Thursday, October 28, 2021

The Bungalow Mystery

 The Bungalow Mystery (1930) by Carolyn Keene

Nancy and her friend Helen Corning are spending time at a camp at Moon Lake--boating, hiking, swimming, playing volleyball. A sudden storm comes up while the two young women are boating far from the camp and despite Nancy's best efforts to outrun the wind and rain, their boat runs up against floating debris and they are tossed into the water. Helen is not a strong swimmer and it takes all of Nancy's strength to keep her friend above water while trying to swim for shore. She's sure they're not going to make it when a rescuer appears in a row boat. 

Laura Pendleton had heard the cries for help and, despite not being able to swim herself, risked life and limb to save Nancy and Helen. Over the next few days, the three become fast friends and Nancy learns that Laura is a recent orphan waiting for her new guardian to arrive. Laura is dreading it--for no reason she can name. And Nancy tells her if she ever needs help to get in touch. Little does our "girl detective" know how soon Laura will need to take her up on that offer.

Laura's new guardian turns out to be a nasty man who seems intent on turning Laura into a housekeeper and who tells her that contrary to what her parents led her to believe, she's now penniless. He's cruel and verbally abusive...and Laura decides she can't take it anymore. She sneaks out of the bungalow where he has taken her to live and determines to make her way to River Heights. Fortunately, she crosses paths with Nancy who is on her way home. After hearing about Laura's treatment at the hands of Jacob Aborn, Nancy determines to get to the bottom of the trouble. What she finds when she investigates the bungalow is a trail of fraud, impersonation, and imprisonment. It's up to Nancy to discover where Laura's fortune went and to try and get it back for her friend.

my copy--was my mom's
This Nancy Drew adventure starts out with excitement (the boating incident) and just keeps going. It's almost non-stop action and Nancy does a good bit of house-breaking to find the answers she needs (bad Nancy). But--she manages to get away from the bad guy/s who tie her up and she rescues someone else along the way. As always, good triumphs over evil and everyone (except the bad guys) live happily ever after. Exciting stuff and I remember being on the edge of my seat when I read this back in 1978 (was it really that long ago?!). Still a good read all these years later. ★★★★

First lines: "Don't you think we should turn back, Helen? It's getting dreadfully dark out here on the lake and I don't like the look of those big black clouds.

Last lines: But for the present, Nancy Drew was not pining for excitement or adventure. The prospect of a restful summer with Laura Pendleton and Helen Corning satisfied her completely.

No comments: