Sunday, February 10, 2013

Nancy Drew #33 The Witch Tree Symbol

In Nancy Drew #33, The Witch Tree Symbol, Nancy is asked to find Mrs. Tenney's stolen antique furniture.  Early in the story, Nancy learns that a man named Roger Hoelt is the likely culprit and that he is on his way to the Pennsylvania Dutch country.

Once Nancy, Bess, and George arrive in Pennsylvania, they encounter Manda Kreutz, who has run away from home.  Manda disappears, and Nancy is asked to help find her.

Of course, Ned, Burt, and Dave are able to travel to Pennsylvania Dutch country to help the girls with the mystery.

I did not notice much wrong with this story.  However, pages 47-49 of the revised text (pages 67-69 of the original text) gave me pause. On page 47:
When Nancy's car was refueled, they set out again.  As she rounded a sharp turn, she suddenly gasped and stepped on the brake.  Strewn across the road, directly in their path, were cinder blocks.  There was no way to avoid plowing into them!

The car hit several of the blocks.  All three girls were thrown forward.  Bess, seated in the middle, struck her head on the mirror and blacked out!
Hitting a bunch of cinder blocks would result in damage to the automobile.  Since the girls were thrown forward, the impact was significant.  Yet the girls were able to quickly drive away after clearing the blocks with no mention of any damage to the vehicle.  At the very least, a statement should have been made about the vehicle, even if only to mention minor damage.

The Witch Tree Symbol ushers in the era of the travelogue Nancy Drew books.  The majority of the original Nancy Drew books from this point on involve Nancy and her friends traveling to some distant location to solve a mystery.  The girls learn historical information about that location.  They also learn detailed information about various cultures, hobbies, and careers.  Sometimes the historical information can be a bit much and can be distracting from one's enjoyment of the mystery.  It works fine in this mystery.

This is a good story.  While I don't usually like the travel books a great deal, this one is okay.  Nancy has traveled to a location distant to River Heights, but the entire mystery is centralized in that new location, so the feel is similar to mysteries set around River Heights.  The German phrases and bits of trivia about the Amish that are scattered throughout the text are not annoying.

This book has many events that appear to be coincidence, but they are more a result of cause and effect, so the story is plausible. Both texts are good, and I see no significant difference between them.

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