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.

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