Friday, November 4, 2011

Put down that book and LOL: Best Book-Related Blogs

Hi, friends. I'm just returning because I totally had to post about these blogs I've been insanely following. A couple are on my sidebar but they need the limelight! I love blogs that poke, satiric, innocent fun at books (mostly YA books), such as Sweet Valley High or Twilight.
  • Dan Bergstein is the awesomest awesome Twilight blogger that was ever awesome. Check it out. I hope you aren't planning anything 'cause you won't stop at the first post (or the fifth...or the tenth...or the fifteenth...or...)
  • Remember the Little House books? Whether you read one or all of them, this insane blog will get you laughing. Didn't think one could satirize these books, cherished by generations of children? Don't make me laugh. ;)
  • Here is a blog about old/outdated/useless books that have to be pulled from library shelves. Sound boring? Na, these librarians will make you laugh, taking on every "weeded" book from a book about the wonders of TV, circa 1965, or a kid's book about a drinking, drug-taking horse.

Monday, August 1, 2011

#38 The Mystery of the Fire Dragon

Nancy Drew is on a case--which will find her in both the USA and in Hong Kong! This is the first book I've read where she solves the case first in one country and then the other. Anyway, for fun I put the Norwegian cover up. (Image is from Series website)
The plot of this basically involves a group of strong-arms and a couple of women. Nan's aunt Eloise, who lives in NY, tells her that her neighbor's granddaughter, Chi Che Soong, is missing. Nancy to the rescue! Also, the granddaughter's possible abductors are also involved in a smuggling ring. How original.

So I'll just list some of the crazy things that happened to Nancy and friends. The plot skips around too much to really "snark" without being too long.

  • When Nancy first gets into the hallway where Eloise's apartment is located, a gigantic firework goes off. It's probably meant to scare Chi Che's grandfather, but of course, something crazy has to happen to Nancy soon.
  • Chi Che goes to Columbia U. Nancy helps George disguises George as Chi Che, to see if George, as Chi Che, can get any inside info from students. Later, George is almost kidnapped b/c she looks like Chi Che. The real Chi Che was captured. The captors think George is the (not) escaped Chi Che. Brilliant, Nancy.
  • Now Bess is missing. Yawn.
  • Mr. Drew just happens to have a case in Hong Kong; this time it is a debate over a will (so he's working international now?) and Ned is taking a college course in Hong Kong! How convenient.
  • Near Hong Kong, Nancy is waiting for a flight that will take her to inland Hong Kong. A girl who looks like Chi Che is standing outside a small plane. This girl says she really is Chi Che and that Nancy must come into the plane to talk about a message Nancy has to give to her grandfather. They can ONLY talk in the privacy of the plane! Stupid Nancy falls for this and is kidnapped.
  • Nancy uses lipstick to write 'SOS' on the airplane window. The pilot of Navy plane that sent after Nancy sees it and forces the kidnappers to land. It must be pretty bright lipstick! Incidentally, the real Chi Che was on the plane, too! Happy ending!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Want a certain 'Nancy Drew' book reviewed?

I can't decide what to review next, so I'm asking YOU to suggest any book in the original series (1-56 only) that you want reviewed! Just make a comment with the book you want reviewed. Also, check the Nancy Drew Booklist page to see if it isn't already reviewed first.

Note: "First come-first serve" basis.

Monday, June 20, 2011

#11: The Clue of the Broken Locket

Image courtesy NancyDrewSleuth

I thought I had read this, but I found the plot completely different. The one I read in youth involved baby twins illegally adopted by jerks. I must have had an original copy. Damn..I sold it when I was a teen... Anyway, this is a fairly short summary. It was kinda boring, (but still LOL-full).
Nancy helps her father on a case. This girl named Cecily Curtis is renting a cottage near "Misty Lake". She was supposed to get the key from groundskeeper Henry Winch, who was supposed to watch the cottage. But Henry Winch is scared. He wants someone else to do it. Guess who! Nancy! Nancy, Bess and George are soon at Misty Lake, but not before for lunch at a quaint restaurant. While waiting for the food, they walk over a bridge so that they can spend some time in a pretty garden until the food comes. They overhear a red-haired girl arguing with her BF, but it's not significant--yet. After lunch, Bess realizes she lost an earring. They go back to the bridge to find it; Nancy nearly kills herself trying to reach down to the bank, with George holding her feet. All for one earring. As she fishes for this all-important earring, the red-haired girl carelessly walks on to the bridge and Nancy, the girl and George, fall off the bridge! Nancy saves the girl from falling into the water. After thanking her, the mysterious girl runs away.

