Friday, October 9, 2020

Book Review: Nancy's Mysterious Letter by Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew #8)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Strong story
Cons: Weak characters
The Bottom Line:
Nancy an heiress?
Teen sleuth looks for the real one
Fast paced and fun book

Can Nancy Drew Find Nancy Drew?

It’s funny at times picking up a book you know you read as a kid.  That was the case with Nancy’s Mysterious Letter.  I know I read this when I was much younger, but it had been so long I couldn’t remember any of it.  However, as I was reading the book, parts of the story came back to me.

An act of kindness gets Nancy into her latest case.  On a cold November day, Nancy offers Ira, her mail carrier, a cut of hot cocoa and a chance to warm up.  He leaves his mailbag outside, but when he returns, he discovers that all the letters have been stolen.

Among the stolen letters was one for Nancy.  Thanks to Ira remembering who the letter was from, she is able to find out what it was about – a law firm in London is trying to track down a Nancy Drew because she has just inherited quite a bit of money.  Obviously, Nancy is not the heiress, but she makes it her mission to find the other woman.  Can she do that and figure out what happened to the stolen letters?

I often complain about coincidence and too many unrelated plots all coming together in a Nancy Drew mystery.  I didn’t feel that was the case at all in this book.  Nancy still makes some rather wild yet correct leaps as she goes about solving the case, but it’s only something an adult would find annoying.  Instead, we get a fast paced and mostly logical story that keeps the pages turning until we reach the end.

I will say the characters are still as shallow as ever.  This never bothered me as a kid, so I’m sure today’s kids won’t mind at all.

The usual dated references are here, but they are at a minimum, so again, it would not be much of an issue.

As I’ve been rereading the first few volumes, I was waiting for the book that introduced us to Ned Nickerson, Nancy’s boyfriend.  From research on the internet, I believe that happened in the previous book, so I’ll have to get it from the library once they’ve reopened.  Anyway, I do have to comment on his big scene - a football game.  It is obvious the person who wrote this book doesn’t know the game because Ned can do just about everything on the team.  It was actually pretty laughable.

But that aside, Nancy’s Mysterious Letter is a fun outing for Nancy Drew.  It’s sure to keep young mystery lovers turning pages until they reach the end.

This review is part of this week's Friday's Forgotten Books.

1 comment:

  1. I do love a good Nancy Drew and I can definitely remember why I loved them as a kid. Yeah they're a bit formulaic and the character development is at a minimum but like you it didn't bother me when I was a kid!