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.
I don't think I've ever read a Nancy Drew mystery. My boys were all into the Hardy Boys. Maybe I'll add Nancy to my TBR pile just for fun!ReplyDelete
Hi, Joyce. I have read some of the Hardy Boys mysteries and found them, especially the older ones with their rich language, to be quite entertaining. But, Nancy will always have a special place in my heart. I hope you will allow yourself to become acquainted with her. I am sure you two would be great friends.Delete
Oh, you've just got me excited about reading Nancy Drew again! I usually read at least one of them each summer. I love the series and have been collecting the old originals (not the re-writes from the 1960s). Before parents over-scheduled their children's summers, I spent my summers reading for hours, days, months on the front porch. And I was often reading Nancy Drew.ReplyDelete
Hi, Joan. My library doesn't have any of the older editions. I would like to get my hands on one just to see the differences. Wikipedia has interesting comments about the changes that were made. I will be on the lookout for copies at book sales and used book stores. Who knows. Perhaps one will appear...Delete
I think spending the summer re-reading these delightful mysteries sounds fabulous. My front porch awaits.
Oh, I love Nancy Drew! These books are so much fun. Time for a reread, as I don't really remember anything about the stories. It will be like discovering them for the first time.ReplyDelete
Hi, Kathy. I was not a very attentive reader in my younger day so the stories are brand new to me. What a delight. I can't wait to read what Nancy is having for dinner or lunch in the next tale.Delete
Oh, I love Nancy Drew. Especially the first five books in the series. Your post made me smile. (And a little hungry.) It also made me want to go back and reread these fun mysteries. Thanks!ReplyDelete
Hi, Lark. Thanks for your comments. I do think I will track down and read the first couple of books in the series. I surely want to read #7, "The Clue in the Diary" and #8, "Nancy's Mysterious Letter." I wish I could find the original editions from the 1930s. A new treasure hunt!Delete
I see that some of the 1930s' editions are being re-released. I'm pretty sure I only read the 50s' (onwards) re-writes, so I'm keen to go back and see how different they were. I think you're so right that there's a lot of social detail here to grab the adult re-reader. I remember one set in France that made me so keen to see the world as soon as I could!ReplyDelete
Hi, Vicki. I can't wait to see if there is a description of Nancy's house and bedroom. I am sure one of the volumes contains that.Delete
I didn't know that Nancy traveled to France! I will have to move that one up on my list. It must be "The Mystery of the 99 Steps". My readings were all the 1950's versions too. I think they were more 'politically correct' for the times.
I downloaded what was advertised as the 80th anniversary edition of the first Nancy Drew (Secret of the Old Clock) but it was definitely not the 30s' version as apparently those ones have a younger ND (16yo) and she's pretty wild (guns, etc.). However, I enjoyed my read so much that I have now embarked on a bit of a ND marathon. There are quite a few that I have not read - perhaps they were not all re-released in Australia around 1980 when I was first reading them. Quite a fascinating journey back in time! Yes, I think it was the 99 Steps that I remember being in France. Looking forward to getting that far!Delete
How annoying, Vicki. By my calculations, an 80th anniversary edition should have been the one published in the 1930s. A bit of fraud there, I would say!Delete