Sunday, March 31, 2013

Nancy Drew #40 The Moonstone Castle Mystery

In Nancy Drew #40, The Moonstone Castle Mystery, Nancy receives a moonstone in the mail.  The package contains a note informing Nancy that the moonstone is for good luck and that she will need it in the next few weeks.  Meanwhile, Mr. Drew enlists Nancy's help in solving the mystery of what happened to Joanie Horton.  Joanie's grandparents last saw her 15 years ago when they left for Africa as missionaries.  The Bowens were abducted in Africa and only recently released.  They returned to find that Joanie had disappeared soon after they left for Africa.

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!

Page 89 has an illustration that is captioned " 'So you found me out!' Nancy exclaimed."  In the illustration, Nancy has a smile on her face.  The illustration depicts a scene from pages 86 and 87.
In her high-pitched voice, she asked, "Well, how are you, Nancy Drew, detective?"

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?"
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.
Smiling, she said, "I just learned something amazing that happened in your town this morning."

Instantly the old lady leaned forward expectantly.  "What was it?" she asked eagerly.

The young sleuth laughed.  "Oh, I can keep secrets, too."
That last statement should have been the caption.

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.


A Candle to Read By said...

I love this cover. I haven't read this one, but have a nice older copy. Maybe I will break it out this week. Hope you had a wonderful Easter.

Mike G said...

Hi Jennifer, I just wanted to leave a few quick comments. I have really enjoyed your commentaries on the individual Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, and will miss them once you run out of volumes. Are you going to stop at Thirteenth Pearl??

The commentator before, Homeschool Mom, stated that she loved the cover. It has always been one of my least favorites! I don't like how George is all bent over like the Hunchback of Notre Dame. It just doesn't seem like a natural pose, and Nancy's posture isn't much better. I like Dancing Puppet artwork; it seemed more exciting to me.

The internal artwork during this era is much more appealing to me than the later internals in the 1970s. I especially like the drawing that you included in your commentary. Sometimes, the internal artwork made Nancy's face kind of angular and horse-like (that may be an slight exaggeration). While the caption may not fit the picture well, I thought this was a great picture of Nancy, perhaps with a hint of a smile on her face, as she verbally sparred with Mrs. Hemstead.


Jennifer White said...

It is a really great illustration.

I may go past #56. We'll see what happens when I get there. My current thinking is that I will continue but that I may keep the reviews fairly short.

I'm currently reading #48, so I'm in good shape to make it to #56. :)