The Quest of the Missing Map – It wasn’t stolen.

Nancy Drew Mystery Series book #19 and book #6 for Collin’s London edition.

I’ve changed some things. Instead of recaping a whole book in one post, I’ll do each section that I read. It’ll be great if you read along with me. It’ll be like a book club.

Chapter 1-3

Nancy Drew came home from art class [When did she become so interested in art?] and overheard Hannah talking to a dark haired girl about a mystery. The girl’s name was Ellen. Ellen  had been offered a job as a piano teacher to Trixie Chatham; daughter of the owner’s at Rocky Edge estate. She didn’t know whether she should take it since the daughter is known to be unruly.

They paid a visit to Rocky Edge. Trixie had had many piano teachers and I guess she hated them all. After listening to Nancy recite some limericks, it didn’t take long for Trixie to like her. Kids just love limericks don’t they?

Nancy approached The Ship Cottage (a music studio inside) in the estate but Trixie claimed it to be haunted and ran away. Nancy went in anyway and tried to play the piano but there was no sound. How could this be? It was called the Ship Cottage because there were several model ships displayed. Suddenly a wall panel behind her slid open and a man stared at her and said, “Leave here at once and never come back!” She accidentally pressed on the piano keys and this time, there was sound! How strange!

Carson Drew said the previous owner was an inventer with unsuccessful gadgets and had passed away. He advised Ellen to wait before accepting the job.

Ellen invited Nancy, George and Bess to her home to talk about her mystery. Tomlin Smith (Ellen’s father) spoke to the girls about his story. His mother died at a young age so he and his fraternal twin brother travelled the seas with their father. The family name was Tomlin. Just as one of the ships was about to sink in a hurricane, T. S.’s father told the twins that their grandfather had hidden a treasure on an uncharted island in the Atlantic. He’d been searching it but failed. Instead of handing the map to them, he tore it in half and gave each piece to each twin. The twins sailed in different direction and Tomlin Smith never saw his brother again. His father must have died with the ship. He was then adopted by the Smith family, hence his name. Without the other half of the map, they could not find the treature. T. S. kept the map in hoping to reunite with his brother and look for the treasure together, unfortunately with no success thus far.

Mr. Rorke wanted to buy the map so Nancy decided to follow his car.

Remember, I have not read beyond this. I’m guessing that the strange man in the Ship Cottage is the twin brother. I mean the cottage is filled with ship models, so that makes sense doesn’t it? There’s something about the gadgets that need to be tied into this story too. Did the inventor really pass away?

Whispering Statue, #14

What a wonderful looking cover. Nancy has never looked so beautiful, and the title, Whispering Statue, sounds so interesting. This is the equation that I usually hold for books:

Pretty Front Cover + Mysterious Title = An Interesting Book

Unfortunately my equation is incorrect because this was terrible! I finished this more than a week ago and I wasn’t very eager to talk about this chapter book because I hated it! I’ve only read two classic Nancy Drew books before this (as you can tell) and I thought they were great. So I thought, maybe all the original classics are great. I was wrong.

Before I begin talking about this book, I would like to say, Bess and George will be referred to as Chums. Just Chums. Not Nancy’s chum. Just Chums. This is because the ghost writer used it so many times (never used friends, companions, etc) that’s all I know.

Nancy and chums head to Harrison Park, to attend the formal opening exercises. They are only there for a second before a bull-terrier follows them. The dog doesn’t have a collar but doesn’t look stray. Of course he is only attracted to Nancy because she’s the greatest person in River Heights and follows her wherever she goes. They find two old ladies (one is going to make a speech) talking to each other. They leave and Mrs. Owen (the one to make the important speech) forgets her handbag! Nancy must return it to her but Togo takes it, they chase him, he goes into the lake and drops the bag. Mrs. Owen must have her handbag because that’s where her speech is placed. There’s a lot of commotion about retrieving the bag. Ned Nickerson comes by and helps to tell people to move away from the lake. Guess what, they’re not together. He is just referred to as “true friend”. British Editions boggle my mind. Mrs. Owen finally gets her bag but the notes are wet and smudgy. Nancy notices she has a personal advertisement from the newspaper in her bag that says, “Rexy, come home. All is forgiven, Alice.” As she helps Mrs. Owen with her speech she wonders why she has the advertisement. I honestly didn’t really care. When Mrs. Owen finally gives her speech, Nancy stands close by and whispers her speech if she ever forgets. She knows Mrs. Owen speech better than Mrs. Owen!

Lots of thanks occur. Mrs. Owen tells her that she look strikingly like a marble statue called ‘The Whispering Girl’ in Sea Cliff. That’s exactly where they are heading! Nancy and chums are going with Carson Drew because Carson has business to transact. Togo will not leave them alone and even hops onto the train they take to Sea Cliff. On the train Togo fools around and reveals to Nancy that a lady, Miss Morse, has lots of money in her cape. Mr. Mitza notices it too and becomes friendly with her. Nancy tries to warn Miss Morse about him but she doesn’t listen.

At their hotel, they find Miss Morse’s luggage. “Well of all things!” exclaimed Bess. They find out that nobody knows a wealthy person called Miss Morse in Sea Cliff.

Carson Drew’s client is Charles Owen. He entered into partnership with Frank Wormrath. They didn’t get along. One night the firm’s warehouse was broken into and valueble stock were stolen. No one knew who did it but Wormrath broke up the partnership. The firm did not make much money but Wormrath had lots of money to start a new company. Mr. Drew is trying to prove Wormrath did it. Wormrath is dangerous and will do anything to destroy any evidence. Nancy thinks that Charles Owen and Mrs. Owen are related. Mr. Drew doubts it because it’s a common name. I betted they are related. Mr. Drew tells Mr. Owen to come over because his life is in danger.

