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The Secret of the Musical Tree (Judy Bolton Mysteries, #19)
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#19: Secret of the Musical Tree > Chapter 16: The Secret of the Musical Tree - Summary

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William Land (williamland) | 1253 comments Mod
Chapter 16: A Desperate Chance

The arguing searchers find a piece of glass in Roxy’s pocketbook, causing disappointment since they were looking for the emerald. As Tess and Carlos’s discuss Roxy’s drink, Judy knows for sure that it was drugged and is even more concerned about her. A window is opened to rid the room of the smell of spilled perfume, and Carlos notices footprints outside the window. He is now worried that Roxy signaled someone and that the police or Feds are on the way. Judy is now worried that Roxy will not be able to get word to Peter and decides that she must do so herself. Once Tess and Carlos are out of the room, Judy dresses to leave the house even though Roxy wanted to cover her escape by Judy taking her place. She discovers that the door was left unlocked.

It may seem strange that Roxy wanted Judy to stay in the house while she left, but I think Roxy wanted someone to watch over her father and thought that Judy was better suited for the job. Any ideas?

Now this is where I think Roxy let her guard down, but she has been locked up for a while. I would think she should be suspicious of hot chocolate brought to her by her captors. She shouldn’t have drunk it unless she was hungry. In a later chapter we find out the Dr. Zoller is not being fed very much.


William Land (williamland) | 1253 comments Mod
Tess and Carlos are too busy arguing to be cautious which works to Judy's advantage; the couple leave the bedroom door unlocked.

Beverly wrote in the narrative that she thought it seems strange that Roxy wanted Judy to stay in the house while she summoned house. This was strange to me because I had a definite impression that Roxy's first intention was always to protect her father and have someone with him at all times. She likely thought Judy would be better for this than she was.

As Beverly wrote in the narrative, Roxy did let her guard down by drinking the hot chocolate.


message 3: by Kathleen (new)

Kathleen | 162 comments I admit that I do not have the book in hand, but am enjoying the discussion. However, from a common sense perspective, wasn't Judy taking a substantial risk that she would be able to leave the house unseen?


message 4: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1057 comments Kathleen wrote: "I admit that I do not have the book in hand, but am enjoying the discussion. However, from a common sense perspective, wasn't Judy taking a substantial risk that she would be able to leave the hous..."

Ah, but Judy is Judy and I think she felt she had no other choice.


message 5: by Cindy (new)

Cindy Sweet | 187 comments It makes no sense to replace Roxy and then leave.
I have to admit I am not crazy about this story at all. To me, it ruins Christmas to have this going on. Plus it is a repeat of the p;lot of Dorthea Dix and the Double Cousin.
And wasn't she climbing the ladder in high heels?


William Land (williamland) | 1253 comments Mod
I think Kathleen is right when she says that common sense didn't prevail, but as Beverly mentioned, "Judy is Judy and she likely felt she didn't have a choice."

I remember in another discussion of this book, Cindy had mentioned she didn't like it very much. With series books, I often notice that one fan's loved story is another fan's disliked one. I'm glad that we are discussing the books in this forum. I often gain new perspectives from the comments of others that I hadn't thought of or considered.

Judy is replacing Roxy at that girl's request because Roxy doesn't want to leave her father alone. She also had her errand to complete and needed Judy to impersonate her and take her place with Tess and Carlos.

It's been years since I read Dorothy Dixon and the Double Cousin. The plots are very similar between this book and "Double Cousin," but I think Margaret's story is more exciting and memorable.


message 7: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1057 comments Yes, Margaret's story is the better one. Musical Tree is hard for me to put down. I have started Double Cousin several times and can't make much progress.


message 8: by Faye (new)

Faye Kisker | 408 comments I think that is probably Roxy's desire for Judy to protect her father. But she could have gone to the police or called Peter right away. If she couldn't get a hold of Peter, Horace or the Boltons probably have an emergency number to reach him or Mr Trent.


message 9: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1057 comments Faye wrote: "I think that is probably Roxy's desire for Judy to protect her father. But she could have gone to the police or called Peter right away. If she couldn't get a hold of Peter, Horace or the Boltons p..."

Roxy could have stopped at a pay phone on the way to see Spence's boss. Doesn't make a bit of sense for her to delay getting help.


message 10: by Peter (new)

Peter Clark | 89 comments What's funny is I read Dorothy Dixon and the Double Cousin a year or so before I read Musical Tree. My take on the two books is the biggest difference is that as always Margarets characters are much more fleshed out and detailed. You get to know these characters and understand them . You get where they are coming from and their motives even if you don't have knowledge of the previous books in the series. ( though it does help :)


message 11: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 1057 comments Peter wrote: "Margarets characters are much more fleshed out and detailed. You get to know these characters and understand them . You get where they are coming from and their motives even if you don't have knowledge of the previous books in the series."

And I care about the characters. Maybe that is why I can't read past the first chapter or so of Double Cousin. The characters are not interesting enough to care about.


William Land (williamland) | 1253 comments Mod
Peter wrote: "Margarets characters are much more fleshed out and detailed. You get to know these characters and understand them . You get where they are coming from and their motives even if you do..."

Beverly wrote: << ... Maybe that is why I can't read past the first chapter or so of Double Cousin. The characters are not interesting enough to care about.>>

I have the same feeling about "The Secret of the Musical Tree" being the better book than "Dorothy Dixon and the Double Cousin" as Peter expressed. The characters are more fleshed out and realistic and the reader cares for them.

As Beverly said, the characters in DDATDC are not that interesting including the heroine. I remember reading this book when I was 14 or 15 and thought it quite boring.


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