The trio goes back, get cleaned up and eat. Nighttime arrives, and they finally arrive at the cottage and unlock the cottage. They also see the mysterious girl again; she runs away when Nancy asks her if she is Cecily. As she leaves, the girl yells, "you can't stop me from getting the babies!". Nancy is mystified because the girl ran off. Uh, Nancy, I'd be a little startled too, if some stranger shone (shined?) a light in my face and demanded who I was without introducing herself!

The girls spend the night in the cottage, as Cecily doesn't arrive until late. Cecily's cat escapes from its carrier as Cecily arrives, but don't worry, 'Satin' is found. While looking for him, the girls hear a weird humming noise coming from a stone house. NOT A HUMMING NOISE! OMG! So suspicious! It couldn't just be some ordinary machine, right? Also, Cecily says she wasn't the girl in the garden. She says she must have a double, and isn't at all worried or curious about that.

One night, the girls see a mysterious, 'haunted' boat. It had scared Mr. Winch. Then it suddenly disappears! (b/c the lights were turned off, perchance?) Nancy also sees a mysterious signal from a round upstairs window in the stone house. At least, Nancy assumes it is a signal.

The rest of the mystery is all mushed together. Nancy tries to find out who [might] be trapped in the house. The owners, the Driscolls, pretend to be nice and let her explore the house, but Nancy can't get into the room with the round window. Cecily tells the Driscolls about the clue to her mystery (found on a paper in a broken locket, which claims a fortune will be found near 'an iron bird'). Nothing bad could come of revealing that to strangers, right Cecily? Cecily is also trying to figure out why her fiancee/BF (the dude with her at the garden) , Niko Van Dyke, a famous bandleader, is not getting royalty payments. They are about to sue the record company when Nancy finds out that some of the records are pirated!

After a lot of threats, attempts to hurt Nancy and the others, and random wandering around, the girls and Ned, Burt and Dave, who came to see Niko's concert, prove that the Driscoll's run a pirated records business
and are also keeping twins who are really the children of the other red-haired girl--Susan! And Susan was being held prisoner in the round-window room. Because the one real clue, the flashing light, convinced Nancy that this had to be the case. Nancy is never wrong! This girl owns the other half of the locket, which Nancy found. Susan and Cecily are cousins. The bad guys are caught, and Niko and Cecily can get married now, since Niko is getting the money he deserved, and of course, the fortune is found. Happily ever after! Nancy gets most of the credit. Bess and George and the boys must have been totally no help! *end sarcasm*

  • Nancy convinces a reluctant police chief to help her search in the round-window room for a prisoner. When this prisoner is not found, the chief is pretty p*ssed off. He also says that Nancy "may have overstepped her rights" because she was poking around the Driscolls' property without permission. Now Nancy is offended and p*ssed off! The rules don't apply to her, because she is trying to DO GOOD!

Saturday, June 11, 2011

#40 The Moonstone Castle Mystery, P2.

The girls DO NOT DIE, but the old man is injured. The other careless boat drivers get away! But don't worry, some canoeists come along at just the right moment and help. The police come along too, and blame Nancy and friends for the supposed theft of the boat. No argument will help--until back at the station, where Nancy innocently mentions her father. Hurrah! Carson Drew's daughter and her friends could do nothing wrong!

A girl at the party mentioned an adoptive girl named Jodine Armstrong. Nancy has a hunch. Jodine sounds SO much like Joanie! Um, whatever, They visit Mrs. Armstrong. Jodine, aka "Jody", isn't around, but they don't give up. What if "Jodine Armstrong" is an alias? Something must be done!

The girls also keep exploring the castle, but this time Ned and crew comes to act as personal bodyguards help Nancy sleuth. On one visit, Nancy disappears (of course) and the girls lament leaving her alone! But don't worry; Burt finds her in a tiny hidden room.

Well, long story short, the head of the operation, Peter Suggs, confesses that he and some other men and a woman were working to steal Joanie Hornton's estate. Oh, and Jody Armstrong is Joanie Hornton. The person who sent Nancy the moonstone for good luck is her Joanie's Aunt Elaine. Nancy met her once, via her Aunt Eloise, and thought she (Elaine) was nice. But the woman inadvertently got a really sh1tty husband and it took a long time for her to get out of the mess.

All is well, until #41, The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

#40: The Moonstone Castle Mystery, P1

Compliments to Series Books for Girls for the cover.

