[identity profile] banerry.livejournal.com posting in [community profile] whatnancysaid

A sickly, elderly individual is being held prisoner in their own home by conniving ne'er-do-wells. Sound familiar? Maybe Edward Stratmeyer accidentally handed his ghostwriters the same outline two times in a row. (Watch for shades of Lilac Inn, too- they're in there if you know where to look.)

"'I must select the very best for the flower show, Hannah,' [Nancy] said.
How Home & Garden of you.
The Drew's housekeeper and Nancy paused to look up at a passing airplane.
Narrator: "Both of them were easily distracted."
They were startled to hear it's engines cut out.
Startled? A plane is evidently going to fall out of the sky right above their heads and they're merely startled?
As Nancy and Hannah watched in alarm, a wounded bird plummeted down and landed among the flowers.
Okay, I'm less than a page in and already I'm confused about what the hell's supposed to be happening. This does not bode well.
'A homing pigeon!' Nancy exclaimed,
... So, just forget about the plane, then?
seeing the tiny metal tube attached to its leg. 'Maybe it's carrying a message!' Hannah Gruen's eyes were on the plane.
Hannah: "Well, that's all well and good, dear, but I'm starting to get a bit concerned about that plane that's falling toward the earth at an alarming rate."
Nancy: "But... but... THE BIRDIE!"
'Oh, Nancy!' she gasped. 'It's going to crash!'
Yeah, we all pretty much figured that out when the engines died, Hannah.
Nancy gazed upward... The plane... had a curious design outlined in black on the fuselage.
'It looks like a winged horse,' Nancy thought, but she could not be sure, since the sun was shining in her eyes.
Well Nancy, I'm sure you'll be able to see better when the plane is five seconds away from landing on top of you because you DIDN'T GET OUT OF THE WAY.
Suddenly the coughing engines roared to life and the plane nosed upward, then zoomed away.
'Whew!' Hannah exclaimed. 'I thought that thing was going to fall right onto our house!'" (page 1-2)
... Then why did you just stand there instead of running for cover?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'While the housekeeper held the pigeon, Nancy removed the top of the capsule on its leg and slid out a thin piece of paper. She unrolled the message and read aloud:
'"Trouble here. After five o'clock blue bells will be singing horses. Come tonight."'" (page 2)
Nancy: "Oh, great. Another message from the inpatients at the River Heights Mental Institution!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy slipped the message into her pocket. 'I'll wire the International Federation of American Homing Pigeon Fanciers
*bursts out laughing* Oh God, please tell me that doesn't actually exist.
and give them the number stamped on the bird's leg ring.'" (page 3)
Nancy: "And ask them why they have such a goofy name."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'How are the pigeons trained to carry messages?' Hannah as Nancy placed the box [with the pigeon inside it] on a garage shelf.
I guess the fact that Nancy might not know the information never crossed her mind. This is Nancy Drew, after all.
'They have a home loft. No matter where the birds are released, they always fly back there.'
'Did you ever hear how fast they can fly?'" (page 3)
Nancy: "Well, if you hum a few bars..."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Nancy glanced at her watch. 'I'd better hurry or I won't get to the flower show on time.'
She continued snipping prize larkspurs and putting them in a basket.
Hannah: "You do realize we're in the neighbor's yard, don't you?"
Nancy: "Of course I do, Hannah. I'm just eliminating the competition, that's all!"
'Before all the excitement began,' said Hannah, 'you were saying, "If this were two thousand years ago-", but you didn't finish. What did you mean?'
Just think about it, Hannah- do you really want to know?
Nancy smiled. 'I was thinking that if I had lived two thousand years ago I might have been a Grecian maiden.
Hannah: "You also might have been the Grecian maiden's servant, and then you'd know how I feel!"
And in that case, I might be praying right now in the Temple of Apollo at Delphi.
Nancy: "I might have been listening to the strung-out Oracle giving her heathenistic predictions! Tee-hee!"
I always imagine flowers around there.'" (page 4)
... Sure, Nancy. Can you come back to real life, now?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"[Nancy] thought, 'My car was a good-looking one until that horrid man ran into it last week.'" (page 4)
Oh come on, she gets into a minor car accident every book! Can't they think of something more original?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'Hannah, you're a darling!' Nancy exclaimed and kissed her. The two had a deep affection for each other." (page 6)
Oh, we know.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Bluebells! Nancy mind leaped to the mysterious message. Could the blue bells in it mean flowers?
Oh God, if 'blue pipes' shows up in any of this, I will go jump off a cliff.
Aloud she said, 'Mrs. Winsor, I hope the judges like my flowers as much as you do!'" (page 7)
Nancy: "They'd better- I'm paying 'em good money to!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Slowing up, [Nancy] studied the license plate, which was so mud-splattered that only four digits showed: 2-21-1.
