Oh, what I missed.
There are the domestic details: dinner beginning with sherbet glasses filled with orange and grapefruit slices followed by spring lamb, rice and mushrooms and fresh peas with the added delight of chocolate angel cake and vanilla ice cream. Or how about "steak and French fried potatoes, fresh peas, and yummy floating island for dessert."
Visitors are known as callers and are offered tea and sandwiches.
There is no calorie counting for our Nancy.
I enjoyed the scenes where Nancy and her friend Helen dress in Colonial costumes and wigs found in trunks in the attic of the "haunted" Twin Elms. This is the manor house where the girls are staying while trying to solve the mystery of the "ghost" that has suddenly begun plaguing Helen's great-aunt Miss Flora and great-grandmother, Rosemary. The two girls dance the minuet to the accompaniment on the spinet by Rosemary. There is a bit of early American history thrown in as well. For instance, I didn't know that during the Revolutionary War spies would take jobs as servants in a well-to-do home in the hopes of gathering information for the enemy.
In this well-told tale, Nancy and her father are almost run over, ceilings crash in, trap doors are discovered, there is a kidnapping and a car chase, the police always show up within five minutes when called by Nancy, and even misguided criminals come to see their wrong-doings thanks to the young sleuth's questioning.
The Hidden Staircase, number two in the series, was quite a romp. I will surely be reading more of these iconic stories, searching out details that I would have skimmed over in my youth. I will go back and begin with number one, The Secret of the Old Clock.