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The Captive Witness (Nancy Drew Mystery…

The Captive Witness (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, No 64) (edition 1981)

by Carolyn Keene

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271462,187 (3.55)1
Title:The Captive Witness (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, No 64)
Authors:Carolyn Keene
Info:Aladdin (1981), Paperback, 186 pages
Collections:Your library

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Captive Witness by Carolyn Keene



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Captive Witness by Carolyn Keene
#64 Nancy Drew Mysteries

It has been a looooong time since I've read Nancy Drew. What is so interesting to me is that I have the same impression now at 45 as I did back when I was around 10 or so (coincidentally, which is when this particular book was written). The independence and freedom, not to mention trust and respect--and cool cars--she is given by her father is impressive considering she is still only 18 years old. I remember admiring that about her because she always seemed so sophisticated.

She always dressed nicely and appropriately for any occasion. I especially loved her style in the books that took place in the 50s and 60s (white gloves and hats, anyone?) before they revised them to make her seem more modern...and everyone less racist *cough, cough*. She knew different languages and cool things like Irish step-dancing and how to cauterize wounds while riding a horse. I'm making that up, but it's probably in one of the earlier books. She always took the lead in solving mysteries and the adults would just go along with her ideas. The thought of the power inherent in all the respect she is given is heady for a little girl imagining herself in that role.

Nancy was on a student tour of Austria with her friends Ned, George, Burt, and Bess, when she learns of a secret plan by their professor to smuggle some endangered children out of an Eastern European country, through Hungary and over to Austria where they would be safe. From there, they would be shipped off to their families waiting for them in England and the United States. The professor is being watched too carefully, so he has to enlist Nancy and her friends to help rescue the children.

While they are making plans on how to accomplish this, Nancy receives a call from home. Her father asks her to help track down a movie reel for a documentary, titled Captive Witness, stolen from a famous director. It is located somewhere in Vienna, so Mr. Drew asks her to branch off from the group for a bit to locate it. In doing so, they are put in danger several times by a couple of bumbling but deadly goons who are determined to stop Nancy. The story was kind of hokey, but it was fun to see how teenagers could come up with ways to escape, evade, snoop, distract, and eventually outwit the bad guys.

I read this with my admittedly jaded 8yo daughter, and she and I both were rolling our eyes at times. We determined that you just have to go along with it and not think too much about how (un)realistic her abilities were. At one point, Nancy was chasing down a bad guy, and this happens:

Instinctively, Nancy made her move. She leaped high, grabbed a projecting pipe, swung her feet up and over the oncoming car and dropped them solidly on the man's right shoulder. (...and ends up in a judo stance.)

My daughter immediately said, "I don't even think that's possible. She jumped OVER a car?" I told her with a smirk and a snort, "It's Nancy Drew. She can do anything." Her deadpan reply? "She's Barbie." You are right, little one. I think that's why little girls can't get enough of her...even when they roll their eyes.

Side note from the so-called adult: Her best friends are always there to help take down the bad guys, she gets all the credit, and they pat her on the back because they are pleased as punch that she always gets the glory. "You deserve it, Nancy!" I'm still waiting for an adult version of Nancy Drew where Ned Nickerson is a pot-bellied drunk still following Nancy around like a puppy dog, happy with her scraps, reliving his glory days of pretending to be a gondolier or whatever; Burt dies from a horrible goring during Running of the Bulls (thanks, Nancy); her girlfriends, George and Bess, spend their days shopping and getting Botox injections, all the while Nancy is winning the Nobel Peace Prize and running for office as Leader of the World, and the next mystery to be solved is, The Case of the Missing 'Fountain of Youth' Sleuth. ( )
  AddictedToMorphemes | Mar 3, 2016 |
Captive Witness is the title of a documentary about life under Communist rule in an Eastern European country. Kurt Kessler, the director, defected to the USA a year ago. As one might imagine, the authorities of his native land don't want his film to be shown at the Vienna Film Festival.

Nancy Drew and her best chums, George and Bess, manage to join an Emerson College tour to Austria (which allows the author to have Ned, Burt, and Dave in the picture). That it's not just a normal tour is hinted at in the first chapter.

Nancy is soon up to her neck in international intrigue. Can she solve the mystery and pull off the humanitarian task? Of course she can, but there's plenty of action and danger along the way.

Nancy Drew was my introduction to mysteries. (I was eight, it was the very early 1960s, and almost all of the 4 or 5 books given to me were 1930s editions). I haven't read many of the titles past The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes, but this one came my way. It's not bad. I probably would have loved it if I'd read it when I was in school. ( )
  JalenV | Dec 18, 2014 |
I actually haven't read this one in a while, but it was a favorite when younger. Nancy and company are touring Europe with an Emerson group and get caught up in an adventure involving a stolen film and refugee children. This is similar to the later hardcovers but with more of an espionage feel--very suspenseful. ( )
  mystrygirl87 | Jul 5, 2009 |
Very interesting, Nancy goes to Europe and helps fugitive children escape across the border. ( )
  SusieBookworm | Aug 11, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0448436957, Hardcover)

On a student tour through Europe, Nancy discovers that their leader is on a secret mission to transfer ten refugee children from an iron curtain country to freedom! Before the mission is completed, Nancy receives an urgent message from her father concerning a missing entry in a foreign film festival. Undaunted and clever, Nancy pursues an intriguing clue found in a student's wheelchair and finds herself in great danger.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:21:47 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Trouble plagues a student tour through Europe as Nancy becomes involved in a plot to smuggle refugee children across the Austrian border from Eastern Europe.

(summary from another edition)

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