Oval paperback 1977



"Bobby," she cried, "that loud noise scared Mr Pony!  He's running away!"  She hurriedly climbed down from the tree.

Susie was tossing her head fretfully and stomping her feet.  Off to the left, Trixie could see Mr Pony thrashing through the bushes.  

Swinging into the saddle, Trixie patted Susie, calming her.  "It's all right, Susie," she whispered soothingly.  "You and I have to catch poor Mr Pony before he hurts himself."

Bobby reached the ground with tears streaming down his face.  "Come back, Mr Pony," he wailed.  "Please don't run away!"

The little pony didn't get far.  Trixie spotted him cowering in a clump of heavy bushes, trembling.  His coat was dusty and full of burrs.

"It's okay, Mr Pony.  Don't be afraid," Trixie said.  Gently, softly, she talked to him and tried to calm his fears.  SHe didn't try to touch him until he had stopped shaking.  Then, taking his reins, she led the Shetland pony out of the thicket and back to the tree house.

Bobby threw his arms around Mr Pony's shaggy neck.  "Thank you, Trixie," he said, wiping away his tears.

"We'd better go back now, Bobby," Trixie said.  "Everybody will be waiting for us."

The Mystery of the Phantom Grasshopper (p. 37-38)





















Title :
Trixie Belden and the Mystery of the Phantom Grasshopper

Author :
Kathryn Kenny
The ghost writer of this book is Polly Curren.

First Published :

Chapter Titles :
1.  Downtown
2.  Surprises on Sunday
3.  Sam, Sam, the Medicine Man
4.  The Mysterious Car
5.  The Walk-a-thon Plan
6.  That Car Again 
7.  Where Is Hoppy?
8.  A Stranger in Town Hall
9.  Bad News
10. Bob-Whites on the Air
11. Bobby Takes a Tumble
12. Trixie Finds a Clue
13. Miss Lawler and the Stranger
14. A Shocking Discovery
15. Surprising News
16. The Stranger Appears Again
17. Down in the Woods
18. A Squirrel Gives a Clue
19. Danger!

Setting :
Sleepyside, New York.

Synopsis :
Trixie introduces the rest of the Bob-Whites to a family tradition of saying hello to Hoppy, the grasshopper weather vane that sits on top of town hall, for good luck.  But the tradition seems to bring bad luck to Hoppy, who disappears after a bad storm.  Trixie is keen to find Hoppy and use the reward money to have the weather vane repaired, but a new comer finds it first and Trixie can't help thinking it's suspicious.  Meanwhile, Bobby has a secret that he shares with Trixie and he plays an important part in helping her find the clues and solve the mystery of the phantom grasshopper.

Characters : 
Trixie Belden
Jim Frayne - adopted son of the Wheeler's
Honey Wheeler - Trixie's best friend
Brian Belden - Trixie's eldest brother
Mart Belden - Trixie's "almost twin" brother
Diana Lynch - a Bob-White and neighbour
Dan Mangan - a Bob-White and Regan's nephew
Helen Belden - Trixie's mother
Peter Belden - Trixie's father
Bobby Belden - Trixie's six year old brother
Regan - the Wheeler's Groom
Sergeant Molinson - head of the Sleepyside Police Force
Mike - counterhand at Wimpy's
Mr Perkins - owner of WSTH radio station
Miss Craven - Trixie and Honey's social studies teacher
Miss Cecilia Lawler - teaching assistant and coin specialist
Sammy - Miss Lawler's friend, whom the Bob-Whites help get a job
Mr Johnson - the town hall custodian
Mr Gibbins - Sammy's parole officer from New York

Villains :
Sammy and an accomplice steal Hoppy and collect the reward money, but also steal the valuable coin collection that is under Miss Lawler's care.

Points of Interest:
Brian and Jim are both seventeen (p. 14)

Hoppy is over 200 years old.

Mart is hungry and says "We need plenty of time to eat at Wimpy's first," he added.  "I'm positively bulimic" (p. 15)  Both Mart and the author get their terminology wrong!  Mart is fifteen years old (p. 19).

The book is set in October (p. 21) and Dan and Mart make remarks after they come out of the movie about a giant gorilla and climbing up the side of the town hall (p. 22).  Could they have gone to see the remake of King Kong? The movie came out in 1976, likely to be the same time the author was writing the book.

Bobby learned to ride a small shetland pony named Mr Pony that Regan was training for a friend of Mr Wheeler's (p. 31).

Regan had also built Bobby a secret tree house to store his various 'collections' near the end of Louis Rd, a dead road (p.33)