Nancy's interest quickened at once. These were the first four numbers on the pigeon's leg band! Was there a connection?" (page 7)
Oh, sure- I know I always make sure to coordinate the number on my license plate to my homing pigeon's identification number.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Dr. Spire!' [Nancy] exclaimed.
The famous bone specialist, a friend of the Drew family..." (page 8)
I think Carson Drew should make a living as a politician- he certainly seems to be better at collecting famous, influential friends than he is at solving his own cases.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'I've been longing for [a mystery] ever since I solved The Sign of the Twisted Candles." (page 10)
Nancy: "You know, since about three days ago."
Hannah: "Wait, I'm confused. You solved the inn?"
Nancy: "No... that's just my name for the whole event."
Hannah: "... You give names to your mysteries."
Nancy: "Yeah! And I keep a scrapbook detailing my adventures, and how awesome I am, and all that stuff. I'm thinking about getting it published."
Hannah: "And you don't think that's all a bit much?"
Nancy: "Hell, no! I'm even thinking about writing my own theme song- I've seen it done."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Carson Drew had always been close to his daughter, and often discussed his cases with her, because she grasped the issues so clearly and quickly." (page 10)
Narrator: "Unlike the lawyer himself."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"At that moment [Nancy] heard a thumping noise and a cry from the cellar.
'Hannah!' she called. There was no answer. 
Nancy dashed to the kitchen and looked down the cellar stairs. A huddled figure lay on the floor.
...
Nancy put one arm around Hannah and helped to woman to her feet. Mrs. Gruen 
Wait, she's married? Where the hell is her husband, then? He probably divorced her- I mean, talk about being married to your job...
stood still a few moments to catch her breath,
Narrator: "Nancy's touch always excited Hannah like nothing else."
then said: 
I guess I didn't break anything, thank goodness. But I'm afraid I've sprained my back.'
'I'll drive you to Dr. Spire's,' Nancy said, 'and let him examine you.'...
Hannah: "But he's a bone specialist, remember? Wouldn't it make more sense to go to a local doctor?"
Nancy: "Ordinarily, yes, but I need to get to Spire's house to further the plot, and I figured you'd make a good excuse. When I spilled that water on the cellar stairs I was hoping you'd break an arm or something, but a sprained back will have to do!"
'I have to get dinner,' Hannah announced." (page 11-12)
Hannah: "Screw my back! Serving you all is much more important than my stupid health!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"[The doctor's wife] and Nancy helped Hannah to a couch in the office. Then Mrs. Spire excused herself to get dinner,
Hannah: "Oh, I'm so worthless! All the good women are at home making dinner, and here I am sitting here and thinking about myself!"
and asked Nancy to answer the office phone if it should ring. Twenty minutes later it buzzed." (page 12)
Nancy: "But she never told me what to do if it should buzz! Oh well, I'll just ignore it."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Can I believe my eyes?' Nancy wondered
Well, that depends. Are you schizophrenic?
as she looked at the message she had jotted down.
'If you say blue bells, you will get into trouble, for they are no longer used here.'" (page 12)
Message: "And blue pipes is no good, either- a friend of a friend claims use of that phrase will get you stalked by a titian-haired psycho."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"[Dr. Spire] turned to Hannah. 'Mrs. Gruen, my wife has told me of your accident. I'm sorry to hear about it.
Dr. Spire: "But I don't deal with sprains. What the hell are you doing here?"
Hannah: "Nancy needed to further the plot."
Dr. Spire: "Ah, I see. Completely understandable. In that case..."

I'll take a look at you now.'
Fifteen minutes later the doctor announced that she had a sprained back.
Thank you, they figured that out themselves in about two seconds.
'Rest in bed for a few days.
Hannah: "But... but... dinner!"
I'll write a prescription for you. In ten days you'll be feeling like your old self.'" (page 13)
Dr. Spire: "Now, that'll be $500."
Nancy: "1930s pre-inflation $500?"
Dr. Spire: "But of course."
Nancy: (faints)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"... [Nancy] excused herself and hurried back inside. The doctor was seated at his desk, gazing into space." (page 13)
I think that's what all the characters do when they're not currently in a scene with Nancy.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"After Mrs. Gruen was settled in bed, Nancy brought her a tray of food,
Narrator: "... a PB&J sandwich with cold coffee. Nancy and her father, on the other hand, were having veal parmigan and caviar."
 then prepared dinner for her father and herself." (page 14)
Hannah: "I'm a FAILURE AS A HOUSEKEEPER, I tell you!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Mr. Drew shook his head and chuckled. 'You attract mystery like nectar in a flower attracts a bee, Nancy.'
