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The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew, #4) by…
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The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew, #4) (edition 1930)

by Carolyn Keene

Series: Nancy Drew (4)

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3,042213,350 (3.74)20
While trying to help a friend out of a difficulty, teenage detective Nancy Drew has a perilous experience in and around a deserted bungalow.
Member:Sonja-Fay-Little
Title:The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew, #4)
Authors:Carolyn Keene
Info:Grosset & Dunlap, Kindle Edition, 202 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:***
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The Mystery at Lilac Inn by Carolyn Keene

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A fun mystery compiled of several cases that merge into Nancy's impersonator. I really like how Nancy models career satisfaction for young girls amidst her friends' wedding plans. She enjoys dating and fun, but she loves being a detective. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
The Mystery at Lilac Inn is the fourth Nancy Drew Mystery. Originally published in 1930, the book was revised and updated in 1961. The story is a little bit dated, (example - a department store credit card is called a "charge plate'' and snorkeling/free diving is called "skin diving.'') but not enough to hamper my enjoyment of this action-packed story! Although this story follows the usual Nancy Drew suspenseful formula, there is more danger and action in this story than the previous three mysteries. The bad guys really mean business this time!

The Basics: Nancy and her friend Helen travel to the Lilac Inn to visit with their friend Emily, who is soon to be married. Immediately strange things start to happen....their canoe capsizes, thefts occur at the inn, and someone is pretending to be Nancy! Of course, Nancy jumps right into the mystery to help her friend. The case is filled with danger this time and Nancy finds herself in multiple scrapes while sleuthing out the truth.

Great story! I'm enjoying reading my way through this series as an adult. I was about 10 years old or so when I read these books the first time. I'm enjoying them as much at 50 as I did at 10! I do have to smile a bit when Nancy miraculously has exactly what she needs to investigate, or when help shows up just in time to save her from a grisly demise.

I listened to the audio book version of this story. I'm really enjoying the audio books from Books on Tape via my local library. There are sound effects and music added at appropriate spots in the story to build suspense. Makes it fun! And I can listen to the story while working outside in my yard and garden. At just over 3 hours long, this audio book was a perfect easy listening length. I easily finished it in a day. Laura Linney narrates. Linney has a pleasant voice and reads at a nice pace. All in all, an enjoyable listening experience.

On to the next book in this series -- The Secret of Shadow Ranch! ( )
  JuliW | Nov 22, 2020 |
This was an interesting story that brought back memories of reading Nancy Drew in elementary school. The nostalgia alone would have made it a five star read, but the story was a little convoluted. Too many plot twists were thrown in, and the essence of the mystery could get lost sometimes. Sometimes there are too many red herrings and the fish starts to smell. But, I don't think it completely stunk. ( )
  jguidry | Nov 11, 2020 |
It's hard to find good help in River Heights in this fourth mystery featuring that teenage girl sleuth, Nancy Drew. As she struggles to figure out who stole her friend Emily Crandall's inheritance - $40,000 worth of jewels, carelessly left by Emily's guardian on a cafe table - Nancy must also find a new housekeeper, when faithful family servant Hannah Gruen must unexpectedly leave the Drew household to care for her injured sister. The two challenges intertwine in the form of Mary Mason, an insolent girl who briefly applied for the position of Drew housekeeper, before being frightened off by the information that her employer would be Carson Drew, famed criminal lawyer and investigator. When Nancy discovers that Mary has inexplicably come into some money, shortly after the theft of the Crandall jewels, her suspicions are aroused...

The racial, ethnic and class prejudices often found in the original Nancy Drew books are on full display here, in The Mystery at Lilac Inn. The succession of maids that Nancy interviews, to fill Hannah's post, include a "dirty and slovenly" looking "Negress" who shuffles, an unreasonable Irish woman, an inexperienced Scotch lassie, and sullen farm girl Mary Mason. None of them fit the bill, and Nancy, after much searching, is relieved to find an elderly WASP (White Anglo-Saxon Protestant) woman to take the position. The mystery feels similarly structured, with Nancy considering one unsuitable candidate for the role of villain after another, until settling on Mary, who arouses her suspicions by frequenting a very exclusive dress shop. The remainder of the story is devoted to Nancy pursuing this clue, and leads our heroine into a dangerous spy mission, and an involuntary boat trip.

Although there were elements of the story here that I enjoyed - as always, I appreciate the vintage vocabulary and period details in these original editions from the 1930s - others bothered me. In addition to the more overt prejudice mentioned above, there is a lot of unconscious assumption of privilege on Nancy's part, such as when she persuades her father to use his contacts at the River Heights department stores to gather information on what Mary has purchased. When Carson Drew expresses hesitation, mentioning that his manager friend may balk at the idea of handing over confidential information, due to the store policy, Nancy brushes this aside almost impatiently, arguing that these people owe her father a favor. Apparently she doesn't believe in work ethics! There's this feeling throughout, when speaking of such retail works, or of the police, that they should just accept what their "betters" - i.e.: Nancy and her kind - want done, because it is for the best. I understand that the 1950s revision of this one has a significantly altered plot, and a girl masquerading as Nancy herself. A side-by-side read of these would be fascinating, I think, but I don't have time for such an involved project. Recommended to those who enjoy vintage girls' fare, and to fans of Nancy Drew.

Addendum: this Applewood Books edition, which presented a facsimile reprint of the original 1930 first edition, might also be of particular interest to fans, as it contains an introduction by Mildred Benson, one of the primary early authors behind "Carolyn Keene." ( )
  AbigailAdams26 | May 29, 2020 |
I loved this series when I was a kid. I think partly it's because I liked and could relate to Nancy, and it's always a plus to enjoyment when you can see yourself in the shoes of a character you respect.

Looking back on it now, I can see that it did have issues, but it's still an amusing story. I remembered some of the mystery from my youth, guessed at other parts, and was surprised by still other parts. Worth a read, but not a must read. ( )
  ca.bookwyrm | May 18, 2020 |
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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:

LILAC INN: CHICKEN DINNERS OUR SPECIALTY.
[1961] “Nancy Drew! How did you and Helen paddle that canoe up here so fast from River Heights?” cried Doris Drake in astonishment.
Quotations
[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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While trying to help a friend out of a difficulty, teenage detective Nancy Drew has a perilous experience in and around a deserted bungalow.

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