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The Ringmaster's Secret

(Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #31)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  5,304 ratings  ·  106 reviews
Nancy Drew is given a beautiful gold bracelet and finds that one of the horse charms is missing. When she learns the unusual story behind the jewelry, she sets out to solve the fascinating mystery.

This book is a condensed version of the original book which was first published in 1953.
Hardcover, 178 pages
Published September 1st 1974 by Grosset and Dunlap (first published 1953)
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  5,304 ratings  ·  106 reviews

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Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was my first time reading Nancy Drew and I thought it was pretty good! I know, I know--I probably should've started from the beginning, but I found a couple of books from this series for really cheap recently, so I thought that I would give them a try :)) I don't typically read this genre, but I like to try new things sometimes and get out of my 'reading comfort zone' I guess is what you would call it lol :P I do think I would have enjoyed this a little more if I read it when I was younger, ...more
Yesterday I finished a walk down memory lane. I had recently picked up a copy of the Nancy Drew The Ringmaster's Secret by Carolyn Keene at a local flea market. Not that I didn't already have a copy--I do. But this was the tweed-style hardcover book that matches the original set of six books that my mom handed down to me when I was seven. I'd like, at some point, to have all 38 of the titles which were published in tweed to match Mom's set. Since I bought it, I decided I ought read it for old ti ...more
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Arguably the most non-Nancy Drew book of the series. She actually joins a circus! Very weird and un-Nancy Drew, but a must read for fans of the series.
Cate (The Professional Fangirl)
Mar 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-reads, own
My mom introduced me to the Nancy Drew Mysteries. You know, those yellow hardcover books? They were first released in the 1930s and to date, there are about 175 volumes. My collection spanned only the first 56 volumes. Certainly, I haven’t read all of them but I’ve read a whole lot. In fact, collecting this 56 volumes is part of my bucket list. My first Nancy Drew book is The Sign of the Twisted Candles and it remains as my absolute favorite from the bunch. Then the book that I dreamt about, The ...more
Sarah Gruen probably definitely read this book before she wrote Water For Elephants. It practically has a cooch tent.

Nancy is a skilled equestrienne, and recently took up stunt riding. Thus, she was a natural replacement for an injured circus stunt rider, and could hide out while trying to solve a mystery.

Nancy loses consciousness when she falls off a horse. She also faints when an unknown assailant strangles her from behind with a cord. She loses consciousness a *third* time when someone throws
Jun 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Nancy's aunt sends her a bracelet and tells her there is a mystery surrounding it. When the circus comes to town and Nancy meets an amazing aerialist who was brought up by cruel adoptive parents, the owners of the circus, Nancy discovers that the aerialist and the bracelet are connected. She proceeds to investigate.

The Nancy Drew Mysteries are such great books. My 8 year old recently discovered them and she loves them. The language is not dumbed down and my daughter loves trying to solve the my
Oct 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
What can I say about this series that I haven't already said?
Dec 28, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my all time favorites, although I haven't read it since I was probably about 12. Chalk it up to childish fancy, but I've always loved a good circus story. It was also always one of my favorite games of pretend to play with my siblings when we were kids (My favorite circus name was Tonya, and I walked the tightrope and was an aerialist... Ahh make believe!)

Anyway, back to The Ringmaster's Secret. Nancy becomes an expert trick rider in this one (because of course she does) and finds herself
Dec 14, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Alexis Contreras
Oct 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
This book is about another mystery including Nancy Drew . One day one of Nancy's aunts bought Nancy a bracelet with 5 horses on it but it was missing one horse . Nancy's aunt has heard about the bracelet's past . The story is that a famous circus performer has owned that bracelet for a long time , she soon died so she gave it to her daughter . The lady's daughter ¨lost¨ her bracelet, but the thrift shop owner got it as a gift but wanted to sell it.
In Nancy's hometown every year they have a cir
Madalyn Walker
May 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Out of all the Nancy Drew books I have read, this is one of the best. The descriptive words the ghost writer uses are so well chosen, it takes the book to a whole 'nother level. The characters are so relatable and realistic, it's like you almost feel like you know them. All 178 pages of this novel reveal details and clues like never before. If you are into mysteries, then this book was written for you. The main thing that I enjoy about these novels are the suspense and the cliff hangers that mak ...more
Apr 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
A circus comes to town, and Nancy is faced with a mystery to solve. A good mystery for kids.
Mar 23, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery kinds of people
Recommended to Eva by: No one, i've just been reading the series
This was a good book, it didn't take me to long to read and it was sometimes hard to put down.
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nancy-drew
Well, well, well. What do we have here? A ringmaster with a secret, you say? Let's see if Nancy Drew can fasten on her gold charm bracelet with horses on it, and solve this latest mystery. She'll need to use her recently acquired skill of trick-riding on ponies—ya know, the spectacle of ponies trotting around inside a ring while the riders stand on the ponies' backs, jump around, do risky feats of balance, etc.