Well, that's one way of putting it.
She grinned. 'In this case, I'll be the blossom and hope the villain will come my way!'" (page 14-15)
Okay, can we stop with this analogy, please?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'... All the time I was working, it seemed as if she wanted to tell me something. Her eyes kept flashing signals which I could not understand.'" (page 16)
Maybe he should try learning Morse Code.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Quickly [Nancy] told him about the pigeon, the plane, and the telegram." (page 17-18)
The lesser-known sequel to The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"As she reached the sidewalk Nancy came face to face with two friends. 
Ten bucks they're stock characters who have never been mentioned before, and never will be again.
'Why, Nancy Drew!' exclaimed Jean Moss.
Yup.
'I haven't seen you in weeks!' Her escort, Bill Wright,
Her escort? What the hell is this?
added, 'Been solving any mysteries lately?'
Nancy's heart sank." (page 21)
Nancy: "Oh God, it's the dork couple... I was hoping that after graduation they'd leave me alone!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"... Mr. Drew was conferring with Lieutenant Mulligan, 
Wait, where's Police Chief McGinnis? Meh, he probably couldn't take it any longer and escaped to Vegas.
a red-faced, brawny man with thinning hair. He knew the Drews only by reputation." (page 21)
What, the warning posters plastered all over the inside of the station?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"When Nancy handed [Lieutenant Mulligan] the bracelet, he said..." (page 21)
Mulligan: "Why Nancy, I had no idea you felt this way!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Thorne was given ten years for embezzling the assets of an estate. While in jail he became very bitter and at times violent.'
Gee, I wonder why.
'But what's his interest in you?' Nancy queried.
Mr. Drew explained that Thorne had been a River Heights attorney." (page 23)
Carson: "We're all a bit crooked, you see."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'I have good news for you,' the housekeeper said. 'My niece Effie has offered to come here and work while I'm laid up.'
Oh, come on! Are the Drews really that incapable of taking care of themselves?
'Good. Effie's fun.'
'And scatterbrained sometimes,' Hannah remarked." (page 24)
Oh God, I smell a poor attempt at a comedic subplot coming up...
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Dressing rooms,' Nancy decided...
She hastened across the floor and peered through an archway into a narrow aisle. There was a row of curtained cubicles along one wall. 
Quietly Nancy peeked into the first room.
Half-Naked Lady: "AAARRGGHHHH!"
Empty! In the next a stout woman was struggling into a tight dress. She did not see Nancy.
Narrator: "But boy, did Nancy see her."
Quickly the young detective moved along the row of dressing rooms.
Narrator: "She'd go back to the stout woman later, when she had more time to oogle."
In the fifth room she found the thief!
The woman was leaning against the wall, panting.
... Okay, we're getting into a whole weird area here.
Nancy's open handbag lay on a shelf beside her and in one hand the woman clutched
AHHHHH!
the gold-chain bracelet." (page 31)
Phew.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Nancy turned around. It was Mr. Mahoney, the store manager. He was surrounded by salesladies." (page 32)
I think the ghostwriters used this chapter to have a 'let's see who can make the most lewd references without Mr. Stratmeyer catching on!' contest.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Helen Corning!
Oh God, here we go.
Oh, I'm sorry,' Nancy said with a grin.
Nancy: "I thought the hitman had finished you off for good."
'I can't get used to your being Mrs. Archer.'" (page 33)
Oh good, she's married now. Maybe this means that she'll stop wangsting about her wedding and Jim.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Nancy, I was going to call you this very afternoon. How about solving a mystery for me?'
... 
'You're so clever, Nancy, I'm sure you can solve both [mysteries] at once!'" (page 33)
Well yeah, they're probably connected, as usual.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Helen explained that her Grandmother and Grandfather Corning had recently moved to Sylvan Lake." (page 34)
Is that where Sylvan Learning Center is?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"A tall blond man in his twenties got up as she entered. He introduced himself as Donald Jordan, secretary of the local branch of the Pigeon Fanciers association. He showed her his credentials." (page 34)
*giggles* They have credentials? Oh, I just love this.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Nancy hurried to the garage and saw with relief that the bird seemed to be stronger.
Well, that's pretty amazing- considering the pigeon hasn't been mentioned since the first chapter, I can only assume that she's left it alone in that box in the garage for days on end.
'Oh, I hope Mr. Jordan won't take you away,' she murmured to the bird. 'I want you to get well enough to fly to your home loft. Then I'll follow you!'" (page 34-35)
Nancy, I hate to break it to you, but that bird ain't gonna teach you to fly.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'This is the second pigeon seen in this area with an unregistered number,' [Donald Jordan] said. 'The other was found dead on the highway. 
