Monday, February 9, 2015

Nancy Drew Diaries #8 The Magician's Secret

In Nancy Drew Diaries #8, The Magician's Secret, Carson Drew's client, John Smallwood, has been accused of stealing $3.5 million in jewels from a River Heights jewelry store.  A locked box was found in Smallwood's hotel room, and the authorities believe that it might contain the jewels.  The box is being held as evidence at the courthouse.  Meanwhile, magician Drake Lonestar performs an illusion that makes the courthouse disappear during a magic act.  Sometime during the performance, the locked box is stolen.  Lonestar is accused of taking it.

The basic plot premise immediately reminded me of Ken Holt #12, The Mystery of the Vanishing Magician, since I recently read it.  In the Ken Holt book, a magician has been charged with the theft of jewels from a jewelry store.  The similarity ends there. 

On page 109, we learn that Nancy forgot to charge her phone, so she has to dim the screen and adjust other settings.  This has absolutely nothing to do with the story, so I assume that the publisher still wants Nancy to be a little forgetful.

On page 122, the locked box is opened.  Nancy is disappointed about the contents.  Bess reminds her, "There's always a false bottom.  Don't you pay attention to your own mysteries, Nancy?"  Okay, that was a fun line.

A female character is named Gritty.  Really?

I'm going to mention something that could be a little bit of a spoiler about a minor part of the plot.  It does not reveal anything about the solution to the mystery.  The misguided person who came up the story probably thought it was important, but in my opinion, it has no impact on the story.  Skip the next paragraph if you think you might care.

Lonestar, who is extremely famous, has two young women who are his assistants.  They are Lonestar's nieces, except Bess and George make the huge discovery that they are really his daughters.  Bess and George verified this information via the internet, yet this is supposedly a big secret.  How can it be a secret if it is on the internet?  Lonestar says that the deception was made to throw off the paparazzi.  Um, if the truth about the daughters of a famous person is on the internet, I don't think anyone is being fooled.  This is illogical.

This book reminds me a bit much of the Girl Detective books, kind of like how #1 and #2 in the Diaries series are too much like Girl Detective.  This book is not as much like Girl Detective as those two books are, but it seems off as compared to #3 through #7.  Simon and Schuster missed the mark with this one.

As I read the book, I couldn't help thinking of what kind of mess this would have been as a Girl Detective trilogy.  Oh, the horror!

This is not one of the better Nancy Drew Diaries books.  I am unsure whether I like it more or less than #1 and #2, but I definitely like it less than #3 through #7.  Wait, I believe I do like it less than #1 and #2.  It's not very interesting.

At the end of the book is a preview of the next book, The Clue at Black Creek Farm.  The preview consists of a lengthy discussion about what organic vegetables are and why they are desirable.  I understand that series books have been expected to educate young people ever since Grosset and Dunlap introduced the travelogue in the 1960s, but this is ridiculous.  We are now reading about the benefits of organic vegetables.  What kind of book is this?

The preview ends with an abrupt argument, which is no more interesting than the discussion about organic vegetables.  Is this really what children want to read?  I sure hope Nancy gets to sleuth around in some dark and creepy places on Black Creek Farm.  I fear that she will spend most of the book in the grocery store deciding which organic vegetable is healthier.

1 comment:

TimK said...

I sure hope Nancy gets to sleuth around in some dark and creepy places on Black Creek Farm. I fear that she will spend most of the book in the grocery store deciding which organic vegetable is healthier.

I LOL'd at this.