While trying to return Miss Morse’s luggage (wrong Miss Morse), Nancy and chums hear Mitza talks to someone about tricking Miss Morse into giving five thousand dollars. Nancy finds a letter that has Miss Morses’s address on it.

Nancy and chums take a break by going to the beach. The waves are too dangerous but they manage to save a young guy called Jack Kingdon from drowning. He takes them to the Whispering Statue. There’s actually three of them. The mansion and its surroundings looks awful because no one has lived there in years. It’s by the water so the waves sweep over the house. It’s about to collapse.

Next Nancy, Jack and chums rescue a pilot and his passenger from a crashing plane. I thought it was Mr. Owen. I was right. The pilot has been drugged and they believe Wormrath did this. Mr. Owen is in really bad condition but Nancy tells him about Mrs. Owen because Mr. Owen had a wife called Alice who he thinks is dead. Turns out Mr. Owen’s nickname is Rexy! They’re husband and wife.

A man named Mr. Albin pretty much went up to them and told them the mansion belonged to his best friend Mr. Conger. He had a daughter, Bernice who eloped with a troubled person and was never seen since. Mr. Conger was going to die and Mr. Albin couldn’t stand to see him so sad that his daughter doesn’t love him, so he wrote letters to Mr. Conger pretending to be Bernice. Mr. Conger left the estate to her but Mr. Albin doesn’t even know if she’s alive or whether she’ll ever come back.

Ending : Miss Morse is not Miss Morse. Her real name is Bernice Conger. She reveals she isn’t afraid of Mitza because she’s his mother and Frank Wormrath is her husband. She gave Mitza up for adoption because she doesn’t want her son to live a life with criminals.

“It’s too bad Nancy can’t think of another mystery to solve,” says Bess. What mystery? Nancy didn’t have a mystery to solve. Everything that opened up in her eyes. Nancy didn’t have to do anything except meddle into people’s business. What mystery did she solve?

This book has put me off Nancy Drew. Thankfully it’s been over a week so maybe I’m ready to read another one.

The thing that made this book so bad was when Nancy had a white cloak around her. She saw Mitza. She had no place to hide. There was only one statue left so she stood on one of the platforms and pretended to be a marble statue! Then it started to rain and she thought that if her cloak gets wet Mitza would find out she wasn’t a statue! Gosh…

The Secret of Shadow Ranch

A phantom horse disappears into thing air! How can this be?

Book number #5, but in the Britain Edition it’s book number one.

By this book Nancy and Ned are already a couple. When did this happen? She’s knitting him a sweater. How sweet. Nancy can do everything. Nancy meets up with Bess and George to hed to Shadow Ranch, which is owned by Bess and George’s aunt and uncle, Edward and Elizabeth Rawley. There has been bad news because someone is trying to sabotage the shadow ranch. Some creepy guy sitting at a nearby table in a sandwich shop seems to be eavesdropping on them. Very creepy man. That very same man dropped a note into their estate guy. “Keep away from Shadow Ranch.”  Ooooh. Has the mystery been solved before it even begun. Who is this man?

The girls drive in the desert. Alice Regor, their (Bess and George) nineteen year old cousin, has lost her father. Literally. He’s been missing for almost six months. The girls end up stranded in the desert. Not too worry. Dave comes driving by to take them to Shadow Ranch.

The people come, meet and greet Nancy Drew. They have a German Shepherd dog who barks rowdily at strangers. Nancy stood her ground and the dog (Apache Chief) sniffed her hand and calmed down. That was easy. The Rawleys like the way she handled the situation and love her already. Everybody loves Nancy. Except Dave the savior. He has attitude towards her. If you hate Nancy, you must become a suspect! During the night, Nancy hears footsteps. She goes to check it out but she gets seized!

Mrs Thurmond, the cook, was the one holding her. Mrs Thurmond thought Nancy was the crook. Nancy went to get a drink but no water came out. That’s because someone sabotaged the electric generator and pump! Nancy concluded that the sabotage must be someone that works on the ranch because Chief didn’t bark. On the wooden floor were damp daubs of red earth. Dave and Shorty both had red mud on their boots! Dave said he was up early because he heard a noise and went to check it out.

Nancy and George head to the shops nearby and Nancy saves the Native American girl’s shop from robbery. She gives her a watch not for sale. It was given to Frances Humber from her outlaw sweetheart. When she walks out a man in black watches her mysteriously. Nancy returned back to the ranch. Lights come on for a second in the spring-house and then . . . the phantom horse, all filmy and white in the dark. Chief runs after it and takes a bite but disappears along with the horse.

Exhale. There is soo much to explain. Anyone someone looked through Nancy’s watch (which has a secret message on the back of each photo stored inside the watch) while the phantom horse was running. I forgot to say that Nancy bought a pastel picture from the store and Alice saw it and claims that her father drew it. That means he’s nearby. They search for Chief the next afternoon and encounter a rockslide! Nancy thinks she saw the man in all black do it. On their way they find a cabin and a pastel on the ground. Alice’s father is kidnapped close by! Out of nowhere the dog runs to them. How unusual.

Okay, this is way tooooo long for me to recap. I will say that I enjoyed this very much as there’s lot links back to historical romance between Frances and Valentine. Nancy finds out how the phantom horse is created and finds out where the treasure is! A great read but really hard to get into.