Nancy, Bess, and George have returned from a visit to Red Gate Farm with their arms loaded with fresh produce. They have settled in at Nancy's for tea when Ira Dixon, the postman, arrives with a letter for her from England. Nancy knows he is retiring after many years of service and so coaxes him into the house for a cup of tea, despite it being against regulations. After the brief visit, to their dismay, they discover Mr. Dixon's post-bag has been stolen! Nancy is implicated in the theft and Dixon's pension and reputation are on the line.
Later, she opens her letter and discovers that someone with the name of Nancy Drew stands to inherit a fortune. Nancy's determined to find the rightful heir. Meanwhile, Ned Nickerson has invited Nancy to watch him in 'the big game' at Emerson College.
The two mysteries are given equal time (and a large share is given to football which is equally baffling and charming) as Nancy does some actual legwork in tracking down her namesake and her prime suspect in the mail-theft: a shifty half-brother of Mr. Dixon's.
There is a brief reunion with Helen Corning, Nancy's first friend, but she doesn't do much other than nap, fret, and dance. Despite this book being written by a new author to the series - a man named Walter Karig (that explains the football) - Nancy is still a rebel, chasing down leads and taking risks on the road. If she also enjoys a fancy dress ball and Ned's attentions, more power to her. Of course there is a reliance on coincidence, but somehow it doesn't get stale the way it has with some of the Hardy Boys.
Next: 'The Sign of the Twisted Candles'
Previous: 'The Clue in the Diary'