Nancy, Bess, and George travel to Deep River to investigate what happened to Joanie Horton. Ned, Burt, and Dave join them later.
Not too long after the girls arrive in Deep River, they learn about a young woman named Jody. When Nancy finds out that Jody was adopted, she suspects that Jody might be the missing Joanie Horton. Anyone who lives near Deep River who was adopted has to be Joanie Horton. After all, nobody else anywhere near Deep River has ever been adopted.
On page 82, Nancy sees a photo of Jody, who is described as having dark hair. On page 99, Joanie is described as having blond curls. Since the assumption is that Jody and Joanie are the same person, I was confused about the change in hair color.
The girls also investigate Moonstone Castle, which is conveniently part of the mystery. How neat that every place Nancy goes and every person she meets is part of her mystery!
During one of the girls' visits to the Moonstone Castle, they anchor down the drawbridge so that no one from inside the castle can raise the drawbridge. They use rocks and wire. The girls are quite proud of themselves since they have anchored the drawbridge so that no one can raise it from inside the castle. Exactly what would stop someone from leaving the castle, removing the wire, and then raising the drawbridge? The girls act like whoever is in the castle will not ever come outside.
The criminals in this story are extremely dumb. They swindled Joanie out of her inheritance 15 years ago, and now, 15 years later, they are still in the same area swindling people out of their inheritances. It seems that the criminals should have moved their operations to another part of the country. If they had, Nancy would not have caught them!
In her high-pitched voice, she asked, "Well, how are you, Nancy Drew, detective?"Nancy doesn't sound like she is smiling at that moment; she seems taken aback and at a loss for words, so the caption does not fit. The following passage from page 88 would have worked out much better.
When confronted with a startling statement, Nancy usually was able to hide her surprise. This time she did not succeed—Mrs. Hemstead's greeting was too astounding.
"So you've found me out, "she said, after a moment. "Who told you?"
Smiling, she said, "I just learned something amazing that happened in your town this morning."That last statement should have been the caption.
Instantly the old lady leaned forward expectantly. "What was it?" she asked eagerly.
The young sleuth laughed. "Oh, I can keep secrets, too."
The Moonstone Castle Mystery is an enjoyable read that is an above average mystery for these later books. While the mystery consists of a bunch of coincidences, it is still quite engaging.