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review 2019-01-16 17:15
Book Review: Most Likely To Die
Most Likely to Die - Carolyn Keene

Title: Most Likely To Die
Author: Carolyn Keene
Series: Nancy Drew Files, #27
Format: ebook
Length: 160 pages
Rating: 3 stars


Synopsis: Nancy's high school class reunion provides a mysterious opportunity when former cheerleader Wendy Harriman finds her room ransacked and a horrifying death threat is left among the mess.


Favourite character: George
Least favourite character: Wendy


Mini-review: I thought this was a pretty good Nancy Drew book. I always like reading the ones I’ve never read before, because then I don’t know the ending ahead of time. I didn’t guess this one, surprisingly. But I wasn’t really shocked. I can’t actually remember the last time a Nancy Drew shocked me.


Nancy Drew - Katherine McNamara
Bess Marvin - Abigail Breslin
George Fayne - Brianna Hildebrand
Ned Nickerson - Ansel Elgort
Carson Drew - Paul Rudd
Wendy Harriman - Madelaine Petsch
Patrick Emmons - Luke Benward
Don Cameron - Timothée Chalamet
Monica Beckwith - Amy Forsyth
Celia Quaid - Haley Lu Richardson
Judd Reese - Justice Smith

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review 2019-01-14 22:30
Book Review: The Paris Connection
The Paris Connection - Carolyn Keene

Title: The Paris Connection
Author: Carolyn Keene,
Series: Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys: Super Mystery, #6
Format: mass market paperback
Length: 219 pages
Rating: 3 stars


Synopsis: Nancy and Bess are in Paris posing as publicists with Johnny Crockett's World Hunger Rock Tour. But before long, they run into the Hardys and discover that their separate cases are connected!


Favourite character: Frank and Joe
Least favourite character: N/A


Mini-review: This was a pretty good crossover, but not enough NancyxFrank in my opinion. I wish Frank had referenced Callie at the very least, but no such luck. The mystery was good, slightly solvable but good. One minor character I feel like it’s slightly based on David Suchet’s version of Poirot, but it was kind of fun. It was great to have a recurring character in Alan Wales (from Nancy Drew Files books 1 (Secrets Can Kill) and 2 (Deadly Intent)).


Nancy Drew - Katherine McNamara
Frank Hardy - Richard Harmon
Joe Hardy - Dylan Playfair
Bess Marvin - Abigail Breslin
Fiona Fox - Ellie Bamber
Dr. Fox - Martin Shaw
Ned Nickerson - Ansel Elgort
Alan Wales - Austin Butler
Johnny Crockett - Riker Lynch
Jules - Pierre Boulanger
Kevin Fuller - Tom Hiddleston
Roger Hart - James Maslow
Ruby Bloom - Taylor Swift
Brent Travis - Martin Freeman
Commissaire François Guillaume - David Suchet ;)

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review 2019-01-13 03:25
Book Review: The Clue in the Jewel Box
The Clue in the Jewel Box (Nancy Drew, #20) - Carolyn Keene

Title: The Clue in the Jewel Box
Author: Carolyn Keene, Mildred Wirt Benson
Series: Nancy Drew, #20
Format: hardcover
Length: 181 pages
Rating: 3 stars


Synopsis: An antique dealer's revelation about a former queen's priceless heirlooms leads Nancy on a series of exciting and dangerous adventures. Mrs. Marie Alexandra, living in River Heights in exile, asks Nancy to search for her long-lost grandson. Using an old, faded photo of the prince at age four, Nancy begins her quest. A secret discovered in the elderly woman's treasured jewel box helps Nancy unveil a slick impostor and reunite the long separated family.


Mini-review: This was a good Nancy Drew. I read one of my last updates on it back in 2016 and it said “Nancy, why are you such an idiot?” And I can honestly say I have no idea what part that was about. I thought this was good, very diverse for it’s time, as nearly everyone is from a foreign country, which I suspect is based on the Latin community. This series is full of memories for me, I love it.


Nancy - Katherine McNamara
George - Brianna Hildebrand
Bess - Abigail Breslin
Ned Nickerson - Ansel Elgort
Dave Evans - KJ Apa
Burt Eddleton - John Boyega
Carson Drew - Paul Rudd
Hannah Gruen - Mary Steenburgen
Helen Corning-Archer - Cleopatra Coleman
Jim Archer - Hugh Skinner
Chief McGinnis - Vincent D’Onofrio
Marie Alexandra - Rita Mereno
Mr. Faber - Stanley Tucci
Anna - Sofia Vergara
Francis Baum/Michael - Tyler Hoechlin
Katherine Kovna - Francia Raisa
David Dorrance/Cordova - Hayden Christensen
Richard Ellington - Lin-Manuel Miranda

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text 2019-01-10 02:42
Book Review: Playing With Fire
Playing with Fire - Carolyn Keene

Title: Playing With Fire
Author: Carolyn Keene
Series: Nancy Drew Files #26
Format: paperback
Length: 160 pages


Synopsis: Nancy is sent to Los Angeles to investigate a case of arson in a luxury hotel—and has a hot time in Hollywood!


