Tuesday, March 16, 2010

#29: Mystery at the Ski Jump


Drama happens right away. Nancy is walking in her neighborhood on a snowy day, when a car suddenly crashes into a nearby house. The driver, Mrs. Channing (to be called Mrs. C forthwith), is brought into the house for safety. The resident, Mrs. Martin (not related to Bess) and Nancy attend to Mrs. C.

When Nancy gets home, Hannah Gruen shows her a mink stole and says she bought stocks in, Forest Fur Co., the company that made the stole. Hannah bought it from Mrs. C! Nancy's Mystery Sense is tingling!

The same day, Mrs. Martin consults with Mr. Drew and Nancy; Mrs. C. snuck out without paying for the damage to the house. Mrs. Martin, who also bought a fur and company stock from Forest Fur, thinks the company should pay, since Mrs. C is involved with it.

Mr. Drew and Nancy were to going to go to Montreal together so she could help Mr. Drew on one of his cases, but she decides to stay behind for a few days to work on the fur mystery. The next sighting of Mrs. C is her car. Nancy, Bess and George start a chase, but a few minutes later, Nancy is pulled over! Nancy explains that she was chasing a possible criminal, but the excuse doesn't fly. To top it off, Nancy's license is gone! George immediately speaks up. "Officer, this is Nancy Drew!" The officer merely replies "then there are two reasons for taking you [Nancy] to headquarters." OMG. Burn!

Of course, Chief McGinnis is lenient with Nancy, his reason being that he knows Nancy has a license, and she's been soo frickin' helpful to the police.

While Nancy waits for her new license to arrive, Bess drives her to visit Mrs. Packer, an elderly woman Nancy suspects was duped by Mrs. C. Mrs. Packer also asks Nancy to find a pair of earrings that disappeared around the time Mrs. C visited.

The Girl Gang tries to trace Mrs. C through various towns. In Masonville, two plainclothes men nab Nancy, and accuse her of stealing from a fur shop. While Nancy's at headquarters, Bess finds Judge Hart, a friend of the Drews and a prominent figure in the area. He saves Nancy by suggesting they visit the fur store owner, who right away affirms that the thief isn't Nancy. Well, THAT was easy.

Nancy discovers that the fur one woman bought was stolen. When she goes to investigate at its parent store and gives her name as she explains her mission, she is stuffed in a closet by the proprietors. They were told that 'Nancy Drew' was coming to steal more furs. George and Bess save her. Mrs. C was the one who "tipped" the couple off.

Detective work continues, and Nancy visits her Aunt Eloise in NYC so she can also look for clues. [Side-note: there is also a Mr. Channing]. Nancy's work eventually leads her to a seedy motel, where Mrs. C. could be residing. She only meets swanky, flirty movie star, "Bunny Reynolds" (gag). 'Mr. Sidney Boyd' sold diamond earrings and worthless stock in Forest Fur to her! And she thought she was special because she had to flirt to get Mr. Boyd to sell the stock. When she opens the earring box to show Nancy, they find that it is empty. Mr. Boyd must have stolen them after selling them. By the description they are Mrs. Packer's earrings! But Bunny will get help from the police. She has a "special friend" on the force! ;)

Nancy and Eloise see Mrs. C in a TV movie about ice skating. The actress' name is Mitzi Adele. Nancy goes home to think. Bess and George are waiting, along with a cornball, white-haired woodsman, John Horn, who dislikes cars and throws out phrases like "all we chinned about was mink" (that is, talked about while buying stock from Mrs. C).

Nancy goes to Montreal to look through random mink farms that just might be connected with Forest Fur. She also helps her dad's client, sexy, blonde ski instructor Chuck Wilson. Chuck gives Nancy some complimentary lessons. Before she even puts on a ski, Nancy finds clues that the Channings could be at the lodge.

Chuck invites her to a skating show. He's a skier AND a skater! Both Nancy and Carson go, for they believe Mrs. C., might turn up, as she skated in the movies.While they wait for the show to start, it is announced that 'Nancy Drew' will be in the show along with an anonymous partner! Nancy goes to "her" dressing room to investigate this suspicious announcement (pretending she is the actual Nancy to get by).

Chuck and Nancy decide to save the show by going into the slot together. Nancy is immediately perfect at skating at the last minute!

Nancy takes a call meant for "Fake Nancy" at the hotel, and she discovers that a Mrs. Bellhouse is about to be duped. Nancy finds Mrs. Bellhouse at a retirement home. Nancy and the girls find out from Mrs. B that she's going to give thousands to buy stock from her cousin, Sidney Boyd. The girls leave to spy on the procedure. They get the police to arrest Mr. Boyd.

Nancy and the gang--including Ned, Burt and Dave--decide to take a break at Aunt Eloise's Adirondacks home to follow a clue that Aunt Eloise herself provided. There is a ski jump near the cabin. Conveniently, Chuck Wilson is there (causing a little tension with Ned), as a ski instructor.

Ned and Nancy visit a mink farm which, predictably, has had furs stolen. On their investigation, they get lost and are rescued by John Horn.

As Nancy looks out the window one night, she sees a weird light at the ski jump and goes to investigate. Alone. She is overtaken by rough men, bound, locked into a cabin in the woods, and left to die. When she is missed, the police, the gang and John Horn strike out to find her. John Horn knows all about the cabin; not many people do, it is secluded, and a perfect place to hid captives! Genius, John. They find Nancy, exhausted from cold, but of course she's up and at it in what seems like minutes.

Nancy's kidnappers are arrested. Nancy's reward is a diamond pin from Mrs. Packer, and from Chuck, enough fur to make a stole. (Chuck won his case, a lost inheritance). Maybe Nancy will wear the earrings while solving The Clue of the Velvet Mask.

  • "I told her how many cases you had solved yourself...like The Clue of the Black Keys and The Secret of the Wooden Lady." Mrs. Martin told Mrs. C while talking about Nancy's "cases". So the mysteries actually have their own names in Nancy's world? *giggle*.
  • When Nancy is falsely arrested for stealing furs from a shop, this is the dialog at the police station: "Any relation to the lawyer in River Heights?" [the sergeant] asked. "He's my father!" said Nancy. "Good grief! You never know where these juvenile delinquents will come from." YAY! Someone who doesn't just dismiss Nancy because of her perfect father.
  • Nancy is learning to ski-jump when she must jump over a careless skier. She crashes and is knocked out for a few minutes. The only time Nancy couldn't do something, it wasn't her fault (and Chuck even assures her of that).
I wanted to have this up the week after the last week of the Winter Olympics, to celebrate a great time, but library requests get wacky long to be processed sometimes. This is one of the best Perfect Nancy books. And that cover (from Series Books for Girls)? It looks like Nancy is shaking her fits angrily at the ski jump, and an arthritic hand is superimposed over her.

There won't be any posts for about a month. Our library is moving into a new building and there's been a lot of trouble. Someone's been taking from the funds that are supposed to be for new books, and the final finishes on the new building aren't as quality as they should be. Could they be connected?...I kid, I kid. But, just so y'all know, it'll be a while.