Sunday, November 25, 2012

E-Reading: Book Review of #8 Nancy's Mysterious Letter by Carolyn Keene

Name of Book: Nancy's Mysterious Letter

Author: Carolyn Keene

ISBN: 9780448095080

Publisher: Grosset and Dunlap

Part of a Series: Nancy Drew series

Type of book: Mystery, young adult, 1930s, letter, heiress, Lonely Hearts Club, football game, college, wealth

Year it was published: 1932


BY mistake Nancy Drew receives a letter from England intended for an heiress, also named Nancy Drew. When Nancy undertakes a search for the missing young woman, it becomes obvious that a ruthless, dangerous man is determined to prevent her from finding the heiress or himself. Clues that Nancy unearths leads her to believe that the villainous Edgar Nixon plans to marry the heiress and then steal her inheritance.

During her investigation Nancy discovers that Nixon is engaged in a racket that involves many innocent, trusting persons. The thrilling hunt for Nixon and the heiress takes Nancy in and out of many perilous situations.

How the teen-age detective saves the British heiress from the sly, cunning schemer makes a highly intriguing story of mystery and suspense.


Same old characters. This time Burt and Dave, Bess's and George's boyfriends, are introduced, or at least have brief cameos in the book as football players. Nancy still loves mystery and is oblivious to a lot of things.


None that I can think of.


Very implausible plot. Most of it is from Nancy's point of view, while very little is from Bess's and George's points of view. I also felt angry that Edgar Nixon, the villain, was portrayed the way he was.

Author Information:

Children's Books, Mystery & Thrillers

About this author

Carolyn Keene is a writer pen name that was used by many different people- both men and women- over the years. The company that was the creator of the Nancy Drew series, the Stratemeyer Syndicate, hired a variety of writers. For Nancy Drew, the writers used the pseudonym Carolyn Keene to assure anonymity of the creator.

Edna and Harriet Stratemeyer inherited the company from their father Edward Stratemeyer. Edna contributed 10 plot outlines before passing the reins to her sister Harriet. It was Mildred A. Wirt Benson, who breathed such a feisty spirit into Nancy's character. Mildred wrote 23 of the original 30 Nancy Drew Mystery Stories®, including the first three. It was her characterization that helped make Nancy an instant hit. The Stratemeyer Syndicate's devotion to the series over the years under the reins of Harriet Stratemeyer Adams helped to keep the series alive and on store shelves for each succeeding generation of girls and boys. In 1959, Harriet, along with several writers, began a 25-year project to revise the earlier Carolyn Keene novels. The Nancy Drew books were condensed, racial stereotypes were removed, and the language was updated. In a few cases, outdated plots were completely rewritten.

Other writers of Nancy Drew volumes include Harriet herself, she wrote most of the series after Mildred quit writing for the Syndicate and in 1959 began a revision of the first 34 texts. The role of the writer of "Carolyn Keene" passed temporarily to Walter Karig who wrote three novels during the Great Depression. Also contributing to Nancy Drew's prolific existence were Leslie McFarlane, James Duncan Lawrence, Nancy Axelrod, Priscilla Doll, Charles Strong, Alma Sasse, Wilhelmina Rankin, George Waller Jr., and Margaret Scherf.


Honestly I'm beginning to get annoyed with this: why must what seems to be every single book is the villain so identifiable? If Nancy has a bad feeling about him or doesn't like him, then he's automatically bad! Great way to teach deductible skills! While sometimes it is true, but it's not 100 percent true.

2 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

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