The Clue In The Diary: Nancy Drew Mystery Stories Vol. 7

by Carolyn Keene

Paperback, ?

Status

Available

Local notes

Fic Kee

Collection

Publication

Grosset & Dunlap, 174 pages

Description

Nancy uses a lost diary to exonerate an innocent prisoner.

Language

Original language

English

Original publication date

1962 - revised edition
1932

Physical description

174 p.; 8.43 inches

ISBN

0448095076 / 9780448095073

Barcode

2655

User reviews

LibraryThing member AbigailAdams26
Returning home to Riverside Heights after attending a carnival in nearby Sandy Creek, teen sleuth Nancy Drew and her best friends Bess Marvin and George Faine are driving by when an explosion rocks the Raybolt mansion, and the building goes up in flames. The girls rush to the scene to see if help is needed, and Nancy witnesses a man running away. She picks up the diary he dropped, and immediately suspects that she has stepped into another mystery. So it proves, as Nancy seeks to identify the mystery man, and once she does, to determine whether he is guilty of arson, and possibly murder. Complicating matters is the fact that she has formed an attachment to the wife and daughter of her main suspect, inventor Joe Swenson, not to mention the reality that Felix Raybolt was an unscrupulous cheat who tricked many people out of their money and patents...

The seventh entry in the long-running Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series, which has been one of the great staples of American girlhood since it first began to appear in 1930, The Clue in the Diary was initially published by Grosset & Dunlap in 1932. In 1962 it was revised and condensed, like all the original Nancy Drew books - the vocabulary and settings updated, and particularly egregious social content (racism, classism, etc.) removed. Unfortunately, so too were five chapters of story, the period terms (roadsters, chums), and a great deal of the charm of the writing. As mentioned in some of my reviews of the other books in the series, although I did read Nancy Drew as a young girl, it was only when I discovered the originals as an adult reader, that I truly began to find the stories interesting. Somehow, the revised versions of the 1950s/60s always felt bland and uninspiring to me, when reading them as a girl. These original versions, by contrast, have more interesting historical settings, and are better written. The edition I read for my current rereading project was published by Applewood Books in 1995, and is a facsimile of the original first edition, and contains the full, unexpurgated text.

All in all, I found this an enjoyable entry in the series. There's plenty of coincidence, as always, and Nancy makes snap judgments about people's character after brief conversations with them, but overall the story is engaging. We meet Ned Nickerson for the first time - I believe he appears earlier in the series, in the revised versions - and Nancy is immediately smitten, which I found rather charming, given her complete indifference to romance in earlier books. I was amused, no doubt in ways not intended by the author, by Nancy's defiance of the forces of law and order here, as, having decided that Joe Swenson is innocent, she attempts to help him elude the police officers she knows are looking for him. Nancy knows best, after all, and one can't rely on these pompous bunglers to get it right! Somehow, I have a hard time imagining that being retained in the revised version. I'm quite interested to read the next entry in the series, Nancy's Mysterious Letter, as it was the first Nancy Drew book not written by Mildred Wirt Benson, who was the author of most of the first twenty-five books.
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LibraryThing member TamiHindes
Nancy Drew finds a Clue in a Diary - unfortunately the diary is written in Swedish and the person she knows who can translate it is so sick he's hospitalized but this doesn't deter Nancy.
A quick synopsis -Nancy and her friends George and Bess, meet a woman with a little girl at a carnival who are financially desperate. On the way home they spot a fire, while George and Bess drive to a neighbor's house, Nancy runs up to the house and tries to rescue anyone who might be trapped. Instead she sees a man running away, finds a diary, has her car rear-ended and meets her boyfriend Ned Nickerson. Ned finds a signet ring with a D on it and calls Nancy to ask if it's her - that set Nancy all a twitter. The man turns out to be the lost husband/father of the woman and her daughter. He's a good guy, but the checks he's been sending home have been getting stolen. Nancy solves that crime too. But now he's a accued of setting the fire and killing the homeowner. Nancy sets a trap and along with Bess and George figures out the mystery. Her father and Ned show up just in time to head off the real villian as Nancy is chasing him.

This book is quite obviously written by a third writer. I found some discrepencies from the previous books. The most glaring of these is that Ned is mentioned in book 5. Bess makes a comment that Ned is returning home and that he is Nancy's boyfriend. But in book 7, Nancy meets Ned for the first time.

In previous books, the emphasis has felt more like feminism. In fact in the first couple of books, Nancy doesn't need a man to help her and barely needs a female side-kick. She is a role model of the independent young woman. In book 7, every time Ned is mentioned she gets giddy. She runs home to get dressed up for their dates, after he calls, she dances around the room. It's a wonder Nancy can stay focused enough to solve the mystery.

Also gone this time are the lengthy descriptions of meals. Hannah Gruen is still a fabulous cook and can just whip up a cake from scratch so Nancy can serve Ned cake and ice cream. The book also doesn't spend so much time describing the clothes that are worn.

By now, I have some questions. How old is Nancy? She's out of high school and her friend Helen was a few years older than she was. I always thought she was probably 18 or 19. If Hannah Gruen practically raised Nancy and they are so affectionate, why do the Drews still treat her like a servant? Where is River Heights? I know it's suppose to be a fictional city, but what state is it located in? The books mention Mr. Drew going to Cleveland and taking the train to Chicago - so my guess is that it's someplace in Illinois, Indiana or possibly Wisconsin.

Next question, why doesn't Nancy or any of her friends have jobs? If they're suppose to be independet women, you'd think they would have jobs at least in a department store. And why doesn't Nancy attend college? Her father has the money and he himself is edcuated, but by book 7 she is just tooling around in her convertible solving mysteries and not being paid.

Well, it's off to book 8.
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LibraryThing member hgcslibrary
Nancy Drew and her friends, Bess and George, are returning from a country carnival, when they witness the explosion and burning of beautiful country mansion. Fearing the occupants might be trapped inside, they rush to the rescue---and unexpectedly find themselves confronted with a mystery that seems unsolvable.
LibraryThing member N.N.B.D.G.B.
I like this book because it tells how Nancy and Ned first meet. I did not know how they first met until I read this book.
LibraryThing member pammykn
AUTHOR: Keene, Carolyn
TITLE: The Clue in the Diary
DATE READ: 04/09/14
RATING: 4/B
GENRE/PUB DATE/PUBLISHER/# OF PGS: Mystery/1932/Simon &Shuster/202 pgs
SERIES/STAND-ALONE: #7 Nancy Drew
TIME/PLACE: 1930's/ IL
CHARACTERS: Nancy Drew/girl detective

FIRST LINES: "Why do you stare at me in such a fascinated way, Nancy Drew?" Plump Bess Marvin, divining the trend of her chum's unexpressed thought, smiled good-naturedly & reached for her 5th chicken sandwich. She had always maintained that picnics were not intended for persons with delicate appetites.

COMMENTS: Driving home from a picnic w/ her friends, Nancy stops to see a burning house. She sees a man fleeing from the house & also picks up a dropped diary. Altho' in a foreign language she holds onto this hoping it will hold a clue to who the man was that fled the burning home. These are always fun books for me.
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LibraryThing member justagirlwithabook
*Duplicate Copy* 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!… (more)
LibraryThing member justagirlwithabook
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!… (more)

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Lexile

740L

Pages

174

Rating

(217 ratings; 3.8)
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