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The Strange Message in the Parchment (Nancy Drew #54)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  2,406 ratings  ·  54 reviews
A sheep farmer receives a mysterious telephone call shortly after he buys a series of pictures painted on parchment. "Decipher the message in the parchment and right a great wrong," the voice says. Puzzled, the owner asks Nancy to help.

With Junie, his daughter, Nancy tracks down a kidnapper and a group of extortionists. Clues weave in and out of several puzzles, two of whi
Hardcover, 180 pages
Published October 1st 1992 by Grosset & Dunlap, Inc (first published October 1st 1974)
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The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn KeeneThe Hidden Staircase by Carolyn KeeneThe Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn KeeneThe Sign of the Twisted Candles by Carolyn KeeneThe Bungalow Mystery by Carolyn Keene
Nancy Drew Mystery Stories
45th out of 79 books — 72 voters
Curious George by H.A. ReyHow Not to Murder Your Grumpy by Carol E. WyerThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg LarssonWatchmen by Alan MooreOne Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish by Dr. Seuss
Yellowest Books Ever
284th out of 865 books — 411 voters

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Community Reviews

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John Yelverton
Nancy Drew returns in another thrilling addition to this mystery book series.
I love Nancy Drew books, even as a 27 year old, but this was my least favorite of the dozen or so I've read thus far. I have read commentary in regard to the shifting of Nancy from being a confident, strong young woman in the earliest stories, to a more easily preyed upon and less assured individual by the 1980s. Even the book covers reflect this progression. In earlier books we see Nancy on the cover snooping around and on her guard. Here, Nancy's eyes are closed. She has a much softer look, an ...more
I'm not sure what to make of this Nancy Drew title. Usually nothing stands in Nancy's way as she jets around the world to solve her crimes, but this time a trip to Milano, Italy is deemed too expensive.

Nancy also gets to tour a slaughterhouse in this one! She is very practical in her realization that meat has to come from somewhere. Of course, Bess is appalled at the idea even though she loves her lamb chops!

Nancy meets a man who is always quoting scripture which is another departure from the n
Meaghan Steeves
For taking place in the United States, when these stories have taken place all over the world, this was among the most different and deep of the Nancy Drew mysteries I've read. While it still held that vintage aura and continued its familiar themes, Nancy is the most on her own in this story and some of the elements were different than previous episodes. For one thing, a bad guy rarely turns into a good guy in these stories, biblical verses are quoted (and footnoted!), there is actual child abus ...more
The Strange Message in the Parchment is a children's story by Carolyn Keene (pseudonym) and the 54th book in the Nancy Drew series.

After a friend's father receives a mysterious phone call, Nancy Drew is invited to Triple Creek Farm to try to find a hidden message in a parchment painting. But when the painting is stolen Nancy becomes involved in tracking a kidnapper and extortionist.

I’ve always been a voracious reader. So, as a child, one of my favorite things about summer was the frequent
Nikita (NjKinny's World of Books & Stuff)
Sep 14, 2013 Nikita (NjKinny's World of Books & Stuff) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone. A classic Nancy Drew book.. :)
Nancy is on a yet another adventure and this time its her former schoolmate, Junie Flockhart who has brought the mystery for her to solve in "The Strange Message in the Parchment". :)

Junie's father, who also owns a parchment making factory and lives on Triple Creek Farm, has bought a parchment with four scenes painted on it. Junie tells her that soon after buying the parchment, her father got a mysterious call where "a man who didn't give his name said the picture had a message. Anyone who coul
I'm saying "liked it" because I read it with my daughter, and she liked it, but this was not my favorite Nancy Drew book. It had anti-immigrant, anti-union sentiment at times and quoted the Bible throughout -- when I literally read a line that stated that migrant workers on a farm should speak English if they're working in America, I couldn't believe I was reading this aloud, but once again, we learned a lot of vocabulary words (and I'm pretty sure I was the only reader picking up on this stuff) ...more
I felt like this book started out pretty slow, so they didn't have very much time at the end to get to the actual mystery. It felt very rushed at the end. Still I love these books though.
Allison M.
I honestly think this book is really predictable. That's one reason I don't prefer to read mysteries. But, for mysteries, this book isn't great, but it isn't horrible either.
Another great read that I thoroughly enjoyed on my holiday. Mystery of Crocodile Island is my next one to hunt down according to the story.
I loved this book..... it was interesting and different from other Nancy Drew mysteries.yet again Nancy returns with a sparkling mystery!!!
i really really liked this has so much mystery and adventure in one. plus it has so many mini mysteries in it
Not sure if I got smarter, or if the later Nancy Drew books got more predictable...
Hmmm...Nancy ready to give up a mystery because the mystery object was stolen?! Worried about her ability to reproduce a stolen painting?! Too expensive to fly to Rome to check out a clue?! What is wrong with Nancy in this mystery? First, and probably last, time I read this one. It's in that group of 5-10 that I consider the worst of the original 56 hardcovers and 119 Digests that compose the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories so I didn't expect much. I'm interested to see what the next two which I've n ...more
♆ BookAddict  ✒ La Crimson Femme
I remember the first time I read Nancy Drew. It blew my mind that there were girls presented with a brain. Most of the stuff I'd read up to that time, was that girls were sugar and spice - fluffy. No brains. To also learn about George who is a tomboy was a nice validation. Carolyn Keene wrote just for me! That is how I felt. When I did more research, I was shocked to find out, Ms. Keene was actually a man ... writing under Frank Dixon. I also loved the Hardy Boys. No wonder I loved these series.
I enjoyed reading this, even if it isn't my normal fare.
♡Ann  Matalines♡
the suspect is predictable
Travel cocktease. They talk about going to Italy but this is the first time that capricious travel has been TOO EXPENSIVE for Drew 'n' Company.