Mr. Jordan: "Based on the evidence, I can only assume that a pigeon serial killer is on the loose."
I mentioned it to a detective friend
Just how many private detectives are there hanging out in River Heights, anyway? Ah well, I guess there has to be enough to control all the criminals that seem to operate there... even though I'm sure Nancy could take care of them all single-handedly.
 of mine.'" (page 35)
Mr. Jordon: "He promised to devote every iota of his time to the case- even ignoring the scores of murder cases he was already working on!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Nancy returned the pigeon to the garage." (page 35)
Nancy: "There! Those exhaust  fumes should have you feeling better in no time!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Nancy hurried down the stairs and started to open the door. Instinct told the young sleuth to be cautious. She flicked the wall switch to turn on the porch light, then opened the door a crack. The porch was dark! Nancy thought the bulb must have burned out.
'Dad?' Nancy called quickly.
There was no answer, but from somewhere in the shadows came the sound of heavy breathing." (page 36)
Nancy: "Ah yes, that'll be Dad, then!" (swings the door open)
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Moments later Mr. Drew parked beside the house and hurried up the porch steps.
'Is something wrong?' he asked. 'Why are you out here?'" (page 37)
What, she's not allowed to be out on her own porch?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Dad, before you put the car in the garage, would you drive me to the flower show? I'm just a little bit curious as to who won the prizes.'
Nancy: "I mean, I know it was me, but I just want a chance to gloat."
He grinned. 'Of course I'll take you.'" (page 38)
Carson: "You know me- never willing to pass up the chance to brag about my perfect daughter! Count me in!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'But [flower raising] is far less dangerous,' [Carson Drew] countered. 'Take this present mystery, for instance. It might be wise for you to drop it.'
Nancy looked shocked.
Nancy: "Dad, you've never given a crap about my safety before!"
'Why, Dad! Think of the poor old woman who is a prisoner.'
'But, Nancy, my first concern is for your safety.
Um, no, it really isn't. There has to be some sort of plot-furthering purpose to this conversation, because I don't know why he would suddenly be worrying about Nancy's safety otherwise. 
You are more important to me than all the mysterious old ladies in the world!'
This is quite possibly my favorite out-of-context sentence in the series so far.
Nancy's face showed her disappointment.
Nancy: "You mean including Hannah?"
'Oh please, Dad, no.'
I think I'm kind of agreeing with her right about now.
Mr. Drew looked uncomfortable.
As well he should, considering that last comment of his.
'I know, I know. You're like me. You'll never be satisfied until you lick the problem.'" (page 39)
Carson: "And all the people involved, of course."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Hold it, Miss Drew!' said a voice nearby.
Nancy looked up to see a news photographer pointing a camera at her. 
*groan* It's just a flower show. Please don't tell me the newspapers actually care.
'There! Stand right next to your exhibit!'
That way, if the camera is in fact a grenade launcher, they can kill two birds with one stone. (No homing pigeon joke intended, of course.)
Before she could comply, Nancy heard another voice say, 'Go get her!' At the same instant a big, vicious-looking dog sprang at her. 
News Photographer: "I know I'm just a rookie, but you can't say that all the big newspapers won't want me when they find out I took this action-packed shot!"
'Oh!' she screamed, dodging just in time. The Great Dane
What? The 'vicious-looking dog is a Dane? C'mon! They may be huge, but they're practically lambs! *grumblegrumble*breedpredjudice*grumblegrumble*
crashed into the vase of prize flowers, knocking the exhibit to the ground and shattering the vase. He yelped in fright, then ran off. 
'Who owns that beast?' cried the photographer. 
No one claimed to be the owner. (page 39)
Nancy: "That's odd- I totally expected someone to willingly take credit for siccing that dog on me!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Spurs are for horses, and horses don't look like larks,
Nancy: "Unless I'm really tripping."
and larks don't suggest anything that wear spurs. Larks sing and- Oh!' Nancy sat bold upright. 'I have it! I'll bet that's it!'" (page 42)
Nancy: "Maybe I should try getting a life!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"The lawyer nodded thoughtfully as Nancy went on." (page 43)
Carson: "I'm already hopelessly lost, but I'll humor her."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'It's certainly a lead worth working on,' said [Carson Drew]. 'Better than trying to follow the pigeon to its home loft.'" (page 43)
Carson: "That's right, don't think I don't know about your silly little fantasies, Nancy."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"On the way, Helen asked about Nancy's two close girl friends, Bess Marvin and her cousin George Fayne.
I'm surprised she knows about them, considering they didn't spontaneously appear until after she was ousted.
'How are they?'" (page 44)
Helen: "George still in denial about her sexuality?"
