Saturday, February 8, 2014

Nancy Drew #102 Secret in the Dark and #103 Stranger in the Shadows

In Nancy Drew #102, The Secret in the Dark, Nancy and Bess travel to Seattle to visit Deirdre Thompson at the Sabatini Conservatory of Music.  Dierdre is competing in a violin competition, and someone is trying to sabotage her performance.

I find the title, The Secret in the Dark, to be rather interesting.  Deirdre is blind, so she is in the dark.  At two different points in the story, Nancy is pursued by the villain in an extremely dark place and has to figure out how to maneuver in the dark.  She uses what she has learned from Deirdre in order to maneuver.

The girls discover a man crouching by the skylight to Deirdre's apartment, watching them.  The girls yell at him to go away.  On page 20, Nancy comforts Deirdre by telling her, "We gave them a good scare.  I doubt they'll come back."  Yeah, yelling at an intruder would really frighten him.  I'm sure he'll forget about whatever he wants and will never come back.

In some ways, the end is wrapped up a bit too nicely.  Two people who turn out not to be guilty dislike Deirdre.  They both make a truce with Deirdre on the spur of the moment, and everyone will be best friends forever.  Aw, how sweet.

In Nancy Drew #103, The Stranger in the Shadows, Nancy's friend, Suzanne, expresses concern that the foreign exchange student who is staying with her, Paula de Jagger, is acting strangely.  Paula is open and friendly one moment, and then reticent the next.  Nancy, with the help of Bess, tries to figure out what is wrong with Paula.

Page 27 makes a reference to a past case, The Mystery at Magnolia Mansion, but does not mention it by name.

Officer Brody from A Secret in Time makes an appearance.

On page 56, Nancy phones the family of a potential suspect and poses as a survey taker.  The woman who answers cheerfully agrees to participate in the survey and answers all of Nancy's questions.  I'm not convinced that the typical person would be so willing to answer a survey.  I wouldn't, which is why I don't answer the phone to anyone I don't know.

Nancy and her friends plan to trap the suspect in the mall's parking garage.  Nancy is to leave the store at 8:40 to meet with the villain in the parking lot.  Bess and Suzanne are to wait until 9:00 to go to the parking lot.  I find the time difference to be a bit puzzling.  Why would it take Nancy 20 minutes longer to reach the parking lot?  I knew based on the odd times of the plan that the plan would backfire.

Nancy leaves at 8:40 and is intercepted by the villain who forces her to go to a different level of the parking garage.  Nancy knows she has a problem because on page 140, she "checked her watch.  Eight-forty-five.  They weren't expecting her until nine o'clock."  Right, so why did Nancy need a 20-minute head start?  Stupid thinking.

I enjoyed both of these stories.

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