One of the character is a shepherd named Ezekiel and he quotes scripture.

Nancy tries to find the origin of a mysterious child and comes across a phony union extortion scheme.

Nobody loses consciousness but Nancy gets attacked by a flock of mechanical birds and attacked by a ram.
This was one of my least favorite Nancy Drew's. The person writing it was obviously a vegatairian which just got on my nerves because the book is set on a Sheep farm and theres all this "Aww you wouldn't kill a cute little lamb like that would you?" stuff in book. I really love animals but it was still grating. There were a few other minor things about the book that were anoying but that was the main one.
This is another of the poorly written later Nancy Drew books written by someone writing anonymously for the publisher, whose goal was to crank out as many money-makers as possible as quickly as possible. It broke from the pattern of Nancy Drew stories by including a shepherd who quoted from the Bible, which would make the book questionable for inclusion in a public school library.
Nancy's friend Junie has a parchment that her father bought from a neighbor. It seems to have been created by the same artist as another couple of paintings, all seeming to have some sort of message. Nancy needs to solve this message as well as the mystery of what is going on with her neighbor. The man is Italian and has a mysteriously downtrodden nephew.
Ok.... Nancy could have used some tact and discretion before openly trespassing on somebody's property. That was disappointing. Also the author could have used some tact when describing how the lambs were slaughtered. ugh. :-( I did enjoy the Biblical references every so often though. This was another good book written slightly different.
I felt like Nancy was a bit less competent in this book than she usually is which was annoying. I also thought all of the sheep farm / slaughterhouse stuff was really weird, overdone, and not enjoyable to read about. All of Eezy's bible quotes seemed out of place too. Overall this was just a weird installment in the series.
Laura Bang
Oh, Nancy Drew, such a beloved figure of my childhood. Although the books do not stand up well to adult scrutiny (all-too-convenient plot "twists", flat too-perfect characters, and many actions on the part of our heroes that most people would consider extremely illegal), Nancy Drew is still a fun read for a bit of nostalgia.
This book was different from the rest of the Nancy Drew books. It was not AS implausible, however still not quite real, and Bess and George were not involved from the start. They boys didn't come in until later either. The change made it a lot better than the other books.
Jo and Hali
This book is really good. Its about Nancy's friend Judy got a parchment with a note on it but she dosen't know what it means. So she gos to Nancy for help. As Nancy investigates she becomes suspitious of one man named Rocko. Read the book to find out what happends.
Megan Lengel
A sheep farmer recieves a mysterious phone call shortly after he buys a series of pictures painted on parchment "Decipher the message in the parchment and right a great wrong," the voice says. Puzzled, the owner asks Nancy to help.
Hubert Su9
This book is a thriller!!,It started out when a somebody call Nancy's friend Father,
This is what he said: "there is a strange message in the Parchment, and can right an old wrong"!, hope you enjoy reading this book!
Arielle Guevara
This book was very interesting because it was about a painting on parchment. And I noticed that Nancy wasn't solving the mystery with Bess and George, but with her friend Junie. It was a fun read. :)
Nicole Cadet
This one should have been called "Nancy Drew is a Mary Sue". The writing was terrible, the situations (even for Nancy) completely unbelievable, and the mystery really, really uninteresting.
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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
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 Shadow Ranch (Nancy Drew, #5)
  • 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 Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, #1) The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew, #2) Nancy Drew: #1-64 The Bungalow Mystery (Nancy Drew, #3) The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew, #4)

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