During this mystery, where a traveling circus has stopped for a weekend in River Heigh
Dec 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Aunt Eloise sends Nancy a bracelet with horse charms on it. The bracelet itself has a mysterious backstory and Nancy is set on finding the original owner. As the story develops, a circus comes into town. When one of the performer’s is injured, Nancy is asked to take her place, as the act’s trainer has seen Nancy perform tricks on a horse. At every turn, someone attempts to stop Nancy from investigating (at one point she’s briefly blinded by an acid attack). But this only spurs her on and in the ...more
Oct 20, 2019 added it
I think that Nancy Drew(the main character) a girl who lost her mother when she was three years old and has a father that is a lawyer that is what inspired her to be a detective that solved mystery no matter what the danger was. In this mystery she gets a bracelet that her aunt sent to her because it had a secret story behind it and she notice one of the horse charms are missing and she is determined to find it and the owner to. this leads her a ride where a circus is going in and one of the ba ...more
Aug 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
Sometimes it is good to revisit your favourite detective character, whilst you were growing up.
Nancy Drew has been my binge-read in my teens, and she remains my favourite sleuth.
In this story, Nancy helps Lolita, an aerialist in a circus (Sim's circus) to find her lost mother, Lola Flanders, who is presumed dead. Her foster father, Mr. Kroon, and the ringmaster of the circus, had conveyed the same to her.
Her sleuthing, as usual, lands her in trouble. But with Ned, Bess and George by her side;
Feb 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This Nancy drew mystery came to me as an answer to all my dissappointments of my previous reads. I really liked it. The book is UNBELIEVABLE and by that I mean literally unbelievable but still I enjoyed it. This book really has the potential to keep the person hooked and gives a nice feeling once its finished.
As I mentioned it was unbelievable like many other Nancy drew stories with Nancy herself becoming a circus performer a skilled equestrienne and also a ventriloquist.
But despite of all the o
Sep 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
This one reminded me of the tv series "Heartland" because in that show Amy proves to be adept at every type of horse sport there is (rodeo, bareback, trick riding, etc.) and Nancy is suddenly skilled enough to be riding in a circus. Still, it's a fun one. My favorite part was Ned saying Nancy should be paying attention to him during the show and then sitting there in ignorance while she is strangled RIGHT NEXT TO HIM! Come on, Ned, you have one job!
There's a love story, Nancy gets to travel to E
Lik C
Jan 28, 2020 rated it it was ok
Nancy shows off her newfound skills in stunt riding in this story. She survives falling off the horse, getting strangled by a stranger, and getting her eyes stung by acid. She is also very spontaneous here; from performing in the circus, to travelling to New York and London to solve her mystery. Of course, she never runs out of resources to achieve these. But these excitements did not engage me enough in the story.

What I found memorable in this novel is Nancy hearing the most bloodcurdling screa
Bonnie Randall
YIKES! Sneering, unsubtle villains, plots so thin they're see-through, and Nancy, always Nancy - who could not possibly be more perfect or talented or virtuous.

Ah, Nancy....did you ever have but *one* single flaw?

Shelved under 'I-Can't-Even'

2 Stars
Jun 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2018
In re-reading these as an adult, I find so many stereotypes and prejudices that I didn’t notice as a child. I still enjoy the mystery. I also recognize that these are a product of their time period. For her time period, Nancy Drew was revolutionary, but she was still a bit of a conformist.
Boy Nancy Drew can do anything! She can bare back ride, perform in a circus, get off a moving train, and even knows ventriloquism! ha ha. This was book was pretty over the top even for a Nancy Drew. Still an entertaining diversion though.
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
So this book was kinda odd. Nancy joins a circus! She is trying to find a girl's long lost mother. The Ringmaster who is a cruel man knows where the mother is, and it his up to Nancy and her friends to find out where the mom is!
Nov 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The reread continues! I actually really liked this one. The mystery was interesting, the writing was good, and the only -ism problems were the use of the word "midget" and possibly a bit of George mocking Bess for her eating habits.
Jan 19, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favorite Nancy Drew mystery, but it was passable. I literally rolled my eyes when it was revealed that Nancy's latest talent is horse trick-riding--and good enough for the circus, too! Okay, Nancy, okay.

I recommend this book to fans of the series.
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
I was truly engrossed in this book. I tried to put it down but kept picking it back up. A truly escapist book.
May 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Even though it is so impossible, I have always (and still) wanted to be her and do what she does!
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars
Aug 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
FIRST book I read by myself.
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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

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)

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