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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 25: The Secret of the Musical Tree - Summary

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William Land (williamland) | 973 comments Mod
Chapter 25: Christmas Morning

After her adventure, Judy oversleeps on Christmas Day and misses the opening of the stockings. Because of the children, Judy doesn’t wait to open presents until Roxy arrives. We learn the Bolton’s, now Dobbs’, tradition, of opening one present at a time. As the presents are unwrapped, we find Peter giving Judy a leopard coat which eventually appears on the cover of The Clue in the Ruined Castle. (And I think it was nice that Peter picked out the red coat for Roberta.) When the musical tree is opened, Judy points out the emerald at the top of the tree which she was expecting to find. To keep the emerald safe, Judy suspected that Roxy replaced the green reflector at the top with the emerald.

During the morning, Peter receives a call that Carl Mundy, the boss, has been caught. Before dinner, Horace drives to Farringdon to bring the Dobbs family to join the celebration. I love that touch. Can’t you see all of their future Christmases together when Horace and Honey are married and living across the road from Peter and Judy? Mr. Bolton also brings Mr. Zoller for dinner and just as the group sits down, Spence and Roxy arrive.

Spence was coming to Roulsville to see if Judy had news of Roxy. After climbing down the ladder, Roxy went to see the Norberts about giving Spence his job back. Being drugged, she fell asleep at their house, not waking until Christmas morning. We learn that Carl Mundy stole the jewel from Roxy, but she recovered it during the upheaval of the plane crash. The boss suspected that Roxy had the emerald and so kidnapped the Zollers in hopes of retrieving it. Roxy thought that the best way to keep it safe was to mail it to Judy and so she did. Roxy must have been desperate when she went into the store and so thrilled when she saw the musical Christmas tree and conceived her idea. Or, maybe she had seen the tree on previous shopping trips and already had her plan formulated. What do you think?

Now, was it a coincidence that Judy says she wants a coat for Christmas and Peter has already bought her one, perhaps noticing that she needed a new coat OR did he rush out and buy one before he received the call to rescue her. If he did buy one after Judy mentioned it, he was super-husband to run out shopping on a work day since he had been driving the entire night before and probably only dozed on the train. And what did Judy give Peter? She must have bought something while shopping in Cleveland and it would be fun to find out. He seemed to be one of the last ones on her list, perhaps because she wanted it to be special and couldn’t think of the perfect first Christmas gift.

Finally, I must say that I was disappointed that Judy didn’t open a new picture to hang over the fireplace. The Living Portrait ends with the expectation that Roberta, with the help of Honey, has purchased one as a Christmas present. That would have been a nice tie-in to the previous book. The book ends as warmly as it began with all the details of Christmas morning, making us feel that we are sitting around the tree opening presents and then around the table, waiting for Peter to carve our piece of turkey.


message 2: by Rebekah (last edited Sep 05, 2020 07:44AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Rebekah (rebroxanna) | 475 comments I still have a problem with Roxy's lack of urgency in contacting the authorities or Peter to rescue Judy and her father. Not to mention letting everyone know she was safe. But the detail of the Christmas traditions was delightful. I think hiding the emerald as the Christmas Tree topper was very clever. All in all, I think this one is one of my favorites.


message 3: by Lindsay (new)

Lindsay Stroh | 111 comments When Margaret Sutton first met Pelagie Doane in the publisher's offices, Pelagie was wearing a leopard fur coat. Mom thought it was beautiful, so that's where the idea came from for Judy's Christmas present. In cold weather, Mom wore a silver muskrat fur coat. On long trips, I sat in the middle of the front seat and loved cuddling up to Mom and falling asleep on her lap. Nowadays things would be different-everyone would wear a seat belt, I would be in the back seat, and Mom probably wouldn't wear animal fur.


message 4: by Rachelle (new) - added it

Rachelle | 74 comments Mod
I had a fake leopard coat. I still have a hand me down beaver coat that is extremely heavy.


message 5: by Judy (new)

