Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #17)” as Want to Read:
The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #17)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk

(Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #17)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  5,313 ratings  ·  189 reviews
Nancy, Bess and George make plans to travel to South America by boat. Her father buys her a new initialed brass-bound trunk from a local luggage firm. Prior to departure, Nancy learns there are issues concerning the questionable quality of the merchandise. The owner, a friend of Carson Drew, asks Nancy to investigate and to convince his daughter, Doris, to marry Henry Wash ...more
Hardcover, 220 pages
Published 1940 by Grosset & Dunlap
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Gabby I do not think so. There are not enough historical facts, just some passing comments made like, "Oh look, that's where so-and-so was buried!"…moreI do not think so. There are not enough historical facts, just some passing comments made like, "Oh look, that's where so-and-so was buried!"(less)
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,313 ratings  ·  189 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #17)
This was not one of my favorites. I couldn't even find a mystery in it, ...more
Not my favorite of the series. . . .luggage switches, jewelry stolen, misplaced love, and an interesting moment where you almost think Nancy has taken up matchmaking.

Whoever is the primary writer on Team Nancy, they have a decided prejudice that is shining through, and it continues in this edition, as well.

3 stars for good enough, but not the best of the set IMHO. Steaming ahead!
Dean Cummings
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“The mysterious is the very ground of our being – our hope and our destiny. No one ever knows the simplest thing unless one also feels that there is more that has not been explained.” – Richard Gilbert

As the story opens, we see Nancy Drew, her friend George Fayne and George’s cousin Bess Marvin all leaning on the rail of the cruise ship, Winschoten, leaving the port of Rotterdam holland, bound for New York City.

The three young ladies are waving, even though we are told that they knew no one on
Not only is my edition old enough that pieces of the pages were crumbling off while I was reading, but it is apparently the original plot instead of a re-vamped one.
Delightful, fun re-read. Definitely hit the spot.
In case you are wondering, this book is about two minutes shorter to read that the time it takes to play a Little League baseball game :)
Simone S.
It started out pretty slow. And I cheated on this book by reading like 2 others over the time it took to read this. This started with Nancy Drew returning from her fabulous vacation in South Africa! La-de-da-da! Sees a man using the deaf's sign-language. Has credible knowledge of the deaf's sign language. Sees HER name being spelled. Shares cabin with important character (who is also charming and reasonable, and not in any way suspicious or evil. Receives a **Mysterious brass-bound trunk** ident ...more
David Allen Hines
I have read over 300 Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books, and while I realize they are children's adventures, not totally realistic, I have found most of the tales to at least be plausible. Then along came this charmer that contains the most ludicrous scene in any Hardys/Nancy book I have ever read! This book actually begins with an interesting and believable premise-- while on a cruise ship, Nancy's trunk is confused with a brass-bound trunk that is later found to be full of smuggled jewels and she ...more
Feb 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nancy and her gal pals take a trip on the LOOOOVVE BOOOAAAAT

No, it's not actually like the LOOOOVVE BOOOAAAAT; it's more like the POORLY SECURED MYSTEERRRY BOOOAAAAT

Soon she'll be meeting another boy . . .
Seems like several times she gets thrown overboard . . .

There are costumes and unmarked luggage and kidnappings and attacks with blunt Obbbjjeeects . . .

There's no security onboard so Nancy must defend herself from all the suspeeeccttts . .

They disguise
Literary Strawberry
Adding an extra star for the sake of nostalgia and the fact that I /am/ a bit older than the target demographic now, but my goodness, was this bad. Random events, clues that are brought up immediately before they're necessary rather than being woven in/foreshadowed naturally throughout, things brought up for drama only to be immediately resolved (e.g. near the end one of the characters lost her beloved bracelet given to her by her dead grandmother, which was never mentioned once before, only for ...more
Oct 11, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, nancy-drew
Found this one a bit on the dull side. Back and forth looking for clues, finding their room was broken into, chasing a mystery man, looking for clues, finding their room was broken into, chasing a mystery man, et cetera.

