Monday, May 3, 2010

Girl Detective #27 Intruder

This title never grabbed my attention, so I have been bypassing it when selecting Nancys to read. But it turns out that it's not a bad story - there are several classic Nancy devices used, such as "ghosts" and secret underground tunnels. And there's also a lot of educational information provided about Jane Austen and the Regency period.

I suggest that the following alternate titles might have made the book more appealing to reads:

Mystery of the Shattered Teapots
The Ghost (or the Haunting) of Cardinal Corners
The Teapot Scandal (this is what Chief McGinnis teasingly calls it)

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Girl Detective #40 Green with Envy

This is the newest release in the Girl Detective series and is the second of three stories in the "EcoMystery" Trilogy. I really like the setting of this trilogy - in Costa Rica at a (supposedly) eco-friendly resort called Casa Verde. Although the writers make fun of over the top fanatic ecowarriors, there is a lot of information about green living provided. And there's lots of descriptions of wildlife to enjoy.

In one scene (spoiler alert), Nancy finds herself in swamp water, surrounded by several crocodiles. Luckily a quick thinking individual throws out some meat to distract the crocs - our chum Nancy is saved by chum!

One complaint I have is that the cover of the book has no relation to the story, other than the fact that it might be set in a tropical rain forest. There are no suspension bridges in this story. And there isn't any rock climbing in the first story of the trilogy either, which is what is featured on that book's cover.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Girl Detective #29 The Stolen Bones

Nancy, Bess and George volunteer at a paleontology dig in this story. One thing I learned is that fossilized dung is called coprolite - doesn't that sounds nicer than dung? Also, Nancy manages to locate some prehistoric claw marks in a dried riverbed which are museum quality. She just has a knack for making discoveries! This book is unusual in that most of the characters are introduced by their first names only, and we never do find out their full names.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

January statistics

The official tally for the month of January is 32 Nancys read! And only 3 of them were ones intended for the 3rd grade set. Mostly I read titles from the Nancy Drew Files series, but I did get to a number of Girl Detective stories, a classic 56 title and even one Graphic Novel. My favorite of the month was Girl Detective #12 Stop the Clock - I am working on an article for The Sleuth fanzine describing some of the homages that are paid to The Secret of the Old Clock in this story, which was released during the year of the 75th anniversary of Nancy Drew.

I am slowing down to a rate of less than one Nancy per day for the rest of the year (had to go back to work, blah). But I have been enjoying the process of going through the unread mysteries, so I will continue to blog from time to time about my reading adventures.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Girl Detective #17 En Garde

All the "action" of the story centers around fencing, which makes this book a bit lackluster. But there was a WTF moment towards the end (*spoiler alert*) - one of the girls gets scratched on the face during a fencing meet with a saber that has allegedly been laced with strychnine. Nancy runs up and says that they must get her stomach pumped immediately! Sorry to say, that's not going to do much good since she didn't ingest the poison....

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Files #112 For Love or Money

In the last few Files I have read, Nancy is solving mysteries on behalf of some super wealthy patrons - what ever happened to helping out the poor and downtrodden? Mostly this gimmick is used to describe the opulent mansions and lifestyles of her clients, which would appeal to the target teenage audience of the Files. So far Nancy has helped a famous Hollywood director (Files #120), a Long Island heiress (Files #118) and in this story, a software magnate.

The artwork to the left by Cliff Miller was commissioned for this title (#112) but was superceded by a photo cover from the Canadian Nancy Drew TV series, which premiered around the time this book was released (Dec 1995). The published cover featured a generic photo of Bess, Nancy and George with flashlights. George does not even appear in this story, so the cover really has no relevance at all. I much prefer Miller's cover featuring Nancy flirting with the rich and handsome Philip Pierce.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

File #120 Dangerous Loves

Nancy and George live the lifetsyles of the rich and famous in Hollywood for this adventure. They go undercover as extras on the set of the movie Dangerous Loves, set in the 1940's around the time of the end of World War II. I kept imagining Tandy Nancy in one of her smart suits during these scenes.

Spoiler Alert
In an unusual twist, Nancy is attracted to the guy who ends up being the perpetrator, and even has a romantic moment with him, complete with smooching. It must be the first instance of our favorite sleuth kissing the bad guy!