Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Nancy Drew #131 Hidden Inheritance, #132 Fox Hunt, and #133 Crystal Palace

In Nancy Drew #131, The Hidden Inheritance, Nancy, Bess, and George travel to Indiana to inventory an estate for Carson Drew.  The girls become friends with Sassy Lane Brandon, a performer at the Bear Hollow Bluegrass Festival.  When Sassy's house burns down and her prized violin is stolen, Nancy investigates.

On page 37, Nancy asks Mrs. Brandon how she is doing.
Mrs. Brandon seemed startled by the question, and she stammered out an answer.  "Well... I'm... I... all right, I guess," she said, putting down the knife.

"Are you sure? Nancy asked, lowering her voice.  "I don't mean to pry, but is anything wrong?"
Nancy, exactly how stupid are you?  The woman's house just burned down and her husband is suspected of arson, and you're asking her if anything is wrong?  Give the woman some support instead of asking her stupid questions that put her on the spot.

Part of the plot reminds me strongly of The Clue in the Diary.  The Brandons' house burns down, and Mr. Brandon acts strange.  Later, the girls are driving by when they see someone poking around in the rubble.  Nancy and George end up chasing him, but he gets away.  Later, they suspect that Mr. Brandon was the person they chased.  Next, Mr. Brandon disappears.  This all makes me think of Felix Raybolt and his actions in The Clue in the Diary.  The girls also have a close call on an old bridge, and The Clue in the Diary has a similar scene.

These books that bear some similarity to the original Nancy Drew books seem better than the other books.  It's probably because they have more of the qualities that we love in Nancy Drew.

#121 The Fortune-Teller's Secret, and this book both mention brown recluse spiders.  And both books are throwbacks to the original Nancy Drew books.  Could they have the same author?

The Hidden Inheritance is an outstanding book, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

In Nancy Drew #132, The Fox Hunt Mystery, Nancy and George visit their friend, Laura Passano, in Maryland.  Laura's mother runs the Mill River Hunt, in which the riders enjoy fox hunting.  Mrs. Passano wants to change the group to a drag hunt, where the riders chase a fox's scent instead of hunting a live fox.  Controversy erupts when others oppose the plan.

Meanwhile, a rival hunt has been started, and someone begins sabotaging the Mill River Hunt, endangering the lives of its riders.  Nancy must find the culprit before it is too late.

This book bears some similarity to #109 The Mystery of the Masked Rider and #118 Trouble at Lake Tahoe and is the same type of sabotage book.  Since I did not just read those two books, I greatly enjoyed this book.  The key is for the sabotage books to be spaced apart in the series and not occur in sequential order.

In Nancy Drew #133, The Mystery at the Crystal Palace, Nancy, Bess, and George travel to Minneapolis to help Alison MacDonald.  Alison inherited the Crystal Palace, a huge ice skating rink, but she is short on funds to run it.  Alison was to inherit a large sum of money as well, but the location of the money is unknown.  Alison's problems worsen when someone begins sabotaging the Crystal Palace!

This book introduced too many people early in the book.  Amanda and Alison are similar names, which kept confusing me.  I hate it when authors do that.  They also both have dark hair.  It was not until halfway through the book that I was mostly able to keep Amanda and Alison straight.

I had trouble getting into the story because I couldn't keep Amanda and Alison straight, and the cast of characters also confused me.  Once I was past halfway into the book, I was able to enjoy the story.

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