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The Secret at Shadow Ranch (Nancy Drew #5)

3.91  ·  Rating Details  ·  12,033 Ratings  ·  356 Reviews
Nancy drew arrives in Phoenix, Arizona, eagerly looking forward to a fun-filled vacation at Shadow Ranch, but abruptly finds herself involved in a baffling mystery. The ranch is being haunted by a phantom horse and maliciously damaged by an unknown enemy. Local people believe that the ghostly animal is carrying out the curse of Dirk Valentine, the romantic outlaw who was k ...more
Hardcover, 204 pages
Published by Grosset & Dunlap (first published 1931)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Carrie
Mar 31, 2008 Carrie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kidlit, mystery
I would love to see another edition of this book. In the order of the series, this is number five, but Ned Nickerson, Nancy's longtime and long suffering boyfriend gets several mentions. Too bad he doesn't make his first appearance until book seven! I have the "purple" editions, the double editions that were published two books to each volume as a collectible set. The books have, over the years, gone through a lot of edits to "update" them. I'd love to know if this quirk is particular to a certa ...more
Jeremy Preacher
This continues my series of comparative reviews of the 1930s and 1950s editions of the Nancy Drew books.

Shadow Ranch was the mystery with the biggest divergence of story so far. I've been trying to read them more or less in parallel, but that was pretty much impossible here - they're basically two distinct stories with different plots entirely.

In the 1930s version, there are two main mysteries - what happened to Alice's father, and what's the deal with the little blonde girl who lives with the m
...more
Jaksen
Nov 14, 2015 Jaksen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well, of the four I've recently read, The Secret of the Old Clock (#1), The Bungalow Mystery (#3), The Mystery of Lilac Inn (#4) and this one, The Secret of Shadow Ranch (#5), this is by far the best. (I can't find my TWO copies of The Hidden Staircase (#2), so haven't re-read and reviewed it yet.)

This mystery, considering it's the world of Nancy Drew, is well-written, and contains clues, evidence, and a storyline that seems more natural than the others and less 'forced.' Nancy does move from on
...more
bup
Oct 10, 2015 bup rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, 2015
I'd never read a Nancy Drew, because, you know, I was a boy and it would have been unthinkable and all. As an adult, I always thought I should at least read The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew #1). But when I came across this original text version of #5, I knew the universe was speaking to me.

Nancy and...introducing Bess and George (so I'm told), and a cousin Alice go to a ranch for the summer (several day train trip to "the west") and go more than a third of the book not even knowing what m
...more
Jessica
Oct 27, 2015 Jessica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
A patron let me borrow a copy of the book in its original 1931 form, and it was such a fun throwback. I particularly liked how when Nancy and Co. couldn't get a man to accompany them on their hike into the mountains, their aunt thought they should at least take a revolver to keep them safe. And spoiler alert...Nancy ends up shooting an animal that is now on the endangered species list because she is one badass beeyotch.
John Yelverton
Sep 18, 2011 John Yelverton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nancy Drew leaves the big city, but uncovers a mystery in the Arizona wilderness. Another great addition to this book series.
Empress5150
Whenever I need a filler book (one that I know won't take very long to read), I tend to reach for those from my childhood. I have several Nancy Drew mysteries on my book shelf and I've read each of them many times (to the point where, as I am reading it, I pretty much know exactly what's coming next).

This particular one is a favorite; Nancy, along with her faithful companions Bess and George, find themselves on a ranch in Arizona helping Bess and George's aunt and uncle discover who is wrecking
...more
Wenqian-1e3
Jun 07, 2009 Wenqian-1e3 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
Nancy Drew arrives in Phoenix , Arizona , eagerly looking forward to a fun-filled vacation at Shadow Ranch , but abruptly finds herself involved in a baffling mystery . The Ranch is being huanted by a phantom horse and maliciously damaged by an unknown enermy . Local people believe that the ghostly animal is carrying out the curse of Dir-k Valentine , the romantic outlaw who was killed many years ago at Shadow Ranch , where hee had gone to fulfill a promise to his sweetheart .
Suspecting that a
...more
Tabi34
Apr 14, 2011 Tabi34 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nancy-drew
This is my fifth Nancy Drew Book in a month. Although I'm not sure who really wrote this book, it's obvious it's a different writer. Nancy's engaged friend Helen Corning is gone and the cousins George and Bess have replaced her. This book takes Nancy to Arizona far from River Heights and her family. Her father, Carson Drew and housekeeper Hannah Gruen are only mentioned in passing and play no part in this book. Also we hear for the first time of a boyfriend - Ned. Those who have read other Nancy ...more
Tweety
May 27, 2015 Tweety rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nancy Drew fan and mystery lovers
Recommended to Tweety by: my grandmother
I love this particular edition of The Secret at Shadow Ranch, because it's completely different to The Secret of Shadow Ranch. Having read this one first and then the "revised edition" I can see that it changed way more then just some editing.

