Review: Mystery Ranch

Series: The Boxcar Children: #4


This time, apparently Grandfather has an estranged sister, living nearly on her own out in a giant ranch house somewhere or the other. She keeps running off the help, so of course Jessie and Violet (being the girls) go to help her –and miraculously have no trouble doing so. It’s kind of hard to believe, but it’s nice to have another change of scenery. And hey, I always love reading aloud books in my ‘creaky old woman voice’. :D

It’s kind of bizarre that Aunt Jane eventually gives the children the ranch . Cool for them, but you have to wonder how taxes will work on that. And ownership once they get older and if any of them want to go their own ways. I doubt we’ll ever find out. It’s fascinating to see how the kids are allowed to just wonder. I do wonder when these books are actually set though. Telegrams and trains, but also buggies and no phone lines on the ranch? Sometimes it feels older than I think it actually is.

Also, old sick Aunt Jane? Totally radiation sickness from the uranium . We knew about that well before the 1957 first publishing of this book. Perhaps Warner knew as well and that’s subtly the answer? Especially given the fireplace made out of uranium...

I actually enjoyed this one relatively much despite all that. Not as good as The Boxcar Children , but easily as good as Surprise Island .