Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Nancy Drew #39 Clue of the Dancing Puppet

In Nancy Drew #39, The Clue of the Dancing Puppet, Bess has taken on an acting job with the Footlighters, an amateur group that performs at the Van Pelt estate.  Coincidentally, Mr. Drew is asked by Hamilton Spencer, who runs the Footlighters, to investigate a life-sized dancing puppet that appears on the lawn at night.  Since Bess already is a member of the Footlighters, it is decided that Nancy and George should join as well.  All three girls move into the Van Pelt mansion so that they can investigate.

Immediately after the girls' arrival, Nancy investigates the attic and is hit on the head with a cannonball.  The girls later conclude that the cannonball was removed from a chest in the barn's loft.  Consider that Nancy is struck by the cannonball very shortly after her arrival at the estate.  So apparently, someone went to the barn the moment Nancy arrived, climbed to the loft and grabbed a cannonball, climbed back down, went up to the attic, threw the cannonball at Nancy's head, and ran off.  Interesting.

Like with the flower pot in The Mystery of the Fire Dragon, Nancy could have easily been killed by being struck on the head with a cannonball.  In fact, she probably would have been killed.  Of course, Nancy is fine.

On page 142, Nancy and some detectives knock on a door as they search for information.  Nobody answers.  Nancy makes a wild guess that probably the criminals use a password and that if they can give the correct password, the door will be opened.  Nancy suggests the name of a restaurant, Green Acres.  Amazingly, Nancy is right.  How random!

The Clue of the Dancing Puppet is not so contrived as some of the other Nancy Drew books from this era, which makes for an above average mystery for this group of books.

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