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The Secret of Shadow Ranch (1931)

by Carolyn Keene

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Nancy Drew (5)

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3,847283,077 (3.77)24
Nancy arrives in Phoenix, Arizona, eagerly looking forward to a fun-filled vacation at Shadow Ranch but finds herself embroiled in a baffling mystery involving a phantom horse and buried treasure.

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Showing 1-5 of 28 (next | show all)
1931 Version:

1965 Version: 3 stars.
I enjoyed this one, it reminded me a lot of the old Westerns I used to watch with my father. It also reminded me of Barbie - I grew up reading Barbie - anything reminiscent is always good. I liked the story of Dirk Valentine and his one true love. The way in which the ghost horse was rigged up was fascinating and added an interesting dimension. The bad guys were pretty obvious but it was a nice easy going mystery. And Nancy was smart and capable as she deceived them and god knows it's hard to resist a smart capable heroine holding her own in a fight. ( )
  funstm | Dec 1, 2022 |
Nancy and her two best friends, George and Bess, travel to Arizona for a vacation on Shadow Ranch which is owned by one of her friend's relations. While there they discover that there is a mystery to be solved - there are sightings of a ghost horse and the lure of a hidden treasure. As bizarre happenings occur, Nancy begins to think that one of the ranch hands is behind the trouble at the ranch. When trapped by the culprits, Nancy does what she does best - evade certain harm and solve the case.

This is finally the book where we see George and Bess make their first appearance as most Nancy Drew fans know that they are her most loyal sidekicks. Together the three girls make Nancy's adventures far more exciting and the books a great read. Laura Linney continues to do an amazing job portraying Nancy and all those around her. Nancy, although a teenager in a very different time, continues to give all young girls thoughts of solving their own mysteries. ( )
  Micareads | Aug 14, 2022 |
A good Nancy Drew book that gave us the masterpiece that is the Secret of Shadow Ranch computer game. I wasnt too happy with the part where Nancy and her friends dress up in culturally appropriative costumes though. ( )
  mutantpudding | Dec 26, 2021 |
This was one of my very favorites as a kid, and I still enjoyed the mystery and travel narrative very much. However, we need to get real about the Native American cultural appropriation that happens here. Nancy and friends dress up in women's regalia (cringe) and refer to their outfits as costumes (cringe). I realize that the books today would likely treat this scene VERY differently, and that's good. It's still vital to point out what is no longer accepted and how we can do better. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
Nancy Drew and her friends George Fayne and Bess Marvin head to Arizona in this fifth installment of the classic mystery series for young readers. As George and Bess' aunt, Mrs. Rawley, works to get Shadow Ranch into better condition in order to sell it, the girls have a series of exciting adventures in the mountains, confronting wild lynx and cougars, and fording raging rivers. Nancy also finds herself getting involved in a local mystery, as she investigates the nasty Martha Frank and her abusive relationship to her ward, the young Lucy Shaw. In true Nancy Drew style, involving lots of coincidence and serendipity, the resolution of this puzzle also solves another mystery, healing an old wound in the family life of Alice Regor, George and Bess' cousin, who accompanied the girls to Arizona...

The Secret at Shadow Ranch is notable in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series, in that it introduces George and Bess, who become Nancy's best friends throughout the rest of the series, replacing the earlier Helen Corning, who seems to just disappear. I read the Applewood Books facsimile reproduction of the original 1931 edition, rather than the revised and condensed edition put out in the 1950s (the one with the yellow cover and spine), and it featured an introduction from Mildred Wirt Benson, the author who wrote the first twenty-three books in the series, under the pseudonym 'Carolyn Keene.' It's interesting to note that she considered this one of her favorites, of the Nancy Drew books she wrote. Given the western setting, and the date of publication, I was expecting some outdated depictions of Native Americans and/or Latinos, but surprisingly, there was none of that here. Ironically, given the fact that the rewrites done in the late 1950s and early 60s were intended to scrub some of the overt racism of the original books, they apparently added in some patronizing content in that regard. I usually find that these earlier, original editions of Nancy Drew have more outdated, and quite uncomfortable social content, but also better writing and more interesting historical details. Reading them is a trade-off. Here however, you apparently have the best of both worlds! Recommended to fans of Nancy Drew, who enjoyed previous installments of the series. ( )
1 vote AbigailAdams26 | Jun 19, 2020 |
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» Add other authors (14 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carolyn Keeneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Benson, Mildred WirtIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jepsen, AnnetteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tandy, Russell H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Winther, EugenieTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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[1965 edition] "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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Information from the French Common Knowledge. Edit to localize it to your language.
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Nancy arrives in Phoenix, Arizona, eagerly looking forward to a fun-filled vacation at Shadow Ranch but finds herself embroiled in a baffling mystery involving a phantom horse and buried treasure.

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