Original Text of The Secret at Shadow Ranch (Nancy Drew, Book 5): Nancy uses a revolver to shoot a lynx and a snake, and has no sense of direction. Not the infallible Nancy Drew I remember from my youth. This book was the introduction of George and Bess into the series. George makes quite a few mistakes herself, which is also not what I remember from the overall series. I have to say this about Nancy in the original texts: she meets some real shady characters who can’t even hide their shadiness, it is so obvious.
There’s two mysteries going on here, and of course, in the end, they are connected as only a Nancy Drew book could do. The story was good, better than the first four, mainly because there weren’t too many outdated stereotypes, except for poor Bess. She’s constantly called plump but the artists never drew her that way, so I never thought she was.
This Revised Text of Nancy Drew The Secret of Shadow Ranch is more appealing to me than the Original Text. Nancy, Bess, and George all act the way I remember. Nancy is not killing animals with a revolver, like she does in the original, and George is not a goof-up. This time there are two mysteries, just as the original had two mysteries, and of course, as with the original, the mysteries are interrelated and woven through the story that way. In the original, the mysteries only came together at the end in a far-fetched way.
As with most of the RT Nancy’s, there’s lots of descriptions of the pretty clothes and what they ate. Even though the RTs were revised in part to get rid of racial stereotypes found in the originals, I notice they are not above a little cultural appropriation when the girls buy pretty “Indian squaw dresses” for the big dance. Despite that, I thought this story was more plausible than the original, and therefore a better story.
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