Hidden Pictures (Nancy Drew Diaries #19) by Carolyn Keene

The end is in sight! I’m almost caught up with the current Nancy Drew Diaries series. Hidden Pictures (Amazon) is the 19th book in the series and was published in January of 2020. Just like the original Nancy Drew Mysteries, some are good, and some are not. There’s no consistency, which makes me think that there isn’t one ghostwriter but several that rotate in writing the books. Some of the ghostwriters really capture the essence of the original Nancy Drew, while some really miss the mark.

“Nancy and her friends are spending the weekend in a small mountainside town called Shady Oaks. The local museum is displaying a never-before-seen collection from famous nature photographer, Christopher DeSantos. So the usually sleepy town is now filled with tourists. But it’s not just the dramatic lighting of the old black and white photographs that people have come to see.

Newspapers all over the country have picked up the story of two visitors who went missing in Shady Oaks only to turn up in the old DeSantos photographs, seemingly frozen in time. What’s more, there was a rumor that DeSantos was cursed by his former partner after a disagreement. Now everyone is wondering if the legend is real.

Nancy, Bess, and George are convinced that there is another explanation to be found. But it quickly becomes clear that someone is making sure they don’t find it. Can these three teenage sleuths solve this mystery before it’s too late?”

In Hidden Pictures (Amazon) (AbeBooks), Nancy gets a mysterious newspaper article which tells of a missing person whose image was found in an art exhibit, which prompts her to convince Bess and George to go to the town of Shady Oaks to see the photography of Christopher DeSantos. What’s weird is that Nancy doesn’t tell Bess and George the real reason for her wanting to check out the exhibit until after they get there. The ladies just think Nancy is a fan of the photographer’s works. Why would Nancy lie to them? There’s no reason for it since the girls are usually game for Nancy’s mysteries anyway. That does not paint Nancy in a good light and is uncharacteristic of her.

Over the course of the mystery, another person disappears and their photo shows up in the exhibit, too. Nancy, Bess and George know it’s not something supernatural, like some people claim, but have a tough time figuring out the mystery. Then Nancy’s photo appears on one of the exhibit photos, but she doesn’t disappear. The culprit is warning her to back off. Which, of course, is the last thing Nancy is going to do once she receives a warning to not investigate.

In the end, this is just another book about sabotage, albeit a more clever version than in previous books. I figured out the bad guy right away but younger readers might not pick up on the clues as easily. There was also a nice twist at the end of the book that I wasn’t expecting. All in all, not a bad mystery for the Diaries series, which I’ll admit, has as many hits as it has misses. The spirit of the original Nancy Drew is captured in Hidden Pictures.

This is the 39th Audiobook I’ve listened to as part of my 2021 Audiobook Challenge.

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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