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Mildred Wirt Benson

Autor/a de The Clue in the Jewel Box

4+ obres 1,680 Membres 15 Ressenyes 1 preferits

Obres de Mildred Wirt Benson

The Clue in the Jewel Box (1943) 1,560 exemplars
Honey Bunch: Her First Trip to a Big Fair (1923) — Ghostwriter — 82 exemplars
Nancy Drew... Reporter [1939 film] (1939) — Writer — 22 exemplars
Honey Bunch: Her First Twin Playmates (1941) — Ghostwriter — 16 exemplars

Obres associades

The Secret of the Old Clock (1930)algunes edicions6,713 exemplars
The Mystery at Lilac Inn (1930) — Introducció, algunes edicions4,005 exemplars
The Secret of Shadow Ranch (1931) — Introducció, algunes edicions3,847 exemplars


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There is a lot to like in the 20th Nancy Drew mystery. We have a classic set-up where Nancy spots a fellow blueblood in trouble at twenty paces and escorts her safely home along with Bess and George. The woman is grateful and turns out to have a storied past. On Marie Alexandra's recommendation she visits a certain antique dealer under the name of Faber who let's slip that Marie Alexandra is a "queen" who lost everything after a bloody revolution in her country thirty years earlier. She built up her houseful of treasures based only on her meager jewel case that she smuggled out of the country. Most of her family were murdered, but there is a missing grandson and Nancy, perhaps, may be the plucky young thing able to find him armed with only an old childhood photograph.

There's also a bizarre tune coming from Marie Alexandra's fancy Easter egg made by Mr. Faber's father.... could that have anything to do with the missing prince?

I loved the astonishing amount of effort that was spent to underline that Nancy Drew was helping a Dowager Tsarina find a Grand Duke (actually, the Tsarevich I suppose) lost since the Russian Revolution and yet it would have been gauche to just say it out loud. 'The Clue in the Jewel Box' was published in 1943 and Anna Anderson's claim of being Grand Duchess Anastasia would likely have been fresh in people's imagination. It's all very ripped-from-the-headlines.

World War II is also never mentioned, or even alluded to. This makes sense as the Stratemeyer Syndicate always took the long view on sales and didn't want the books to be dated. The biggest clue that something is happening outside of River Heights is the fact that Nancy and her friends get everywhere by walking or by bicycle. When they do get in a car it's an emergency or a carpool situation.

On top of the royalist romancing and heir-discoveries we have two subplots. One involves a dastardly pickpocket and a look-a-like that made me laugh out loud. Nancy at one point strolls home and sees through an open window the pick-pocket brandishing a gun at her father. Girl picks up a rock, throws it through the window to knock the gun out of his hand and climbs through to tackle the guy. It was the wrong guy, the gun was for sale apparently, but so amazing anyway. Her father gently chides her for her lack of manners.

The other involves helping Helen Corning, just back from Paris y'all, establish a young emigre from a certain unnamed country as a dressmaker in River Heights. The book in general offered up a lot of River Heights young people just having a good time with each other, which was nice. Bess and George's best guy friends also make their first appearance. They were retroactively made more important in the rewritten titles and featured heavily in the books of the '70s and '80s.

OK, there was a lot to say about this one, but I have one more observation. This book was also the first time Hannah Gruen comes off as more than a servant. The Drews have cared about her before and she's made commentary, but she was more organically part of the home here instead of simply a provider of meals and an answerer of doors.

Nancy Drew

Next: 'The Secret in the Old Attic'

Previous: 'The Quest of the Missing Map'
… (més)
ManWithAnAgenda | Hi ha 9 ressenyes més | Mar 8, 2022 |
Look, I don't read these for believable plots, I read them as comforts from my childhood that are now hilarious with all their contrivances. This one was published in 1943 and the contrivances are truly mind-boggling.

Nancy meets an "aristocratic" (because you can totally tell bloodlines by looking) elderly woman having a fainting spell at a department store and she and her chums help the woman get home. Turns out she's the dowager empress "queen mother" of Russia an unnamed country that had a bloody revolution a few decades ago but is currently an ally of the U.S. in a war that is never mentioned so it would be awkward to bring up that tawdry past by naming the country even though all the details are super obvious. Soon (by which I mean, the next day), of course, Nancy is a trusted friend of the former royal and becomes involved in the search for her missing grandson who was smuggled to the U.S. as a small child. (So Anastasia but for some reason with the boy child instead of one of the girls.) River Heights is apparently a popular place for royalist Russians émigrés from the unnamed country, which you would think might make it easier to find the long-lost grandson, but of course that wouldn't make for a twisty enough plot.

Also Nancy has ditched her roadster with no explanation and is walking and biking everywhere (with the occasional taxi ride) because it would have offended her readers who were on gas rations (because war, but shh!) to have her driving everywhere. The best part, though, was when her old friend and occasional series guest, Helen Corning, pops in and explains that she's been in Paris with her dad(!), having a grand old time(?!), and they had an "exciting trip" coming back from Europe(!!!). Personally I would think someone having a grand old time in Paris in 1943 during a war that is never mentioned but is influential enough to get Nancy to ditch her iconic roadster would be more offensive than said roadster, but I guess that's just me.

Anyway, (spoilers, lol) our girl sleuth finds the missing prince, catches all the bad guys, models a winning design in a fashion show, and manages to get her dad the perfect birthday present, of course.
… (més)
1 vota
barefootsong | Hi ha 9 ressenyes més | Jul 27, 2021 |
I absolutely loved Nancy Drew growing up. This was a series I latched on to for dear life and never let go. Anytime my mom and I would go to antique stores, we'd peruse the Nancy Drews and add them to the collection (oftentimes my mom had to make deals with me on how many I could buy). So, while I don't remember the exact details of each and every one, the entire series was amazing and really fed my love for reading (especially novels full of suspense and mystery). Thank you, Carolyn Keene, for giving us an intelligent female character to fall in love with in Nancy Drew!… (més)
1 vota
justagirlwithabook | Hi ha 9 ressenyes més | Aug 1, 2018 |
#20 An antique dealer’s revelation about a former queen’s priceless heirloom starts Nancy on a trail of exciting adventures. Madame Alexandra, now living incognito in River Heights, asks Nancy to find her missing grandson. With only one clue to go on – a faded photograph of the prince at the age of four – the young detective begins her search. Nancy’s investigation unmasks a slick imposter and reunites the long-separated family in this suspense-filled story.
LynneQuan | Hi ha 9 ressenyes més | Sep 22, 2017 |


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Arthur Edeson Cinematographer
Bryan Foy Producer
Hal B. Wallis Producer
Mary Lee Actor
Priscilla Baker-Carr Revising Author
Hélène Commin Traduction
Bertil Hegland Translator
Lea Karvonen Translator
Gitte Palsby Translator
Russell H. Tandy Illustrator
Marie Schubert Illustrator
Harry Lane Cover artist


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