Favourite character: George
Least favourite character: N/A
Favourite line: N/A


Mini-review: Pretty good, although I’ve read this one so many times it annoys me.


Nancy - Katherine McNamara
Bess - Abigail Breslin
George - Brianna Hildebrand

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text 2018-11-19 01:27
The Bungalow Mystery - update ND3.1
The Bungalow Mystery - P.M. Carlson,Russell H. Tandy,Carolyn Keene
The Bungalow Mystery - Carolyn Keene

Reading the 1930 & 1960 versions of The Bungalow Mystery simultaneously, comparing differences in the story and characters, and pondering dated plot points. Spoilers: full plot description below!


1930 Chs 1-3 vs 1960 Chs 1-2


1930 Nancy and Helen, her buddy from the last two books, are having a nice summer afternoon boating adventure on the lake when a violent storm comes up out of nowhere. Their boat sinks before they can get back to shore and there’s an unreasonably exciting scene where Helen, who is a weak swimmer, nearly drowns Nancy by clutching at her in a panic. Unreasonable, because it’s Chapter One and you know they’re both going to survive, but it’s really pretty well written, even with the cliché of exhausted Nancy trying to tow Helen to shore and Helen pitifully telling Nancy to leave her and save herself, and Nancy grimly determined to save them both. Anyway, another girl in a boat shows up, having heard their shouts for help, and rescues them. While Helen lays in the bottom of the boat like a dead fish, Nancy takes over for the exhausted girl at the oars.


Once they get to shore, the girls shelter in a boathouse until the storm blows over, and the new girl tells them her story. Laura Pendleton is a wealthy young lady who has been recently orphaned, and she’s staying at a hotel on the lake where she will be meeting her court appointed guardian, Jacob Aborn. She’s grieving and lonely and afraid, because her guardian is a stranger to her. The girls exchange invitations to visit and part company.


The 1960 version is similar, except that instead of Helen panicking like a ninny so Nancy can look extra competent by comparison, 1960 Helen has her arms somehow paralyzed by the boat hitting her when it sank. Laura inexplicably tells them her whole story while they’re still out in the storm trying to make it to shore, and the boathouse that they shelter in has a second story that’s set up like a small apartment – this difference will be a significant plot point later. Jacob is a distant relation in this version, and is to be accompanied by his wife Marion. I can’t find any reason for this change that serves the plot, except it gives the author a chance to illustrate a “bad” woman.


Considerations: A couple of things caught my interest. In the 1930 version, the girls pull on oilskins, but in the 1960 version, they put on plastic raincoats. So I fell into an internet rabbit hole reading about the history and evolution of waterproof outwear technology. Apparently, the oilskins would have been made from cloth impregnated with a petroleum-based wax. It seems that most of the innovations in waterproofing technology occurred somewhat later than the 1960 date of the revision, but by the late 1950’s there were “plastic ‘macs’ aka (by brand name) Pakamacs (made from extruded sheet plastic with welded seams and no fabric at all).”


Another curiosity is that the 1960 girls did look unsuccessfully for life jackets before the boat sank, but this isn’t mentioned at all in the 1930 version. Another internet rabbit hole later, I can say that life preservers did not become mandatory in personal watercraft until 1973. In fact, even at the time of the 1960 rewrite, the available technology was so poor that it’s highly unlikely a lake resort motel boat would have even had a life jacket designed to hold an unconscious person’s head and face out of the water, so although it might have helped Nancy keep Helen afloat, with her useless arms, she still would have had to struggle to keep her face above water in the rough, stormy water.


Dated Plot Points: Nobody with commonsense is going to be caught out on the lake in a storm today, assuming they have a smartphone with a weather app and weather alerts. Although I suppose they could be out of a service area. Since they are only 40 miles from River Heights, though, that seems unlikely. Also, mandatory life jackets, floatation cushions, and a radio for help. We had all these things on our 16 foot ski boat, so I assume they would be available on a resort motel’s motor boat.


Cult of Domesticity: One striking difference in the revisions is the significant amount text devoted to demonstrating that Nancy, despite her intelligence and determined, inquisitive nature, is still compliant with the virtues of feminine domesticity. In the 1960 version, we are treated to a full explanation of the girls drying out their wet clothes, making a nice cup of hot chocolate, washing their dishes and tidying up, and leaving a note of thanks to the boathouse’s owners. The 1930 girls just shelter until the storm blows over and take off after.  


The 24 Tasks of the Festive Season 2018: Dia de los Muertos (Nov. 1) – Book: Re-read an old favorite from a now-deceased author, a book from a finished (dead) series, or a book set in Mexico.


Index of Posts:

ND3 Reading start

ND3 Reading finish


ND3.1 (pending)

ND3.2 (pending)

ND3.3 (pending)

ND3.4 (pending)

ND3.5 (pending)

ND3.6 (pending)

ND3.7 (pending)

ND3.8 (pending)

ND3.9 (pending)


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