Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Nancy Drew #36 The Secret of the Golden Pavilion

In Nancy Drew #36, The Secret of the Golden Pavilion, Carson Drew is asked by Mr. Sakamaki to solve the mystery of the estate, Kaluakua, that he inherited from his grandfather.  The estate is located in Hawaii and has a secret.  Sakamaki was warned never to sell the estate until he learns its secret. 

Complicating the situation, a brother and sister have suddenly appeared, claiming to be heirs to the estate.  Also, somebody has been hacking at the floor of the Golden Pavilion, which is a circular open building on the estate.

While I recall enjoying this story as a child, I did not enjoy nearly as much when I read it again in the early 2000s.  My opinion has not changed, and I still do not enjoy it as much as other books.  The problem is the large amount of informational content about Hawaii, which at times is presented in an awkward  fashion.  When Nancy, Bess, and George discuss the trip to Hawaii, George recites some basic information about Hawaii that sounds just like it came straight out of a history book.

The content is interesting, but it is a tad too much for my taste.

On page 89, Nancy is embarrassed about a remark concerning her prowess as a detective.
Nancy blushed a little.  "Oh, I fail sometimes," she said modestly.  "But I'll do everything I can to be of help."
Norwegian Edition
Really?  And when does Nancy ever fail?  Would this be in stories that tell of her adventures but were never published?  Because I sure don't know of any times Nancy Drew has ever failed.

On page 162, Nancy plans to dance as a ghost in order to scare people away from the pavilion.  This makes the assumption that 100% of the population is superstitious and just seems exceedingly stupid.  Certainly, a few people would be scared away, but others would be intensely curious.  It seems that using the cover of darkness to search the top of the pavilion for the treasure would have been a better plan.  Instead, Nancy purposely draws attention to the pavilion by dancing in plain view.

After the feather cape is found, everyone struts around in it.  If the feather cape is so priceless, then why aren't they taking better care of it?

Despite some obvious flaws, The Secret of the Golden Pavilion is a good story.  I could have done without some of the awkward historical information, but I still enjoyed the story.


Homeschool Mom said...

Thanks for reviewing this one. I always had a fascination for Hawaii when I was growing up. THe creative homeschool mom might put together a unit study on Hawaii using the Landmark Books classic, Hawaii: the Gem of the Pacific and this great Nancy Drew mystery!

Jennifer said...

That is a great idea and a great way to learn!