The Secret of Red Gate Farm, by Carolyn Keene

It seems, at least according to the Nancy Drew canon, that owning an inn is a really terrible idea. You’ll end up going broke and then crazy people will show up at your door demanding that you sell your inn to them for more money than they’ll get after you lose the inn and it goes up for auction or whatever (this is terrible business sense on the part of the crazy people) and when you refuse they’ll yell and scream and (in the case of Lilac Inn) maybe even try to blow you up!

Nothing that drastic happens at Red Gate Farm, thank goodness, but there is someone demanding to buy the inn, and there is a nature cult renting some land belonging to the inn’s owners, and there is totally a counterfeiting operation going on in a cave. No, really! Nancy gets all up in this particular business because Bess(!!!) spends a crap ton of money on some perfume and then spills it all over a train. No. Really. A man smells the perfume and comes over all, “What’s going on in our secret club?” and Nancy’s like, “Um, what?” and the man suspiciouses away. Meanwhile, a woman on the train, called Jo, has fainted and Nancy decides to take overly good care of her, to the point of becoming a lodger with Bess and George(!!!) at Red Gate Farm, which Jo’s family owns. And then see the aforementioned cult and the counterfeiting.

Interestingly, this is the first book wherein Nancy doesn’t get her own darn self out of all the trouble she gets into… she actually has to be rescued by a man. Does this spell trouble for our kick-ass heroine? I hope not!

Rating: 7/10
(Nancy Drew Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge)

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Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

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