(Cover from Series Books for Girls)
Nancy Drew is randomly flying in a helicopter above her house (it seems this happens a lot), and a burglar is climbing into the third story! (Since when do the Drews have a third story? Unless they mean the attic?)...
So Nancy has the pilot radio the tower, which then alerts her dad. A briefcase containing papers on one of Mr. Drew's new cases was taken from their house! Gaugh. If I lived next to the Drews, I'd move!!! They must get robbed every freaking week!
So the newest case is about a Hawaiian/Japanese man, Mr. Sakamaki. He's just inherited a beautiful estate in Hawaii, but two claimants have shown up. Suspicious, my dear Watson! Sakamaki also notices a mysterious 'ghost' who dances in--yes--a golden pavilion on the property. He wants Nancy to help solve the mystery, and says she can go to Hawaii with friends (and they're fresh from solving The Haunted Showboat!). Nan is worried about the expense, and 'Mr. Saka' says he'll finance it. Mr. Drew says he'll agree to that on one condition--Mr. Saka's generous offer will be his lawyer fee. Come on. I'm sure Carson would rather have his daughter go off traipsing in Hawaii, than to have money to invest or spend or whatevs.*insert sarcasm*
Nan and the gang stay at the home of Mr. Saka's friends, the Armstrongs. They do the typical Hawaiian things, surfing, swimming, wearing leis, eating tropical fruit, and watching and eating pig roasted on a spit :p . Nancy learns to hula, and is almost instantly perfect at it, of course. Yawn.
The ghost appears, there is a chase, blah, blah, blah. Meanwhile, Nancy and the gang are being chased by the sneaky members of the 'Double Scorps', a frightening gang. One of its members even knocked out Mr. Drew in his office!!
They visit craters, volcanos, etc. George nearly falls off a cliff and takes Nan with her, but the boys save them.
Well, after a series of random, disconcerting adventures involving the Double Scorps, they're arrested. Turns out the ghost was just a dancer who knew a secret entrance beneath the pavilion and went back and forth among the estate. Duh. And there was supposed to be an treasure on the estate! Surprise. Not. The Double Scorps somehow found out about it, made up an elaborate plan, and somehow they found out Mr. Saka had hired Carson....and then they found Nancy was on the case too, and so on.
Really, how do these people randomly find out about opportunities to swindle?
- This book was originally published 1959, when Hawaii was made a state. It was republished 1985, but NOT rewritten. Hannah Gruen frets about volcanoes exploding all the time, and how primitive Hawaii will be, and Nancy says "Hannah...it's time you learned about our new state of Hawaii" :p
- Despite the emphasis in the above quote that Hawaii is just part of America now, it is constantly written like some freaky foreign country...