Tuesday, April 16, 2013
Nancy Drew #43 The Mystery of the 99 Steps
Needless to say, Mr. Drew's case and Nancy's mystery are connected and have the same set of villains. What are the chances of Mrs. Blair's childhood mystery connecting with Mr. Drew's current case? Amazing!
From the beginning of the story, Nancy gets warning messages from Monsieur Neuf, or "Mr. Nine." So, some Frenchman calling himself Mr. Nine warns Nancy about going to France. Once again, the villains give Nancy lots of clues. If they'd just leave her alone, she'd have so much more trouble bringing them to justice!
This book is full of incidents and remarks that seem a bit stupid.
On page 34, a prowler at the Drew home uses stilts. Perhaps this was done to disguise his footprints, but a towel or bag tied over each shoe would have the same effect and might even make it easier to walk. Even better, why not just wear someone else's shoes? These villains!
Perhaps the villains have mental problems. On page 36, the villain leaves a warning message, "BEWARE THE GREEN LION!" The message is propped up inside Nancy's car. Nancy figures out that the statement has to do with alchemy, so of course the villain has revealed himself as being tied to alchemy. Continuing the tradition of these higher-numbered Nancy Drew books, the villains hand Nancy her clues on a silver platter.
On page 116, Nancy is with Henri Durant, who met up with Nancy after he went on an errand for his father. While he is with Nancy, a telephone message is given to Henri, telling him that he is to call his father. As soon as Henri walks off, Nancy is attacked. It seems strange to me that the villains know enough about Henri to be able to give a plausible excuse to get him away from Nancy. I just find it hard to believe.
On page 167, Nancy, Bess, George, two policemen, and Mr. Drew all go into the villains' hideout and secrete themselves behind some bins. I am amazed that every single person went down into the cellar and not one person remained outside as a lookout. Not surprising, every single one of them gets trapped in the cellar by the villain. Of course, they manage to escape, but still, their behavior is ignorant.
I did not enjoy this story very much. The Mystery of the 99 Steps is a travelogue Nancy Drew book with some incredible coincidences that have little believability.