Wednesday, May 2, 2012
Nancy Drew #20 Clue in the Jewel Box
I did not enjoy this book as much as I did years ago. I found the entire subplot involving David Dorrance and his double to be rather annoying. The handkerchief signal that Nancy and Dorrance arrange seems stupid, and it is rather apparent that both Dorrance and his double are in league. Nancy is clueless about the men until near the end of the story.
On page 66 of the original text, Nancy hears a woman cry out for help after her pocketbook is stolen. The woman indicates that the man running down the street is the culprit. Nancy follows him into a department store. The text states that Nancy is able to keep him in sight the entire time. The man then turns and waves his handkerchief at Nancy.
Think for a minute, Nancy. The man was running away right after a robbery. Why was he running? He was likely guilty, but then he waved the handkerchief. Nancy should have already been suspicious of David Dorrance at this point, since the man Nancy followed knew Dorrance's signal. But no, Nancy is dismayed that she has mistaken the pickpocket for Dorrance yet again. She should be asking herself why Dorrance is always present when a theft occurs.
The revisions often remove information that should not have been removed. For instance, Michael behaves oddly when the young people meet Mr. Ellington while in the presence of Michael. The original text makes it clear that Michael is trying to avoid Mr. Ellington, as though he is afraid of being recognized. Michael's odd behavior is missing from the revised text. It would have been far better to have left Michael's odd behavior in the revised text.
I found it difficult to write this review, because I did not enjoy this reading of either text. I know that I liked the story when I read it years ago, but this time my experience did not match my memories.
The original text is better than the revised text, since it tells a more complete and better detailed story.