The Bungalow Mystery, Nancy Drew #3 (1930)

The Bungalow Mystery - P.M. Carlson, Russell H. Tandy, Carolyn Keene

Here is a Nancy Drew book that shouldn't have been touched by the revisions. This is the daring, pushy girl detective we all know and love without any racism. When it comes to vintage Nancy I'm OK with the class-snobbery as long as its funny. Unfortunately, I know that there's no racism in here only because every character is white, but I'll take the victory. The significant changes made to this text later were all to make Nancy more of a model citizen and lady. 


'The Bungalow Mystery' starts with a dramatic scene where Nancy and her friend Helen are caught in a storm and their boat sinks. Helen is a terrible swimmer and exhausts Nancy by flailing around while being saved. The two are rescued by a girl in rowboat who heard their cries for help. On dry land she relates to them that she is a recent orphan and has misgivings about meeting her new legal guardian who she has never met.


The mystery centers on Laura Pendleton and her guardian Jacob Aborn. Laura's mother had left her a comfortable fortune, but she is informed by her guardian, who is rude and makes her act the servant, that she is almost penniless because of business things. She runs away and begs for Nancy's help.


Nancy jets around in her blue roadster, going so fast the car starts shaking, she breaks into houses and with only a smidge of caution follows suspects alone. In the course of the investigation her father becomes involved and though she listens to his cautions to stay safe and allows her father, eventually, take the lead in car chases when danger is present the girl detective sometimes ignores dad and behaves recklessly.


This is great, great stuff. This is the volume to give to a young reader who wants a taste of the real Nancy Drew without worrying about any problematic elements. The danger? Pfft. Any modern mg or ya book will have loads more issues than dashing towards a burning vehicle. Nancy Drew gets her man, every. time.


Nancy Drew Mysteries


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