“Nancy must search for a flight of 99 steps to solve the mystery of a friend’s weird dream. Her search leads her to France, but before leaving the United States, a sinister man called Monsieur Neuf warns the young sleuth not to pursue her mission! While in France, Nancy and her father investigate a wealthy financier who has been frightened into selling large amounts of securities. Startling discoveries convince the girl detective that Carson Drew’s case and her own mystery are linked by the 99 steps!”
I have fond memories of reading the The Mystery of the 99 Steps (Amazon) when I was in third grade, and like most, I imagine, I began counting steps wherever we went. I’ll bet if you read this book as a youngster, you did, too. I still remember my giving oral book reports in third grade and I had 4 Nancy Drew books. The Hidden Staircase was another book I read that week and I got the plots mixed up between the two; how mortifying! From then on I limited myself to one Nancy Drew book at a time for oral reports.
This mystery is a bit crazy, so leave your disbelief of coincidences and unbelievable plots at the door. Mrs. Blair has a dream, based upon real-life events that happened when she was about three. She’s so sure these dreams are true she wants Nancy to fly to France and find the 99 steps that she remembers from her childhood/dreams. Somehow a bad guy finds out in River Heights and tries to prevent Nancy, Bess and George from leaving the states but is arrested. Too bad he has an equally crooked twin living in France trying to thwart the girls’ efforts.
Meanwhile, Carson Drew also has a case that takes him to France. A very wealthy and successful financier is selling all his stocks and bonds and securities and buying up gems instead. He’s such a big-wig in the finance world, his actions could be catastrophic to the markets, as well as himself. Carson is trying to figure out why the financier is acting this way. How much do you want to bet that Nancy’s mystery and Carson’s mystery have something to do with each other. Ding ding ding! We have a winner.
In terms of peril, George is hooked around the neck by a cane and passes out (?!), and Nancy is cold-cocked and smacked, causing her to lose consciousness briefly until she hits the cold water which revives her.
As a grown-up, I liked but didn’t love this book. I think the fact that the girls went to France was an appeal to me, and I notice now how much I enjoy the travelogue mysteries over the others. There’s plenty of sight-seeing for the girls, which was a treat to read as I’ve never been there. And I am glad the book mentioned the “Amazing Number 9” because that’s something I taught my daughter who struggles with math. (If you didn’t learn it that way, 2×9=18 and 1+8=9, 3×9=27 and 2+7=9, etc.)
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.
For more information on series books, Jennifer White has a fabulous website that you can visit by clicking here.
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