Once upon a time, a teenage girl named Nancy Drew got an unmarked package. Inside was a beautiful moonstone. There is a printed note that reads "from a well-wisher". Nancy goes to the post office to find out about the sender. George and Bess are, of course, with her, and they note a man in an ugly plaid suit. He is
following Nancy! Boy, doesn't Nancy ever get a day where she isn't followed? The man runs off before the girls even get a chance to report him.

Meanwhile, Mr. Drew has another case. He must find a young woman whose parents died in an accident when she was a little girl. The girl, whose name is Joanie, wasn't seen after the accident. The parents' estate is just gathering dust! The girl's grandparents were missionaries in Africa when Joanie was just over two years old. They want to find their granddaughter. Cue Nancy Drew to the rescue!

The Drews have another watchman at the house, just in case the spy comes by. Sure enough, Mr. Drew sees something in the night, and both he and the watchman chase the mysterious man, but don't catch him.

Not long after, Carson gets a call from his client, Mr. Bowen. He's gotten a threatening message: Anyone who goes to the town where Joanie was last seen to attempt to solve the mystery is in danger! He begs Nancy not to go. Nancy is all, "Oh, it would be wimpy to ignore a serious warning!" and he's all, "Ok, that's fine, just remember the warning, okay?" 0_0

Nancy, Bess and George are soon in Deep River. There's a castle in it! From the hotel, Nancy trains her binoculars on the castle. It is so friggin awesome!

Mrs. Thompson, the hotel's owner, comments that if the girls want to know more about the castle, they should go to the Brass Kettle restaurant. There's a gossipy elderly woman, Mrs. Hempstead, who hangs out there a lot. Mrs. Hempstead tells them that odd, tragic events happened around the castle. The original builder abandoned the project without adding the last turret, but someone is still paying tax on the castle.

George does some sleuthing, following a suspicious-looking man, Mr. Seamen (don't giggle!). She loses him, but soon someone realizes that someone else is following her. Meanwhile, Nancy and Bess delve a little more info related to Joanie's mysterious vanishing. Oh,yeah, Joanie's last name is Hornton.

George and Nancy swim across the moat around the castle, despite a mysterious voice warning them to go back. Once across the moat, the girls explore the castle. Nancy manages to get to the area where the drawbridge can be manipulated, and learns how to make it go up and down.

The girls tie the bridge down with some wire and rocks, and meanwhile discuss some car tracks they found near the castle. This is a sure sign that something's up--because anyone visiting the castle is suspicious. Except for them (rolls eyes). Later, Nancy reflects that maybe they've been tampering with private property (securing the drawbridge), but George scoffs it off. They need to save the world!

Later, Nancy's car is stolen, but Nancy, Bess, George and Bess's new "interest", Alan Ryder, go to a picnic and have fun, and forget about it for a while. The picnic is for Alan's grandmother's birthday, and Alan was just so taken by Bess that he invited all three girls to the picnic.

And after the picnic is a cliff-hanging boat ride. Will the girls crash and drown in the river?

Find out in PART TWO.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

#50: The Double Jinx Mystery (long)

This is one of the craziest ones...a lot of convenient coincides, ridiculous events, even a freaky clan.

The book starts out with Nancy, Bess and George discussing a mystery. Carson Drew's latest case involves Oliver Thurston, an elderly man who is being pushed and threatened to sell his home and private zoo to make room for a company that will build apartments.

Carson Drew was warned that he'll be "jinxed" if he continues with the case. A few minutes into the girls' conversation, the bell rings, yet there is no person or package to be seen.There is, however, a bird on the lawn. The girls look at it and when Hannah comes along, she tells the girls that the bird is a wryneck, a Eurasian bird, and a type of woodpecker. Having (conveniently) studied birds recently, Hannah informs them that the wryneck was often used "in the old country" to jinx people.

Nancy panics. "There might be a bomb in it!" The police come over. Teehee..."Hi, police? There's a stuffed bird on my lawn and it might be a bomb!". But there is no bomb.

The trio of girls goes to Mr. Thurston's farm. Right away they see a man trying to cut open the bird cages! Nancy and George then go after him when he runs. Bess stuffs branches into the hole in one cage and tries to keep the birds in. Nancy and George have no luck, and Rausch, an employee of Mr. Thurston, queries them about the hole. When they prove their innocence, they all go to see Mr. Thurston.

