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The Secret of Shadow Ranch (Nancy Drew, Book…

The Secret of Shadow Ranch (Nancy Drew, Book 5) (original 1931; edition 1980)

by Carolyn Keene

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1,744164,046 (3.71)16
Title:The Secret of Shadow Ranch (Nancy Drew, Book 5)
Authors:Carolyn Keene
Info:Grosset & Dunlap (1980), Hardcover, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Fiction, Mystery, Childhood, Children/YA

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The Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn Keene (1931)



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Showing 1-5 of 15 (next | show all)
Nancy is trying to see in this book what a group of criminals want and she will not only find out, she will discover the truth that has been hidden for 50 years. I love this book because it's full of adventure and mystery.

I love Nancy Drew books because of the great context, the setting and the theme, and overall the suspenseful mystery. I recommend this book because of the great mystery that is unexpected.

I give this book 4 stars because even though it was good, I've read better Nancy Drew books such as the Bungalow Mystery.
  jillfisk8 | Oct 3, 2014 |
I read two different editions of this book. They are completely different stories and different mysteries to solve. The newer edition has much more action and jumps immediately into the suspense. The facsimile edition is slower paced and takes a little longer to build to the mystery. I enjoyed both. I wonder which I read as a child. I was reading used copies from Acres of Books in Long Beach, Ca. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
This continues my series of comparative reviews of the 1930s and 1950s editions of the Nancy Drew books.

Shadow Ranch was the mystery with the biggest divergence of story so far. I've been trying to read them more or less in parallel, but that was pretty much impossible here - they're basically two distinct stories with different plots entirely.

In the 1930s version, there are two main mysteries - what happened to Alice's father, and what's the deal with the little blonde girl who lives with the mysterious old women in the mountain shack. The majority of the book takes place on horseback in the mountains, where the girls have various adventures and Nancy shoots a lynx and a rattlesnake, leads them across raging floodwaters, and finds them shelter when they're lost overnight. Her clever deduction and a telegram back to her father for research solves one mystery, and the other gets wrapped up almost coincidentally.

In the 1950s version, a phantom horse is frightening the inhabitants of the ranch and Nancy learns about the legend of an outlaw's treasure hidden somewhere on the property. Alice's father is still missing, but it's on a much shorter timeframe (months instead of years) and a much less subtle solution. Nearly all of the sleuthing takes place in the farmhouse, with hidden clues and trapdoors and all, or in town. There are a couple of wilderness excursions, but not nearly as many, nor does Nancy do anything particularly butch - even the flood rescue is credited entirely to her "water horse." Obligatory shopping and cooking scenes are inserted, and much is made of the girls' clothes and hair at every occasion.

These are basically not the same book at all, despite the title in common, and the 1930s version is by far the more interesting one. ( )
  JeremyPreacher | Mar 30, 2013 |
Nancy Drew and her friends wanted to go to a ranch camp for the summer but the owner of the camp said that they might not be able to stay at the camp because of the mystery horse the horse is a shodow horse who belonged to a man the owned the ranch a long time ago and the man had burried tresure on the ranch somwhere and they were hoping nancey and her freinds would help solve the mystery and find the tresure.Find out if Nancy and her freinds are lucky. ( )
  GG18 | Apr 25, 2012 |
This is my fifth Nancy Drew Book in a month. Although I'm not sure who really wrote this book, it's obvious it's a different writer. Nancy's engaged friend Helen Corning is gone and the cousins George and Bess have replaced her. This book takes Nancy to Arizona far from River Heights and her family. Her father, Carson Drew and housekeeper Hannah Gruen are only mentioned in passing and play no part in this book. Also we hear for the first time of a boyfriend - Ned. Those who have read other Nancy Drew books know that George, Bess and their boyfriends along with Ned, become mainstays later.

Nancy as usual, is just trying to have a nice vacation and knit a sweater for her father. She no sooner lands at the airport than I mystery lands in her bag - a rattlesnake rattle, then a mysterious man leave a message in the car she and her friends are driving. Something or someone is haunting Shadow Ranch. There is a second mystery - George and Bess's uncle is missing from the bank where he is president. The authorities think he might have been part of a robbery there, but his daughter and the cousins don't think so.

Not only is Nancy a good sleuth, but in this book she's an excellent equestrian and a great baker. She meets a woman who runs a store in Tumbleweed and saves the store from robbery. Because of her heroism, the woman gives Nancy an old watch which just happens to have a clue to mystery.

Rock slides, a phantom horse, an old west romance, and a ghost town all play a part in this mystery. Of course, in the end, Nancy solves the mystery of the ranch, finds the treasure, rescues the bank president and leads the sheriff to the bad guy. When the dust clears, everyone loves Nancy and she's a bit wistful because the case is done and she doesn't know when she'll find another one - but she can finish knitting her father's sweater.

A bit on the hokey side for the 21st century - no cell phones, computer or other technology. The author describes the clothes, especially the "squaw" dresses the girls choose to wear to the BBQ. And I found it amusing that when the girls go to town to eat, they have tacos and the word is in italics. Obviously, this was a foreign food to most. I had to chuckle because where I live in Michigan, we have a Taco Bell and 5 authentic Mexican restaurants in town, plus the Eagles, the VFW, and the local bar all have taco day. But while the author emphasizes the word, she doesn't describe what they are. She does go into great detail about the cake that nice is baking.

These are fun books to read - if for no other reason than to have a glimpse into what was important in a by-gone time. ( )
  TamiHindes | Apr 14, 2011 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carolyn Keeneprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Tandy, Russell H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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"Here I am, girls!" exclaimed Nancy Drew as she hugged her two best friends.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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DO NOT COMBINE ISBN 081185163X with this work! That isbn is a blank notebook that has illustrations from this book. It is not the same!
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In Arizona, Nancy uncovers a strange mystery about a kidnapped child.
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Nancy Drew - Book 5

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