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The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk (Nancy…

The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk (Nancy Drew, Book 17) (original 1940; edition 1940)

by Carolyn Keene

Series: Nancy Drew (17)

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A brass-bound trunk mistakenly delivered to Nancy's cabin on a New York-bound ocean liner becomes the first clue leading her to suspect that international jewel thieves are aboard.
Title:The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk (Nancy Drew, Book 17)
Authors:Carolyn Keene
Info:Grosset & Dunlap (1940), Edition: Revised, Hardcover, 192 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Teen Mystery

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The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk by Carolyn Keene (1940)


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Nancy Drew is many things to many people. She's a heroine. She has a sharp mind. She's pretty. She's damn good at golf, sailing, dancing, and everything else she tries. According to Mrs. Joslin, however, she's unfit company for her daughter Nestrelda on an upcoming cruise for girls from a local boarding school. Mrs. Joslin goes to great lengths to block Nancy's passage with the other girls. Nancy is nonplussed, but withdraws from the group, but not from the trip itself. Accompanied by George and Bess, Nancy will go on to South America on the same ship. It just so happens a friend of her father's has asked her to meddle with his daughter's personal life. This is an unpleasant task for Nancy, but she agrees to do what she can to prevent the girl from throwing her life away on the man her parents hadn't arranged for her to marry. The girl is, after all, set to inherit her father's half of the prestigious Trenton Trunk Co.

As if all of this wasn't awkward enough. Nancy's monogrammed trunk is almost removed from the ship! It turns out that her trunk and Nestrelda's, the girl who was to be protected from Nancy's presence, are identical. Nestrelda Darlington has kept her father's name despite her mother remarrying. This coincidence leads to further mysteries when it becomes clear that someone is after the trunks! Does it have anything to do with the decline in quality of Trenton Trunks? Is there something shady going on in foreign Buenos Aires?

This one gets a little convoluted with romantic entanglements and mistaken identities, but it comes out all right in the end. Ghost writer Mildred Wirt ties herself in knots jamming in various elements and scenes that were likely required elements in her outline. There was also some trouble in making sure that while Nancy doesn't compromise herself by being a duenna for the younger girls, it wouldn't do to have those girls make inappropriate matches that compromise their class standing. We all have our level. I'm writing this a few months after the fact so I may be forgetting something heinous that was somehow alright in 1940.

The 1976 revision seems to have traded luggage embezzlement in South America for hijinks on a trans-Atlantic cruise complete with international espionage.

Nancy Drew Mysteries

Next: 'The Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion'

Previous: 'The Clue of the Tapping Heels'; ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Oct 20, 2021 |
An okay mystery, but automatic one-star reduction for cultural appropriation. ( )
  DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
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 |
#17 From the moment Nancy Drew boards an ocean liner leaving for New York, she becomes involved in a new and dangerous mystery. A man on the pier gestures to someone on board in sign language. BEWARE OF NANCY DREW AND NE, he signals. Who is NE? Can it be Nelda Detweiler, a young woman who shares a cabin with Nancy, Bess, and George? Mystery and intrigue follow the girls across the ocean; but with her usual ingenuity Nancy solves the mystery and defeats her enemies before the ship reaches New York. ( )
  LynneQuan | Sep 22, 2017 |
Not as cheesy nor boring as others in the series. ( )
  Ayanami_Faerudo | Jul 5, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carolyn Keeneprimary authorall editionscalculated
Tandy, Russell H.Illustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Nancy Drew swung her tennis racket into a corner of the front hall.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This is the original version, in which Nancy sails to Buenos Aires. Please do not combine with the revision in which Nancy sails to New York.
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