Intrepid sleuth Nancy Drew has two mysteries to solve. It begins when a homing pigeon crash lands on her property. The message the pigeon is carrying...moreIntrepid sleuth Nancy Drew has two mysteries to solve. It begins when a homing pigeon crash lands on her property. The message the pigeon is carrying is strange, if not a little ominous. As more unusual developments happen, Nancy realizes that the message is connected to the mysterious absence of an elderly woman named Mrs. Eldridge. The second mystery centers around a frightening ring of blue fire showing up near the home of Nancy's friend, Helen Corning's grandparents after dark. When Helen asks Nancy to find out what's causing the fire ring of fire, she agrees, of course. It isn't long before she discovers that the two mysteries could be related.
Perhaps Nancy's greatest strength as a detective is her unwillingness to give up; when she has no clues or prospects of any in this novel, she drives the roads outside of her Midwest town until she finds one (a crude sign on a tree with "L. L." posted on it). Can't get into a prison-like old folks' home? Impersonate an elderly lady. Get thrown into a deep cistern? Use the pieces of a ladder thrown in after you to claw your way up the wall. The criminals are getting away in a small plane? Let the gas out of it before they can take off. Meanwhile she still has time to win first prize in a flower arranging competition. Nancy is simply too much, but no one can accuse her of being a Mary Sue.
Title Password to Larkspur Lane (Nancy Drew #10) Author Carolyn Keene Reviewed By Purplycookie(less)
Nancy mistakenly receives a letter intended for another Nancy Drew, informing her that she has inherited a large sum of money. Also, when Nancy invite...moreNancy mistakenly receives a letter intended for another Nancy Drew, informing her that she has inherited a large sum of money. Also, when Nancy invites her elderly mailman in for a drink of cocoa, his mailbag is stolen from Nancy's porch. Nancy sets out to find the other Nancy Drew and to locate the person who took the mailbag so that she can restore the tarnished reputation of her mailman.
Personally, I found this book to be very boring. The mystery is not exciting and there is very little action in the book. Nancy solves the mystery in the end, but it is not through brilliant detective work, it is because she attends a football game at Emerson University. I know that chance encounters always play a big part in solving the case in Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries, but this was just pure dumb luck and nothing else.
Title Nancy's Mysterious Letter (Nancy Drew, #8) Author Carolyn Keene Reviewed By Purplycookie(less)
During a storm, Nancy, Bess and George seek shelter at an old tea room. While there, they meet a one hundred year old man named Asa Sidney, as well as...moreDuring a storm, Nancy, Bess and George seek shelter at an old tea room. While there, they meet a one hundred year old man named Asa Sidney, as well as an orphaned girl and her dishonest guardians. This launches Nancy into the middle of an old family feud between Asa Sidney's relatives and the relatives of his deceased wife, who happens to have been the sister of Bess and George's great-grandfather.
Nancy's involvement in the feud ultimately costs her her friendship with Bess and George. Nancy has a lot of work to do as she tries to end the long-standing feud, repair her friendship with Bess and George, discover the parentage of the orphaned girl and prevent the girl's guardians from stealing the fortune that Asa Sidney has amassed. There really isn't much of a mystery to this book; however, the story more than makes up for that.
Like all of the other books in the series, it features unscrupulous people up to something dishonest and Nancy's usual desire to help someone in need, but this time she is affected personally because of the loss of her friends.
Plus, I love the old fashioned clothing, sayings and settings much more than the yellow spine books of today that are so condensed they read all the same. The old style books are written with quality in mind and evoke a different period in American history.
Title The Sign of the Twisted Candles (Nancy Drew, #9) Author Carolyn Keene Reviewed By Purplycookie(less)
While returning from a carnival, Nancy, George and Bess witness a large home suddenly burst into flames. Thinking that there may be someone trapped in...moreWhile returning from a carnival, Nancy, George and Bess witness a large home suddenly burst into flames. Thinking that there may be someone trapped inside, the girls rush to the house to help. They are unable to enter the home because of the heat, but Nancy spots a man running away from the house and later finds a diary, written in Swedish, which contains numerous technical drawings. Did the man start the fire? Does the diary belong to him? And what became of Felix Raybolt, the owner if the home, who apparently has gone missing?
Clues lead Nancy to suspect that the diary belongs to the husband of a poor woman that Nancy met at the carnival along with her little girl. Nancy becomes determined to prove that Joe Swenson didn't start the fire, but all of the clues she uncovers seem to suggest that he is guilty.
Personally, I thought that the mystery isn't very exciting and the book really lacks a true criminal. Thankfully, the writing style used in the book is rather enjoyable, so it keeps the book from being a complete waste of time.
One thing to note about this book is that this is the volume where Nancy meets Ned Nickerson and oddly enough her first thought of him is that he is trying to steal her car! This book is worth reading for the writing, but its not likely that many fans of Nancy Drew will find this book to be one of their favorites.
Title The Clue in the Diary (Nancy Drew, #7) Author Carolyn Keene Reviewed By Purplycookie(less)
Nancy Drew fans will enjoy meeting old chums: tomboy George and timid Bess; Nancy's supportive dad, Carson Drew; and of course,the clever sleuth, Nanc...moreNancy Drew fans will enjoy meeting old chums: tomboy George and timid Bess; Nancy's supportive dad, Carson Drew; and of course,the clever sleuth, Nancy, herself. Added to the mix this time are anew friend whose grandmother is about to lose her farm, money-laundering thugs, and a mysterious cult. For those who can overlook corny cliches, annoying adverbs, and stereotypical characters, this book has a well-structured, suspenseful plot with lots of twists and turns and enough danger to keep young readers shivering. Unfortunately, it did not do it for me.
