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The Secret of the Forgotten City (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #52)
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The Secret of the Forgotten City

(Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #52)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  3,435 ratings  ·  99 reviews
Gold! There are rumors that long ago a treasure was hidden in a city now buried under the Nevada desert.

Nancy and her friends plan to join a dig sponsored by two colleges to hunt for the gold. Before she starts, the young sleuth receives an ancient stone tablet with petroglyphs on it. With this amazing clue, however, come a threat and danger from a thief who also wants th
Hardcover, 180 pages
Published 1975 by Grosset & Dunlap, Inc.
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Average rating 3.87  · 
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 ·  3,435 ratings  ·  99 reviews

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Feb 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Let me start this review by saying that this was my first Nancy Drew book...ever. And it will also be my last. I realize that these books were written in a very different time but sheesh. Besides the vast amount of politically incorrect wordage and slang throughout the book to describe the First Nations community (and basically anyone who wasn't blue-eyed and blonde), there was also a very skewed representation of...well people in general. All of Nancy's friends are preppy or football players, t ...more
Jul 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
SUMMARY: Gold! There are rumors that long ago a treasure was hidden in a city now buried under the Nevada desert.
Nancy and her friends plan to join a dig sponsored by two colleges to hunt for the gold. Before she starts, the young sleuth receives an ancient stone tablet with petroglyphs on it. With this amazing clue, however, come a threat and danger from a thief who also wants the treasure.

REVIEW: I have not read a Nancy Drew mystery since childhood but still found they are fun to read. The cha
John Yelverton
Jul 31, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Yet another wonderful adventure in the Nancy Drew book series.
4 stars & 4/10 hearts. So I enjoyed this story. The mystery was good, and the villains well done. I wish they’d dealt with the superstition though. But I really enjoyed Nancy deciphering the rocks, and creating fake ones, and then hunting them out among the rocks! The ending was really good too.
Dec 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
I probably read this too adventure as a kid, as my local library had a good selection of the series. But relistening to it now, decades later... the magic has disappeared from this one really badly.
There are a lot of things written in the books in the 1970s that would quite raise the eyebrows now, and this has quite a few. “Juana” - “what a pretty name!” calm down, Bess. Mexicans wearing sombreros... but of course (insert a silent eye rolls), how else would you know they are Mexicans? Indians, w
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was ok
I remember really loving Nancy Drew as a kid. I picked this one, because I loved Anthropology and Archaeology in college and thought it would be a fun read.

Perhaps entertaining for children, but definitely not my cup of tea as an adult.

First, the writing style really threw me. It was clearly written for young girls, but none of the characters felt developed to me. Not even Nancy herself.

Also, the anthropologist in me has issues with how poorly the sites were maintained in this book, and how m
Jun 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Nancy and her friends plan to join a dig sponsored by two colleges to hunt for the gold . Before she starts , the young sleuth receives an ancient stone tablet with petroglyphs on it . With this amazing clue , however , come a threat and danger from a thief who also wants the treasure .
One harrowing adventure after another besets Nancy , Bess , George , Ned , Burt , and Dave in 102 degree temperatures as they pursue Nancy's hunches above and below ground . They are assisted by a fine Indian w
Jul 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Nancy Drew and friends go on an archaeology dig to solve a case. Another fun Nancy Drew mystery!
Danny Reid
Jan 13, 2021 rated it did not like it
Okay, at one point in this book, Nancy and her friends unearth a skeleton of a Native American man. They then put wires through his bones (this is a skill they naturally have) and then, I shit you not, make him dance. And they laugh and laugh and I'm reading this aloud to my daughter like what the shit and then they decide they're going to use these ancient Native American remains to play a funny joke on the rest of their archaeological expedition by making it pop out from behind the bushes duri ...more
Dec 29, 2018 rated it liked it
Nancy’s friends have a surprise for her. They are all going to the Nevada desert to take part in an archaeological dig. The area is also believed to have hidden gold nearby and Nancy endeavors to find it.

This wouldn’t be a Nancy Drew story if another mystery didn’t fall into Nancy’s lap. A Native American woman has 6 ancient tablets that wind up being stolen. She was initially hoping Nancy would help her decipher the petroglyphs. Now, Nancy has to find the thief first.

A few books back, I made th
Apr 01, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was actually a typical old school Nancy Drew adventure. So it would normally get a three. But this one. Well, it has problems. Lots and lots of problems.

By this point in the series the ghostwriters (which were still Harriet Adams for the most part) had come up with a new gimmick for the series. There can only be so many crimes that a kid could solve in River Heights so every once in awhile they would do these 'Nancy gets a case that takes her to fill in the blank'.

Now, most of these adven
Aug 07, 2019 rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: only to nostalgic Nancy fans
About 2.5 stars

The best aspects of this Nancy Drew mystery were definitely the plot, which was pretty decent light reading, and the inclusion of not one, but two positive Native American characters. The depiction of Southwestern Native American culture is probably not very accurate, but it is nice to see a bit more cultural diversity among the good guys. But there are a few things that definitely should have been edited out before publication. First, Nancy is reading aloud about scorpions to Ge
Jan 28, 2021 rated it liked it
I've always loved Nancy Drew, but it's 100% a product of it's time. I decided to reread one of mine that I hadn't read since JR High...

I had a harder time reading this one than I have was so far fetched, and while not inherently was annoying.

