“Nancy, Bess, and George look for Nancy’s missing father in the twenty-second book in the Nancy Drew Diaries series, a fresh approach to a classic series.
While Nancy’s dad is away at a conference in Washington, DC, she invites Bess and George over for a slumber party. The girls are having a great time until Nancy gets a call from a number she doesn’t recognize. Her dad never showed up for his panel and he isn’t in his room. No one’s seen him since the night before, and he isn’t answering his phone.
Worried, Nancy and the gang hop the next flight to DC to investigate. The girls scour the hotel for clues with little luck until Nancy finds her dad’s cell phone in the hotel basement. She’s pretty sure he left her a message on the home screen, if only she could figure out what it means.
The hunt takes them across the US capital, retracing Mr. Drew’s steps to figure out what went wrong or who might be out to do him harm. If they don’t solve this mystery, it may cost Mr. Drew his life.”
If The Capitol Crime (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (AbeBooks) were a Nancy Drew book from the 1960’s and 70’s, it most certainly would be a travelogue mystery, with lots of interesting facts plugged in to the book so it was not only entertaining but educational. But that’s not the case with this volume of The Nancy Drew Diaries. There were actually two mysteries to solve. One leads to another, as often happens with Nancy Drew books, and you can almost assuredly assume they are interrelated.
Nancy steals files from a police station, which was a bit unusual for a modern book. Not that Nancy skirted the law as a means to an end. Good heavens, you can go back to the earliest Nancy Drew books written in the 1930’s to find her doing the same, but in 2021, I thought it was a bit out-of-place. However, it gives Nancy the chance to muse, ” I’ve solved a lot of cases, and I know that people break the law for all sorts of reasons. Most of them are good folks who got themselves in bad situations and made a poor decision.” So, she’s owning up to her bad decision-making, even though it helped her solve the case.
Without breaking down into too many details, I just want to say that it seems like the publishers have finally found a decent ghostwriter who pays respect to the past of Nancy Drew while bringing a modern sensibility to the characters. The past few books have been great to read because they’re not all about sabotage, like the earlier books. In fact, Nancy even points out how she always seems to be solving cases of sabotage, giving a nod to reader laments like mine who wish Nancy would do more. In The Capitol Crime, she does, with the help of Bess and George, of course.
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