Nancy: "Yep, and Bess still eats everything in sight!"
Helen: (sigh) "Predictability is so comforting."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Hello, Morgan,' Helen said cheerfully. 'How are you?'
'All right, thank you,' he answered, but did not smile. Nancy wondered if he, too, was worried about the strange happenings here." (page 45)
Oh, he's probably behind them all...
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Helen and I will go to the right,' Nancy whispered. 'Jim, you take the left.'" (page 47)
Nancy: "And if the whole country votes this way, the Independents will never have a chance!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Helen seized Nancy's arm as the eerie blue circle of fire moved toward them through the woods. Nancy squeezed her friend's hand reassuringly, though she herself was not certain that the ring meant to harm them." (page 48)
That's what Frodo said, hon.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"[Morgan] forgets things,' said Mr. Corning. 'Sometimes we ring and he doesn't come.'" (page 50)
Mr. Corning: "Even when we offer him a doggie treat."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Perhaps [Morgan] needs medical help,' Nancy suggested." (page 50)
Nancy: "What I'm really saying is, perhaps he's gone holy batshit insane."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"[Mrs. Corning] led the three guests into the hall and up a spiral staircase. Nancy was given a room which had a full view of the lake.
Helen: "Oh, I see who gets preferential treatment here. Thanks a lot, grandma."
'There are several pairs of new pajamas in the dresser,' Mrs. Corning told her. 'Help yourself.'" (page 52)
Helen: "And new clothes, too? What is this?"
Nancy: "Helen, do I want to know why your grandparents keep several pairs of young  womens' pajamas handy?"
Helen: "... No."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'I wish I could be here,' said Helen, 'but-'
'No, no,' her grandmother said firmly. 'Your place is with your husband.'" (page 53)
Bit of subliminal messaging there, Carolyn Keene?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Perhaps Nancy could stay,' Helen suggested. 'Would you?' she asked her friend.
Helen: "Would you do my dirty work and take care of my senile grandparents for me?"
'I'd love to,' said Nancy, 'but you know I am also working on another case.'
Mrs. Corning smiled.
Mrs. Corning: "Oh, don't think you're getting out of this that easily."
'This could be your headquarters for both.'
Mrs. Corning: "You know, when they invariably turn out to be intertwined. Oopsie, did I give away a sooper seekrit plot point?"
Suddenly she frowned.
Mrs. Corning: 'Dammit, am I wearing my Depends?"
'But I don't like to think of you working on this case alone. It might be dangerous.'" (page 54)
Mrs.Corning: I'm beginning to think this might not be one of the playful, harmless rings of death that roam about the forest freely."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Just then the back doorbell rang. Nancy turned to see a small boy outside the screen.
Nancy: "You've got the wrong house, kid- the Baby-Sitters Club lives down the street."
'Hello, Johnny,' she said, walking over to him.
Nancy: "You want some candy?"
'Hi, Nancy!' he said. 'What's in that box in your back yard?'
Nancy: "Erm... do you mean the human-sized one?"
Effie cut in quickly. 'A pigeon. And don't you touch it!' The girl explained to Nancy that she had taken the pigeon's box from the garage and placed it in the yard. I put on a lid with holes in it. Now he can get air and a little sunlight.'
Nancy: "Air! Sunlight! I knew I was forgetting something when I put it in that tightly sealed box in the garage!"
'I peeped through a hole,' said Johnny,
Johnny: "In the gas station bathroom."
and I saw something move.
You mean it's still alive in there?
Is it a bird?
Apparently it's Superpigeon.
I like birds.
Johnny: "Especially on Thanksgiving."
My Mommy has a parakeet. Oh, Nancy, can I have some cookies?'" (page 55)
Johnny: "Parakeet cookies?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"[Nancy and Effie] got out of the car and Effie scrambled into the luggage compartment. She left the lid open an inch so ther would be fresh air." (page 60)
Narrator: "Unlike Superpigeon, mere mortals- such as our human friends here- need to breathe."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Quietly Nancy got out of the car. Her sweeping glance took in a nearby shed and a large coop beside it containing a number of pigeons." (page 60)
Obviously, they're secretly breeding a master race of pigeons that won't need food, water, or oxygen. And they won't walk so ridiculously, either.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'I'd like to buy some pigeons,' Nancy said.
'They'll be expensive,' [the pigeon's keeper] said." (page 61)
Keeper: "They are destined to bring our primitive species to its knees, after all."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Suddenly a weird sound came from the rear of the car. Effie! It sounded as if she was having an attack of hysterical giggles!" (page 52)
Oh no, she's discovered the speed that Nancy keeps stored back there...
