Overall review for both the 1930 original story and the 1960 revision, after reading and comparing both.
The third book in the series was perhaps the most exciting so far, with Nancy almost continually in peril and getting herself out of one scrape after another. As usual, the mystery depends heavily on coincidence and inconsistencies that don’t stand up to much scrutiny, but it gives Nancy plenty of opportunity to show off (modestly, of course) her smarts, her skills, and her courage.
There is a significant difference in storytelling style and characterization between the versions.
The 1930 plot and characters are kept simple and few. We are more often inside Nancy’s head as she’s working out the clues and coming to conclusions. There is a buildup of suspense, violence both actual and implied, and Nancy is far more impulsive and emotional – she gets spooked, is at times frightened, but bravely recovers and thinks things through. The 1960 version introduces many more characters, romance elements, and a far more complicated plot, but we don’t get to solve the mystery inside Nancy’s head. We are on the outside and she just tells us her conclusions along with the other characters. This Nancy is also brave, but she is almost always deliberate, cool, and collected; justifying her actions as staying within the letter of the law and as morally just.
Original 1930 text: ★★★★★
Revised 1960 text: ★★☆☆☆
Averages out to a probably over-generous ★★★★☆
Index of Posts:
ND3 Reading start
ND3 Reading finish
ND3.1 1930 Chs 1-3 vs 1960 Chs 1-2
ND3.2 1930 Chs 4-6 vs 1960 Ch 3
ND3.3 1930 Chs 7-9 vs 1960 Chs 4&8
ND3.4 1930 Chs 9-11 vs 1960 Ch 5-7; 9-10
ND3.5 Chs 12-14 vs 1960 Ch 11-12
ND3.6 1930 Chs 14-17 vs 1960 Ch 13-14
ND3.7 1930 Chs 18-21 vs 1960 Ch 15-17
ND3.8 1930 Chs 22-25 vs 1960 Ch 18-20
ND3.9 Artwork comparison
ND3.10 Overall review