Friday, August 29, 2014

Nancy Drew Diaries #3 Midnight Rider and #4 Once Upon a Thriller

In Nancy Drew Diaries #3, Mystery of the Midnight Rider, Nancy and Ned cheer on Ned's friend, Payton Evans, as she competes in the River Heights Horse Show.  Soon into the show, Payton's horse, Midnight, tests positive for drugs.  Ned is certain that Payton would never cheat, so Nancy investigates who is responsible for sabotaging Payton in the competition.

On page 7, Bess is described as "girly," so it sounds like she has retained her characterization from the Girl Detective series.

This book feels exactly like a Nancy Drew Digest book, just written in first-person narrative.  It is like a typical sabotage book, but the book takes a bit of a twist.  And I do mean quite a twist

I got a little bored around page 110.  By page 149, I was really bored.  On page 164, Nancy thinks, "The huge, colorful jumps had actually taken my mind off the case for a few minutes."  I needed something to take my mind off of the book.  I was so very bored!

By page 170, I was interested in the book again because I had guessed the culprit and was interested in how the rest of the story would play out.

Overall, the book is not bad, but the middle part could have been more interesting.  For around 60 to 70 pages, absolutely nothing happens except for Nancy wondering who the culprit is as she wanders around asking people questions. 

In Nancy Drew Diaries #4, Once Upon a Thriller, Nancy, Bess, and George travel to Moon Lake for what they expect to be a relaxing weekend.  Instead, the girls find mystery when a local book store is set on fire.  Nancy learns that a mystery author, Lacey O'Brien, lives at Moon Lake.  Strangely, the book store fire is similar to an event in one of Lacey's books, and other crimes that soon occur are also like events from Lacey's books.

The idea of someone setting up a crime spree to copy events from a book reminds me of the plot from Nancy Drew Digest #79, The Double Horror of Fenley Place, in which each scene filmed for the movie also occurs at the house across the street.  The plots of the two books are not at all the same, but I couldn't help thinking of Fenley Place as I read this book.

This book is set at Moon Lake and in a nearby town, Avondale.  In the very first Nancy Drew book, The Secret of the Old Clock, Nancy stays at Camp Avondale on Moon Lake.

On page 31, Nancy and Bess paddle while George rests.  This is very strange.  George has always been the athletic one.

On page 43, the word "portaged" is used.  The previous book has the word "fractious."  I feel like these are words that many children would have to look up. 

We learn on page 53 that Ned and his father are still involved with the newspaper, the River Heights Bugle.

Nancy goes looking for a typewriter, just like in the old mysteries, because a threatening note was typed on an old typewriter with a damaged key. 

This is a very good book.  I enjoyed it from start to finish.  The book grabbed me immediately, and I love the setting.

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