I had some trouble getting into this story, but once I did, I enjoyed it. At the start, the plot appeared to be yet another clear case of sabotage, but in the end, the story came to involve smuggling.
Detective Brody makes another appearance, but he seems to have undertaken a personality change. He doesn't mind Nancy investigating the ship, and he actually needs her help. Whoever wrote this book didn't realize that Brody is supposed to be caustic and easily annoyed by everything Nancy does.
We know that Nancy has graduated from high school. On page 52, she gets out her high school chemistry textbook. Hmm. So her school has the students buy the books? Or did Nancy steal the book? Strange.
Once I got into the story, I enjoyed this book.
This book is very similar to the old Grosset and Dunlap Nancy Drew books. The plot is loosely similar to that of The Ghost of Blackwood Hall. Near the end of the book, Nancy, Bess, and George are imprisoned in a dark place, and the villain sets a couple of brown recluse spiders loose. This scene is very similar to a scene from The Secret in the Old Attic. Whoever came up with the plot to this book was likely very familiar with the old Nancy Drew mysteries.
I found this passage from page 54 to be quite perplexing.
Nancy hung up, then pulled the phone book from a drawer. She flipped through the pages until she found the name Chandler, but there was no listing for a Craig Chandler.What? I pictured Nancy perched up on the counter or perhaps crawling around on it. She might have been sitting on the edge with her feet hanging down, but the previous page states nothing about her getting on the counter. I read through the previous page several times.
Putting back the phone book, Nancy climbed down nimbly from the counter.
On page 83, "a tiger cat with one ear missing was sleeping on the orange shag rug." It's not enough for a tiger cat to be in the room, but the tiger cat has to be missing one ear.
The similarity in plot and feel to the old Nancy Drew books make this book quite enjoyable.