Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Nancy Drew #37 The Clue in the Old Stagecoach

In Nancy Drew #37, The Clue in the Old Stagecoach, Nancy, Bess, and George stay at Camp Merriweather, which is near the town of Francisville.  Mrs. Strook, who lives in Francisville, requests that Nancy help locate her great-uncle's old stagecoach.  The stagecoach is believed to contain something valuable that was left to the people of Francisville.  The town of Francisville is in desperate need of a new school, and Mrs. Strook hopes that this valuable object will help.

As is typical for most of these books, Ned, Burt, and Dave are able to show up later in the story and help Nancy solve the mystery.

A subplot of the mystery concerns Audrey and Ross Monteith.  The two are staying at Camp Merriweather and are very nosy about Nancy's activities.  The Monteiths stalk Nancy, Bess, and George and want to solve their mystery for them.  This passage from page 22 describes the situation perfectly.
Unfortunately, the three girls had no sooner stepped from the convertible than they were confronted by Ross and Audrey who appeared like apparitions out of the bushes that surrounded the parking area.
Ross and Audrey hide in the bushes, waiting for Nancy, Bess, and George to return.  I like that.  The Monteiths provide a lot of comic relief in this book, and the humor adds to the plot.

On page 79, the girls run out of gas and a bear suddenly appears.  This is not exactly what happens in The Quest of the Missing Map, original text, when Nancy, Bess, and George encounter an elephant and later run out of gas.  However, I suspect that Harriet Adams was getting ideas from past stories.

By this point in the series, Harriet was fully responsible for writing these books and was not just editing books written by others.  To clarify, Harriet was rewriting the older texts of #1-34 that were written by others, but she was the sole author of each new title for #35 and up that was released each year.  Since Harriet was responsible for everything, she needed to get ideas from wherever she could.

It was while I was reading this book that I thought to myself that Harriet did okay when she took over the Nancy Drew books.  The Nancy Drew books from this era are not quite as good as the earlier books, but they are not bad.  This book is pretty good, and I found it to be an enjoyable mystery.

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