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The Pet Show Mystery (Trixie Belden) Hardcover – October 1, 1985
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Trixie immediately decides that the plight of the game birds is a perfect project for the Bob-Whites, her group of friends. Not only will it help a worthy cause, but it will keep them busy during the cold days ahead. The group decides that a pet show will be a great way to raise the money to buy food. But not everyone agrees. Soon the group has faced a hostile confrontation and a rumors that could shut down the show. Can Trixie figure out what is going on?
Remember I said this book was published in the mid-80’s? The ghost writer and publisher tried to update the series to modern times. As a result, Trixie’s older brother Mart spends much of the book wrestling with a computer program and the Bob-Whites sign up people for the pet show outside the pet store at the mall. Yes, that’s right, small little Sleepyside-on-the Hudson gets a mall. When I read this book as a kid in the late 80’s, neither of these things bothered me. As an adult, the computer sub-plot still doesn’t bother me (although it is horribly dated today), although I wonder at a town as small as Sleepyside is supposed to be having a mall.
My real issue with this book, however, is the plot. While Trixie’s investigation into who is sabotaging the pet show and why is well done, it feels too light for a book in the series. The publisher must have agreed because Trixie manages to find herself in a larger mystery over the course of the book, but it feels a bit forced into the story. Yes, the author tries to set it up earlier into the book, but it still feels forced. I never minded as a kid or when I reread it before, so obviously I’m getting pickier as an adult.
I have always loved this series for the characters, and that much still holds true here. They aren’t as deep as in the earlier books in the series, but they also aren’t out of character. I also appreciated some of what the Bob-Whites had to face here, since it seems to actually lead to some character growth for Trixie.
Despite the forced plot, I’m still fond of this book. While not the best book in the Trixie Belden series, there is still much to recommend The Pet Show Mystery.