I know back when this was written Native American's or Indigenous people were called Indians, but in this book they took it to the extreme. Even after someones name was known they were often referred to as, "The Indian" "The Indian W
Sep 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Shelves: nancy-drew
It’s rather a baddie. Cute concept, with an archaeological expedition, and Nancy and her gal pals and their favorite dates spend a wholesome weekend together, lowering one another into the pit. Yes literally. No, not a kinky euphemism.

Among their group are some other students. Two of them assume the responsibility of harassing a group of Spanish speaking men who are passing by the camp site. Said students also think it a good idea to help the men hurry along into the desert, without adequate sup
Feb 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
I will preface this by saying that as a 8-10 year-old, I was one of the biggest Nancy Drew fans. I'd request the books for birthdays, holidays, or any other gift receiving occasion - I must have collected at least 30 of the original yellow-spine edition hard-backs in my adolescence. I picked up this one from my local library out of sheer nostalgia and I must say... these books did not age well. The gender stereotypes in the book were glaring and the lack of plot development was almost laughable. ...more
Parag Rajendra Rokade
This is the story of a young detective named Nancy drew. Nancy and her friends,Bess, George,Ned,Burt and Dave, plan to join two colleges which go for an excavation in the Nevada desert to find the treasure which was hidden in a city now buried in the Nevada desert. She receives tablets, from an Indian woman, with petroglyphs on it before she starts her find. Nancy has to find six more petroglyphs which are stolen by a thief named, Fleetfoot Joe,who is also behind the treasure. The petroglyphs re ...more
Jess Sohn
Jun 20, 2020 rated it liked it
As far as Nancy Drew books typically go, this one was exciting and action-packed to the last page. Ned is his usual dorky drip self, so his friends Burt and Dave are along to help Nancy, "stupid" "fat" Bess, and George do their adventuring in "Indian" country. Sigh. Just the typical inappropriate cultural references and unbelievable sleuthing that always puts Nancy alternately in grave danger or fortuitously positioned for a crazy discovery. A couple odd things I liked about this one is the anno ...more
Dec 05, 2018 rated it it was ok
Don't let the 2 stars indicate that I don't like Nancy Drew books. I absolutely do! Lots of unbelievable events occurred in #52. Of course, Nancy came to the rescue when she knew Spanish just in time to persuade a group of Mexicans to leave their campsite. This particular book, "The Secret of the Forgotten City" revealed the word fagot to me. It is a bundle of twigs or sticks. Also, I am once again conflicted as to use the word used/use correctly. Stay tuned as I unfold that mystery. ...more
Lik C
Jan 05, 2020 rated it it was ok
Nancy and her friends go on a digging trip in Nevada. They discover stolen stone tablets (more like the tablets coming to them), unearth clay dolls, cursed beads, a skeleton, which I don't think it was right to play with around a bonfire, and fagots of gold (not to be confused with the other term fagot).

It wasn't really a mystery for me, more like just an expedition trip, and a story that will be forgotten.
Apr 27, 2020 rated it liked it
Nancy Drew was a big part of my childhood. Huge. I will always love Nancy Drew, but maybe I just shouldn't go back and read any more of them and just keep them in my childhood. Besides the problematic politically incorrect terms, treatment of Native American culture, artifacts, poor Beth, and other things, the writing is just really bad. This story was all over the place! Still love Nancy Drew though. ...more
May 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I think that they should make modern versions of the Nancy Drew books. They are teaching kids that they can make fun of people for being overweight. Nancy drew always steals the credit. I know this is a old book and it was fine to talk like that before but times have changed so I think someone should make a modern version of the book.
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a huge Nancy Drew fan, I am usually ready to rate all the books as 5-star. Unfortunately this one has not aged as well as the others, with occasional moments of indelicacy towards Native Americans and ancient cultures in general.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow! What a great book! This book was good because of all the detail that the author put in the book. She also added a lot of cliffhangers. She made some parts really suspenseful! The author did a really good job writing this book! Thanks!
Oct 16, 2020 rated it liked it
I just find it hard to believe that an 18 year-old could decipher the writing on ancient Native tablets better than say... an actual freaking professor?!
This one was unbelievable. Nancy has also learned several dialects of Spanish and can tell which village the men are from and tal to them!
The villain is an idiot with a stupid name, Fleetfoot Joe. Really. He also decided to seal all the tablets and then buried them in the desert for some reason.
Just follow Nancy and steal the dang treasure, d
Jul 20, 2015 rated it liked it
Sure, they solved the mystery and found the "treasure", but I felt like it was left very open ended with no real details about the treasure itself. ...more
Jul 20, 2017 rated it liked it
This one was ok, interesting to me because they came to Las Vegas where I live, so a couple of the places were real and I've been to them. ...more
Anna Field
Feb 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
It's been a lot of years since I read a Nancy Drew Mystery. I really enjoyed the journey back to my childhood! ...more
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
The mystery was pretty good and held together well, which helped with the vaguely racist tinge over it. Well, can't have everything, I suppose. ...more
Oct 29, 2019 rated it liked it
Not quite a mystery — as offensive as you would expect from a book written in 1947 about Native Americans haha
Andrea Turner
Nov 13, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-mystery
I do love reading old Nancy Drew books. This particular novel follows Nancy and her friends as she searches for golden tablets left by an ancient native american civilization.
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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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