Mr. and Mrs. Thurston are quite pleasant. Mrs. Thurston is superstitious, especially after several "jinxes". There is a Eurasian girl about Nancy, George and Bess's age, boarding with the Thurstons. She is emotionally sensitive, especially when Bess accidentally insults her by asking if wrynecks are really used for jinxes in Eurasia.

Carson finds out that the wryneck was stolen, yet only certain people have a key to the glass case in a university where it resided. Then there is a bomb at the Thurston farm. It was found because Nancy noticed a large pit near the aviary. Suspicious, Nancy throws a stone into it--staying back, of course--and the bomb goes off!

Nancy searches for clues, looks for the wire-cutter dude, and tries to convince the VIPs of the council who are trying to get the Thurston farm that it isn't fair to force the Thurstons to leave.

One night, Mr. Thurston and Ned investigate the mysterious things happening near the aviary. When they seem to be delayed, Nancy goes to the aviary and finds them unconscious.

When Ned and Mr. Thurston recover, Mr. Thurston goes to check on the birds and Ned and Nancy look for clues, following footprints leading away from the aviary and past the Thurston property. Again, they find an easy clue; a new but empty chloroform bottle. It's lucky that the suspicious man just happened to lose it, right?! :)

A few days later, Nancy and a reluctant Ned go to visit the ballet. Ned is disinterested and embarrassed by being at the ballet. But Nancy is trying to get a clue; someone disguised as a "ghost" frightened Mrs. Thurston at the house, and then leaped away very gracefully, as if he\she was a skilled dancer.

There is a high-leaping performer, Boris Brovsky, at the ballet. But after talking to the ballet director and meeting Boris, Nancy doesn't suspect Boris. The director said that an excellent dancer was fired for his unprofessional and suspicious behavior. He is under the stage name Merv Marvel.

Soon after, Ned gets ill from ornithosis picked up from the birds. During one of his confused sleeps, he mutters "Slick Fingers [the main suspect] has this." Nancy thinks he's referring to the ornithosis.

Nancy finds out that a man of Slick Fingers' description had an appointment at an area doctor's office, but he never appeared.

The girls continue to convince (hassle?) the councilmen not to force out Mr. Thurston. Nancy continues to sleuth vigorously. One day Nancy and Ned try to find the head of the company who wants to force the Thurstons out. They are directed to a construction site. While Ned and Nancy wait for the councilman to arrive, they walk along the river and stop near a dam. As they are looking at it, they are pushed into the river! They go down the dam! They save themselves!

All of the sleuthing leads back to the Thurston farm. Someone was trying to poison the birds, but Mr. Thurston saw the man in time to scare him away. Nancy and Ned follow the footprint trail...and find two envelopes, one filled with cash and the other with a "jinx" symbol and an expensive ring! Oh, come now! The way these clues pop up is so dang...stupid.

Merv Marvel eventually captures Nancy while she sleuths at the Thurston property. He warns her not to do anymore sleuthing, and then forces her to dance with him toward "headquarters". Nancy tries to gather more clues by asking cunning questions until they end up at a queer old barn, home of a strange commune.

Everyone is wearing weird costumes, and Merv brings Nancy to the "grand master" so she can be 'baptized' as a witch. The grand master is a con man. But in the nick of time, Ned, Bess, George and a police group arrive. The con dude is arrested.

And soon after, the head of the construction company and several other executives are arrested for fraud and trying to force people out by way of illegitimate behavior.

Again Nancy is a hero; Mrs. Thurston is overcome with gratitude. Nancy has rescued another helpless, elderly woman. :p

~Funny Tidbits!~

  • Boris wants Nancy to try dancing with him. Of course, Nancy is an amazing dancer and the ballet director and Boris praise her to the sky. However, Ned is a wee bit jealous seeing Nancy dance with Boris. :)
  • Nancy is taking nine little kids to Thurston's zoo, along with Bess and George (she wants to convince people that if the Thurston zoo goes, the kids will be sad. Or something like that.). She puts most of them in the back seat. The kids on the seats hold the other kids on their laps. Yeah, real safe. A police officer stops and is going to ticket Nancy because the car is overcrowded. Nancy innocently claims she didn't know the rule...and besides, they aren't going far. The officer relents. "Evidently you're doing a good deed...and you're not far from the Thurston's...But from now on, no more than six people in a car!" (Not twelve!)
  • Also: "Bess and George gasped at the idea that he evidently was accusing Nancy of breaking the law" (see above). No, NOT NANCY! The officer should arrest himself for even thinking about it!