Thursday, June 20, 2013

Nancy Drew #50 The Double Jinx Mystery

In Nancy Drew #50, The Double Jinx Mystery, Oscar Thurston has hired Carson Drew because he is in danger of losing his farm.  Oscar has a small zoo and owns quite a few exotic birds.  The High Rise Construction Company has requested the city council have Oscar's farm condemned so that they can build apartments on it.  Nancy helps her father with the case.

During Nancy, Bess, and George's first visit to Oscar's farm, a man cuts a hole in one of the cages.  Bess stuffs branches into the hole so that the birds cannot escape.  On page 11, the birds "realiz[ed] that she was a stranger and about to cut off their chance for freedom," so "they made an earsplitting racket."

So these birds are capable of reasoning skills?  And the birds began squawking because they realized that Bess was cutting off their chance for freedom?  Really?  The birds were squawking because people were messing with them.

On page 13, Rausch asks the girls to help him block the hole because these birds are pretty shrewd.  Well, that's not what he says, but what he does say is rather odd.  Rausch comments, "These birds may think I'm here to feed them and fly through his hole before I can get it covered."

Wouldn't the birds fly through the hole because they are birds, can fly, and can see a hole?  Why does there have to be a specific reason?  If the birds thought he was there to feed them, wouldn't they be more likely to stay in the cage to be fed?  Why leave if food is coming?

Nancy decides to stop with Ned to watch a ballet.  Quite conveniently, the director knows the villain.  Even more amazing, the director suddenly asks Nancy and Ned if they have ever danced ballet.  Nancy has, but she has never learned to leap.  So of course the director has one of the men dance with Nancy, where she is able to immediately take long, high leaps in unison with her dance partner.  And she has never leaped before.  Wow.

Both Nancy and Ned become ill with ornithosis.  As is typical, Nancy's case is not as bad as Ned's, and she recovers quickly.  Nothing stops Nancy!

At the bottom of page 122, Nancy tells Kami that the Thurstons need her help.
"You know his wife is superstitious and believes in weird signs and omens and probably can be mesmerized.  If she refuses to cooperate about selling the farm, someone may threaten to put a curse on her.  We mustn't allow this to happen."
They mustn't allow what to happen?  Is Nancy saying that they can't allow someone to threaten Mrs. Thurston?  Or is Nancy saying that they can't allow someone to put a curse on Mrs. Thurston?  I have to laugh, because it almost sounds like Nancy believes in curses.

Page 148 has a gloriously bad illustration that seems to show Nancy and Ned sliding over the edge of a waterfall.  The huge man had pushed them into the water.  "Being excellent swimmers they were able to twist their bodies into perfect dives."  If so, why are Nancy and Ned floating on the water?  They don't even look wet!

On page 166, Bess and George completely talk Mrs. Thurston out of all of her superstitious beliefs, in just a few minutes.  Amazing!

The scene near the end of the book where Nancy leaps with Merv Marvel to the strange occult meeting at the barn is stupid.  It's also ridiculous that Merv confesses everything to Nancy as they leap through the air.

I overall enjoyed The Double Jinx Mystery, even though some aspects of the mystery are quite stupid.  I am much more tolerant of the ridiculous aspects of books like this one that are set in the vicinity of River Heights.  The ones which mix traveling with ridiculous events are much harder for me to enjoy.


Mike G said...

Just a few comments. I enjoyed this book okay until the last chapter in which Nancy was kidnapped by Merv Marvel and he took her away by leaping... Leaping!!! It would be hard to believe that you could get very far away by leaping. It really seemed like the most ridiculous kidnapping attempt I have ever read; and goodness knows how many different times Nancy and the others have been kidnapped in the past.

On the positive side, I enjoyed the cover artwork. I thought it was attractive, and one of the only covers (other than Invisible Intruder) where you get an idea of what Ned really looks like.) While the interior artwork is poor, it is only a harbinger of how poor the interior artwork would become in the next volumes until Simon & Schuster took over.

TimK said...

For me, this is the last Nancy Drew with *attractive* interior artwork. It went to H-E-double-hockey-sticks with Glowing Eye.