Sunday, December 15, 2013

White Water Terror

I give you, the cover. Yeah, pretty awful. Nancy looks extremely ugly, what with the black eyes and everything, and Max...well, personally I don't think he's very good looking. Maybe that's just me though. Yeah, this is one of the worst covers. Thankfully they're not all like this, but some come pretty close.

The case: When George wins a rafting trip on a wild Montana river, Nancy and Ned agree it's time for a vacation. Bess is persuaded to go because there will be boys in the group. But a sinister telephone warning and two near-fatal "accidents" soon put the vacation on ice and Nancy and her friends on guard.
Then when one raft capsizes and another is sliced to ribbons, it's obvious someone is sabotaging the trip. Everyone is a suspect - until one of the rafters is killed and another disappears. It's clear that Nancy and her friends are being stalked by a ruthless murderer. But why? If Nancy doesn't find some answers soon, she can kiss her vacation - and her life - goodbye.

The Suspects: Max, a master rafter with a troubled past. He seems interested in Bess, but is it just a ploy?

Tod, an immature loudmouth who plays with dangerous toys, like firecrackers - and switchblades.

Mercedes, Paula's cousin. She's watching Nancy's every move - and rifling through Nancy's backpack.

Complications: Both rafts are lost - one swept away, one sabotaged. Then Max and Paula disappear. Nancy has to get the group out of the wilderness alive. But that isn't easy when a maniac starts to stalk them - and the main target is Nancy Drew!

Contact: Paula Hancock, the leader of the rafting expedition. Nancy has never seen her before. So why does Paula seem so familiar?

My review: Despite the cover, this is actually a very good book. Suspenseful and intriguing, and the culprit was difficult to guess. I'll give it five stars.

Murder on Ice

Well, the cover is better than most. Nancy looks more like fifteen or sixteen, though, and I have no clue who that guy in the very back is. It can't be Ned, he's a lot younger than that. I don't know.

The case: A weekend on the slopes is just what Nancy and Ned need to rekindle their romance. Joined by Bess and George, they head for the mountains - and run straight into deadly peril. First, Nancy's towline breaks, then she and Ned careen toward cliff's edge in an out-of-control Jeep! Among the suspects is a good-looking ski instructor who's already got George falling for him. Nancy's got to move fast - before an avalanche of murder buries them all!

  The Suspects: Luke Ericsen - the handsome ski instructor has a mysterious - and maybe murderous - past.

Michael Price - the handsome, helpful stranger saved Nancy's life, but she's sure he has a dark motive.

Gunther - the cheerful German student is enjoying an American vacation. He came to the lodge for fun - or could he be there for revenge?

Complications: George has fallen hard for Luke Ericsen. How can Nancy tell her that Luke might be a killer? Then a blizzard cuts the lodge off from the rest of the world, and Nancy, Bess, Ned, and George find their lives on the line!

Contact: Liz Whitcomb, the owner of the lodge. She wants Nancy's help - but does she have something to hide too?

Pretty good. It's another one of my favorites, though there are a few things about it that bother me. For instance, Nancy goes behind Luke's back and uses the towline even after he's told her not to. It's not his fault she almost got into a serious accident.

''There's a rickety old tow rope I use when I'm checking the chair lift," Luke said, "but it's a very steep trail and I'm not letting anyone but an expert mess around on it."
"What makes you think I'm not an expert?" Nancy said hotly, but Luke just turned away without answering.
Wouldn't it have been great if Luke just snickered and said, "Everything about you."? Yeah, that would have been better.

'Nancy was always modest, even though her detective work had earned her an international reputation.' There's something about that line that bothered me, though I'm not exactly sure why.

Over all, though, this book was very good. Exciting and hard to put down. I'll give it 5 stars.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Death By Design

Okay, not a great cover. Definitely not great. Nancy looks a lot older than eighteen and there's something really wrong with her face and hair. Plus Bess (if that's her in the background) doesn't look great.

The Case: Pretty young designer Kim Daley has been receiving death threats, and she's called Nancy to Chicago to investigate. At first it seems like a simple case, but then the competition suddenly gets murderous. Kim's pet dog is poisoned - and so is Nancy!