In this one it is about a kidnapped child, in the revised it is about a shadowy horse. Big editing, right? (Like chop out the whole plot and write a new one) Both are good, but while the older is Imo superior, the later was just okay. I think Nancy changed
...more
Sheila
While these classic Nancy Drew stories are certainly NOT realistic, I do like the fact that Nancy is a strong, smart, independent young woman who tackles any challenge, is not afraid, does not let any man boss her around or walk over her, and who is always victorious at the end of the story. So while the plots can be a bit silly, I am enjoying sharing this character and her good qualities with my daughter as we read these stories together at bedtime.

My daughter also enjoyed the fact that this bo
...more
Jerry
Dec 07, 2015 Jerry rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Quickie Review

Good for what it is...but not as good as the other entries in this series, in my opinion.

Score: 3/5
Brooke C
This book was a very good book about Nancy and her friends going on vacation but stumble upon a mystery and end up in the middle of it trying to solve it. I love these bacause Nancy is always geting into a mystery and danger but always finds a way out of it like all good detectives do. I love the whole Nancy Drew series bacause I love mysteries and this one is awesome as well. I love mysteries and think Nancy always shows good perservirence and never gives up.
Marie
http://mariesbookgarden.blogspot.com/...

Can you believe that I've never read a Nancy Drew book? This was my first! I read it because of a delightful little second grader--daughter of a close friend--who's obsessed with them at the moment.

I'm glad to be able to say I have read Nancy Drew--she was a plucky detective but she was awfully concerned with her looks and her friend's weight! But I understand that many of the original Nancy Drew books were rewritten in the 1950s to make her more feminine.
...more
C.
Jul 19, 2013 C. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This instalment is tricky to reflect upon. I'm bestowing three stars because it entails several exciting events that elevate the interest and pace. I like that it is a fresh setting to dig into away from Nancy Drew's 'River Heights' neighbourhood; although I don't know which American state that's in. The desert evokes inspiring terrain and mood-setting history; as does the ranch.

The nocturnal horse does not contribute the spooky atmosphere it should. Nancy clarifies from the start that she predi
...more
Mandy Sickle
Nancy has just finished a case headed for a much needed vacation with her best friends Bess and George in Arizona at Shadow Ranch. However her vacation may be short lived because upon arriving she learns that a mystery is unfolding at the ranch that could force all the girls’ home early. Before the girls can even leave the terminal they encounter a stranger warning them away from Shadow Ranch, as if that’s not enough they have car trouble on the way to the ranch.

As the girls arrive at the ranch
...more
Megan
I thought this was a really good installment in the series. Even though some of the scenes were overly dramatic, I think younger readers would highly enjoy them (I know I did when I was younger), so I can't give this book less than 5 stars. I loved that the story took place on a ranch. The phantom horse was interesting and I liked the simple, yet unusual, solution to how it was done. Recommended to any fans of YA mysteries.
Andrea
Apr 12, 2010 Andrea rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, mystery
Helen Corning ceases to exist while Nancy gets new friends that she's apparently had all along. It's Bess and George, of course! Nancy ventures to Bess and George's aunt and uncle's ranch for a vacation and finds a mystery to be solved (of course). Well, there's like 3 mysteries going on. One is the phantom horse and the sabotage that follows at Shadow Ranch. Then there is Bess and George's younger cousin's missing father. And then there is the missing treasure of outlaw, Dirk(!) Valentine. Of c ...more
Susan
Apr 03, 2016 Susan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This one is somewhere between three and four stars but rounded up for nostalgia and because the four would be more likely if I were still the target audience.

This one is classic Nancy Drew. There are some 'well isn't that an interesting coincidence' plot points required to make the story work but it is still an enjoyable read.
Laura Ellison
Nancy is just too perfect for me. I've enjoyed reading these books with my niece but I'm close to being done with them. I want to read books that will bring about better discussion and have more realistic characters than Nancy is. I only wish I was knowledgeable in engine repair, knitting, horseback riding, professional golfing, French, baking, dancing, sleuthing and being adorable with titian hair, but we can't all be Nancy, can we?!
Michelle
I totally had a crush on Dave the cowboy! At one point, I was hoping that he and Nancy would get together but it was not meant to be. Anyway, plotwise, it was exciting albeit not as much as the previous installment. The villains were being obvious from the start but as usual, the good guys could not do anything about it without solid proofs.

