Two Nancy Drew stories today. I realized that if I want to complete this series in a year, I would have to at some point double up on how many of these books I read per week. There are 56 books in this series and 52 weeks in a year. I read one book per week. You see the math? About once a month, I will have a double dose of Nancy. So… here we go.
Nancy Drew (#20): The Clue in the Jewel Box by Carolyn Keene
In this mystery, Nancy has a missing prince to find and a pick pocket to apprehend.
Nancy meets Mrs. Alexandra, when the older woman has a fainting spell while at the mall. Nancy quickly takes the woman home. It is later, that Nancy discovers Mrs. Alexandra is a queen in her native country. But when a revolution occurred, she fled. Everyone in her family was killed, except her grandson, Michael, who was whisked away to America by his faithful nurse, Nada. Since then, the elderly Queen has been desperately searching for her missing grandson. Nancy happens to stumble across a clue to his whereabouts and sets out to find him.
Meanwhile, Nancy is also hot on the trail of a pickpocket terrorizing River Heights. It takes her a while to catch on to how he manages to escape capture. It seemed pretty obvious from the beginning. She does eventually figure it out, though. Managing to wrap up one of her mysteries.
Although, for once, Nancy Drew was wrong about one of the cases resolutions. 😱 Early on in the story, Nancy believes she has found the prince. A young man residing in River Heights that goes by the name of Francis Baum. Then he turns out to be an imposter! Which thank goodness he wasn’t the prince because boy, the guy was awful. Obviously she figures out who the real prince is. But not before the fake prince steals a lot of valuable items from the queen (which are later recovered).
Helen Corning Archer and her husband Jim reappear! She introduces Nancy to a fashion designer name Katherine, who is from the same country as the queen. (I don’t know what country that is. The book never says). Helen and Katherine ask Nancy to model a dress designed by Katherine in a fashion contest. Nancy is hesitant, but finally agrees.
There is a subplot involving instant love. And I mean instant. Katherine meets Mr. Ellington one day. They meet again at the fashion show where he seems smitten with her. Then two, three days later they’re engaged. Yup. They’ve known each other for at least a week. I guess, when you know, you know?
Reasons I Liked This Book
1) Because of gems like this:
Nancy and Ned go to a carnival and get on many rides. Then,
… Ned bought tickets for the roller coaster. As the car dashed madly down each incline, Nancy held her breath and clung to Ned. He enjoyed this so much that he suggested a second ride.
“No, let’s try something else,” Nancy pleaded. “How about the ferris wheel?”
“After that wild ride I crave something mild.”
“Then up we go,” Ned gave in reluctantly.
The poor boy got shut down 😂. You know what’s funny? Situations like this still happen today. Hello, scary movies. How many times have I seen people in the theater clinging to their date in fear?
This next one is possibly my favorite quote from the book:
He was glad of an excuse to walk in the moonlight with Nancy. As they followed the road that wound in and out along the river, Ned felt only the romance of the evening.
But Nancy’s thoughts kept reverting to the mystery.
Haha, poor Ned. He’s feeling all kinds of romantic. And Nancy has her mysteries on the brain. 😉 Classic.
2) Nancy’s friends show some spine.
Usually Nancy and her friends are squeaky clean and nice. This time around, they showed a little more realness. When Francis Baum crashes the groups picnic and acts like an entitled ass, the group of friends flee when he’s not looking, leaving him stranded at the park. Nancy objects to the whole thing, of course. But when everyone runs, she does too. Ha!
3) Dark Nancy
Nancy asks Ned to help her kidnap Francis. Yes, kidnap. At this point, she strongly suspects he’s a fake and she wants him to confess. She also wants information to the identity of the missing prince, which she believes he has. When he does confess to his crimes, Nancy promptly turns him over to the police.
Some of the subplots were a bit random and unnecessary. But the two main mysteries were actually written remarkably well. They held my attention even after I figured out what was happening. Nancy and her friends weren’t the usual goody-goody’s they always are. Which I loved. It made the character’s a little more believable. And the book had me cackling like a maniac. So there’s that.
Now, on to the next one!
Nancy Drew (#21): The Secret in the Old Attic by Carolyn Keene
Nancy is asked by her father to help him solve two separate mysteries. The first involves missing music that Mr. Philip March desperately wants found so he can use the money from their sell to raise his orphaned granddaughter, Susan. The music was originally composed by his son, who was a soldier and died in action. Nancy believes the clue to finding the missing music lies in the family attic. The second mystery involves a possible case of corporate espionage. Mr. Drew’s client, Mr. Booker, believes his former employer, Mr. Trott, was asked by a rival company to spy on his factory and obtain a secret formula that is used to manufacture clothes.
Nancy works this case alone for the most part. Bess and George do appear and help Nancy out a bit. But they didn’t play as active a role as they usually do. Ned appears briefly, to rescue Nancy in the nick of time. 😒 The other boys, Burt and Dave don’t appear at all, though they are mentioned in one scene. It was a nice change of pace. One I liked.
This story was easy to follow. The pacing was fairly quick. Although the denouement was a bit over the top. It all seemed too convenient. I enjoyed this mystery though. It didn’t have me laughing like the one before, but it had heart.
You know, I can’t help but admire Nancy’s relentless determination. She pushes through her fears to solve her case.
Two wonderful mysteries. I’m a lucky girl.