Nancy has seventy-two hours to find the killer and find a life saving antidote, or she'll be DOA - Dead On Arrival!

The Suspects: Morgan Daley - Kim's younger sister has every reason to hate her arrogant sibling.

Paul Lavalle - the handsome fashion photographer is still in love with Kim, but she keeps brushing him off.

Lina Roccocini - Kim's archrival is jealous of her success and wants Paul for herself.

Contact: Teen fashion designer Kim Daley calls Nancy to help her find the would-be killer sending her death threats.

Complications: Nancy's been poisoned and has only seventy-two hours to find the killer - and a life saving antidote!

My Review: Excellent book. This is one of my favorites. The plot was excellent, and plus in this book Nancy didn't get to be Miss Super Woman like she does in most of the others. She seems more human. Anyway, yes, this book is definitely worth reading. It's great.

Secrets Can Kill

The cover: definitely not the best. Daryl just looks plain arrogant with his arms crossed like that. And what happened to Nancy's hair? She's described as a strawberry blond and yet I just see blond. ???
 I guess they both either don't see the car exploding in the background or they just don't care.

The case:
Nancy goes undercover as a transfer student at Bedford High in River Heights to catch an elusive thief stalking the halls. When she meets her new contact, handsome Daryl Gray, Nancy is sure this case could turn out to be loads of fun.
She doesn't know how wrong she is.
Her Mustang explodes in a ball of flames when she takes Daryl for a ride, and her suspect list is long. She thinks she knows who the culprit is, though - until he winds up dead.
Suddenly the case is spinning out of control. Murder is deadly serious - much more serious than the theft of a few school books. If Nancy doesn't find the killer soon she'll be next on his list.

Jake Webb - the creep seems to have something over half the kids at school, and Nancy takes an instant dislike to him.

Walt Hogan - the touch football captain is acting strangely paranoid and Nancy is sure he's hiding something.

Hal Morgan - Nancy catches the clever student cheating. What else has he been hiding?

Carla Dalton - the girl hates Nancy on sight. Could it just be jealousy, or is it something else?

Contact: handsome senior with blond hair and blue eyes. He seems attracted to Nancy as soon as he meets her.

Complications: Nancy realizes that there's much more going on at the school than she thought. Murder, theft and arson stalks the halls, and if she's not careful she could end up at the hospital....permanently.

My Review: This was a good book except for the ending. I won't tell you who the culprit is except that it's not anyone mentioned in the book. That is SO cheating. You should be able to guess the culprit. But aside from that the book was a real hit. It's worth reading.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Nancy Drew books

