Wednesday, January 9, 2013

E-Reading: Book Review of #10 Password to Larkspur Lane by Carolyn Keene

Name of Book: Password to Larkspur Lane

Author: Carolyn Keene

ISBN: 9780448095103

Publisher: Grosset and Dunlap

Part of a Series: Nancy Drew

Type of book: Mystery, child to young adult, 1930s, lost relatives, scamming, mental hospital, fake doctors

Year it was published: 1933

Summary:

Nancy’s inextinguishable curiosity leads her to another case, this time with Bess in tow. The detective speaks to a doctor who was kidnapped and blindfolded by a criminal in order to care for a young woman held hostage. Nancy’s mission: Connect the jumbled mess of clues to save a woman and catch a criminal.

Characters:

Nancy is obsessed with mystery as always, and just like in previous novels she survives and makes it out alive from certain situations. Other characters stay the same, nothing new about them. Bad guys are bad, and good guys are good, no one makes any surprises. Predictable.

Theme:

I honestly have no idea.

Plot:

Same old plot with Nancy discovering a mystery and finding clues that are implausible and will eventually lead her to conclusion. This time there is more danger than in previous books. Its written in third person narrative from Nancy's point of view.

Author Information:

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 In a few cases, outdated plots were completely rewritten.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.

Opinion:

Am starting to care less and less about the characters and the implausible contrived plots. I did feel bad about what the victim went through, but I could hardly care about the characters. Nancy is accomplished at everything as always (rich Mary Sue anyone?) with perfect personality and whatnot, while Ned is always with her. This is a feminist book, but its not written to engage attention and whatnot. I did read these when I was a teenager, or some of them anyways, but I don't have warm memories of these books, heck I could hardly recall what they are about, and am only remembering the book covers.

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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