It’s Friday, and time to hang out with my favorite teen sleuth, Nancy Drew. This week we’re up to volume ten of the Diaries series, A Script for Danger (Amazon) (AbeBooks), and even though we’re only ten volumes in, the plot devices being used in the modern Nancy Drew books are starting to bore me.
From the publisher: “Nancy’s old friend and former paralegal to Carson Drew, Alex Burgess, is making a movie, and it’s filming in River Heights! On the first day of shooting, Alex invites Nancy, Bess, and George on set for a behind-the-scenes peek at how a movie is made. George is excited for a closer look at the cameras and special effects, and Bess is mostly around to get a glimpse of the film’s leading man: handsome actor Brian Newsome!
But right before the camera starts rolling there’s an explosion in the catering area. Turns out someone put firecrackers in the coffeemaker. Not too long after that, Brian’s costume is found streaked with blood. And threatening notes show up scrawled on the scripts: SHUT IT DOWN OR YOU’LL BE SORRY.
Can Nancy track down the set saboteur before the film’s dangerous final scene? Or will the entire production go up in flames first? “
Okay, so Nancy has to investigate sabotage-AGAIN. There has to be some sort of other mystery she can solve, but the publishers don’t seem to think so. The two previous Diaries books I read also featured sabotage as the main plot. I wonder what the Hardy Boys are up to because it seems Nancy Drew is in a rut with this series; if the publishers can’t come up with better mysteries, maybe the boys are given more variety. That’s not to say that the mystery is bad, it’s just that it’s been done before–repeatedly. Most people who read Nancy Drew books read more than one in the series, so it would make sense to change things up with each book.
The entire premise of the book is unbelievable. Alex, the director, was Carson Drew’s paralegal until two years prior, when he headed for Los Angeles to follow his dreams of making movies. And in just two short years, he’s helming a major motion picture with an A-list star. And that’s after starting out as a screenwriter. So he jumped from paralegal to screenwriter to director in a short time. He must have met the right people at the right time in order to have his dream fast-tracked like that.
And speaking of fast track, the movie is filmed quickly, too quickly to be realistic. I know this is a children’s book, but it’s inconceivable that despite the delays from the saboteur, filming of the movie takes place at breakneck speed, moving from one location to the next in a matter of a day or two. Any kid who reads this will think that’s how movies and TV shows are made, and we all know that’s just not true.
One thing I find interesting in the Diaries books is how the tables have turned on Bess and George’s relationship–with food. After 80 years of George fat-shaming Bess for wanting to eat, I’ve noticed that the writers have made George the one who is always hungry and wanting food or drink.
Like I mentioned, the story isn’t terrible, it’s just been done before. And even though it’s a little unrealistic with it’s depiction of how a film is made, Nancy and her chums do some real sleuthing. That part I liked. Sometimes in the books clues just land in Nancy’s lap without much work, and that annoys me.
A Script for Danger (Amazon) (AbeBooks), is also available as part of the Nancy Drew Diaries 90th Anniversary Collection (Amazon) (AbeBooks) which was released a few months ago and has been on sale as of late. I absolutely love the artwork for these books much better than the regular volumes, I just wish the publishers had done volumes 11-20 as well. This is a really neat collectible box set that I’m glad I bought.
For my Nancy Drew book reviews, click here.
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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