Judy (hugsjudy) | 66 comments How times have changed. My husband and I were just saying that the other day how I would sit next to him when we drove and now I'm way far away from him because of the. Console inbetween the seats and of course the seatbelts.


message 6: by Judy (new)

Judy (hugsjudy) | 66 comments Hugs! Judy. Oops! Forgot to sign my post.


message 7: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 764 comments Lindsay wrote: "When Margaret Sutton first met Pelagie Doane in the publisher's offices, Pelagie was wearing a leopard fur coat. Mom thought it was beautiful, so that's where the idea came from for Judy's Christmas..."Mom wore a silver muskrat fur coat,/i>

I always thought Peter was joking about dyed muskrat (chapter 8). I didn't know it existed. It is a nice tie-in to have Judy mention a coat as a Christmas present early in the book and Peter to give her one in the last chapter.



message 8: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 764 comments This is where I was disappointed that the new painting for over the fireplace is not mentioned. Roberta asks for a Christmas one in The Living Portrait. With the description of the decorations, it would fit here perfectly and show consistency.


message 9: by Faye (new)

Faye Kisker | 257 comments Wouldn't it have been nice if Honey made a painting of Judy & Peter's house in Dry Brook?

Judy, my husband and I were talking about the same thing recently.
It was hard to get used to bucket seats and they type we have now.

Lindsay, thank you for the inside information on the coats.

I think Roxy must have seen the tree in a previous visit and had a plan to send it to Judy. It would have been very difficult to just hope to find something she could hide it in.

I always imagined it as a musical ceramic tree but after reading it this time, I see that it wasn't.

Faye


message 10: by Faye (new)

Faye Kisker | 257 comments Lindsay, do you know what the real life thing was that inspired this book? Pardon me, if I missed it.


message 11: by Faye (new)

Faye Kisker | 257 comments Hugh Spencer must be quite taken with Roxy to drive all the way to Coudersport from Cleveland on Christmas day or Christmas Eve just to find out if Judy knew anything about Roxy. Did they ever get married in the later books? I only read them (later books) once and have forgotten a lot.


message 12: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 764 comments Faye wrote: "Hugh Spencer must be quite taken with Roxy to drive all the way to Coudersport from Cleveland on Christmas day or Christmas Eve just to find out if Judy knew anything about Roxy. Did they ever get ..."

I don't think we see Hugh Spencer again. I was sad that after Judy wanted a celebration at the farmhouse that she goes to Irene's the next Christmas.


message 13: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 764 comments Faye wrote: "I always imagined it as a musical ceramic tree but after reading it this time, I see that it wasn't...."

But ithe tree played It Came Upon the Midnight Clear so didn't that make it musical?
Beverly


message 14: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 764 comments Judy wrote: "How times have changed. My husband and I were just saying that the other day how I would sit next to him when we drove and now I'm way far away from him because of the. Console inbetween the seats ..."

I asked my husband this morning when the bench seats in the front seat were no longer available on cars. It was nice to have a bench seat where three could sit. Maybe smaller families as well as the minivan made the from bench obsolete.


message 15: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 764 comments Faye wrote: "Lindsay, do you know what the real life thing was that inspired this book? Pardon me, if I missed it."

Good question, Faye,


William Land (williamland) | 973 comments Mod
Beverly wrote: << ... I don't think we see Hugh Spencer again. ...>>

Hugh doesn't appear again in the series.

*****SPOILER ALERT*****Actually, Roxy doesn't either, but she is mentioned. Judy pretends to be Roxy again in #38: The Secret of the Sand Castle.*****END OF SPOILER ALERT*****


message 17: by Beverly (new)

Beverly | 764 comments William wrote: "Beverly wrote: >

Hugh doesn't appear again in the series.

*****SPOILER ALERT*****Actually, Roxy doesn't either, but she is mentioned. Judy pretends to be Roxy again in #38: The Secret of the San..."


That's right and I did like to see the mention of Roxy if nothing else.


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