Written by: Harriet Adams (1971)

Mr. Drew is representing a client that was unwittingly sold land on Native American land. Mr. Rawley Banister, the swindler, has skipped town while out on bail due to another crime. It is up to Nancy and her friends to find him.

This was a weird story. First of all, the word “weird” is used so many times. I get it. It was the 70’s. Let’s move on. Now, Nancy is supposed to find Mr. Banister, who so charmingly calls himself “The Crooked Banister”. Yet, she is focused more on investigating his house. Maybe I missed something?

To be fair, Mr. Banister’s house seems to be as eccentric as the man himself. There is a robot that is programmed to do various things and sometimes he makes trouble for Nancy, Bess, and George. The decorations are strange, a moat surrounding the home catches fire, and one of the banisters is crooked. Is that a clue or just a nod to the man’s nickname? πŸ˜‰

The boys, Ned, Burt, and Dave, pop in for a bit to help the girls. Nothing extremely dangerous happens though that requires the boy’s to do some rescuing. In this story, they’re merely helpful hands. It was nice.

I will say, the conclusion did leave me scratching my head. It just wound up so quickly. At one point, Nancy realizes that Mr. Rawley was working with an accomplice in his schemes. And it is this accomplice that has been making trouble. They catch him fairly easily in the end. And Mr. Rawley’s whereabouts? Oh yeah, turns out he died elsewhere while using an assumed name! That tidbit of information was told in passing btw. Seems like a cop-out. An easy way to tie up all loose ends. 

Anyway, I did enjoy this mystery. Sort of. It was really strange. Super farfetched even for a Nancy Drew story. The 70’s vibes are pretty apparent in the language though haha. And the introduction of a mechanical robot was… interesting. Even if the way it functioned was confusing to me. That stuff just went over my head.
Looking forward to the next one!

BTW: what’s up with that hideous cover?? Yikes!


6 thoughts on “Nancy Drew (#48): The Crooked Banister by Carolyn Keene

      1. Lol, yikes I just checked it again, the robot does look like it’s standing on her shoulder and I am not understanding how the whole stair situation works out but the PINK is so pretty ah. So bright. πŸ’“

        Liked by 1 person

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