Gave it an extra star for the meteor that almost crashed into their ship. I mean, you don't ignore something like this, do you? ;)
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the more dated Nancy Drew books, but cruise ships and mysteries do tend to go hand in hand.
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First of all, I love the cover on this volume. I love the fashionable 1940 clothing the girls are wearing. This book has intrigued me since I was in about 6th grade. I dreamed that I bought this book. It was so real. When I awoke the next AM I couldn't find the book and was so disappointed. It was several years until I actually obtained this book.

I really enjoyed reading this original version of the story. My only complaint was that Nancy and friends didn't board the ship for Buenos Aires until
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It's Nancy Drew, so of course I enjoyed it.

However there was one thing that I cringed over the entire time I read the book; it was a bit painful to be honest. That thing is the lack of understanding over how American Sign Language works. Of course, I think that is due largely in part to the decade in which this book was written, but it still bothers me.

Because they only talked about the alphabet, which in ASL is only used for fingerspelling words that do not have signs. Also, you don't sign ever
Ethan Nahté
Dec 07, 2017 rated it liked it
The Nancy Drew books are definitely a sign of their times, when information wasn't readily available and the majority of the youth population was a little more naive and easily thrilled. The books may still appeal to MG/YA. As an adult, stories such as The Mystery of the Brass-bound Trunk are a bit obvious and the situations in which Nancy Drew and friends find themselves barely holds up in this era.

Nancy's new brass-bound trunk and another girl's trunk are caught up in a confusing shuffle from
Apr 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
so, I think that I have the original 1940's version by Grosset and Dunlap and the story line is similar to the plot that is outlined here on Goodreads but...there is no South African roommate and they are going to South America not South Africa. They meet a friend on board named Nestrelda Darlington whose trunk is also labeled with the initials N.D. hence the mixup with the trunks. Nestrelda's mother is the one who is implicated with stealing the jewelry not some roommate. Very curious about the ...more
Tamara Vallejos
Jun 04, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The version I read is the revised one, about Nancy and friends on cruise liner from Holland to NYC. Which is what made it so interesting because this is the first time in 17 books that Nancy has been in a life threatening situation in which she legitimately could have died a horrible death. It lasted just for a couple pages but you can certainly feel the stakes ramping up as the series goes on. Plus, this is the first book that mentions the girls getting kisses from the trio of boys (when they a ...more
Laura  (Reading is a Doing Word)
This edition is actually the original text.
Excited about a steamer passage to South America - Nancy is suspicious when a Mrs Joslin indignantly tries to demand that she not travel. Nancy of course goes ahead with the trip but there is much confusion around her trunk and Nestrelda Darlington - both having the initials ND.
There is also a mysterious red-haired young man who the girls can never seem to track down. Stolen jewels, mistaken identity and underhand business practices make this a fairly i
Oct 12, 2007 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Kids
I wanted to read one of the Nancy Drew series again because I loved them as a kid and there's a new Nancy Drew movie coming out.

I really don't understand what I liked to much about these books when I was younger. The mystery wasn't that tough to figure out, nothing too complicated. I was really surprised at how much I didn't like it.
My first classic Nancy Drew book since I was little, and I am presented with a random meteor that almost kills everyone on a cruise ship! This also has absolutely nothing to do with the story! Also, every chapter has to end with an exclamation!!!

Ah, Nancy Drew. I still love you.
Oct 15, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This Nancy was silly. I loved how this one ended.
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Such a fun and exciting book!!! Love how it’s a little more intense than the other books since the bad guy is on the same ship as Nancy!!
Emily V
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love this book! It’s an exciting adventure and mystery!! I love how you don’t really know who the bad guy is until the end! Definitely recommended!
4 stars & 4/10 hearts. For a 1940s version, I actually enjoyed this story. The mystery kept me on my toes. I found it very bewildering and quite hooking! The characters were interesting too. Nancy isn't quite as nice in the '40s as in the '60s but she wasn't too bad in this one. I didn't like the subtle way the officials/police of Buenos Aires were depicted... as if they weren't quite "right," or as if they discriminated on basis of "disability" (Miss B.'s blindness) and wealth/position. However ...more
Connie N.
#17 in the Nancy Drew Mystery series

As with all the Nancy Drew books that I'm rereading as an adult, I find it entertaining but simplistic. But they're middle-grade books, after all, and I remember enjoying them greatly as a child. This time Nancy and her friends are taking a cruise ship from Holland to New York. But when Nancy's trunk is misplaced, she ends up with a different trunk with the initials "ND" and finds more than she bargained for. There are also some mysterious men who are using Am
Nancy and her friends change it up a little bit by going on an ocean cruise. But of course they still stumble on a mystery to solve, this time involving a mysterious brass bound trunk that is mistakenly delivered to their room.

