“Nancy is on the case, once again! Her father’s client, Mr.Sakamaki needs help. His deceased grandfather’s estate, Kaluakua has a mystery nobody knows. Its Golden Pavilion may be haunted, and two middle-aged suspects claim to be the grand children of Grandfather Sakamaki and are going to run and take over the estate. Nancy must prove them wrong and stop a terrible gang called the Double Scorps who are trying to steal the secret kings cape in the Golden Pavilion. Are the posing grandchildren part of the Double Scorps and are going to inherit the estate for all of the Double Scorps? What does a sacred king’s cape have to do with the Secret of the Golden Pavilion? And who is that ghost that dances by the Pavilion every night? Nancy is going to find out everything, from the Double Scorps, to perhaps two Grandfather Sakamaki. Could the Grandfather Sakamaki in California be the wrong one that owns the Kaluakua?”
Published in 1959, the year Hawaii became our 50th state, The Secret of the Golden Pavilion (Amazon) is the most travelogue-like of the Nancy Drew Mysteries so far. There’s so much information about our newest state that it’s amazing the writer could pack any mystery in the book. Everything from the history of the indigenous people to the flora and fauna is covered. Surprisingly, it doesn’t take away from the mystery and only enhances it.
The bad guy is revealed right away, so there’s no mystery there. But to find out he’s a member of the Double Scorps, an international gang of no-good doers, means Nancy and the gang has to watch their back. And when I say gang, yes, Bess and George make the trip, their expenses paid for by Carson Drew’s client. And it just so happens that Emerson College is scouting out Hawaii’s football team, so Ned, Burt and Dave take a separate plane to Hawaii. I noticed that the boys are always described with the same exact words in every book the past few books. Ned is dark haired and handsome, Burt is a blond, husky youth, and Dave is always described as rangily-built.
Despite the fact that Nancy and the gang have a couple of mysteries to solve, they get in their fair share of fun and sight-seeing. And the food! Every meal has them tasting what must have been exotic oddities like pineapple and papaya. They even attend a pig roast.
Nancy learns to do the hula early in the book, which comes in handy when she is going to impersonate the person pretending to be a ghost on the estate they’re staying at. I thought it was hilarious when Mrs. Armstrong, who is helping Nancy out, finds a white muumuu in her belongings and insists on pressing it herself so Nancy can wear it. As if a few wrinkles would show up at night across the garden where she’ll only be seen fleetingly. But Nancy must always look her best!
In terms of peril, a funereal lei is delivered to Nancy with poison tacks attached, and Ned and Nancy and captured, bound and gagged and shoved under the Golden Pavilion.
This is one of my favorite Nancy Drew Mysteries so far. A solid entry in the series.
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I’m going to dig this one out to read… seems I’ve never read
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