Saturday, April 26, 2014

Dorothy Dixon & the Double Cousin: Review

Dorothy Dixon is just your typical girl sleuth--you know, the kind of girl who can fly planes, pilot motor boats, throw a knife with deadly accuracy, and take the place of an almost-identical twin cousin at the drop of a hat (without ever having met the cousin before and, therefore, without having the first clue how said cousin behaves in day-to-day situations). Dorothy is a mere sixteen years old, but by the time Dorothy Dixon and the Double Cousin takes place, she already has three mysteries under her belt and the local Secret Service agent trusts her enough to take her into his confidence over top secret plans for a super spiffy, super dangerous formula for a brand new explosive.

Dorothy's cousin Janet Johnson is in deep trouble with her daddy and the secret organization he belongs to. Janet sleepwalks and she managed to sleepwalk herself into a room where the organization was going to hold its top-secret meeting. She awakens behind a screen and hopes that she won't be discovered...but, of course, she is and the members find it hard to believe that the girl didn't overhear all their nefarious plans. Enter Dorothy....she bumps into Janet's finance (who mistakes her for Janet....just how well does he know his girl, anyway?) and finds out that Janet has been locked in her room until the organization can figure out whether she really was still sleepwalking or whether she overheard everything and is a threat to their plans. Howard is afraid that Janet is in danger and Dorothy promises to help him rescue her.

She enlists the advice of her beau Bill Bolton (who, by the way, is the star of his own mystery/adventure series) as well as the local Secret Service agent who they both happen to be chums with. It winds up that the organization in question is already on the agent's radar and he enlists Dorothy's help in rounding up these crooks who have their eye on Doctor Winn's newest invention "Winnite"--a dangerous, explosive gas that must not fall into the wrong hands. 

The group manages to slip Dorothy into Janet's room where she has all of about 15 minutes to study her cousin (under stressful circumstances) while they exchange clothes and Janet sneaks out the window into Howard's loving arms. It's now up to Dorothy to pull the wool over Janet's father's eyes (as well as the gang members) as she's virtually kidnapped and hustled off to a house in the country where the two leading crooks have their eye on Dr. Winn and his precious formula. The rest of the story consists of the butler/incognito secret service man warning Dorothy not to drink the lemonade, giving her instructions on how to copy the formula before the crooks can get their hands on it, and the secret service agent/butler getting conked on the head by the female half of the crooked duo so Dorothy can be the heroine who saves the day.  Much adventurous hi-jinks ensue and it all ends readers of these Girl Super Sleuth adventures know it will.

This was a fun, quick read and I'm sure I would have devoured it (and the other three books in the series) right along with the Nancy Drew books had I discovered it when I was younger. It was pleasant to settle back and enjoy a girl's adventure story from yesteryear. No deep mysteries here--no complicated plot.  Just good, clean fun.  ★★★

This novel by Dorothy Wayne (1933) fulfills the "Crime Other than Murder" [theft/kidnapping] square on the Golden Vintage Bingo card.


1 comment:

fredamans said...

Just hearing you use it with Nancy Drew in a sentence lets me know what I'm getting into if I read it. Which I would. :-) Great review!