Trixie Belden and the Secret of the Mansion by Julie Campbell
Recommended for: Ages 10 and up (for interest level)
Trixie’s summer is going to be sooo boring with her two older brothers away at camp. But then a millionaire’s daughter moves into the next-door mansion, an old miser hides a fortune in his decrepit house, and a runaway kid starts hiding out in Sleepyside!
My sister read this book to me several years ago, and I loved it, and went on to read all 39 books in the series. Although it is not the most realistic, it is still a good story.
Throughout the series, I came to love the characters. The main characters in the first book are Trixie, her neighbor Honey, and Jim, the runaway kid. There are also several other characters in the story including Trixie's parents and younger brother, and Honey's governess, and even Trixie's disobedient dog, Reddy. The book takes place in the summer in New York, where Trixie is bored with her older brothers away. She befriends her new rich neighbor, and they go exploring in the woods. They stumble onto a mystery and try to solve it. The end of the story leads right into book two.
As in most mystery series, it is not the most realistic, but the story does have some funny parts, like when Trixie and her friend Honey argue over whose family should adopt Jim. There is some excitement, but the book is not really all that scary. there are some emergencies, like a fire near the end. The characters are not perfect, and that is part of what makes them likeable.
I have loved mystery stories for a long time and this is no exception, and I would recommend it to anyone who loves mysteries.