“Nancy, Bess, and George’s Jiu-Jitsu lessons turn into a takedown of another sort in the twenty-first book in the Nancy Drew Diaries, a fresh approach to a classic series.
After a close call, Mr. Drew insists that if Nancy’s going to be an amateur detective, she needs to be able to defend herself. So Nancy, Bess, and George decide to check out a Jiu-Jitsu class at Iron Dragon MMA. The technique is hard, but before she knows it, Nancy’s having a lot of fun.
And then, just as class ends, the students are shaken by a disturbing sight—someone’s left a dead rat on the front desk and spray-painted “traitor” on the wall. With a big competition coming up soon, is a rival academy trying to stir up trouble to throw the Iron Dragon team off their game?
Nancy agrees to help the team get to the truth, but as her investigation takes some unexpected and increasingly dangerous turns, has River Heights’s finest sleuth been outmatched?”
Danger at the Iron Dragon (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) is the 22nd book in the Nancy Drew Diaries series (it’s volume 21, but they also released A Nancy Drew Christmas (Nancy Drew Diaries) by Carolyn Keene which is part of the Diaries canon), and I finally feel like I can say I liked this modern interpretation of America’s favorite teen sleuth. Even though George, who was always bragging about her Judo skills in the original books doesn’t like Jiu-Jitsu in this series. But I can handle that, because what seems like a horrible number of ghostwriters for the series, they got a good one for this volume.
The premise of Nancy being encouraged by her dad to take a self-defense class is a good one considering how many scrapes Nancy has been in over the previous books. And I liked that Bess seemed to enjoy the Jiu-Jitsu even more than Nancy. Of course, it wouldn’t be a Nancy Drew book without her stumbling onto a mystery, With the help of her friends, there’s plenty of sleuthing, some danger, and a culprit that I did not guess right away, but did eventually figure out before the resolution.
I could go on about this being one of the better books in the series, with a writer who seems to know the canon, but I won’t. Suffice it to say that a series that uses sabotage as a trope ad nauseam veers in a different direction with this book, although it seems like sabotage at the beginning. This is a solid entry of the series, and one that I might use to introduce a younger reader to start their trip down the Nancy Drew rabbit hole. I especially like the fact that the ghostwriter has a sense of humor and alludes to Nancy’s penchant for getting knocked on the head and getting concussions. That’s just one of the things in this book that made me chuckle.
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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