Friday, April 13, 2018

Kay Tracey #4 The Shadow on the Door

In Kay Tracey #4, The Shadow on the Door, Kay investigates Peter Stannovi, whom she suspects is defrauding wealthy Mrs. Van Hutton.  Stannovi is also engaged to Mrs. Van Hutton's secretary, Ellen Tremont, and Kay wishes to keep Ellen from getting hurt.  Kay and Wilma enter a magazine contest, and Ellen's sister helps judge the entries.  Kay and her friends also keep seeing strange shadows in various locations, and these shadows could hold the key to the mystery.

The shadow part of the mystery is quite lame and bizarre, and I suspect that this is why the book was one of the three Kay Tracey books that went out of print after Cupples and Leon quit publishing the series.

Kay gives a great summary of this mystery on page 7.  "Lovely American girl working as secretary to a wealthy woman, who makes speeches about the conditions of the poor.  Said woman also gives talks about child welfare, but neglects the little boy entrusted to her care.  Moreover, she has some kind of secret dealing with a foreigner whom she pretends not to know, and yet who is engaged to her own secretary!  There's a mystery, if there ever was one!"

Kay finds a checkbook with large amounts drawn to charities that seem fake.  Kay discovers that Mrs. Van Hutton is the owner, which is quite a coincidence and gives Kay a clue to the mystery.  After Kay finds the checkbook, I suddenly realized that this story is similar to the Nancy Drew book, Nancy's Mysterious Letter.  That story also involves a man taking donations under false pretenses, and a woman must be saved from marrying him.  This story also contains a football scene, and so does Nancy's Mysterious Letter.

Kay has never been interested in acting.  When the lead actress for a play is injured, Kay is immediately able to step in and do such a good job that she is asked to take on the role permanently.  Wow.  This is very similar to Nancy Drew in The Clue of the Dancing Puppet.  Kay has a lot in common with the revised text Nancy.

Mr. Hammond calls the police to tell them about the case.  When the police arrive, Mr. Hammond has Kay explain her suspicions to the police.  The police are very impressed.  This is more shades of Nancy Drew.

Kay also has Nancy Drew's ability to avoid serious injury.  Kay is swinging on a trapeze when it fails, so Kay hurls herself through the air to a mat, where she tucks herself into a roll.  Kay is uninjured.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.  The shadow part is odd and unnecessary, but otherwise, the book is excellent.

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