Nancy travels to Greece to search for a large inheritance from a Greek tycoon which has been stolen. A poisonous snake in a basket of apples and a strange symbol stamped on a rare Byzantine mask are clues in this mystery. Nancy, Bess and George discover a ring of art smugglers and the secret of the Greek symbol.
The Greek Symbol Mystery (Amazon US) (Amazon UK) (AbeBooks)
Meh. That’s what I can muster for this volume of the Nancy Drew Mysteries. Once again Nancy has two mysteries to solve, and they both happen to take her to Greece. One involves a woman who has been sending money through an intermediary to help a needy Greek family, when suddenly the family stops receiving payments. The third party that the woman has been using has gone dark, and Nancy must find out what happened. In the pre-internet days, you would think that sleuths could at least make some international phone calls, but not, Nancy, Bess and George just jet off to Greece, and later on Mr. Drew brings Ned, Burt and Dave. The boys must have made a lot of money selling insurance (their summer jobs) in order to afford a flight to Greece.
Someone tries to get rid of the smuggled mask just happens to slip it in into Nancy’s bag shopping bag, which tips her off to a smuggling operation, which just so happens to be interrelated to one of Nancy’s other mysteries she’s investigating. All the stolen artifacts have a mysterious Greek symbol stamped on them. It all seems too far-fetched in this volume, even though I know that’s a Nancy Drew Mystery M.O.
At the hotel when the girls first arrive, a basket of apples is delivered to their room. Except there’s a venomous snake in it, of course. Nancy and George dispatch the snake and all seems fine until later, when Bess takes a nap and sees a man break into the room, taking the apples. “When Bess heard about the intruder, she turned pale. “We’ll have to move out of here!” she insisted. “What if the guy slips us another poisonous snake?” “If you would feel safer in another room,” Nancy said, “we can arrange it. I’m staying where we are.” “But why expose yourself to danger?” “What’s to prevent him and his pals from finding us in another room? If we leave the hotel, we might lose track of our enemies. I don’t want to do that. I want to catch them!” “Nancy’s right,” George agreed. “We’re a team, and facing the danger is winning half the battle!”
In terms of danger, during some R&R on the beach, Bess is stung by a jellyfish. And George is randomly kidnapped by being shoved into a car, whose kidnappers drive for a little while Nancy and Bess give chase in a taxi. “Suddenly, the glow of his headlights fastened on a figure stumbling out of a ditch. “It’s George!” Bess cried, causing the driver to stop. She threw open the rear door of the cab and jumped out, along with Nancy. “Are you all right?” Nancy asked the girl who staggered dizzily toward them. “Fine. I’m fine,” George said, but her eyes looked glazed. “I fell, that’s all.” Bess and Nancy helped her into the taxi. They stared at the slight bruise along her cheekbone. “Did he hit you?” her cousin questioned. “No. He motioned for me to get out but didn’t stop fully. I stumbled and rolled into the ditch.”
More peril ensues a little later when Nancy and Ned are investigating. “Before Nancy could finish her sentence, a pair of black-hooded robes were hurled over her and Ned. “Ned!” she cried out, but her voice was instantly muffled as rope was lashed around her waist, pulling the material down tightly over her head. Her companion had been taken off guard as well and trussed up. Unseen hands pushed the helpless couple into the big barrel and the lid was fastened in place.” Of course, they manage to escape, or were rescued, it was so unmemorable that I forget.
Still, more peril. Nancy spots one of the bad guys on the street. “He turned, poised on the edge of the curb. “This is the last time you will bother me!” he snarled. When she was within reach he lunged forward and shoved her back into the heavy, oncoming traffic. Car brakes squealed as Nancy tumbled into their midst!” Nancy wasn’t hurt, and the bad guy was apprehended.
Not even the little bits of Greek culture and history sprinkled in to The Greek Symbol Mystery could save this book for me. I just didn’t care for it, although, once again, Ruth Sanderson’s artwork is superb.
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.
For more of my book reviews, visit www.bargain-sleuth.com
Or subscribe below and never miss a review.
Join our Facebook page Bargain Sleuth Book Reviews or join our book group here.
This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may earn a few pennies for any purchases you make by clic
You must be logged in to post a comment.