Kathryn Kenny

The Kathryn Kenny pseudonym was born in 1961, three years after Campbell wrote her last book of the Trixie Belden series.  Did it take Western Publishing several years to find a suitable author?  The answer is unknown and the identity of the authors of the 33 Kathryn Kenny books are not known for sure but there is some information about the ghost writers.


Nicolete Meredith Stack

Nicolete Meredith StackStack is thought to be the first author to tackle the Trixie Belden series, although there is much debate about which books were actually written by her.  She was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1896 but lived in Webster Groves in St. Louis, Missouri for most of her adult life.  Stack wrote other children's books under her own name and various pen names, including the Robin Kane series by Eileen Hill for Whitman between 1966 and 1971.

Stack is said to have written five books in the Trixie Belden series between 1961 and 1971, but Who's Who in the Midwest claims that she wrote eight titles between 1961 and 1966.  There were eight Trixie Belden titles published between 1961 and 1966, but it is doubtful that she wrote them all.

James Keeline in his article, Trixie Belden "Schoolgirl Shamus", believes that books 7, 9 and 16 can be attributed to Stack but there are others that may have been written by her.


Virginia McDonnell

Virginia Bleecher McDonnell was born in 1917 and was a registered nurse who trained at Russell Sage College in Troy, New York.  McDonnell wrote the Nurses Three series from 1963 to 1965 using the pen name Jean Kirby, and the Kim Aldrich series as Jinny McDonnell, both for Whitman.  She is also wrote volume six of The Waltons.

McDonnell and her husband were avid skiiers and many of her books featured details of nursing or skiing.  It seems likely that she wrote three Trixie Belden books, The Mystery of Cobbett's Island (1964), The Mystery of the Emeralds (1965) and The Mystery of Mead's Mountain (1978).  Skiing is mentioned early in The Mystery of Cobbett's Island, although this is not the theme of the book.

McDonnell also wrote another book called Country Agent that has a number of similarities with The Mystery at Happy Valley, although her book was published in 1968.  Read a review of this book, and see what you think.

There is little biographical information available on McDonnell, but the three books attributed to her are three of the most widely loved books in the Trixie Belden series.


Gladys Baker Bond

Gladys Baker BondGladys Baker Bond was born in Berryville, Arkansas on the 7th of May, 1912.  On September 2, 1934, she married Floyd James Bond and had one son, Nicholas Peter.  Bond's childhood years were spent in the Ozarks of Arkansas.  She lived in Idaho and Washington all her adult life and was an officer of the Idaho Writers League between 1952-54.

Bond's books for children cover a wide range of subjects and are often autobiographical. Mrs. Bond wrote under the pseudonymns, Jo Mendel (The Tucker series) and Holly Beth Walker (the Meg series), as well as her own name.  She also wrote volume five of The Waltons.

She is credited with writing The Mystery of the Uninvited Guest (1977), The Mystery of the Castaway Children (1978), and The Sasquatch Mystery (1979).  However, with her childhood spent in the Ozarks, she could be the author of The Mystery at Bob-White Cave (1963).


Carl Henry Rathjen

Carl Henry RathjenRathjen was born on the 28th of August 1909 in Jersey City, New Jersey and died in 1984.  His ambition was to become a mechanical engineer, but when things didn't go to plan, he tried his hand at writing. 

Rathjen wrote volumes two to four of The Waltons in the mid seventies before writing The Mystery of the Unseen Treasure in 1977.  His wife also claimed that he wrote The Mystery of the Vanishing Victim (1980) but Keeline suggested that Laura French was the true author of this book.  However, French's website states the titles she wrote and this is not one of them.  Therefore, it seems safe to say that Rathjen did write volume 33 of the Trixie Belden series.

Rathjen also wrote under the pseudonym of Charlotte Russell and was also known to have lived in Idaho, the setting of one Trixie Belden mystery.



Owenita Harrah Sanderlin

Owenita Harrah SanderlinOwenita Harrah Sanderlin was born on the 2nd of June 1916 in Los Angeles and lived most of her life in El Cajon, California.

Sanderlin and her children had a keen interest in tennis and she has written several tennis novels for children.

Sanderlin is accredited with writing The Mystery of the Queen's Necklace (1979) which is set in England.  It is not known if she wrote any other volumes, although it is debated that she may have written the preceding book, The Mystery at Mead's Mountain.  However, it seems more likely that this was written by McDonnell, given her background.




Laura French

Laura FrenchLaura French was born in 1949 and grew up in Minnesota.  She worked as an editor for Western Publishing and claims credit for compiling the "Trixie Lore" material that was used to guide ghost writers during the seventies and eighties.

French began writing Trixie Belden books after she left Western Publishing to work as a freelance writer.  Her credentials are a BA, MA, MARS, Ph. D and she has a website that features some of her essays, Words into Action.

The autobiographical information on her web site states that she wrote volumes 20, 24, 34, 35, 37 and 39.  French would have to be one of the most prolific of the Trixie Belden ghost writers and may have edited some of the earlier titles.



Joan Chase Bowden

Joan Chase BowdenJoan Chase Bowden was born on the 1st of May 1925 in London and came to the US in 1960.  Strangely enough, she shares the same birthday as Trixie.

Bowden is a prolific children's book writer and has written over 60 books for children, some of which have won notable awards.

Bowden is credited with having written The Mystery of the Headless Horseman (1979), The Mystery of the Ghostly Galleon (1979), The Mystery of the Midnight Marauder (1980) and The Mystery of the Whispering Witch (1980).  There is a strong supernatural theme within her books in this series.  She also wrote a manuscript for what was intended to be #41 in the series,  The Mystery of the Flying Mermaid.

Bowden now works as an instructor for the Children's Literature Institute and is contactable via email, although don't expect a personal reply.  It appears she has a standard reply to letters concerning Trixie Belden.


Kathleen Krull

Kathleen KrullKathleen Krull was born on the 29th of July 1952 in Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri and grew up in Wilmette, Illinois.  She began working in children's publishing as soon as she completed college and worked for four companies as a children's book editor over eleven years.

Krull was an editor at Western Publishing from 1974 to 1980.  Her autobiographical notes states "I wrote mysteries in the Trixie Belden series".  Did she write more than the one book, The Hudson River Mystery (1979) credited to her, or is she referring to the extensive editorial work she did on the books during her stint at Western Publishing?

The Hudson River Mystery contains a reference to herself.  Pat Bunker's partner, Lawrence Krull was killed in a boating accident and his wife was Kathleen Krull.  However, in the book, Bunker reveals that Kathleen had died last year.

Krull was going to write volume 40 of the Trixie Belden series, set in San Diego, when the series was discontinued in 1986.  The story was intended to be very Californian with surfing, sailing and a huge sand castle.  An earthquake destroys the sandcastle and the Bob-Whites find drugs hidden in the rubble and Trixie hunts for the villains. 

Krull still lives in San Diego and is a well-known children's author with her own web site.



Trixie Belden "Schoolgirl Shamus" by James D. and Kimberlee Keeline

And other sources as quoted found through Internet research.