded in the blizzard in The Mysterious Code.
On page 18 of the cream paperback of The Mystery of the Emeralds, it says, "The BWGs was a secret club that Jim had organized..." Not really; he helped to organize it, but it was in fact Honey in The Gatehouse Mystery who suggested that the Beldens, she, and Jim form a club like those in the books she read in boarding school.
From Steph: Okay this is a weird question...
But why is it unusual that Mr. Lynch would still be jolly when he became rich? I think most people would be made very jolly by millions.
From Karen C.: In doing a reread of #11, Bob-White Cave, I found something that bothered me. I don't know why I never noticed it before. When Slim first takes the Bob-Whites to a cave (chapter 7, pp.73-76) all the Bob-Whites except Honey jump in the water to save the guy whose boat capsized. Now in many other books, hasn't it been brought up many times that Honey is the best swimmer among the group? In #28 she even manages to rescue two people by herself!
From Julianne: In the Mystery In Arizona (Deluxe), page thirty-one reads, "The boys insist that you can study out there as well as you can here. Better, in fact, because Brian and Jim are going to tutor you."
Contradicting that statement in the Marshland Mystery (short and ugly), Page 15 reads, "If Mart and Brian hadn't tutored her in both math and english during that holiday trip (Christmas in Arizona), she would have failed both subjects at school."
So who Tutored Trix?? Brian and Jim or Brian and Mart??
Marshland Mystery (Short and Ugly) page 19...
"Honey and Di knew it really wasn't a sentimental gift, but they liked to make Trixie blush."
Now really... When Jim had given Trixie the id bracelet, he had said, "It means that you're my special girl, Trixie. As if you didn't know that already." If that isn't sentimental, I don't know what is!
SKIP TO MY LOU, MY DARLIN
In Gatehouse Mystery #3 (p.48 cameo, p.44 deluxe), Brian and Jim have skipped a few grades to end up as very young seniors at Sleepyside Jr.Sr. High. Theyre set up to graduate that June, just a few weeks after Trixie will turn fourteen.
FLYS IN THE BUTTERMILK, SHOO, FLY, SHOO
Uh-oh, the convoluted grade-skipping thing must be too awkward. Besides, this series is getting popular and may take them past one school years worth of adventures. Whatever the reason, in #4 Mysterious Visitor, Brian and Jim are demoted and become juniors. (p.18 cameo, p.19 deluxe) They remain there for a while by default - Julie Campbell doesnt mention their grades again in her books.
DANS IN THE CORNFIELD, HE SKIPS TOO
When we meet Dan in February in Black Jacket #8 hes "about Marts age" (p.76 deluxe) and is a ninth grader. (p.84 deluxe) But by April in Happy Valley #9, he outshines both Brian and Jim by skipping through high school at lightening speed, for on page 16 deluxe we find hes being tutored to stay in the same class as Brian and Jim. Gee, what class is that again?
SKIP, SKIP, SKIP TO MY LOU
Hmm looks like Brian and Jim skipped ahead once more to be seniors again. Happy Valley #9 (p.105 deluxe) introduces a tall blond girl whos "as old as Jim, probably a senior". Gee, it looks like at this point, Trixie isnt even sure exactly which grade the guys are in. But it gets figured out because by Marshland #10 (p.16) "Jim was a senior at Sleepyside High and planned to go to college in the fall." (Whoops, whered Jr.-Sr. go?)
LOST OUR DIPLOMAS, WHATLL WE DO?
Oh no! Poor Brian! Poor Jim! Poor Dan! Not one of them gets to graduate! They missed too much of the senior curriculum when they were in the other grades. In books 12, 13, and 14, even though its summer and they should have graduated, the books all state that ALL the BWGs are students at Sleepyside Jr-Sr High. Mississippi #15 makes it official "Brian and Jim, seniors at Sleepyside Jr-Sr High " (p.13 deluxe) Of course, Dans not in this book (poor guy must still be out in the cornfield), but since hes still considered a student at the Jr-Sr High, the same fate must have befallen him too.
WELL EARN ANOTHER ONE, THATS WHAT WELL DO
Hi-ho, hi-ho its back to school they go. (Okay, so Im overly musical here.) Anyway, the next book to actually have them attending school after the many, many adventures of the loooong summer, is Phantom Grasshopper #19. And yep, Brians on the school bus (p.45 tan oval pb). Brian, Jim and Dan show up in the school lunchroom (p.95), so it looks like theyre repeating their senior year. If I went through the rest of the books, I could probably find references to them being seniors, but Im tired now and have to go find the lyrics to "Black (or dark brown, or honey brown, or honey blond) Is The Color Of My True Loves Hair."
From Limarie: "Both errors are from #35, Trixie Belden: The Mystery of the Memorial Day Fire, 1984 (I don't know the terms for the editions - e.g., deluxes, ovals, "short uglies" - but it is the square yellow book with a picture of Trixie on the phone (on top) and the BWGs' reactions to the explosion on bottom), with black and white illustrations by Jim Spence:
- on page 11-12, Bill Regan is identified as the Wheelers' chauffeur
- throughout the first chapter (with his first speaking part occurringon page 10), it mentions that Dan Mangan is indeed watching the parade with the group, yet when the reporter is requesting names for the caption to accompany the picture she just took of the BWGs, Dan's name is not given (see pp. 19-20). On page 22, they even speak of getting a copy of the picture as there is no other picture of them "all" together. Poor Dan! He always seems to be left out in some way or another."
From Andromeda: "Well, most of my Trixie's are paperbacks so I'm not sure how this relates to most hardbacks but: In my plain hardbacks (#'s 12 and 16) with the pictures in the front and back, there are only the six Bob-Whites pictured. Trixie is on one page, Honey facing her with Jim, Mart, Di, and Brian around her. No Dan..."
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