Thursday, March 27, 2014

Smile and Say Murder

The cover. Definitely better than White Water Terror and Death By Design, although why Nancy's answering the phone is beyond me. She never actually does answer a phone in the book, unless I'm mistaken. Mainly she's just sleuthing. I'm not sure exactly what's up with her hair: she's supposed to be a reddish blonde, and yet she's pictured with no red in her hair at all.  Oh and that's Mick, the handsome photographer with a temper that can kill. He appears to be looking at something behind Nancy that we can't see - Yvonne, maybe? And then there's the would-be murderer, pointing what looks like a gun at him. Again I wonder: how can no one see this guy? If an armed robber-looking guy was walking into the room in a big publishing building, don't you think someone would see him?
 I guess security really is lousy.
On to the case:
In the glitzy world of magazine publishing Nancy Drew searches for a ruthless killer
A series of death threats send Nancy Drew undercover at Flash, the country's top teen magazine. The target is Yvonne Verdi, co-owner of Flash and wonder-girl of the magazine world. Hard-nosed and driven, Yvonne has a talent for making enemies, any of whom could be out to get her. But no one has more reason to want her dead than Mick Swanson, Yvonne's moody, violent partner.
   Fond of gruesome practical jokes and hungry for control of Flash, Mick quickly becomes Nancy's top suspect. Mick looks dangerous, so Nancy calls her boyfriend, Ned Nickerson, to play bodyguard. But that backfires when Ned falls head over heels for Mick's sister Sondra. Then the would-be killer strikes again. Nancy's on her own, and she's got some fancy footwork to do, before the killer strikes her.
The suspects:
Mick Swanson - the magazine's art director. He's creative and brilliant, but his temper is sheer murder.
Sondra Swanson - Mick's sister is fiercely loyal to him. Is she lying to Nancy to cover up for him?
David Bowers - the magazine's editor in chief and Yvonne's new boyfriend. Is he after her job - or her life?

Complications: Ned is getting sick of Nancy's sleuthing, and Sondra Swanson may be just the cure he needs. But Nancy has more to worry about than losing her boyfriend - she's losing her job. If she's off the case, how can she stop a murderer?

Contact: Yvonne Verdi, publisher of Flash. Her life is being threatened, but an investigation could ruin her career.
Setting: Chicago

In my opinion, Nancy got what was coming to her. She calls Ned up and asks him to help her, even though they had planned to go on a great vacation at his parents' cabin by a lake. She blows him off, promising that they'll go another time, and Ned gets pretty ticked off. Nancy totally takes him for granted and he feels under appreciated. In this book Nancy's very self-involved. She's always thinking about her own problems, worrying about Ned and Sondra and if they're getting together. It almost makes me sick. In the beginning when she calls him, she thinks, 'Ned was really holding out. She knew he'd give in in the end (he loved her too much not to) but she hadn't expected to have to work so hard for a simple yes' and says, "I need some protection. A strong, handsome would be just perfect," in an attempt to flatter him.
And, then when she meets Ned and he drives her to Flash, he says, 'I happen to want to spend a little time with the girl I love. Is that so wrong?"
Nancy [temper flaring]: "It seems as if you're being selfish. I mean, who cares about some stupid vacation when a person's life could be in danger?"
She totally does not deserve him.
Not a great book. When Nancy catches Mick with a gun that he claims isn't his, she tries to wrestle it from him, accidently fires it, and is arrested. Mick is too, and when Ned and Sondra go to the police station with them, Nancy gets extremely jealous to see that Ned is comforting Sondra, who's crying because she thinks her brother's going to jail. Nancy is bailed out, and she yells at Ned: "Look at you! You're hugging her, and I'm standing right here! You're supposed to care about me, Ned. I've been through a lot today. But you don't say so much as a comforting word!" Then she runs from the building, sobbing "I hate him, I never want to see him again," to her dad.
Sound at all selfish to you?
She pretty much hates Sondra, which I think is unfair since Sondra is extremely nice to her, even writing her a note thanking her for bailing Mick out (I won't tell you why, you'll have to read that on your own). Anyway Sondra's a very kind person; once she realized that Ned and Nancy were going out she apologized to Nancy (sort of).
I'll just tell you that Nancy and Ned end up getting back together, which I don't know why; Ned could go for someone much better, in my opinion. Oh well.

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