Monday, August 11, 2014

Nancy Drew Girl Detective Ghost Stories and Super Mystery Books

The Nancy Drew Girl Detective Ghost Stories consists of four stories.  Each story contains some reference to ghosts and has some unexplained events.

The editing is very sloppy in this book.  Ned's name is given as Nick on pages 63, 149, 151, 159, 160, 185, 190, and 191 and probably other times that I missed.  These stories must have been written for something else and then changed to the Nancy Drew series.  There is really no excuse for that bad of editing, since a simple search-and-replace command would have easily found every single "Nick" and replaced it with "Ned."

In "Manga Mayhem," Nancy, Bess, and George travel to Japan with Carson Drew.  Mr. Drew is involved in a case that concerns possible plagiarism.

This story didn't really grab me, and I didn't find it that interesting.

In "America's Got Terror," Nancy and her friends stay in a haunted house during filming for a new reality show.  Nancy soon realizes that someone plans to commit a crime.

This story has problematic editing.  George leaves the show for home on page 102, but then reappears in the house on page 106.  She is then back home right after that.

In "Visitor from Beyond," Nancy investigates the strange behavior of an Emerson student.

A character mentioned on page 136 is named Grace Horton.  Grace Horton was the model for the cover art of the very early Nancy Drew books from the 1930s.

In "Carnival of Fear," Deirdre goes missing while at a carnival.  This story is quite spooky, and I liked it the best of the four stories.

I would have liked all four stories better if they had been fleshed out more.  Since they are just short stories, they are lacking.

In Nancy Drew Girl Detective Super Mystery #1, Where's Nancy?, Nancy has disappeared.  Bess, George, and Ned try to find her.

On page 11, River Heights is celebrating its 75th Independence Day celebration. This book was published in 2005, so this is a reference to Nancy Drew's 75th anniversary.

On page 37, George calls Bess "Miss Sunnybrook Farm."  Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm is an old children's book.

I read this book years ago, so I knew the solution to the mystery.  While I did enjoy the book years ago, I did not enjoy it very much on this second reading.  Bess and George had a good clue as to what Nancy had been investigating when she disappeared, and it took them nearly the entire book to investigate that location.  That location was where Nancy was found.  Infuriating.

In Nancy Drew Girl Detective Super Mystery #2, Once Upon a Crime, Nancy's favorite mystery author is helping a local charity renovate an old theater so that it can be used by troubled youths.  Nancy volunteers to help on the project.  Nancy's friends are unable to join her, so Nancy finds herself alone with Deirdre and several other people who take an instant disliking to Nancy.

I found this book to be boring for the first 40 pages.  The book also contains excerpts from Nancy's favorite author, placed after certain chapters in the book.  The excerpts were written after the events from this story concluded and tell the story of this book, so they are supposed to give us some insight and pique our interest.  I found them to be distracting and annoying.  I only enjoyed one of them and read or skimmed the rest of them as fast as I could so that I could get on with the story.

Aside my initial boredom and the distracting excerpts, I found this book to be outstanding.

In Nancy Drew Girl Detective Super Mystery #3, Real Fake, Nancy wins a role in the Mystery Solved! reality television series.  Nancy travels to Paris for filming.  The mystery centers around a stolen necklace, and eight contestants, including Nancy, compete to see who can find the necklace first.

Nancy receives several anonymous emails, which gradually become threatening.  Nancy realizes that she must solve two mysteries: one that is fake and another one that is real.

While I enjoyed this book, I found that too much time was spent on solving the fake mystery.  Of course that's the point of the reality show, but I didn't feel it was necessary for the book to print Nancy's detailed lists of what she had just learned from the suspects.  I began to skim those lists, because I already knew everything on them.  I also didn't care about the fake culprit for the reality show.  I only wanted to know the identity of the real culprit of the real mystery.

This book has 186 pages and is good, but it would have been better if it had been shortened by 20 to 30 pages.  Longer is not always better.


Barrett LeRoy said...

Have you ever read the Kim Aldrich and Diana Winthrop series? I want to read them, but if they're not good, I won't spend my money on them.

Jennifer White said...

I do not believe I have read either series, so I won't be any help. If you're a member of the Facebook group about collecting vintage series books, you might try asking there. A few people must have read them.

In doing a cursory search on Google, I found a page on Kim Aldrich, and they do sound interesting. I may have to pick one up someday to see.