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Mystery in the Sand (1971)

by Gertrude Chandler Warner

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Alden Family Mysteries (16), Boxcar Children Mysteries (Book 16), Boxcar Children (16)

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1,110314,085 (3.57)None
A friendly writer with a metal detector, the mysterious inhabitants of a tower house, and the discovery of a locket in the sand are ingredients for the Aldens' latest mystery.

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"This is the funniest thing," said Benny. "Here we are at Aunt Jane and Uncle Andy's new trailer at the beach. A day or so ago we were at home without the least idea of going anywhere at all."

The Aldens go to the beach, find a strange old mansion inhabited by an old anti-social woman, inject themselves into her life, and find buried treasure. It's actually a pretty fun book and a pretty neat mystery, although not terribly deep and the insistence that everyone needs to come out of their shells is becoming increasingly obvious.

In the tiny kitchen, the two girls worked fast, for they were hungry, too.

It's kind of amazing how very sexist the books can be at times. The girls cook and the boys go on adventures. Jessie is described a number of times as the 'housekeeper'. It could very well be that's just their personalities and that's what they love to do... but I doubt that's how it came to be. A sign of the time's it was written in. And later, we get a gem like this:

“Now what is going on?” Benny asked himself. “Two people looking at our house.”

He tried to tell whether the figures were men or women.

“I guess they are men,” he thought. “They have on pants.” One of the walkers on the beach was much smaller than the other. Could it be a man and a boy? But at that moment Benny remembered that everybody at the beach dressed in pants—men, women, boys, and girls.

It does drive me a bit batty how they seem oblivious to introverts:

“Oh, yes. I have ten cats. I like cats better than people, you see. I try not to have anything to do with people.”

Violet thought about that. Here was someone who did not want to make friends. If Ali had not escaped from the house, Violet would never have been invited to come in.

Without even having begun to paint, the artist said, “That’s all. Come tomorrow, child.”

And she handed Violet a note that said, “Please be ready for me at 10. Thank you.”


“I know it isn’t,” Benny said. “But I’m making it my business. I really want to know. I know it isn’t polite to ask.”

Miss Smith suddenly said, “I don’t blame you a bit. I think you are a very polite boy.”

... why would she say that?

It's not a deal breaker, but man it gets more nad more obvious.

Random thoughts:

"Is it some sort of Geiger counter?"

I find it greatly amusing they know what a Geiger counter is (because of [b:Mystery Ranch|156813|Mystery Ranch (The Boxcar Children, #4)|Gertrude Chandler Warner|https://i.gr-assets.com/images/S/compressed.photo.goodreads.com/books/1172264374l/156813._SX50_.jpg|1725637]) but don't know what a metal detector is.

Benny said, "It must have been somebody with a lot of money. Look at those towards! One, two, three, four, five towers. Nobody would buy a house like that nowadays. ( )
  jpv0 | Jul 21, 2021 |
Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny are spending the summer living in a mobile home on the beach. one morning Benny finds a valuable gold locket in the sand and decides to try to find its owner.
  jhawn | Jul 31, 2017 |
  BRCSBooks | Sep 26, 2012 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gertrude Chandler Warnerprimary authorall editionscalculated
Cunningham, DavidIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dunn, BenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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ISBNs 0807555185 / 1616415258 / 1616411260 / 145172585X / 1451725841 / 1306237637
are for the graphic versions of the book.
ISBN 0807553727 is NOT a graphic version.

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A friendly writer with a metal detector, the mysterious inhabitants of a tower house, and the discovery of a locket in the sand are ingredients for the Aldens' latest mystery.

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