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"The black sedan drove past every few minutes. It was not the one in which Dr. Spire had been kidnapped." (page 65-66)
So there's two evil commie cars driving around towing the bad guys, and they're both black? Oh, that's just fabulous.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Mr. Drew frowned. 'Nancy, you are in great danger. You must get away- and secretly.'
Mr. Drew: "I suggest a neutral country; maybe Switzerland."
'Shall I go to the Cornings?'
'Good idea.'
Nancy: "Haha, you know nothing of the blue-flamed death that most likely awaits me there!"
'But how can I leave secretly, Dad?'
'I have the solution to that problem,' he replied. 'I'll give you my surprise present now.'
Mr. Drew: "It's the Batmobile."
'A surprise!' Nancy exclaimed. 'How could that keep those men from following me?'
Her father smiled. 'Can't you guess?'
Nancy's eyes suddenly sparkled. 'Oh, I think I know. Dad, you didn't! It isn't!'
The lawyer laughed. 'I did and it is.
Now watch them actually be talking about two totally different things.
Your new convertable is at Packlin Motors.'" (page 66-67)
Nancy: "Oh, Dad! But I was hoping you'd finally caved on the private jet!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Then Nancy became serious. 'I must leave here without their seeing me. You could have Mr. French bring the new car to the street behind our house. I'll sneak out the back way.'
'That's what I thought,' said Mr. Drew." (page 67-68)
Mr. Drew: "At least, that's what I'm going to pretend I thought, so it won't look like I was, once again, one step behind my teenage daughter."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"At the curb stood a beautiful convertible, its polished metal reflecting light from the street lamp several houses away.
Just how bright are the River Heights' street lamps?
Despite their desperate hurry, Nancy felt a thrill of excitement.
'My new car!' she whispered." (page 70-71)
Don't get too attached, Nancy. Considering how often you get into auto accidents, I don't think that car's going to be quite so shiny for very long.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"[Nancy] enjoyed the drive to the lake, sensing the power of the new car.
Is the honeymoon stage in your relationship with your new car going to end soon, by any chance?
Finally she said, 'I loved my old car, Dad. It did a good job for me, but this one is just marvelous.'" (page 72)
Oh sure, just justify the affair that way. That's just great. I'm sure your old car doesn't feel at all used or abandoned, Nancy.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'We're still worried,' [Mrs. Corning] said. 'Mr. Drew, it's kind of you to lend Nancy to us.'
Mr. Drew: "Lend her? I was under the impression that you were going to pay me rent."
He grinned appreciatively at the implied compliment.'" (page 72)
Okay, I'm not exactly sure why that sentence creeps me out so much, but it does.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"After the new plates had been put on the car, Nancy headed for the lake. When they reached it, she went upstairs to leave her purse. As she opened the bedroom door, there was a cry of:
Bess and George: "THIS IS NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!"
'Hi!' Bess and George rushed across the room and hugged her.
'Oh, Nancy, I'm so glad to see you!' Bess exclaimed.
George, with an affectionate grin, added, 'You'd think we'd been separated for two years instead of two weeks!'" (page 74)
Bess and George don't really have any other friends, do they?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"[Bess's] cousin, George, a brunette with a short haircut and classic features, gave every indication of being a fine athlete." (page 74-75)
Narrator: "Because people with long hair can't be good atheletes, because... well, because... their hair gets in the way of the ball or something, I don't know! Stop bothering me!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"After lunch Mr. Corning insisted that the girls sit on the bench to exchange news and take a swim.
Swimming on the bench? That might be kinda hard...
Though Nancy would have preferred working on the St. Louis lead, she put her plans aside to please her hostess.
Why does Helen's grandmother particularly care if her guests choose not to gossip and swim in lawn furniture?
Presently the three visitors appeared in swim suits and beach coats. Nancy's turquoise suit set off her smooth suntan perfectly, while Bess looked attractive in a butter-yellow one.
Oh, please. We get that she's fat; we don't need to hear all about how she looks like a stick of butter in her bathing suit.
George was a trim contrast in sea green.
Okay, you can stop fantasizing now, Carolyn Keene.
'How pretty you all are!' their hostess remarked." (page 75)
That goes for you, too, Mrs. Corning.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"As Nancy hit the water the speedboat loomed overhead. Swiftly she put one arm around the floundering child, and placed the palm of her hand over Marie's face. (page 77)
I guess if I had to choose between being decapitated by a speedboat and being suffocated by a teenage detective, I'd choose the latter, too.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'She'll be okay,' said George as the child began to cry. 'Marie swallowed some of the lake, that's all.'" (page 77)
Bess: "Ah- I was wondering why the water had suddenly receded six or seven feet!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'My baby!' the woman murmured. As she fondled the sobbing child she looked at Nancy. 'How can I ever thank you?'" (page 78)
Nancy: "Well, for starters, you could stop whatever you're doing to the kid."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Here we are!' husky, blond Burt Eddleton exclaimed with a grin. 'The world's greatest camp counselors!' He was George's special friend." (page 81)
That's code for "George really didn't give a crap, but Burt was still suffering the delusion that he was well on his way to getting some".
