Not long ago, I reviewed three Nancy Drew mysteries as part of a stopover in Nostalgia-Land. Another visit—er, post—seemed in order, given I’d read three more of the YA mysteries.
Mom-care is becoming increasingly more challenging and leaving less time for me to do much for myself. So when Mom is taking a nap, Nancy proves the perfect quick and easy read. I’m transported back to a quiet childhood time when life was perhaps no less stressful but, somehow, simpler.
The first two are originals from the 60s while the third features a new 70s cover and is “modernized”. For example, in the old books, Nancy’s titian-haired (brownish-orange) while in the newer ones, she’s reddish-blond. Male cops no longer rule supreme. And lo and behold, instead of frequently wearing dresses/frocks, the girls regularly sport jeans.
The Clue of the Dancing Puppet
A mysterious dancing puppet haunts the grounds of an old mansion, where the Footlighters’ playhouse is also located. Amateur sleuths Nancy, Bess, and George are enlisted to help solve the case and this time we’re whisked away to the world of community theater. The dancing-puppet mystery has added dimensions: an erratic self-absorbed leading lady and an overly charming (if not cheesy) Shakespearean actor. Along with Nancy’s searches for clues, two jewel thieves show up on the scene. Not a bad read; not a great read. The keep-your-constant-interest component isn’t quite there. A 3.5 out of 5.
The Clue of the Broken Locket
Interestingly enough, this was first written in 1934. When I looked at the copyright page, I saw the very early date and had to check it out. The premise back then: when adopted parents can’t take care of baby twins, Nancy goes searching for the legal birth mother with the help of a broken locket.
The newer version has two lookalike cousins (who, of course, don’t know about each other initially). There’s a ghostly launch—love those spooky apparitions!—and a mysterious mansion that goes by the great name of Pudding Stone Lodge. We have some sinister persons who make mystery-solving difficult for Nancy, Bess and George, and there’s record pirating to boot. The trio certainly have their sleuthing skills put to the test. Luckily, they have some assistance from their favorite beaus: Ned, Dave, and Burt. I liked this one a lot. A definite 4.5 out of 5.
The Clue in the Crumbling Wall
Our young enthusiastic sleuths—Nancy, Bess and George—have a twofold mission this time. Not only must they endeavor to locate an inheritance concealed in the walls of dilapidated Heath Castle, they have to track down the beneficiary of a will before the proviso expires. The grounds of the estate have a maze, a multitude of crumbling walls, and a couple of watchdogs (real ones, as well as human ones). A 4 out of 5. (In terms of Nancy, I suppose I’m a traditionalist: I prefer the “originals”. It’s all about revisiting fond memories in Nostalgia-Land.)
. . . Yeah, still lovin’ [needin’] the escape.