There are several different series of Nancy Drew.
The Nancy Drew Files is a spin-off series of the original Nancy Drew books. They focus more on romance and danger, with many more murders and kidnappings than the original series. The Files received a lot more criticism than the older books because of the romance. In nearly all the covers there is a handsome man in the background, and some covers (such as Hit and Run Holiday) Nancy is wearing a revealing outfit. Her and Ned's relationship takes a lot of stress in the Files - in Smile and Say Murder they fight and Ned flirts with another girl - often due to Nancy's cases. In Secrets Can Kill (the first book in the series) Nancy cheats on Ned with Daryl Gray, her contact for the case.
The Nancy Drew Files are, as I mentioned before, more violent than the older versions. In many of the books there is attempted murder, arson and kidnapping attempts. The Files are aimed for girls 12 and up.
One of the things I really like about the Nancy Drew Files is that at the front most of them have the list of suspects, the person who contacted Nancy for the case, the complications for the case, and the assignment.
Secrets Can Kill (above) - the first in the Nancy Drew Files. The guy on the left is Daryl Gray, Nancy's handsome contact.
The list of Nancy Drew Files:
1: Secrets Can Kill                     32:High Marks for Malice        64:The Wrong Track
2: Deadly Intent                          33:Danger In Disguise             65:Final Notes
3: Murder on Ice                         34:Vanishing Act                     66:Tall, Dark and Deadly
4: Smile and Say Murder            35:Bad Medicine                     67:Nobody's Business
5: Hit and Run Holiday               36:Over the Edge                    68:Crosscurrents
6: White Water Terror                37:Last Dance                          69:Running Scared
7: Deadly Doubles                      38:The Final Scene                   70:Cutting Edge
8: Two Points to Murder             39:The Suspect Next Door       71:Hot Tracks
9: False Moves                            40:Shadow of a Doubt              72:Swiss Secrets
10:Buried Secrets                        41:Something to Hide               73:Rendezvous in Rome
11:Heart of Danger                      42:The Wrong Chemistry         74:Greek Odyssey
12:Fatal Ransom                          43: False Impressions               75:A Talent for Murder
13:Wings of Fear                         44:Scent of Danger                   76:The Perfect Plot
14:This Side of Evil                     45:Out of Bounds                     77:Danger on Parade
15:Trial By Fire                            46:Win, Place or Die               78:Update on Crime
16:Never Say Die                         47:Flirting with Danger           79:No Laughing Matter
17:Stay Tuned for Danger            48:A Date with Deception       80:Power of Suggestion
18:Circle of Evil                           49:Portrait in Crime                 81:Making Waves
19:Sisters in Crime                       50:Deep Secrets                       82:Dangerous Relations
20:Very Deadly Yours                  51:A Model Crime                  83:Diamond Deceit
21:Recipe for Murder                   52:Danger for Hire                  84:Choosing Sides
22:Fatal Attraction                        53:Trail of Lies                       85:Sea of Suspicion
23:Sinister Paradise                      54:Cold as Ice                         86:Let's Talk Terror
24:Till Death Do Us Part              55: Don't Look Twice            87:Moving Target
25:Rich and Dangerous                56:Make No Mistake              88:False Pretenses
26:Playing with Fire                     57:Into Thin Air                     89:Designs in Crime
27: Most Likely to Die                 58:Hot Pursuit                        90:Stage Fright
28:The Black Widow                   59:High Risk                          91:If Looks Could Kill
29:Pure Poison                             60:Poison Pen                        92:My Deadly Valentine
30:Death By Design                     61:Sweet Revenge                 93:Hotline to Danger
31:Trouble in Tahiti                     62:Easy Marks                       94:Illusions of Evil
                                                      63:Mixed Signals                  95:An Instinct for Trouble
                                                                                                    96:The Runaway Bride
                                                                                                    97:Squeeze Play
                                                                                                    98:Island of Secrets
                                                                                                    99:The Cheating Heart
                                                                                                    100:Dance Till You Die
                                                                                                    101:The Picture of Guilt
                                                                                                    102:Counterfeit Christmas
                                                                                                    103:Heart of Ice
                                                                                                    104:Kiss and Tell
                                                                                                    105:Stolen Affections
                                                                                                    106:Flying Too High
                                                                                                    107:Anything For Love
                                                                                                    108:Captive Heart
                                                                                                    109:Love Notes
                                                                                                    110:Hidden Meanings
                                                                                                    111:The Stolen Kiss
                                                                                                    112:For Love or Money
                                                                                                    113:Wicked Ways
                                                                                                    114:Rehearsing for Romance
                                                                                                    115:Running Into Trouble
                                                                                                    116:Under His Spell
                                                                                                    117:Skipping a Beat
                                                                                                    118:Betrayed By Love
                                                                                                    119:Against the Rules
                                                                                                    120:Dangerous Loves
                                                                                                    121:Natural Enemies
                                                                                                    122:Strange Memories
                                                                                                    123:Wicked For the Weekend
                                                                                                    124:Crime at the Chat Cafe

The books I like the most in the Files are: Death By Design, The Cheating Heart, Murder on Ice, White Water Terror, Smile and Say Murder, Let's Talk Terror, Cutting Edge, Hit and Run Holiday, Sisters in Crime, Most Likely to Die, The Black Widow, Recipe for Murder, Circle of Evil, Scent of Evil, Stay Tuned for Danger, Very Deadly Yours, Fatal Attraction, Flirting With Danger, The Wrong Chemistry, Deep Secrets, A Model Crime, Don't Look Twice, Crosscurrents, Swiss Secrets, Making Waves, and Diamond Deceit.
The original Nancy Drew Mystery series is shorter, with only 62 books. Personally I prefer the Nancy Drew Files to the original books. They're much more updated than the original version. But don't get me wrong, the original version is still good. One of the books you should avoid is the Mystery of the 99 Steps. BORING.

