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The Clue in the Diary by Carolyn Keene

The Clue in the Diary (1932)

by Carolyn Keene

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Nancy Drew (7)

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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
  SteppLibrary | Mar 8, 2017 |
The Clue In The Diary, by Carolyn Keene
★★★ and 1/2

This was yet another Nancy Drew mystery. I figured it would be a quick read but it took me longer than expected because as an adult I kept getting bored. But I loved this series when I was a kid, so for nostalgia's sake, I rate this book 3.5 stars.
Nancy Drew is definitely a character that young girls could look up to. She's nice, responsible, loyal, and inquisitive. The books are sweet and fun, and always end with a happy resolve. It's a book series that I would strongly recommend to any kid daughter, but I don't think adults would be quite as passionate about these books if they were reading it for the first time. ( )
  Spirolim | Jan 13, 2016 |
In the 1931 edition, Nancy and her "girlfriends", the plump Bess and the tomboyish George, see a country mansion burn to the ground, and discover nearby a diary written in Swedish. The mansion's wealthy owner Felix Raybolt is missing, and evidence of arson (and possibly murder) points to Joe Swenson, whom Raybolt had swindled. Nancy figures out what really happened, and singlehandedly makes things right again -- forcing Raybolt to renumerate the people he's cheated, and helping to pull the poor Swenson family out of poverty. Meanwhile Nancy attracts as a boyfriend a student at the nearby college.

Volumes could be written (and no doubt have been) about this sort of work from a sociological standpoint. (Why is there an emphasis on the fact that the poverty-stricken family was Swedish... was that a feature of the 1930s? Was it carried into modern editions?)

As for the characters, Bess is always eating or thinking about her next meal, and two sentences into this book, she's gulping down her fifth chicken sandwich. Her female cousin "George" seems to be an odd figure for 1931: she's adopted a man's name, dresses in men's clothing, keeps her dark hair as short as possible (and never combs or brushes it), and shows no interest in men. Did the underpaid writers who invented her (under the pseudonym "Carolyn Keene") have something mildly subversive in mind, or was the character simply constructed as a contrast to Nancy and Bess, to give tomboyish girl readers someone to identify with? Whatever it was, by the 1960s, George had been developed into a more feminine character, with short, bouncy curls.

Despite large holes in the plot and larger implausibilities, this story is harmless entertainment. Tales of its ilk no doubt inspired generations of female enthusiasts to seek to be more like Nancy -- clever, independent, and able to outwit the male villains amongst us. And those who could not aspire to Nancydom could gain solace by identifying with Nancy's pals Bess and "George." ( )
2 vote danielx | Apr 17, 2015 |
4 1/2 stars ( )
  vagabond | Apr 4, 2015 |
AUTHOR: Keene, Carolyn
TITLE: The Clue in the Diary
DATE READ: 04/09/14
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Mystery/1932/Simon &Shuster/202 pgs
TIME/PLACE: 1930's/ IL
CHARACTERS: Nancy Drew/girl detective

FIRST LINES: "Why do you stare at me in such a fascinated way, Nancy Drew?" Plump Bess Marvin, divining the trend of her chum's unexpressed thought, smiled good-naturedly & reached for her 5th chicken sandwich. She had always maintained that picnics were not intended for persons with delicate appetites.

COMMENTS: Driving home from a picnic w/ her friends, Nancy stops to see a burning house. She sees a man fleeing from the house & also picks up a dropped diary. Altho' in a foreign language she holds onto this hoping it will hold a clue to who the man was that fled the burning home. These are always fun books for me. ( )
  pammykn | Apr 21, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carolyn Keeneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Maron, MargaretIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tandy, Russell H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"A penny for your thoughts, Nancy Drew," said George Fayne.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Nancy witnesses the malicious burning of a stately home, and becomes convinced of the prime suspect's innocence.

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