I’ve been reading the Nancy Drew Mysteries again since lockdown started last March. Lately, I’ve been feeling a little “fatigued” by reading both the Original Text (OT) and Revised Text (RT), so to make my task more appealing, I’m only reading the OTs because I haven’t read them before. That seems to have helped with the fatigue, and I recently tackled #27, The Secret of the Wooden Lady (OT) (Amazon) (AbeBooks) (RT) (Amazon) (AbeBooks). The book was first published in 1950 and revised in 1967.
“Adventure abounds on the Bonny Scot in Boston Harbor as Nancy helps Captain Easterly uncover the mystery of his ghostly visitors. From the moment, the clever young detective and her friends, Bess and George, stay on the old clipper ship they are confronted with fire, theft, unseen trespassers and other dangers. Nancy faces an additional challenge: to find a clue to the clipper’s missing figurehead. The lost “wooden lady” is needed establish a clear title to the ship. Nancy wonders why the prime suspect in the recent robbery at the Marvin home is in Boston and is easily entering and leaving the Bonny Scot without being seen!”
I read The Secret of the Wooden Lady very quickly, which can’t be said about some of the books in the series. This time Nancy and her friends travel to Boston to help out yet another one of Carson Drew’s connections. The story flowed well, even though, as always, sometimes events proved unbelievable. I mean, really, how many times can someone sneak onto a ship and not be caught? A lot, it turns out.
The fact that the burglar at Bess Marvin’s home is somehow connected to the mystery of the ship the Bonnie Scot can only happen in a Nancy Drew novel. How small Nancy’s world really is! And George seems to exclaim her trademark “Hypers!” quite a bit. (If memory serves me, that word was introduced in the last book, I believe). Nancy does some thorough research on figureheads, but can’t seem to find the secret entrance on the ship that allows the thieves to come and go as they please.
Through Nancy’s research, she comes to the conclusion that the Bonny Scot was re-christened so the team needs to figure out the original name of the ship. The girls are seemingly spied upon at every move as the ship is repeatedly plundered by thieves. A fire breaks out, and the Captain is even kidnapped for a short while until Nancy finds out where he is being kept. Nancy follows all the clues until they lead to the correct solutions, and Carson and the police show up in the end to capture the baddies after Nancy flushes them out. Overall, a good, but not great addition to the series.
As for the artwork, I never cared for the RT’s cover, as Nancy looks quite matronly. And the original artwork is confusing because Bess is a brunette once again, as she has been for the past few books. And this time, it’s George who looks matronly. Neither cover is a favorite of mine.
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