Saturday, March 29, 2014

Nancy Drew #143 Mystery on Maui, #144 E-Mail Mystery, and #145 Missing Horse Mystery

In Nancy Drew #143, Mystery on Maui, Nancy, Bess, and George vacation in Hawaii.  A surfing contest is to be held nearby, and two of the top surfers have withdrawn—one because of food poisoning and the other because of a broken leg.  Someone tries to steal the surfboard of the top remaining participant, Josh Brightman, and Nancy suspects foul play.  Someone is trying to take out the top competitors!

On page 3, Bess is mentioned as having a "trim figure."  I thought she was supposed to be slightly overweight.  Strange.

I felt like this book was prepping the reader for the next book, The E-Mail Mystery.  "E-mail" is mentioned on page 3, on page 20, and in the final paragraph of the final page of the book, page 147.

I enjoyed Mystery on Maui.

In Nancy Drew #144, The E-Mail Mystery, Carson Drew's clients are suddenly deciding to settle out of court.  Mr. Drew suspects that someone in his office might be working with other attorneys to get the cases closed fast.  Nancy agrees to work in his office so that she can examine the computer files.

I cannot stand that this book capitalizes "E-mail" all the way through the book.  The two most accepted methods of spelling are "email" and "e-mail."  The capitalized version is not common. 

The book opens with a mention of Nancy beginning her "summer vacation."  Come again?  This implies that Nancy is in school, yet as far as we know, she is no longer in high school and is not in college.  Perhaps she graduated a few days before?  If so, she has been mighty busy since her graduation while solving 143 mysteries.

We learn on page 10 that Bess is a computer whiz.  This is new, since Bess was not a computer whiz before this book.  She does continue to be quite knowledgeable about computers in the books that come after this one.

The description of email in this book is archaic even by 1998 standards, which is when this book was published.  In 1997, a year before this book was published, I was using Netscape Navigator to browse the internet and Netscape Messenger to send emails using email addresses.  I had dial-up internet, so each time I wanted on the internet, my modem dialed a phone number. Once the modem connected, I didn't have to use phone numbers.  I used eBay heavily in 1997, and I was on mailing lists.  We used emails, not phone numbers to connect with other people.  In this book, the emails are sent to phone numbers rather than to email addresses.

Nancy also has trouble finding sent messages, because the law office does not use a mailbox like probably everyone else was doing in 1998.  Of course if Mr. Drew's office had used a mailbox, then Nancy would have been able to see the sent emails easily.  But then there wouldn't have been much of a mystery.  Perhaps that's why the book sticks to an archaic method.

It got a bit old that every single time Nancy was in a restaurant discussing the case with either Bess or Carson Drew that one or more of the suspects appeared nearby without Nancy knowing it.  She talks freely and then is shocked that they might have overhead the entire conversation. In other books, Nancy always notices when suspects get near.  She is oblivious in this book and chats oh-so-freely out in public.

Nancy asks this question at the bottom of page 74.  "Do you know if the Internet's all connected?  When you go on the World Wide Web or use Lexis-Nexis or just send E-mail—are they separate or are they all linked together?"

Gee, Nancy, they must be connected somehow or the email wouldn't get out of one computer and into another.  This foreshadows the brilliant Nancy Drew we meet in the first Nancy Drew Diaries book.  You know, the Nancy Drew who as an 18-year-old in 2013 has no idea that someone can search the internet with her name to get information about her.

On page 112, Nancy decides "to do something I haven't done since third grade."  She lists out clues inside a notebook.  Um, Nancy, you did that in a recent book, and you were definitely past the third grade. 

The earlier books after Simon and Schuster took over the writing of the series were quite consistent.  I didn't notice all of these types of contradictions.  Now, the writing of the series is getting sloppy with continuity errors.

I enjoyed The E-Mail Mystery more than I expected, although I don't consider it to be the very best Nancy Drew mystery.

In Nancy Drew #145, The Missing Horse Mystery, Nancy, Bess, and Ned attend the Midwest Grand Prix Dressage Championships.  The girls plan to bunk with a friend, Lee Anne Suna, who is competing in the competition.  A valuable horse disappears, and Nancy decides to investigate.

The book has a mistake at the top of page 100 where it says "Gilly was killed."  She was knocked out and in the hospital, not dead. 

I enjoyed The Missing Horse Mystery.


sequesterednooks said...

I remember reading the Email Mystery at some point several years ago. Bess as the computer expert makes more sense to me than Bess the mechanic/George the tech geek. I can see her being a Twitter and Pinterest addict, or following a lot of fashion and celeb gossip blogs.

Jennifer White said...

I agree. I'm reading the Girl Detective books, and I have trouble picturing cute, curvy Bess dressed well and puttering on an engine. Except that's exactly what we are told is happening. I can see George as a mechanic much easier.

Laura said...

I haven't read any of the GD books yet but totally agree that George = mechanic and Bess = Twitterer best.

Are you planning on reviewing the Casefiles series, Jennifer? If you are, I look forward to posts on those.

Jennifer White said...

It would be nice, but I don't think I have the stamina to read through all 124 of them after reading over 100 digest books. I would like to review them at some point, but I don't plan to do so in the coming months. I need a break from Nancy Drew.

I could try to read a few at a time here and there, perhaps. We'll see what happens.