One of my favorites is The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes.
1:The Secret of the Old Clock                 20:The Clue in the Jewelry Box
2:The Hidden Staircase                            21:The Secret in the Old Attic
3:The Bungalow Mystery                         22:The Clue in the Crumbling Wall
4:The Mystery at Lilac Inn                       23:The Mystery of the Tolling Bell
5:The Secret of Shadow Ranch                24:The Clue in the Old Album
6:The Secret of Red Gate Farm                25:The Ghost of Blackwood Hall
7:The Clue in the Diary                            26:The Clue of the Leaning Chimney
8:Nancy's Mysterious Letter                    27:The Secret of the Wooden Lady
9:The Sign of the Twisted Candles             28:The Clue of the Black Keys
10:Password to Larkspur Lane                    29:The Mystery at the Ski Jump
11:The Clue of the Broken Locket              30:The Clue of the Velvet Mask
12:The Message in the Hollow Oak             31:The Ringmaster's Secret
13:The Mystery of the Ivory Charm               32:The Scarlet Slipper Mystery
14:The Whispering Statue                                33:The Witch Tree Symbol
15:The Haunted Bridge                                     34:The Hidden Window Mystery
16:The Clue of the Tapping Heels                     35:The Haunted Showboat
17:The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk        36:The Secret of the Golden Pavilion
18:The Mystery of the Moss Covered Mansion   37:The Clue in the Old Stagecoach
19:The Quest of the Missing Map                        38:The Mystery of the Fire Dragon
                                                                              39:The Clue of the Dancing Puppet
                                                                              40:The Moonstone Castle Mystery
                                                                              41:The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes
                                                                              42:The Phantom of Pine Hill
                                                                              43:The Mystery of the 99 Steps
                                                                              44:The Clue in the Crossword Cipher
                                                                              45:The Spider Sapphire Mystery
                                                                              46:The Invisible Intruder
                                                                              47:The Mysterious Mannequin
                                                                              48:The Crooked Banister
                                                                              49:The Secret of Mirror Bay
                                                                              50:The Double Jinx Mystery
                                                                              51:Mystery of the Glowing Eye
                                                                              52:The Secret of the Forgotten City
                                                                              53:The Sky Phantom
                                                                              54:The Strange Message in the Parchment
                                                                              55:The Mystery of Crocodile Island
                                                                              56:The Thirteenth Pearl
                                                                              57:The Triple Hoax
                                                                              58:The Flying Saucer Mystery
                                                                              59:The Secret in the Old Lace
                                                                              60:The Greek Symbol Mystery
                                                                              61:The Swami's Ring
                                                                              62:The Kachina Doll Mystery
                                                                              63:The Twin Dilemma
                                                                              64:Captive Witness

The Nancy Drew Digest is similar and, next to the Files, those are my favorites. They are more updated than the original series but don't have as much romance as the Files.
The cover of one of the Nancy Drew Digest books.There are other series of Nancy Drew as well. The Nancy Drew Notebooks and the Nancy Drew and the Crew Clue books are for much younger children. In those books Nancy, Bess and George are eight years old and in third grade.
There are newer series as well, such as Nancy Drew on Campus and Nancy Drew, Girl Detective. There are also special editions, such as Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys: Super Mystery.
There is also another series, River Heights, by the same author. It doesn't star Nancy Drew but it's still good.

