Sunday, August 20, 2017

Book Review: The Bungalow Mystery by Carolyn Keene (Nancy Drew #3)

Stars: 4 out of 5
Pros: Fast paced and fun
Cons: Weak characters; obvious plot points
The Bottom Line:
Stolen bonds, orphans
Give Nancy next mystery
Fast paced page turner

The Mysterious Guardian

While I can remember certain Nancy Drew mysteries I read as a kid, I am not sure if I read The Bungalow Mystery before or not.  A couple of scenes seemed vaguely familiar to me, but the rest of the plot was completely unfamiliar, so I probably did read it but it didn’t make much of an impression on me.  If that’s the case, I’m not sure why because I enjoyed it as an adult.

The story starts on a dark and stormy afternoon when Nancy and her friend Helen get caught in a sudden storm on a lake.  They are rescued by Laura, a teen who has recently become an orphan.  She’s in the area to meet her new guardians.  However, when she does meet them, something seems off, and Nancy and Helen agree with that assessment.

Meanwhile, Nancy’s father, Carson, is helping a friend by trying to figure out how bearer bonds disappeared from a bank.  He’s in and out of town as a result, but when he is in town, he asks Nancy to help him investigate.  Will she find any clues in this case?  What is going on with Laura’s new guardians?

And once again Nancy is off on another exciting, fast paced adventure.  It is amazing just how much happens to Nancy and what she pieces together in these 180 pages.  Some of the twists are a little obvious, but I wasn’t completely sure how everything would fit together or how Nancy would prove it until the end.

We still haven’t met Nancy’s usual crew in this book.  Helen, who is older and getting married soon, is around near the beginning but isn’t really part of the action here.  A potential boyfriend character is around in the second half of the book.  I can’t remember when Bess, George, and Ned show up, but I miss them.

Not that the characters in this series are super strong.  With only 180 pages, the emphasis is on plot with characterization being fairly basic.  Still, I remember not caring as a kid, so I’m sure today’s kids won’t mind either.

There are a few dated references and expressions in the book, but I think the biggest thing that will date these books for today’s kids are the pictures.  Still, I doubt most kids will care.

It’s fun every so often to revisit friends from your childhood.  While most of the usual cast wasn’t here, I still enjoyed spending time with her in The Bungalow Mystery.

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