Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Nancy Drew #47 The Mysterious Mannequin

In Nancy Drew #47, The Mysterious Mannequin, Carson Drew receives a Turkish rug in the mail.  Mr. Drew suspects that a past Turkish client, Farouk Tahmasp, might be responsible.  Farouk was accused of smuggling rugs into the country and hired Mr. Drew to represent him.  Farouk disappeared before the case went to trial.

Nancy deduces that the rug has a hidden message from Farouk, so Mr. Drew assigns her the task of finding it.  Nancy spots a message asking Mr. Drew to find Farouk's mannequin and bring it to him.  Nancy recalls that Farouk ran a rug shop years ago and that he had a mannequin in the window.  She begins searching for the mannequin.

The message in the rug reminds me of The Clue in the Old Album, which also had a message hidden in a rug. 

On page 38, Nancy dives into a river to save a boy.  The owner of a nearby restaurant dries Nancy's clothes, and then the girls head on their way.  Shortly after leaving, Nancy decides to call on the realtor who owns the property that Farouk leased for his rug shop.

The man on duty is described as a "smart-alecky young man" who smirks at Nancy.  The man is rude, and Nancy dislikes him.  The entire time I read this passage, I kept thinking about how Nancy had just gone swimming in a river.  I doubt that her hair looked that great.  Nothing is ever mentioned about Nancy's appearance, so the reader has to assume that she looks well-groomed.  Regardless, I couldn't help but I wonder how Nancy's hair would have looked.  The man could have been smirking about Nancy's hair.

We have a rather convenient coincidence on page 64.  Nancy has just chased after a man who drops his wallet.  She finds a letter inside, and the letter is written in Greek.  When the police arrive, one of them is conveniently of Greek descent and can read the letter.  My exact reaction as I read the scene was, "Give me a break!"

We have another convenient coincidence on page 81.  Nancy and her friends are checking a mannequin that is in a hotel to see whether it could have come from Farouk's shop.  The mannequin has nothing to do with Farouk, but while Nancy is in the lobby, she spots a pile of magazines.  One of the magazines has an article about Turkish rugs.  It gets better.  The article about Turkish rugs contains a picture of Farouk's mannequin.  What are the chances?!  Of all the rug shops in America, one with a picture of Farouk's mannequin is randomly on a table in a random hotel more than two years after Farouk's shop closed.  Wow!

Every Nancy Drew book has to have at least one extremely stupid remark.  Nancy returns home to discover that the Turkish rug is downstairs instead of hidden in Nancy's closet.  On page 114, Nancy makes her insightful remark.

Prepare yourself.

"But how did he know where we had hidden the rug?"

Oh, dear.

Nancy, I thought you were better than that!  All the man had to do was search the house!  He didn't have to know where the rug was hidden!  You were gone for a long time with Ned and even had lunch while you were away.  The man had lots of time to search the house!

On page 129, Nancy and Aisha go for a drive.  We know from a later passage that Nancy learned what happened to the mannequin during that drive.  On page 175, Aisha states that Nancy "figured it out some time ago and spoke to me about it one day when we went for a drive.  I admitted she was right and asked that she keep the secret until we had Farouk's permission to reveal it."  Nancy definitely learned the solution to the mystery on page 129.

This makes Nancy's question to Haw-Haw on page 137 rather strange.  Nancy asks Haw-Haw, "Have you any idea where Farouk put the mannequin when he left?"  Nancy has already gone for the drive with Aisha on page 129, so she already knows what happened to the mannequin.  She has no reason to ask Haw-Haw about it.  The reader doesn't know at this point, so nothing seems strange.  But after reading the entire book, the sequence of events is off.  Nancy's drive with Aisha should have been between pages 137 and 175 instead of before page 137.

The Mysterious Mannequin is an enjoyable mystery.  I found very little wrong with it, and the story holds together well upon multiple readings.  While the book does have some amazing coincidences, it is not stupid like many of the higher-numbered Nancy Drew books.


A Candle to Read By said...

I have such fond memories of this title. One summer that was particularly trying for me as a young girl--this and the Moss Covered Mansion kept me chipper!

Ryan said...

Like the Centrovians from Scarlet Slippers, River Heights seems to become overrun by Turks in this one.

I think one of the reasons I like this one, is because it's set in River Heights, but Nancy & Co. must leave to completely solve the mystery.