The Phantom of Nantucket (Nancy Drew Diaries #7) by Carolyn Keene

Now that I’ve finally got Nancy Drew Diaries 90th Anniversary Collection (Amazon) (AbeBooks) in my hands, the recently released anniversary box set, I can read the next few mysteries in the Nancy Drew Diaries series. It features the first ten Nancy Drew Diaries with different artwork and comes in an attractive slipcase. It arrived at the perfect time, because the library does not have volume 7, The Phantom of Nantucket, and I don’t normally buy books I haven’t read previously, but I think the artwork for this set is outstanding and much better than the regular books.

(Just a reminder I’m giving away a $10 Amazon eGift Card. Click here to read more and to enter!)


From the publisher: A dream trip to Nantucket turns into a nightmare in this seventh book of the Nancy Drew Diaries, a fresh approach to a classic series.

Nancy, Bess, and George can’t wait to start their trip to Nantucket. The three girls are there to visit Bess’s family friend Jenna and go to the opening of an exhibit at the local whaling museum. Jenna’s been working on the exhibit for months, but when the girls get to the museum, a threatening banner has replaced the welcome sign.

Nancy’s got plenty of potential suspects, but she’s worried she won’t be able to solve the case in time to save the opening. And as the threats increase in severity, she becomes more concerned about Jenna’s safety than the ruined exhibit. Can Nancy find the culprit in time?”

First off, the title of this book is all wrong. There is no Phantom of Nantucket (Amazon) (AbeBooks). There’s a visit to Nantucket and a mystery to solve, but no phantom.

It’s Labor Day weekend and Nancy, Bess and George are vacationing on Nantucket Island and to visit Jenna, an unpaid intern at the local whaling museum. I said it before and I’ll say it again about the Diaries, they’ve got continuity errors. Bess and Jenna’s mothers grew up together and visited each other every summer. Well, according to the original Nancy Drew Mysteries, Bess and George’s mothers are sisters, so that means George should have known Jenna, too, but she doesn’t, which just makes it a little weird for those that have read the originals.

There’s to be a big celebration because the figurehead from the Eleanor Sharp was recovered. The Sharp was a local whaling ship that sank in the 19th century, one of those local legend stories that locals like to tell. Jenna has proof that the captain of the ship scuttled the Eleanor Sharp deliberately and the exhibit explains the who/what/where/why of Jenna’s investigation and facts she’s uncovered.

But the celebration banner has been vandalized with the word “LIAR” painted on it, and the figurehead is missing from its locked case. Which means whoever took it had to have the keys. Or so it would seem, until it’s revealed that another worker realizes her keys are missing, so anyone could have had access to the locked cabinet. And some scrimshaw is also discovered missing, too.

There have also been letters, which museum director Pete says is normal, but Nancy asks to look over them. Most of them don’t apply to the case, but one repeats the “liar” claim against Jenna.

One of the main suspects is Kelsey because she’s an islander who doesn’t like seasonal people like Jenna, and who has also been turned down for the same internship at the museum two summers in a row.

More is revealed about why someone would sabotage Jenna’s exhibit: Marnie. another worker with a 104-year old grandfather (time is spent talking about how he was 8 years old when WWI ended, and how he probably knew Civil War veterans), reveals some island history and says that the captain of the Eleanor Sharp was from a well-known island family, and some people prefer to cling to their stories they’ve known for years rather than know the real truth of the fate of the ship.

As in most Nancy Drew stories, accident-prone George gets hit by a boom of a sailing ship and lands in the water, but it’s only a minor injury.

It turns out the scrimshaw was sold by Pete, who runs the museum, to help raise capital for the exhibits, so that’s a dead end. And several other leads to suspects fizzle out.

Finally, Nancy figures out the “bad guy”, who did it because they are a descendant of the captain of the Eleanor Sharp.

Was there any doubt Nancy would solve the case?

For more information about my favorite sleuth, check out Jenn Fisher’s Unofficial Nancy Drew website, which has a wealth of information.

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