Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Nancy Drew Diaries #13 The Ghost of Grey Fox Inn

In Nancy Drew Diaries #13, The Ghost of Grey Fox Inn, Nancy, Bess, and George are attending a wedding.  Bess's cousin Charlotte is marrying a news anchor, but someone must not want the couple to wed.  A ghostly figure is seen at night, and various items begin to disappear.  Nancy investigates.

How boring can you get?  Each book is a variant of previous books in the series.  This is my synopsis of the Nancy Drew Diaries series.

Nancy Drew and her friends attend a social function or event which is being sabotaged. Nancy must tell herself multiple times to get serious about solving the case, because otherwise, she wouldn't bother.

And at this point, I wonder why I bother.  I am only still purchasing each new Nancy Drew Diaries book in order to acquire the hardcover version with dust jacket.  The hardcover books will probably always be scarce in years to come, so I don't want to miss getting my copies.  However, I feel like I am being suckered.

The opening of this book is not interesting.  The wedding information is not interesting, either.  Simon and Schuster apparently feels that girls want girly stuff, so wedding preparation will be so fun to read!  Actually, it might have been somewhat interesting if I had cared at all about the two people getting married.  I didn't care!

I noted at the end of Chapter 2 that George is eating lots of food.  That again?  Why?

On page 63, we learn that Nancy gets very nervous being in front of a room full of people.  This is the kind of detail that annoys me about this series.  They want Nancy not to be perfect.  Okay, fine, but Nancy is supposed to be a strong person, and having her be scared in front of a room of people doesn't fit the image I have of Nancy Drew.

The people who don't like Nancy Drew being perfect are fine with Trixie Belden.  Here's the deal.  Trixie isn't afraid to be in front of people.  Trixie is just impulsive and makes decisions in haste that often end badly.  That's how Nancy Drew Girl Detective was written, and I was fine with that.  Both Trixie Belden and Nancy Drew were strong characters up until the beginning of the Nancy Drew Diaries series.

Nancy Drew isn't strong any longer.  On page 36, Nancy struggles to keep her voice from shaking when she sees a dark figure in her room.  Most of us would be terrified, too, but Nancy is supposed to be stronger than that.  Her pulse should quicken, which is all the description we need.  In fairness, I must note that later in the book, Nancy's pulse quickens, which is the appropriate response for Nancy Drew.

Nancy should be confident.  I understand wanting to make Nancy not perfect, but this is the wrong way.  Nancy Drew Girl Detective is confident but makes mistakes.  This Nancy Drew is nervous and trembles in fear?  No way!  Trixie Belden doesn't even do that!  Some readers like Trixie Belden better because she isn't perfect, but Trixie is confident.

Page 95:
It suddenly became clear that my investigation needed to get serious—and fast.
Nancy never used to think that way, probably because her mysteries used to be interesting.

On page 97, Nancy accidentally discovers a secret passage.  The old Nancy Drew would have known to check for one, but this one stumbles into the discovery of one.

Nancy Drew has been turned into a weak, timid character.  She lets the mysteries come to her, and she lets the mysteries solve themselves.  She doesn't investigate. Her behavior is totally lame.

Nancy pretty much is a blank slate in this series.  We don't know much about her except that she reluctantly solves boring mysteries and gets scared easily.

These books are written by anonymous authors who have nothing to lose if the quality is substandard.  That's always been the case for Nancy Drew.  However, the publisher has the responsibility to demand higher quality, but they apparently don't want higher quality.

Additionally, the books are supposedly written by authors who submit story ideas to the publisher.  But how very strange that every author submits a story about sabotage.  Or is it that Simon and Schuster only accepts the boring story submission ideas?  I get the idea that Simon and Schuster only wants Nancy Drew sabotage stories.

I also begin to suspect that Simon and Schuster wants to destroy Nancy Drew, but I realize that I am venturing into crazy conspiracy theory territory.  Seriously, I am trying to make sense of what has happened to Nancy Drew, and the only logical answers are crazy conspiracy theories.  If the current Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books were equally bad, I would not have any of these suspicions.  Since the Hardy Boys Adventures are much better than the Nancy Drew Diaries, I am suspicious.

The last part of this book is much more interesting than the first part.  If only the entire book could have been like the last part.  Nancy is a strong character near the end of the story.

This is a good book overall, but I've read this same story a few dozen times and have grown tired of the predictable plot.

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