Nancy Drew #6. The Secret of Red Gate Farm

From Goodreads: “When Bess Marvin purchased an expensive bottle of Oriental perfume, she never expected to stumble into a mystery. Now Bess, Nancy, George, and their new friend Jo are out to unravel the secrets of a mysterious conspiracy, a secretive cult, and a ring of counterfeiters in The Secret of Red Gate Farm.”

Did you know that the Nancy Drew books your mom or grandma grew up on were different from the ones you grew up on?  The first 34 Nancy Drew books were revised in the 1960’s and 70’s, revising or completely rewriting the books.

Once again in an Original Text Nancy Drew mystery, (The Secret of Red Gate Farm (Original Text)our favorite sleuth meets someone in serious financial trouble. Somehow Nancy and her friends never seem troubled by the Great Depression, and have lots of money from their parents to fritter away. This time Nancy, George and Bess decide to board at Red Gate Farm, which is a considerable distance from River Heights. Nancy and crew stumble onto a mystery involving a “Nature Cult”, and don’t do much investigating, and at the end, they are caught by the bad guys, only to be rescued by the feds at the most convenient time. Not my favorite of the OT Nancy’s.

I liked The Secret of Red Gate Farm (Revised Text) of this book rather than the Original Text. It’s the same story, but the rewrite is better. The random happenings in the OT aren’t nearly so random in the RT, and there is more back story and Nancy finding clues instead of just stumbling upon them. Also, as with most of the RT’s, Chief McGinnis takes her seriously (unlike the unhelpful cops in all of the OTs), although I wonder how big his jurisdiction is since the girls rode almost 6 hours to get to Red Gate Farm. The updated texts always got rid of racial stereotypes and guns of any kind, but the RT still has fat-shaming of Bess and in this book, the bad guys’ sexism is on full display.

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