The lack of Hannah Gruen and Carson Drew from the book seemed to give way for George and Bess as Nancy's assistants. I liked the idea though. More girls rat
...more
Madyson
Feb 11, 2014 Madyson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
IT WAS AWESOME! I LOVED it! Like all the nancy drews I'm always a fan!
Ruth Emily
Apr 12, 2016 Ruth Emily rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I devoured this book because of how fast paced it was! I really enjoyed it, and I'll definitely be reading more of Nancy Drew!
Katrina
May 07, 2015 Katrina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
FINALLY. This is the type of well-crafted, engaging mystery I've been waiting for in this series. Oddly, though, it feels like an entirely different Nancy Drew, written by an entirely different author. It has all the classic YA mystery elements: traveling to a friend's ranch, meeting mysterious strangers, riding horses, solving ghostly appearances, finding hidden treasure. It makes sense, from start to finish, with clear motivations from both the heroes and the villains. Sadly, that's an area th ...more
Divya
Jan 31, 2015 Divya rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
For detail summary : http://nancybookreviews.blogspot.in/2...
Review:
In this story there was lots of things happening every minute, so much stuff to grasp on. But everything falls in place properly.
Nancy with her cousins start searching for a treasure in Shadow Ranch as she believes that this Phantom nuisance is just to scare away Rawely's people so that troublemakers can search the treasure easier,. In the same time she also investigates Alice father disappearance. At last they find treasure lyi
...more
Emma boyer
Jun 10, 2014 Emma boyer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves:
`this is a realy good book out of all of her books that i have read. im on pg. 93 and i would recomend it to any one who likes mysteries. the main charictors name is nancey drew and she is a young detective and this one is about she gose to this ranch with her two best friends (george and bess) and her best friends relatives own the ranch. and the relatives think the ranch is like being sabotaged . and she also hast to solve a old legand about the ranch . and so yea its a realy good book. ...more
Melanie
Nov 20, 2015 Melanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, towers
A really good mystery! I enjoyed the reason behind the phantom horse and how it glowed.
Megan Lengel
Nancy Drew arrives in Phoenix, Arizona, eagerly looking forward to a fun-filled vacation in Shadow Ranch, but abrubtly finds herself involved in a baffling mystery. The ranch is being haunted by a phantom horse and maliciously damaged by an unknown enemy. Local peopel believe that the ghostly animal is carrying out the curse of Dirk Valentine, the romantic outlaw who was killed many years ago at Shadow Ranch, where he had gone to fufill a promise to his sweetheart.
Sarah Crawford
Jan 19, 2016 Sarah Crawford rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 1993 printing of The Secret of Shadow Ranch. In this case Nancy, Bess and George go to a place called Shadow Ranch. The ranch is in financial difficulty and someone, or some people, have been doing what they can to close the ranch down. This includes various acts of sabotage and a horse that appears to glow (but only appears at night.)

Nancy and the others meet a girl whose father has been missing of six months. They also meet a number of suspicious guys but the potential list of sus
...more
Brad
Oct 11, 2012 Brad rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"The Secret of Shadow Ranch"...Carolyn Keene/Various Authors. The Secret of Shadow Ranch was Amazing!!! This story had my undivided attention. The whole entire story was great , I liked the fact that Bess and George were involved in the mystery with Nancy . Because In the "The Secret of Shadow Ranch" Computer game Bess and George weren't involved. One of Favorite Nancy Drew Books in the series.
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recormendation 6 32 Aug 20, 2014 04:37AM  
Wow!!! 4 56 Jun 16, 2012 03:24PM  
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Carolyn Keene is a writer pen name that was used by many different people- both men and women- over the years. The company that was the creator of the Nancy Drew series, the Stratemeyer Syndicate, hired a variety of writers. For Nancy Drew, the writers used the pseudonym Carolyn Keene to assure anonymity of the creator.

Edna and Harriet Stratemeyer inherited the company from their father Edward Str
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More about Carolyn Keene...

Other Books in the Series

Nancy Drew (1 - 10 of 175 books)
  • The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, #1)
  • The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew #2)
  • The Bungalow Mystery (Nancy Drew, #3)
  • The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew, #4)
  • The Secret of Red Gate Farm (Nancy Drew, #6)
  • The Clue in the Diary (Nancy Drew, #7)
  • Nancy's Mysterious Letter (Nancy Drew, #8)
  • The Sign of the Twisted Candles (Nancy Drew, #9)
  • Password to Larkspur Lane (Nancy Drew, #10)
  • The Clue of the Broken Locket (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #11)

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“We could certainly use a detective. And I've got to hand it to you, Nancy - you sure can keep your head.” 14 likes
“Was it a threat, or a well-meant warning?” 1 likes
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