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Nancy told the boys all that had happened, passing lightly over the speedboat episode." (page 81)
Nancy: "So I saved this idiot kid who dove in front of a motorboat... probably suicidal or something. I mean, it was really no big deal at all, except for the fact that I, y'know, saved her. Anyway, her family is apparently tied into this mystery I'm working on, so it's really a good thing, I suppose, that I threw myself in front of a speeding motorboat to rescue her and all. And I did! I ended up saving her life. But please, no praise. I don't like to brag."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"[Mrs. Corning] was happy to meet [Ned, Burt, and Dave] and at once invited the three couples to the yacht club dance across the lake the next night. 'My husband and I belong
Mrs. Corning: "We're not social misfits like the rest of you geeks."
and would love to have you go as our guests.'
'I'm sure we can get time off from our camp duties,' said Ned. 
Ned: "Our campers can handle being totally unsupervised for a couple more hours, I'm sure."
'We'll accept. 
Burt: "He isn't even going to ask us what we think, is he?"
Dave: "Does he ever?"
Thank you.'" (page 82)
Burt and Dave: "Screw you!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

Carrying a flashlight, [Nancy] headed for the spot in the woods where she and Helen had seen the blue fire. After examining the singed leaves, Nancy concentrated on the ground beneath them. There were some bits of scorched brown wrapping paper...
'Maybe Ned can analyze them,' she said to herself." (page 82)
Nancy: "Ned being a forensic expert and all..."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Though the group watched intently, the blue fire did not appear that evening." (page 82-83)
A watched-for flame never flickers, after all.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'[Morgan] has a key to the doors?' Nancy asked Mrs. Corning.
'Oh, yes. He usually came and went by the side door so he wouldn't bother us.'
Mrs. Corning: "And because the front entrance is only for those deemed worthy."
'Did he have many friends?' Nancy inquired.
Mrs. Corning: "Oh God, no- do you think we let him?"
'None that we know of.
Mrs. Corning: "He did spent a lot of time on the Internet, though..."
He was a quiet man and liked to stay by himself." (page 83)
Mrs. Corning: "He was an odd boy. The other children made fun of him."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"The woman standing by the hedge shook her head. 'I've never heard you mention that place before, mother.'
The old lady's black eyes snapped.
Now that's interesting.
'I know lots I don't tell,' she said." (page 85)
Old Lady: "Like the name of your real father."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'It's all right for you to make jokes,' Bess replied, 'but I can't help it if I'm not brave like you two.'
Bess: "The ghostwriters wrote me that way, is all! I can't help it!"
Nancy smiled.
Nancy: "That's right- you're the spineless little pansy we all know and love!"
 'I can remember times on some of my cases when you were way ahead of us.'" (page 85-86)
Really? Because I... totally can't.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'I'm no expert,' [Ned] protested. Ned's eyes filled with mischief." (page 88)
Ned: "Unless you mean... that kind of expert."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'I have a hunch that the burning circle is made of fireworks which are carried by someone. I remembered that you once helped make a fireworks display at college.'" (page 88)
Ned: "Oh Nancy, you flatter me. I thought you had forgotten all about the time we tried to blow up our dorm!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"In a short time Dr. Bennett, an old friend of the family, arrived.
Is this one a career-confused bone doctor, too?
He said the houseman had suffered a slight heart attack, and ordered him kept quiet.
Nancy: "But don't you think we should get him to a hospital?"
Dr. Bennett: "Nonsense! It was only a heart attack! It's not like it was anything serious."
'That means no questions,' Nancy thought." (page 94)
... Buuut of course the only thing she really thinks about is how soon she'll be able to interrogate the guy.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Lieutenant Mulligan informed me they had not been able to trace the kidnap car. Also, when they arrived at the Tooker estate it was deserted. The gang took the pigeons.'
Carson Drew: "No worries, though- according to the rate that they're expected to develop, the hybrids should be able to overpower their kidnappers and fly home within a few days."
'I understand, Dad. My visit forced them to run. They'll be more eager than ever to get me out of the picture.'
