Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Nancy Drew #55 Mystery of Crocodile Island

In Nancy Drew #55, Mystery of Crocodile Island, Carson Drew has been asked to investigate the Crocodile Ecology Company, located in the Florida Keys.  Roger Gonzales is concerned that the other partners in the company may be involved in an illegal scheme.  Nancy, Bess, and George travel to Florida under assumed names.

I was confused about a series of phone calls made during the story.  On page 13, Mr. Gonzales calls Carson Drew, telling him to cancel the trip.  Mr. Drew believes that Gonzales was forced to make the call, so Nancy makes the trip as planned.  Later, in the book, the Drews learn that the villains had wiretapped Mr. Gonzales' home.  But then we learn that Mr. Gonzales called Mr. Drew from the club instead of his home, which is why the villains were unaware that he canceled the trip.  But then the villains supposedly had Gonzales make the call.  Perhaps I missed something.

Nancy is given a piece of meat to throw to a crocodile on page 73.  Nancy decides that she is not in a good position to aim well, so she jumps into the pen with the crocodile.  After she throws the meat, she becomes so interested in watching the crocodile that she fails to leave the pen.  At the last moment, Nancy jumps out of the pen, avoiding injury. 

Joe tells Nancy, "You're some girl."  It is not appropriate for Nancy to be complemented about her foolishness.  It is also out of character for Nancy to be so foolish.  I mentioned this new, brash Nancy that appears in The Strange Message in the Parchment.  She is alive and well in this book as well.

This book is full of random events.  The girls find a message in a bottle and follow up on it.  A map is found in the woods, and the girls dig for treasure.  These subplots have nothing to do with the mystery.  

The young people plan to visit Key West Naval Base.   On page 134, Nancy wonders if she can tour a submarine.  George declares that it will be no problem.  "How could anyone ever say no to Nancy drew?"  Insert an eye roll here.  A naval base would not let random visiting girls tour a submarine.  But of course Mr. Crosgrove is a friend of one of the officers, so Nancy gets her wish.

With no discussion, Nancy hands Captain Townsend her car keys on page 138 so that he can drive them around the base. What must young girls think when they read these books?  Nowadays, Nancy would drive instead of the man.

Nancy's face reddens on page 141 when Ned is mentioned.  Any hint of romance and Nancy is embarrassed.  But wait... on page 94, Nancy is called a doll and practically asked out, but she doesn't blush.

I was halfway through the book when I reflected that at least Ned, Burt, and Dave were not conveniently able to join the girls.  Oops, I was wrong.  On page 141, we learn that the boys want to come down to see them.  Don't they go to college?  They must have very bad grades.

The Haunted Bridge is mentioned by name on page 148, which is interesting. 

On page 157 Danny plans to take the girls to an uninhabited key.  He tells them that he "can almost guarantee that you won't find any mosquitoes." Now exactly how would he know that?  Isn't there a lot of water in the Florida Keys?  My backyard is swarming with mosquitoes, and my backyard has less water than the Florida Keys. 

A submarine docks at Crocodile Island, and the men from the submarine go into a nearby building.  Nancy and Ned get in the submarine!  Exactly how stupid are they to think that they have time to get in the submarine, investigate, and emerge before the men return?  Of course the men return, and the young people find themselves prisoners in the submarine.

I overall enjoyed this story.

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