Sunday, August 11, 2013

Nancy Drew #61 Swami's Ring and #62 Kachina Doll Mystery

In Nancy Drew #61, The Swami's Ring, a man is hospitalized with amnesia.  His backpack contains a ring that a bearded man is trying to steal.  Mr. Drew is involved in a controversy concerning a music festival.  A harpist is involved in a mystery of her own, and all of the mysteries are connected.  At least I think they are, because I only read the first part of the book.

Similar to what happened with the The Greek Symbol Mystery, I did not care about the amnesia victim or anything else.  I have never particularly cared for this story, and it bores me.  I did notice during the part that I read that Ned was whiny and didn't like Nancy focusing on her case instead of on him.  Admittedly, Ned had a point.  However, these books are the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, not the Nancy and Ned Series.  Ned either needs to deal with it or get lost!

Ned's behavior reminds me of the Nancy Drew Files Ned who constantly complains about Nancy's cases, except that this book was published first.  In fact, I believe that this book is the only one in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories in which Ned acts whiny and upset that Nancy solves mysteries.

By not reading The Swami's Ring, I was able to continue.  If I had forced myself to read it, I might have never made it to #62.

In Nancy Drew #62, The Kachina Doll Mystery, Nancy's old friend, Heather McGuire, asks Nancy to come to Arizona to help her find out what has caused a series of accidents.  The ranch appears to be haunted by a Kachina.  Nancy sees the Kachina soon upon her arrival, and the Kachina visits every night.  Spooky!

A boy named Ngyun lives at the ranch with his aunt.  Ngyun has been accused of a series of fires, but Ngyun swears that he is innocent.  Nancy believes that Ngyun is innocent, and she must prove who the culprit is before Ngyun is sent away.

This book is much more engaging than #59, 60, and 61.  I looked at the authorship and realized that this book was not written by Nancy Axelrad.  She wrote #59, 60, and 61, so my conclusion is that I do not care for her writing.

The Kachina Doll Mystery reads very much like the lower-numbered revised text Nancy Drew books.  The book most especially reminds me of the 1965 revised text of The Secret of Shadow Ranch.  Both books are set on a ranch in Arizona and both involve a haunting.

A cottage at the ranch catches on fire, and this reminds me of an incident in the revised text of The Mystery at Lilac Inn.

I have to think that the author of this book, Sharon Wagner, intentionally made reference to some of the revised text Nancy Drew books.  On page 140 of the Wanderer edition, a brass-bound trunk is used as a hiding place for jewelry.  A trunk is used as a hiding place for jewelry in the revised text book, Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk.

No logical explanation is given for the Kachina that Nancy sees several times and hears chanting every night.  The Kachina leads Nancy to two important clues that ultimately lead her to the treasure.  The way the story is written, the only conclusion is that the Kachina is supernatural.  This is rather strange for a Nancy Drew book.

The Kachina Doll Mystery is a very good Nancy Drew book.  Of the Nancy Drew Digests that I have revisited so far, the only two that I really like are #58 and #62.


Ryan said...

The Nancy and Ned 'drama' happens in 77 and 78 as well. Those books came out in 1985 and the very next year the Files series started. I would guess they experimented with Nancy's relationship in the original series to see how people would react; then released the Files so we wouldn't have to deal with it in the original series. (Original in this case refers to 1-175)

M. LeRoy said...

I was looking at the Mary Lou series, and I have a question- is Edith Lavell a real person, or a pen name?

Jennifer White said...

Edith Lavell was a real person. This has been confirmed since a woman married to her grandson (or great-grandson - can't remember which) contacted me a few years ago. She was a girl scout leader.

Stacey said...

I am just reading these again after many years and I must disagree. Ned has always been annoying! He’s whined plenty of times about Nancy working on cases instead of paying attention to him! My favorite is in The Ringmaster’s Secret when he whines about going to the circus as a date and then is completely oblivious to Nancy being strangled right next to him! He also comes across as a stalker in the early books, always showing up where Nancy is.
Ned is not my favorite.