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The Secret of Red Gate Farm by Carolyn Keene
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This book opens as Nancy and her friends Bess and George are talking about a uncomfortable perfume purchase made by Bess. On the train ride back to River Heights, this perfume and a girl who has fainted on the train become the underpinnings for Nancy's next mystery.

I LOVED Nancy Drew growing up, I kept them neatly arranged in numerical order on my bookshelf. Noting which volumes I was still missing and planning my next shopping trip. Back then I chose my favorites by the cover art not necessarily the stories, The Spider Sapphire Mystery and the Mysterious Mannequin were my absolute favorites.

In the late 70s and early 80s the Nancy Drew mysteries were thrilling adventures and Nancy Drew a daring detective. Re-reading 30 years later not so much.

**********Spoiler Alert***********************

I try to keep in mind many of these were originally written in the 30's, but in this story I chuckled at Nancy's insistence on giving rides and taking home strangers, Mr. Drew's reaction of "well be careful" as she relates mounting threats she is experiencing from the counterfeiting ring.

Her elevation, at age 18, to almost a detective peer with Chief Mcginnis. Nancy relates to him her mysterious experiences and suspicions about this counterfeiting ring and again gets a "well be careful" and let us know if you find any clues.

The mystery itself of course is wrapped up neatly without some much as a run in her stocking, I actually do like the fact that they all have happy, "sigh-that's just the way it should have turned out", endings.

It might have been made a bit more intriguing if the elderly boarders at the Red Gate Farm were really members of the Black Snake Colony, but not to be. It might have had more suspense if when caught by the counterfeiting gang they were threatened with dismemberment or death rather than being locked in a cabin and left to starve. Although I bet it would have been hardest on Bess as she does" love her desserts".

I admit to a bit of eye rolling when reading how this extraordinary, 18 year old, girl brought down a counterfeit ring that has stumped the secret service. If only they had the sense to simply follow the clues; the rude perfume purchase, a strange comment made by a man on a train, the overhearing a series of numbers and a mysterious cult hanging about a cave. Hopefully the new head of the CIA has the same female intuition and we'll see her pull a few Nancy Drew's on the Taliban and Al-Qaeda.

I do have to say these nostalgic re-reads give my long smoldering desire to write a big boos,t after all, if these have been such a smashing success for generations, could I do any worse? ( )
  mccin68 | Feb 5, 2014 |
One of my old favorites. This is the original blue roadster version that I first found in that hot summer of 1961, when I read an entire book every day from the Harvard (Nebraska) Public Library.
  MerryMary | Jun 30, 2011 |
The fun part of reading the Nancy Drew books a second time and this time in order is the fact that I can discern between authors - even though they are all writing under the nom de plume of Carolyn Keene.

This is the 6th book of the series; Helen Corning, Nancy's BFF and side kick isn't even mentioned and neither is Ned Nickerson, her mentioned but not seen boyfriend in the 5th book. The story takes place near Nancy's home of River Heights, but it's on a farm a few hours away. Nancy befriends a tired, sad-looking girl on the train and then decides that she and her two best friends George and Bess should mettle in her affaris. It's a good thing too because there is a mystery to be solved and a farm to be saved. Oh where is Lassie?

Nancy and friends ride to rescue insisting on helping around the farm as well as paying for the experience. Two boarders show up and one of them has a handsome son. Good thing Ned isn't around. The boarders are two cantankerous elderly people, who think the girls shouldn't investigate the shenanigans going on at the Black Snake Colony, a nature cult who has rented some of the farmland.

Of course nosy Nancy investigates and just happens to stumble upon a counterfeiting ring! Which over the course of the 110 pages she of course breaks up, with no real help from Bess and George.

The one glaring difference I noticed in this book is that Nancy is rescued by a man. Usually, she scorns any help from a man or after she has solved the mystery, the man shows up to cart the bad guys off to jail. This story also has a bit of domesticate violence, and everyone is appalled by it.

Carson Drew makes an appearance at the end of the book, when he pops in to see what his wonderfully smart, talented daughter has been up too. The farm has been saved from the creditors and is making a profit; The bad guys are in jail and Nancy is a bit sad because she just doesn't know when her next mystery will show up.

Ok, I'm pretty sarcastic towards Nancy in this book. I just don't like her. I'm wondering if anyone, male or female would traipse around in the dark in the woods with strangers lurking - and not tell anyone. Also, if she and her friends were caught by counterfeiters, they would be dead - not tied up and threatened with starvation. Oh well, I guess it was a kinder, gentler criminal back then. I'm hoping the next book will be a bit more intense. I never felt any trepidation in this one. ( )
1 vote TamiHindes | Apr 24, 2011 |
Carolyn Keene never fails to deliver an excellent mystery novel in her series of Nancy Drew, super sleuth. I really like how all of her novels follow the same pattern, one would think this could be boring, however, it is satisfying to the reader to know or be able to guess at the events of the novel.
Nancy Drew remains, as always, a terrific protagonist. Her friends, Bess and George, are terrific "sidekicks" with well-developed personalities. I never fail to enjoy these novels, keep producing them! ( )
  Icecream18 | Apr 13, 2011 |
it was an ok kind of book
  anyg | Nov 5, 2010 |
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When Bess Marvin purchased an expensive bottle of Oriental perfume, she never expected to stumble into a mystery. Now Bess, Nancy, George, and their new friend Jo are out to unravel the secrets of a mysterious conspiracy, a secretive cult, and a ring of counterfeiters.
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Nancy Drew - Book 6

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