Nancy Drew: Girl Detective

Nancy Drew is a (fictional) eighteen year-old detective living in the (fictional) city of River Heights - a small city only an hour from Chicago, Illinois. She is described as having shoulder length reddish blond hair and blue eyes.
Nancy has her pilot's license and is good at skiing, swimming and horseback riding. Solving mysteries is one of her favorite activities, too.
Nancy's appearance has changed throughout the books. In the older books, the Nancy Drew Mystery series, which were published from 1930 to 2003, she appears more old-fashioned; the clothes she wears are mainly dresses or skirts. In those books (as shown above) she is a titian blond with short, curly reddish blond hair and is often seen wearing a dress or sometimes a skirt. Personally I like her appearance more on the Nancy Drew Files books, which were published later, from 1986 to 1987. She looked more like the average teenage girl, with longer, blond hair and clothes ranging from jeans to skirts to jackets.
Nancy Drew (pictured left) on the cover of Let's Talk Terror in the Nancy Drew Files. She's the one wearing the blue outfit - just so you know.

Nancy's personality is bold but sensible. She is cautious when needed but doesn't hesitate to take action when the time is right. I like her personality, though I think she's a little too perfect, especially in the older books. She never seems to make mistakes.
Nancy owns a convertible and has been solving mysteries since she was young since her father, famous criminal lawyer Carson Drew, is frequently on cases. Her mother died when she was three, though it isn't known how. I'm guessing Mrs. Drew passed away from a sudden illness, but it's just a guess. Anyway she meets handsome Ned Nickerson in The Clue In the Diary - one of the books in the older series. Eventually the two end up going out; their relationship is commonly complicated in the Nancy Drew Files due to Nancy's frequent cases.

Nancy's father hired Hannah Gruen as a housekeeper after her mother died, and Hannah is described as gray-haired and kind and treats Nancy like her own daughter. She is also the cook for the Drew family.
Bess Marvin is eighteen and has long blond hair and blue eyes and loves to shop and date. She falls in love constantly and tries to avoid physical activity whenever she can. She is constantly striving to lose weight, though she usually gives up her diet after a day or two. Like Nancy and George, she lives in River Heights.
 Nancy Drew (left) with Bess Marvin and George Fayne.
   George Fayne is tall with curly dark hair and an athletic build. She loves hiking, skiing and basically doing anything outdoors. She's Bess's cousin but exactly the opposite. She doesn't date nearly as much as Bess, though in the Files she has several different boyfriends throughout the books.
Ned and Nancy on the cover of High Risk (above).
  Ned Nickerson lives in a city near River Heights and goes to Emerson College. I think he's nineteen or twenty. He's tall - six feet - and has light brown hair and dark eyes. Though he and Nancy go out, their relationship is sometimes stressed by Nancy's cases and occasionally they date other people. Like Nancy, he has his pilot's license and enjoys hiking, swimming, and fishing. Sometimes he assists Nancy on her cases.
Carson Drew, who I definitely don't think is the best father in the world. Sure, he's nice and all, but he never knows where Nancy is or if she's in danger. She could be stabbed with a knife and he wouldn't find out until about a month later - or longer. And when she wants to work on a new - and dangerous - case he just tells her to go ahead. Hmm.....
He is handsome with dark hair and is a famous criminal lawyer in the city of River Heights. Nancy often assists him on his cases, though in the Nancy Drew Files she solves more of her own cases.
  Other Characters:
Chief McGinnis, a police officer, is often mentioned in the older books. In the Nancy Drew Files he is almost never mentioned. He is a middle aged chief police officer whom Nancy met on her first case, "The Secret of the Old Clock." He is friendly and helpful.
Ann Granger - a young reporter who I think is about Nancy's age. She's a friend of Nancy's and in the Files she frequently helps Nancy by checking the backgrounds of Nancy's different suspects and doing other research for her. In "Trial By Fire" in the Nancy Drew Files, she was one of the main characters.
Brenda Carlton - the hotshot reporter from the Files is about Nancy's age but exactly the opposite. She's rude and obnoxious, with long black hair and dark eyes. She frequently ruins Nancy's cases by blowing Nancy's cover. She writes for Today's Times, the newspaper owned by her father, Frazier Carlton. She appears in Squeeze Play, Fatal Attraction, Smile and Say Murder, and Kiss and Tell.