The Clue of the Broken Locket, by Carolyn Keene

It was kind of a bad idea to read this book basically immediately after reading In the Woods, but it was all I had left to read so that’s what happened!

It’s your average Nancy Drew story… we have doubles, and a sinking canoe, and someone trapped in a house… I could probably go on, but I just don’t want to think about this too hard.

Sadly, I think I’m going to have to call it quits on the Nancy Drew Challenge. I’ve gotten through 11 of the 56, and I think the other 45 are just going to have to wait until next year. Or the year after. Or when I’m really old and can make my descendents read them to me — they are so much easier to take in audio form!

Rating: 5/10
(Nancy Drew Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge)

See also:
[your link here]

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

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Password to Larkspur Lane, by Carolyn Keene

Did you know that there is an International Federation of American Homing Pigeon Fanciers? Neither did I, until I read this book! Oh, homing pigeons. You’re so useful for nefarious purposes.

Right, so, Nancy manages to intercept one of these delightful pigeons as it falls out of a plane, and it has a cryptic message about blue bells and whatnot and therefore Nancy just knows it’s a mystery! Fun times! And then her dear friend Helen Corning (now Archer) comes to Nancy with another mystery happening to her relatives out on their estate, and Nancy’s all, I can solve both of these at the same time! But, if you’ve been following along, you know that these two cases end up intertwined.

Sadly, there is no chloroforming or drowning. But there is disguise and escape and Nancy being thrown into a hole, so we know it’s still our Nancy Drew. 🙂

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

See also:
[your link here]

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

The Sign of the Twisted Candles, by Carolyn Keene

I was so right, Nancy totally does get chloroformed again! Oh, Nancy, you gotta stop killing those brain cells.

Hanyway, the mystery in this book is a little different from Nancy’s usual… here she starts off with a seemingly simple mystery in hand — is Asa Sidney, a relative of George and Bess, being taken care of in his inn (another inn? seriously??) as he is supposed to be? Of course, he isn’t, and soon some of his other relatives are after him for his oodles of money, and Nancy tries to protect him, but then he dies and suddenly George and Bess are upset that Nancy is protecting all that fortune what was meant to go to their families, and Nancy gets chloroformed, and so does a crappy guard, and it’s all just a mess until Nancy ends up solving a mystery no one even knew existed! Goodness.

I have to admit I didn’t like this one as much as I liked the eight previous… I need more intrigue in my Nancy Drew. 🙂 Let’s hope that Password to Larkspur Lane is more to my style!

Rating: 6/10
(Nancy Drew Challenge, Support Your Local Library Challenge)

See also:
[your link here]

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

Nancy’s Mysterious Letter, by Carolyn Keene

More recycling! Nancy has a double again, except this time the double is in name, not in appearance. After a series of events that gets a bag of mail stolen, Nancy finds out that one of those stolen letters was for her, from a law firm in Britain. Her lawyer dad manages to get a copy of the letter from the firm, and though it is a really exciting letter about getting a huge inheritance, it is for a different Nancy Drew — who conveniently happens to be in the River Heights area just now. Nancy tries to track down this other Nancy, but of course there’s someone else out there who wants the inheritance and thus doesn’t want our Nancy finding other Nancy and blabbing about it. Confusing? Yes.

In exciting news, Nancy gets chloroformed, which if I recall correctly is going to happen about a billion times more in these books. I guess as long as she doesn’t go out on a boat anymore, her chances of danger will be about the same.

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

See also:
[your link here]

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

The Clue in the Diary, by Carolyn Keene

Hey everyone, it’s Ned Nickerson! Yippee! The whole Nancy Drew cast is finally together! Helen Corning, who?

And, seemingly in honor of this momentous occasion, this book is pretty boring. There’s only one explosion and that’s right at the beginning, no one gets kidnapped, there’s no body-switching, no one goes anywhere near the water… what’s going on, writers? I kind of like it! This book is more like The Secret of the Old Clock — in fact, very like it. Nancy gets attached to a cute little girl and wants to help her family out, and when it turns out that there’s a mystery around why the girl and her mother aren’t getting money from the father, who is meant to be working in another town, Nancy is totally on the case. The melodramatic writers, not to be left out, have thrown in the explosion at the beginning and a convoluted patent-stealing operation, but the main focus of the story is classic clue-finding and mystery solving, not running from counterfeiters. And, of course, the mystery gets easily wrapped up by full confessions from everyone involved, which is delightfully quaint!

However, things are only going downhill for Nancy’s bad-ass-ness. After being rescued by a man at the end of the last novel, it seems no one wants to let Nancy do her thing anymore, and now that Ned’s on the scene it looks like he’s going to be Nancy’s default bodyguard. Mrs. Gruen even says at one point, “Shouldn’t you take a man with you?” Crap. If Nancy starts turning into Bess, I’m going to be less than pleased.

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

See also:
[your link here]

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

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)

See also:
[your link here]

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.

The Secret of Shadow Ranch, by Carolyn Keene


George and Bess! George and Bess! George and Bess!

No Helen Corning this time. It’s all about my favorite cousins, George and Bess if you didn’t figure that out, and the mystery at their uncle’s ranch. Nancy has conveniently flown in to visit with George and Bess in Phoenix, where she finds out that their uncle is ready to pack all of the girls onto the next flight back to River Heights because his ranch is… wait for it… haunted. Were people in the 1930s really this gullible? Apparently.

Anyway, Nancy does some good sleuthing and gets to stay on to find out who is doing the haunting, and it turns out that it’s probably some bank robbers who have coincidentally kidnapped another of George and Bess’s uncles and brought him to Phoenix, where they discovered that there was treasure buried in them thar hills of Shadow Ranch and set out to find it. Of course, Nancy makes sure that doesn’t happen, but not before she has a few brushes with kidnapping herself.

Oh, and Nancy doesn’t do anything silly on the water in this book, but she and George and Bess do run out of it on their drive back to the ranch at the beginning of the book. Close enough?

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

See also:
[your link here]

Pass me yours, if you’ve got ’em.