TWW Article

Authors & Fans

A Series Reading List

Julie Campbell




The~Girl~Next~Door Sleuth

by Judith Sears


"Trixie in Mystery Scene," is an article first published in the Winter Issue (February 15, 2004) of Mystery Scene. The layout has been adjusted to work for the web.

In 1948, Trixie Belden strode into the annals of children's mysteries, taking her place as one of the most distinctive and appealing girl sleuths ever created. Thirteen (then fourteen) years old, she loved horses, hated chores, and charged headlong into adventure.
The Trixie Belden series was created by Julie Campbell Tatham (and published under her maiden name, Campbell) in response to Western Publishing's call for fast-moving, inexpensive children's books. Almost immediately, the series won legions of fans, including some of today's notable mystery writers.

"There is no doubt that my characters were influenced by the Trixie Belden series," says Agatha-winner Earlene Fowler. "Fans tell me that my detective, Benni Harper, makes them feel that they know what happened to Trixie when she grew up. I'm proud of that," Fowler continues. "It's good fiction and Julie Campbell had a good voice."

Denise Swanson (Murder of a Barbie and Ken) went so far as to give her detective, Skye Dennison, a best friend named Trixie. "I thought maybe one or two people would get my sly joke," Swanson laughs. "But a whole group of Trixie fans showed up at a book signing I did in Ohio!"

Trixie even shows up as the cherished childhood reading of a pivotal character in Keith Ablow's suspense novel, Denial. "My wife was an avid reader of Trixie Belden as a young girl," explains Ablow, who is also a forensic psychiatrist. He was intrigued and impressed by his wife's quest to collect a complete set of Trixie Belden books. "She doesn't have art work or dolls from her childhood -- she has her Trixie Belden books. I thought that was a powerful, powerful fact. I imagine these books must hold a special place in a number of little girls lives."

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This article and the accompanying images were originally published in Mystery Scene magazine, Winter, 2004. Trixie Belden® is a registered trademark of Random House. This page and its author are not affiliated with Random House in any way. I am not receiving any payment for reproducing this article on my site, which is intended as a fan’s homage.

Trixie Belden® is a registered trademark of Random House. This page and its author are not affiliated with Western Publishing/Golden Books or Random House in any way. I'm not making any money or profiting in any way from this site, which is intended as a fan's homage. All original text and graphics are copyright © 2003 by