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The Sign of the Twisted Candles (1933)

de Carolyn Keene

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Sèrie: Nancy Drew (9)

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While solving the mystery of an old man's disappearing fortune, Nancy ends a family feud and reveals the identity of an orphan of unknown parentage.
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They are out of print now (I'm fortunate to own all but a couple they published) but Applewood Books turned back the hands of time and gave the real Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys back to readers with these facsimile editions. The reproduction of the original dust jackets conjured up images and phrases from the enchanted America of yesteryear. Faithfully restored to its original form, word-for-word, The Sign of the Twisted Candles is the Nancy your mother or grandmother remembers. These beautifully reproduced hardback editions are not condensed, rewritten or updated. In Sign of the Twisted Candles, we have not only the Nancy of the 1930s, with her blonde bob, but one of the best written books of the entire series.

While it is still a book designed for youthful readers, there is much better writing, a bit more depth, and not a small dose of nostalgia when read today. You can almost see the Coke sign outside the River Heights Theatre showing the latest Nancy Carroll picture as Nancy goes whizzing past in hot pursuit of a clue. A warm and affectionate introduction by popular mystery writer Carolyn G. Hart is the only addition or deviation from Twisted Candles first appeared in this lovely edition.

Nancy and her pals George and Bess are caught in a rainstorm and seek shelter at The Sign of the Twisted Candles. Nancy befriends a young orphan named Sadie and finds danger and mystery lurking at the Twisted Candles, of course. The plot revolves around Asa Sydney and his will, and a family feud which will cause George and Bess to desert Nancy for a time until a lesson about loyalty is learned. Nancy's father, famous lawyer Carson Drew, gets involved on behalf of his daughter, and Hannah Gruen, the Drew's houskeeper and mother-figure to Nancy, is present here as well.

Buried secrets and an attempt to run Nancy off the road offer plenty of action unmarred by today's brand of violence for readers. An exciting and heartfelt conclusion punctuates a wholesome mystery which provides a role model even today. These Applewood editions stand head and shoulders above the others, helping young readers discover Nancy in a romantically nostalgic past. It is a past more innocent to be sure, filled with ice cream parlors and roadsters, five-cent Saturday mornings at the movies watching our favorite serial adventure and, of course, Nancy Drew.

And yes, before someone in the PC brigade squawks, attempting to apply current views with those closing in on a hundred years ago, there are societal elements portrayed here which have changed for the better. However, this is an accurate presentation of the views during the time period in which this was written. It is a quite charming and very nostalgic read. The Sign of the Twisted Candles is one of the finest in the series, in its original form, and this is the real Nancy Drew. Most older readers will certainly emit a wistful sigh for a time long gone in America's past, at the turning of the final page... ( )
  Matt_Ransom | Oct 6, 2023 |
There have been many ND OT's that I've loved. Mystery at Lilac Inn; Clue in the Diary; Message in the Hollow Oak; and Clue in the Crumbling Wall among them. But this story just might be the best of them all! A fantastic plot centered around a mystery at the Twisted Candles Inn, and the parentage of orphan girl Sadie who works at said inn with her never-do-good foster parents. Also a first in the series -- Nancy has a falling out/rift with best friends Bess and George! At least for a short while, over an inheritance issue. This is definitely right at the top of my favorite original ND mysteries. ( )
  JohnnyRue | Sep 19, 2021 |
A satisfying mystery about an old inn, a family feud, and a forlorn orphan. Nancy gets into and out of all kinds of thrilling scrapes. Just the kind of fun, escapist reading I need right now. ( )
1 vota DrFuriosa | Dec 4, 2020 |
Seeking shelter during a terrible storm, teen sleuth Nancy Drew and her friends Bess Marvin and George Fayne find themselves at the Sign of the Twisted Candles, a Civil War-era mansion turned into a restaurant and hotel. Here they encounter Sadie Wipple, the much-put-upon adopted daughter of the couple running the restaurant, and Mr. Asa Sidney, the elderly man who owns the mansion, and who is turning one hundred on the day they arrive. Celebrating with Mr. Sidney, the friends little realize that his sad life - the death of his young daughter many years befoore, the break-up of his family, and the beginning of a multi-generation family feud - will effect them as well. As Nancy and her father get involved in Mr. Sidney and Sadie's affairs, Bess and George, who turn out to be involved in the family feud, turn their back on Nancy. When Sadie is named Mr. Sidney's heir, things become even more complicated, and Nancy must step in to protect the timid young girl...

Originally published in 1933, The Sign of the Twisted Candles is the ninth entry in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series, and the second, after Nancy's Mysterious Letter, to be ghost-written by Walter Karig, rather than Mildred Benson, who wrote most of the first twenty-five books in the series. Like all of the early Nancy Drew books, there are two versions of the story: the original one, and the revised and condensed one created in the late 1960s. I read the Applewood Books edition from 1996, which contains a facsimile reproduction of the original 1933 text. This was an enjoyable entry in the series, with plenty of atmosphere, thanks to the gloomy old mansion, and lots of excitement, as Nancy engages in everything from a road race with the dastardly Mr. Semmit, to a confrontation in which she is drugged and left behind, when Sadie is kidnapped. This also had a little bit more of an emotional pull than these books usually do for me, due to the rift between Nancy and her friends. Recommended to young mystery lovers, and to fans of Nancy Drew and her daring adventures. ( )
2 vota AbigailAdams26 | Sep 27, 2020 |
I still don't like Bess. ( )
  Ayanami_Faerudo | Jan 10, 2019 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Keene, CarolynAutorautor primaritotes les edicionsconfirmat
Hart, Carolyn G.Introduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Rago, MarinaTraductorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Rostagno, MarcoAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Tandy, Russell H.Il·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
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“Oh, Nancy, this is like a hurricane! We'll be blown off the road!” cried Bess Marvin. (1968 revision)
“Oh Nancy! I’m afraid to go any farther, and I’m afraid not to. Won’t you speed the car up?” (1933 edition)
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While solving the mystery of an old man's disappearing fortune, Nancy ends a family feud and reveals the identity of an orphan of unknown parentage.

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