Thursday, September 5, 2013

Nancy Drew #71 Silver Cobweb and #72 Haunted Carousel

In Nancy Drew #71, The Silver Cobweb, a woman in New York has had a stroke and her only communication with her son has been by drawing a rough sketch of a spider web on a piece of paper.  Meanwhile, a famous female golfer drops out of a tournament for unknown reasons.  Nancy is asked to solve both mysteries and quickly realizes that they are connected.  I am so shocked. 

I get the idea that some of these books were written as something of a parody of Nancy Drew.  Parody is not the right word, but that is how some of the content comes across, which takes away from the impact of the books.  On page 74*, we learn that Nancy's favorite Chinese restaurant is Golden Pavilion, a blatant reference to The Secret of the Golden Pavilion.  Please.  It's like these authors were getting such a kick out of getting to write Nancy Drew books that they just had to make funny references like that.  Seeing a restaurant's name as Golden Pavilion yanked me right out of the story, which is not good.

On the other hand, I do like that the Footlighters amateur acting group plays a significant role during this book.  The Footlighters are woven into the plot and do not come across as something tossed in for a laugh.

Dave Evans is randomly mentioned on page 74.  He is with Ned, and he never speaks, so he might as well have been absent.  And where's Burt?  Oh yes, remedial courses at Emerson.  That's right.

This book was interesting at first, but I grew bored around halfway through the book.  The reason had to do with just a few too many characters and a plot that became too convoluted.  I also grew frustrated that Nancy knows that the solution to the mystery has to do with a red spider, yet no one will discuss it.  Everyone acts bizarre or frightened when the spider is mentioned.  As the reader, I was quite frustrated.

Speaking of spiders, I kept thinking of The Spider Sapphire Mystery, and somehow, I get the idea that the author wanted exactly that to happen, which also annoyed me.  On page 133, "Nancy's sapphire eyes, however, did not waver from his gaze."  I immediately was yanked right back out of the story and pictured Nancy's sapphire eyes on the cover of The Spider Sapphire Mystery.

And what's with the "squint-eyed thief"?  You would think the book was from decades before with that kind of description.

Two-thirds of the way through the book, the stroke victim suddenly makes a miraculous recovery and can talk again.  How convenient.  At the same time that the stroke victim can finally talk, Kim Vernon and her brother, Jack, finally tell Nancy why red spiders upset them so much.  This occurs on page 154.

I did not enjoy The Silver Cobweb very much since I found myself continually annoyed.

In Nancy Drew #72, The Haunted Carousel, Nancy is asked to investigate how a carousel illuminates and rotates by itself in the middle of the night.

Ned and Bess are the only friends present in this book.

On page 60, Nancy's "thick, wavy, red-gold hair had evidently helped to protect her from injury" from a blow on the head.  Exactly how thick is this hair?

This is actually a good book, but the plot reminds me too much of several other Wanderer Nancy Drew books, and my overall experience in reading the Wanderer books has not been good and has tried my patience.  I want to get past the Wanderer books as quickly as possible.  I sped through this book in order to keep going.  The Haunted Carousel is a book in which Nancy goes here and there, asking many people questions.  The book lacks the excitement that I desire in a book.

*All page numbers refer to the Wanderer edition.

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