The usual Nancy Drew drama then ensues, which includes Nancy getting thrown overboard off of the cruise ship. But of course she survives and is rescued, and she solves the mystery of stolen jewels and her detective work leads to the arrest of the jewel thieves.
Apr 08, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having just read the 1940 version of this title I decided to read the 1976 version. It's a whole 'nother story! In this version Nancy and chums are leaving Amsterdam for NY. The entire book takes place on the ship, except for the very end when the thieves are arrested on the dock. Both versions involve jewelry thieves, travel on a ship, and two trunks both bearing the initials ND. It's hard to say which version I like best. They are both excellent stories. ...more
Jun 20, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cbr12
An okay mystery, but automatic one-star reduction for cultural appropriation.
Anais Roriguez
Mar 26, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The reason why I gave this book a 4 star rating is because this book is based on a girl that has been wanting to find the mystery behind the Brass-Bound Trunk. This book is not scary at all, it's just a mystery themed book. The main reason why I gave this book a 4 star rating is because I think the book could have been little better in my opinion. BUT overall this is a really good book for you to read.I highly recommend this book. ...more
Raven Reviewer
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: mystery lovers
Another mystery finds Nancy, Bess and George when they embark on an ocean voyage on the Winschoten and a brass-bound trunk is delivered to their room.

This might be an older writing style written for younger readers but it sure is an entertaining, fast read. The most remarkable characteristic of this plot-driven, action-packed mystery adventure is readers are on a need-to-now basis. If readers do not need to know something, it is not in the book. There are many characters but we are not told thei
Eeee, Nancy!

I love the old books. The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk was ALWAYS my favourite as a child. I think I read it about fourteen times. I guess now I know why I'm obsessed with cruise ships.

Things I adore about this novel (some serious, some not-so-much):

1. The fact that Ned is MIA. He was so unutterably boring, and as a kid, I used to ask my Mother why Nancy was with him. His name was Ned Nickerson for crying out loud. She deserved much better.

2. Nancy's cheatin' ways. I love how sh
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • A Figure in Hiding (The Hardy Boys, #16)
  • While the Clock Ticked (The Hardy Boys, #11)
  • Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her
  • Black Beauty, Young Folks' Edition
  • The Missing Chums (The Hardy Boys, #4)
  • The Secret of the Old Mill (The Hardy Boys, #3)
  • The Secret of the Caves (The Hardy Boys, #7)
  • Hunting for Hidden Gold (The Hardy Boys, #5)
  • The House on the Cliff (The Hardy Boys, #2)
  • Mandie and the Secret Tunnel (Mandie, #1)
  • The Twisted Claw (The Hardy Boys, #18)
  • The Tower Treasure (The Hardy Boys, #1)
  • The Sinister Sign Post (The Hardy Boys, #15)
  • The One and Only: A Maryellen Classic (American Girl: Maryellen #1)
  • The Mystery of Cabin Island (The Hardy Boys, #8)
  • The Hidden Harbor Mystery (The Hardy Boys, #14)
  • Bitter Words (Secrets of the Castleton Manor Library, #2)
  • The Short-Wave Mystery (Hardy Boys, #24)
See similar books…
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

Other books in the series

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories (1 - 10 of 175 books)
  • The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #1)
  • The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #2)
  • The Bungalow Mystery (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #3)
  • The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #4)
  • The Secret of Shadow Ranch (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #5)
  • The Secret of Red Gate Farm (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #6)
  • The Clue in the Diary (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #7)
  • Nancy's Mysterious Letter (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #8)
  • The Sign of the Twisted Candles (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #9)
  • Password to Larkspur Lane (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #10)

Related Articles

Billy Jensen is an investigative journalist who focuses squarely on unsolved murders and missing persons. He helped finish Michelle...
41 likes · 55 comments
“I’m inclined to believe that August must be convinced it was taken to the hold,” Rod said.” 3 likes
More quotes…