While on a shopping trip, Nancy, Bess and George meet a young girl named Millie (Joanne in the revised edition) who lives at Red Gate Farm with her grandmother. Millie/Joanne and her grandmother may be forced to sell their farm because they don't have enough money, so they decide to take in boarders. Nancy, George and Bess go to the farm to spend some time with their new friend and she tells them about a weird nature cult that rents part of their land and performs strange rituals at night. Nancy; however, suspects that the cult is not quite what it seems.
It is worth noting that the cult, which is called The Black Snake Cult, dresses in white robes with odd, peaked hoods, and Nancy and the girls consider disguising themselves with sheets and pillowcases the better to spy upon their activities. Given the era of the book's first publication and later re-write, this would seem to be a subconscious reference to the Klu Klux Klan on the author's part.
Title The Secret of Red Gate Farm (Nancy Drew, #6) Author Carolyn Keene Reviewed By Purplycookie(less)
"The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, #1)" marks the debut of Nancy Drew an outgoing vivacious teenage sleuth. She is bold, tenacious and dedicate...more"The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, #1)" marks the debut of Nancy Drew an outgoing vivacious teenage sleuth. She is bold, tenacious and dedicated the righting the wrongs in her world. Given its era, you will find nothing in the way of cell phones, computers, or the like; Nancy's fashion sense includes gloves; and she always seems find time to whip up a credible meal from scratch for friends.
The case involves Josiah Crowley who has died and his will states that all of his money is to be left to the rich, snobby Topham family, who only took the old man into their home so that they could get his fortune. However, there are rumors of a second will which would leave the money to people that actually liked and cared for Josiah and who are really in need of it. Desperately wanting to help these people, Nancy is determined to locate the second will if it exists.
Overall, the story isn't bad and the mystery isn't very complex, which is understandable given that this is Nancy's first case. This isn't the most exciting book, but it does manage to keep you entertained while you're reading it.
What's great about the Nancy Drew books in general is that they are competently written, literate, and never talk down to their target audience; they are also good "comfort reading" for grown-ups who recall their childhood reading fondly.
Title The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, #1) Author Carolyn Keene Reviewed By Purplycookie(less)
"SilverFin (Young Bond, #1)" by Charlie Higson describes the life of young James Bond. James goes to Eton a school for boys that is in Scotland. He is...more"SilverFin (Young Bond, #1)" by Charlie Higson describes the life of young James Bond. James goes to Eton a school for boys that is in Scotland. He is befriended by some boys there and is fairly happy. Then he meets George Hellebore. George and James are rivals at first sight.
Then there is some action eventually (if you haven't given up by then through boredom). The main problem is that even the action is not exciting because the character of James Bond himself is completely dull. Not even dull--not there at all.
A nice idea of having young Bond and I can see the potential market. However, the story was poorly written and in the past. It is a very turgid and fractured piece of writing, where themes with the hint of promise are not fully explored leaving the book plastic and vacuous in feel, like a hermetically sealed meal.
Dr. Cronje, who's half Xhosa and half Afrikaner, consults Smith's sleuth, the gentle and insightful Precious Ramotswe, because patients at his hospita...moreDr. Cronje, who's half Xhosa and half Afrikaner, consults Smith's sleuth, the gentle and insightful Precious Ramotswe, because patients at his hospital who have occupied a particular bed have been dying mysteriously at the same time of day.
Also, this time around, Mma Ramotswe's devoted husband (and first-class mechanic) J. L. B. Matekoni also tries his hand at the detective business, catering to a rude client who suspects her husband of infidelity. The case prompts Mr. Matekoni to wonder whether he's exciting enough for his cherished wife.
Meanwhile, Mma Ramotswe's recently engaged assistant, Grace Makutsi, threatens to break their longstanding association. Mma Ramotswe must adjust their relationship in order to retain Mma Makutsi's services. Her professional priorities seem to shift after her engagement to a wealthy man. Talk about suddenly feeling high and mighty! I must say that one of the reasons I hated this entry into the series is because I can no longer stand Mma Makutsi.
Sure, you love the characters, but the tales are simply not up to his previous installments, not nearly as layered or workmanlike. Sadly I need to say that this book and the previous one are starting to feel a bit thin. It's as if he has sucked almost all the juice out of the orange, or like a piece of chewing gum that has been chewed so long it has lost its flavor. It just did not seem as interesting or as gripping as the first books.
Title The Good Husband of Zebra Drive (No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency #8) Author Alexander McCall Smith Reviewed By Purplycookie(less)
Nancy has just gotten a phone call from her best friend Helen Corning (we don't get to meet Bess and George until a few books later). Helen tells Nanc...moreNancy has just gotten a phone call from her best friend Helen Corning (we don't get to meet Bess and George until a few books later). Helen tells Nancy that her great aunt and great grandmother have been living together at Twin Elms. Helen tells Nancy that her great aunt and great grandmother have just gotten a big spook. Helen says they were robbed, heard thumps in the night, and have heard strange music when no one has turned on the radio so she begs Nancy to come to Twin Elms and try to solve the mystery. Nancy is unsure if she should go and try to solve the mystery at Twin Elms because a person named Nathan Gomber told Nancy that her father was in great danger.
Nancy's bravery, independence, compassion, and resourcefulness still makes her a good role model for girls, although the language is somewhat antiquated by today's standards. A couple of points had me laughing, though. One was the way Nancy gently extracts confessions from criminals in about two minutes, despite police efforts to get the villains to talk. The other is when she asks a notary public to come to the mansion right away and he shows up in five minutes. Even when originally written, I think these events would have stretched credibility; yet they don't detract from the overall enjoyment of the book.
Title The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew, #2) Author Carolyn Keene Reviewed By Purplycookie(less)