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The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew Mystery…

The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, No. 4) (original 1930; edition 1961)

by Carolyn Keene

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2,170132,994 (3.75)14
Title:The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, No. 4)
Authors:Carolyn Keene
Info:Grosset & Dunlap (1961), Edition: 1ST, Hardcover, 180 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn Keene (1930)



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Each of the first 34 Nancy Drew mysteries has two versions: an original, 25-chapter, pre-1959 version, and a revised, post-1959, 20-chapter version. Most of these revisions left the plot, characters, and most of the text largely intact (except for, you know, cutting out five chapters and 20 to 40 pages of material), but The Mystery at Lilac Inn is one of the eight stories that were almost completely re-written. This book is the original, 1930 text, and it shows.

Emily Crandall, an old friend of Nancy's, is a (relatively) poor orphan due to inherit the Crandall Jewels, valued at $40,000, at her next birthday. Splans to sell some of them and get married on the proceeds, since her fiancé won't earn the money to support a wife for a few years. Her plan falls through when her flighty guardian, Mrs Jane Willoughby, has her purse stolen while dining at the Lilac Inn—with the diamonds inside.

Aside from the jewel theft, much of the plot revolves around Nancy hiring a maid to replace Hannah Gruen, who will be away for months tending a sick family member. Nancy's attitude towards domestic help is one of the clearest signs that this book was written in 1930 and not three decades later. The class divide separating Nancy from the women she interviews is much greater than it would be in later years. When reading the revised books, it's easy to see Hannah as a replacement for Nancy's late mother; in the original versions, especially this ones, it becomes much more obvious that the Drews would have had a maid or housekeeper even if Mrs Drew were still alive. I haven't read much American fiction from this period, so I tend to associate domestic service much more with Britain than with the US. It was interesting to realize that pre-WWII British and American attitudes toward servants were much more similar than I'd ever considered.
  Enyonam | Jun 25, 2017 |
  SteppLibrary | Mar 8, 2017 |
I never read Nancy Drew aas a child. This was a light and delightful read! ( )
  LauGal | Aug 16, 2016 |
On the same day I finish NaNoWriMo, I finish The Mystery at Lilac Inn. It's a sign... okay, it's probably not, but it's a nifty coincidence.

Anyway, this is the last of my mother's old Nancy Drew books that we found wasting away in one of my parents' storage buildings some years ago and Mom said I could keep. Actually, this is the second time I've read this one, but since I've been reading all the others lately, thought it would be a nice revisit.

And it was! What I love about Nancy Drew is that it holds the same draw as both the Hardy Boy mysteries and the great movie serials of the 30s and 40s. Nancy's stories are written just like the best pulp books, not lessening the danger in any way either because Nancy is a girl or because the books are aimed at a younger audience. It's nice to read something that doesn't talk down to its intended audience.

As Nancy's father says at the wrap up, "This certainly has been an involved and dangerous mystery." He certainly understates things well. What starts as a basic mystery at the inn her friend has just purchased turns into a multi-level threat involving a girl impersonating Nancy (going as far as stealing her charge card and buying expensive things in her name), something strange in the river (that sends Nancy and her friend Helen flying out of their canoe), as well as the potential "haunting" of the inn itself (not to mention a theft of some very valuable property). All these things, some seeming to have no connection to each other, make for one wild ride and Nancy and friends try to figure out "the mystery at Lilac Inn." ( )
  regularguy5mb | Nov 30, 2015 |
I was reading a great book called th Lilac Inn. In this book Nancy is staying at the Lilac Inn with Helen and Emily and all sorts of strange things are happening. One night when they were all having dinner together for Emily's 16th birthday her aunt got her very expensive, fancy dimonds. All the sudden the lights when out and when they flickered back on the dimonds were gone! Nancy searches for clues and then finds Lilac buds and the were still fresh so that means th theif had just stolen them, ther was a trail that led to a pannel a nd Nancy pushed it to the side and there was a secret tunnel! I liked this book because there was a lot of surprises and you would never think that something could happen and then it does, it makes you want to keep reading ( )
  MadelynM14 | Nov 7, 2015 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carolyn Keeneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Benson, Mildred WirtIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tandy, Russell H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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[1930] A bright blue roaster, low-slung and smart, rolled swiftly along the winding lake road to halt suddenly before a large signboard which boldly proclaimed to all who chanced that way:

[1961] “Nancy Drew! How did you and Helen paddle that canoe up here so fast from River Heights?” cried Doris Drake in astonishment.
[1961] “Nancy,” Mrs. Corning said, “the newspaper didn’t state how the fire started. I suppose the usual carelessness—someone tossing away a lighted match.”

Nancy, inwardly relieved, replied that this was always a possibility. She did not mention the time bomb.
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The 1930 edition and the 1961 edition are completely distinct stories and hence should be different works.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0448095041, Hardcover)

Nancy finds herself in danger when she tries to solve the mystery of the old inn, believed to be jinxed.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:35 -0400)

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Nancy Drew - Book 4

(summary from another edition)

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