Search Site
This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

The Clue of the Tapping Heels by Carolyn…

The Clue of the Tapping Heels (original 1939; edition 1939)

by Carolyn Keene

Series: Nancy Drew (16)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,278711,216 (3.73)6
Nancy Drew tries to find a clue to the strange tapping sounds in the house of a retired actress.
Title:The Clue of the Tapping Heels
Authors:Carolyn Keene
Info:Grosset & Dunlap Publishers: New York
Collections:Your library
Tags:Mysteries, Children's Books, Hard Cover, Dust Jacket, Fiction

Work details

The Clue of the Tapping Heels by Carolyn Keene (1939)


Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

» See also 6 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
'The Clue of the Tapping Heels' as originally published in 1939 has some incredibly weird goings-on. There is plenty of charm in the original writing, but readers should be warned that dated, offensive language is employed describing some of the villains. Worse than the language for me was Nancy's strident implication that Omar Washington's worst sin was pretending to be Egyptian when he was "colored" all along. Nancy, sweetie. Calm down. I'd be more indignant about the disabled boy that everyone keeps passing around like a hot potato.

In the end, however, the biggest issue for me was that the book just doesn't hold together. There are a lot of disjointed elements to the plot and so many instances of "tapping" that it goes beyond contrived. I expect these old series books to hinge on coincidence. I don't like being beaten over the head with a...theme? Are tapping sounds, tap codes and motorized tap shoes a theme?

We open with Nancy briskly tappa-tappa-tapping to a radio orchestra and informing her housekeeper, Hannah Gruen, that she's developed a code like Morse so she can communicate while dancing. Hannah is nonplussed, but George and Bess eventually think it's a keen idea. On a drive the girls discover a lost cat and trace the owner, a retired actress living in a decaying house with dozens of cats.

This leads to a case of an ill-gotten inheritence, a dead-heir-who-may-not-be-the-heir, absconding scoundrels, an Egyptian temple/restaurant with knock-out incense, a December-December romance, a spoiled actress, a disabled child's resurrection and "cure", and so much more. It all comes down to money, of course, but there are so many detours along the way it was hard to believe this was only a little over 200 pages.

Nancy Drew Mysteries

Next: 'The Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk'

Previous: 'The Haunted Bridge' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Jul 15, 2021 |
Fine condition
  JamesLemons | Apr 21, 2020 |
I read my first Nancy Drew when my classmates and I raided our (too-few-books) library in our first year. Then, one classmate had some books of her own and I borrowed from her.

I liked the idea of a teen amateur detective who solved mysteries and still be practically perfect in every way. Nancy Drew was my first Mary Sue character.

Over the years, reading Nancy Drew evolved into pursuing the goal of collecting all the original 1-57 hardbound books published by Grosset and Dunlap. And less to do with the stories contained therein since my taste in mystery novels also changed and I wanted more harder to solve mysteries. Not to mention that I couldn't stand Bess Marvin.

When termites made a go at the books I left at my family's ancestral house, I strove to build my book collection back up (the Twilight books survived while my Harry Potter and LOTR books were decimated. Also my W.I.T.C.H. comic collection as well as the hard-to-find-now Ragnarok manhwa). I made it a point to read the Nancy Drew books I haven't read in years.

Which was tedious since my irritation with Bess Marvin did not go away. I found the mysteries still real easy, pinpointing everything in a few pages; and I skipped whole sections without losing the narrative. I know that these books are more geared towards a younger audience; but I still read Harry Potter and the Magic Faraway Tree, so where have you?

The Clue of the Tapping Heels, while not a Ludlum thriller mystery, was an easier read than any of the Nancy Drew books I've read lately. It was more of catching the culprit because all the evidence were already laid there and was waiting for confirmation. Bess was less of a pill and there were adorable Persian cats. Win-win. ( )
  Ayanami_Faerudo | Jan 25, 2019 |
I absolutely loved Nancy Drew growing up. This was a series I latched on to for dear life and never let go. Anytime my mom and I would go to antique stores, we'd peruse the Nancy Drews and add them to the collection (oftentimes my mom had to make deals with me on how many I could buy). So, while I don't remember the exact details of each and every one, the entire series was amazing and really fed my love for reading (especially novels full of suspense and mystery). Thank you, Carolyn Keene, for giving us an intelligent female character to fall in love with in Nancy Drew! ( )
  justagirlwithabook | Aug 1, 2018 |
#16 Challenging questions confront Nancy Drew when she attempts to solve the mystery of the strange tapping sounds in the house of a retired actress. Who is the tapper? How does he gain access to Miss Carter’s house, despite securely locked doors and windows? Why do the tapping sounds come in Morse code? Is there a sinister motive behind the prowler’s actions? While trying to learn the answers to these and other puzzling questions, Nancy finds her investigations complicated by the dishonest administrator of a will and by a thief who steals the actress’s prize Persian cats. ( )
  LynneQuan | Sep 22, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
no reviews | add a review

» Add other authors (8 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carolyn Keeneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Beirão de Brito, Maria JúliaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gil, JúlioIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Palsby, GitteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tandy, Russell H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Nancy Drew tries to find a clue to the strange tapping sounds in the house of a retired actress.

No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (3.73)
1 1
1.5 1
2 4
2.5 2
3 39
3.5 9
4 42
4.5 2
5 25


No genres

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 160,245,990 books! | Top bar: Always visible