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The Ringmaster's Secret (Nancy Drew, #31)
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The Ringmaster's Secret (Nancy Drew #31)

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  4,786 Ratings  ·  80 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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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 mys
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
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 circu
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
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.
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
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.
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars
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 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
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.
Oct 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Nancy Drew and The Ringmaster’s Secret: Girl Power and Mysteries for All!
A Review By: Amelia

Interested in more book reviews? Check out my blog Bookworms Unite! (

I’ve spent this last year re-reading the Nancy Drew books. Why, you might ask. Well, I spent my childhood reading them and thought that for nostalgia’s sake I’d read them again. So far, I’ve gotten thirty five volumes into the original fifty six and the beloved series from my childhood more or le
Nov 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Ringmaster's Secret is a children's story by Carolyn Keene (pseudonym) and the 31st book in the Nancy Drew series.

After receiving a horse-charm bracelet as a gift, eighteen-year-old Nancy is drawn into a mystery surrounding the identity of a performer with the Sims' Circus. Can Nancy solve the mystery and reunite a mother and daughter?

I’ve always been a voracious reader. So, as a child, one of my favorite things about summer was the frequent trips to our local library, which was less t
Christine Arvinth
Feb 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: nancy-drew
This book was so good i enjoyed reading it . Mr. Reinald Kroon did seem a bit scary . He sure wanted Nancy out of the way.
Michelle Johnson
Nov 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1-25
I thought the mystery story was good. I thought it was good to have Nancy to be a girl or the person finding out the secret to the story. Girl detective was smart to have in the book. most times in movies they have boys or guys like Sherlock Holmes and others. I think that this is a great starter for young girls my younger sister loves these books and working her way through a lot of them already. I think they are good book for the young readers to get their minds thinking. the book has nothing ...more
Another preposterous plot, another long-lost family reunited, this time with a with a circus setting. Nancy is an expert at everything including circus-star-level stunt riding after a few lessons. The villain does various villainous things in an attempt to deter Nancy from her investigation, but of course that doesn't get her off the trail (and just racks up more crimes than he would've had charged against him if he's just not bothered, d'uh).

I remember reading this one as a kid, but I don't rem
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nancy could have used.... a helmet, protective vest, and either an explanation or a way to count horse gaits... there are 5? Which breed are we talking about? Walk, trot, canter, gallop... I come up with 4 at most. HOWEVER, that doesn't include jog, lope, rack, running walk, fox trot, flat walk, dog walk, tolt, slow gait, paso largo, and a whole host of other gaits for other breeds! There are a TON more than 5, but if you are talking your "normal" non-gaited horse, there are less than 5... So. I ...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 Franklin Dixon. I also loved the Hardy Boys. No wonder I loved these seri ...more
Jun 27, 2015 rated it liked it
To explain, this 1974 edition was not the classic that I located and bought and read, which was from 1953. It was the fourth of four Nancy Drew classic books that I found after reading Voracious, by Author Nicoletti, a Goodreads book I won which intrigued me enough to look for classic Nancy Drews. This Nancy Drew book was good in that it showed me at least one reason why they re-wrote the older classics. It did not have any interesting food, however, as the Voracious Book presented, but was stil ...more
May 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
The circus is in town and has brought mystery along with it, connected with a beautiful gold bracelet Nancy has received from her aunt, which may have belonged to a circus performer who had to sell it. Nancy comes upon a lovely aerialist who performs with the circus and is practically a prisoner of her adopted parents, forced to work for the circus and never allowed to leave, so Nancy goes undercover as a circus performer to discover the truth! Will Nancy uncover the truth behind the bracelet an ...more
I read the 1953 version.

Here we find out that Nancy is amazing at horseback stunt riding... because of course she is.

Also, Bess even gets insulted by random people in this one. When Nancy switches places with Bess to fool the ringmaster, one of the circus folk tell her "you could pass for Bess's thinner sister." Seriously, when will poor Bess catch a break?
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Goodreads Librari...: Title fix 2 136 Jul 15, 2016 07:44PM  
  • The Melted Coins (Hardy Boys, #23)
  • The Mysterious Visitor (Trixie Belden, #4)
  • The Mystery of the Emeralds (Trixie Belden #14)
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 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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