Saturday, September 21, 2013

Nancy Drew #77 Bluebeard Room and #78 Phantom of Venice

In Nancy Drew #77, The Bluebeard Room, Nancy travels to England to help a friend, Lisa Penvellyn, who is unhappy in her marriage.  Before Nancy leaves for England, she attends a Crowned Heads concert, and the leader of the group, Lance Warwick, becomes smitten with Nancy and practically stalks her.

Do you see a problem here?  The entire plot is excessively bizarre for a Nancy Drew book.  The Bluebeard Room was published the year before the launch of the Nancy Drew Files series.  Simon and Schuster was apparently testing out a premise similar to the Nancy Drew Files by having Nancy in the midst of a romance while also trying to save someone else's marriage.

Reading this book is like seeing Nancy Drew in an alternate reality where romance is more important than mystery.  Not only is Lance Warwick hot for Nancy, she is just as hot for him, except when she is angry with him for stalking her.  Poor Ned has been forgotten, at least temporarily.

Not only is the storyline off, but everything else is off in this story.  George is introduced as Georgia Fayne, and Nancy calls her father Daddy.

The book tries too hard to be trendy and modern, which firmly dates the book as set in the middle part of the 1980s.  Boy George is mentioned, for instance.

The Bluebeard Room reads much like a Nancy Drew Files book.  While I enjoyed The Bluebeard Room, I liked it less than most Nancy Drew Files books.

In Nancy Drew #78, The Phantom of Venice, Nancy vacations in Venice while solving the mystery of an abducted glassblower.  More significantly, Nancy is extremely attracted to every young man she meets.  She needs to take a very cold shower.

I began reading this book reluctantly.  I was not enthused because the book is set in Venice, and Mystery of the Winged Lion is set in Venice. I do not like Mystery of the Winged Lion because it reminds me of The Greek Symbol Mystery, which I absolutely hate.  I have a bias against The Phantom of Venice since it makes me think of two books that I dislike.

Furthermore, Nancy has this Nancy Drew Files-like romance thing going on. She is seriously hot for every guy she meets. Nancy "felt a warm flush seep upward from her neck to her cheeks." I enjoyed The Bluebeard Room, which has the same sort of thing, but Nancy is even more hot for men in this book. I skimmed paragraphs in this book in order to get through it as fast as possible. I am not in the mood for the Nancy Drew Files right now, and that's what this is.

A young man named Giovanni stalks Nancy.  I wrote that Lance Warwick stalks Nancy in the previous book, but Giovanni is far worse.  He comes across as a creepy stalker, and most readers will figure out fairly quickly that Giovanni cannot be trusted.  Nancy, to her credit, figures that out on her own before way too far into the book.  At first, however, Nancy is ready to throw herself at Giovanni before she recognizes how creepy he is.

About the time Nancy figures out that Giovanni is not to be trusted, she falls hard for another young man, Don Madison.  Don is Nancy's true love, except that he confesses to Nancy that he has a girlfriend back home.  Nancy confesses that she has a boyfriend.  Both feel a little strange, but they decide that they should not feel guilty.  They have done nothing wrong by having feelings for each other while in relationships with others.  Oh, how far Nancy has fallen!  Fortunately, Nancy's fall from grace is only temporary, and she returns to her senses in the next book.

I did not enjoy The Phantom of Venice.

1 comment:

R.G. said...

I have never been so glad for the Files series after reading these two books. At least in the Files, it's the norm. In this series, it really does not fit at all.