An hour later Nancy, Ned, and their friends were watching the swimming races at Camp Hiawatha." (page 96-97)
Oh yeah, they should be safe there- I've heard the security system at 'Camp Hiawatha' is state-of-the-art!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Later, when Nancy swam ashore with her friends, she was met by Mr. Dennis, the camp director. 'Great diving exhibition, young lady! How would you like a job as a counselor?'" (page 98)
Mr. Dennis: "Here at Camp Hiawatha, it doesn't matter if you hate kids, don't know CPR, or just got out of jail for child molestation- if you can dive well, you're in!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"George flapped her dangling sleeves. 'What a great fit this is!' 
'Now you can't tell us apart,' said Bess." (page 99)
Gee, I wonder if that's going to become a plot point! ... Nah.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Bess,' Nancy whispered, 'are you hurt?'
'N-no,' Bess said shakily. 'Oh, Nancy, somebody pushed me! If you and George hadn't...'
Nancy looked grim. 'I think someone mistook you for me. And I don't want him to know he was wrong.'" (page 101)
Nancy: "If he comes back to try and kill me, I want him to go for you again so that I'll be safe."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Shortly before dawn, Nancy ate a light breakfast, then slipped into the garage and hid behind the front seat of her car. At eight o'clock the other girls came out with a packet of sandwiches. George took the wheel and they drove off.
Nancy: "Wait, you guys- come back! I need that to drive, George! How am I supposed to get away now?"
When she was sure they were not being followed, George pulled to the side of the road and Nancy took the driver's seat." (page 105)
I don't think Daddy's going to be too happy you guys dismantling your new car, Nancy.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Now what do we do?' Bess asked.
'There is only one thing left,' Nancy answered. 'Somehow we must get inside!'
George frowned. 'You're not going to try getting into this place now, are you?'
Nancy: "Um... yeah. Didn't I just say that?"
'No,' said Nancy.
Whuh?
'I'd probably end up a prisoner.'" (page 108-109)
Oh, come on- make up your mind, you guys!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"When they reached the car, Nancy hid in the back again and George drove." (page 110)
I'd like to know how they're driving the car without the steering wheel and the front seat.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Nancy drew Morgan into the dark kitchen and explained to the girls. 'But I've thought of a way to lure the gang into the house,' she said. 'If they find out I wasn't injured and am still working on this case, they'll come after me.'
Bess caught her breath.
Bess: (laughing) "You really do think you're that all-important, don't you?"
'You don't mean you'd let them know?'" (page 114-115)
Yes, BESS, she just said that! Geez! What is it with people in these books never understanding simple statements?!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Let's all go,' said Nancy. 'I think I could do with a glass of milk and some crackers, if you don't mind, Mrs. Corning.'
The woman's face broke into a smile and she said, 'That's the best news I've heard yet. Now I know you're feeling better.'" (page 117)
No, that's how you'd know Bess was feeling better. Nancy, on the other hand, doesn't have a food fetish that I'm aware of.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'I'll do my best to solve the mystery by then,' Nancy said quietly. To herself she added, 'And no mistakes, Nancy Drew!'" (page 118)
Nancy: "I really need to start weaning myself off of that 'Second Chance' button."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'I don't see how [Nancy] can be so cheerful,' Bess grumbled. 'You were knocked out last night and now you're going into more danger.'" (page 118)
And why does her being happy about this surprise you? She thrives on danger, unpredictability,  and suspense. I just hope she never discovers casinos.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Listen,' Nancy said, raising a finger.
Narrator: "The middle one."
'I heard cooing.'
'Pigeons!' Bess exclaimed.
Bess Marvin, the series' resident five-year-old.
The girls moved ahead until they were behind the carriage house, where they saw a small wooden building which had no window on their side. Here they rested in the shade 
You're sneaking onto private property, surrounded by guard dogs and barbed wire, and suddenly you have time to rest in the shade?
until aroused by soft cooing
That's a strange thing to get off to. Just saying. Are any of you planning on being around babies in the near future?
and the sound of a man's voice.
'You're getting better!' the listeners heard through the wooden walls. 'I guess you'll be able to work again if we keep you warm with this electric light. That'll cure you!'
Nancy: "Hey, he knows that warmth can help a sick bird! How come I didn't know about that? I expect next he'll know about air and food, too!"
There was more cooing. Then the unseen man said, 'You ought to be ashamed taking a couple of days getting to the boss's place and arriving there lame at that! 
Man: "One would think you were a plain old pigeon, rather than a genetic superhero with wings!"
And why did you go to the Drews', you half-witted barnyard goose?' 
Pigeon: "You insult me now, but your time will come! Resistance is futile! Mwahahaha!"
A door closed and all was silent.
'Did you hear what that man said?' Bess asked with a catch in her voice." (page 122)
Bess: "He insulted Superpigeon. He has to die!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Tell us where your room is,' Bess urged. 'We'll get you out, then call the police and they can rush the place.'" (page 127)
Bess: "If they're lucky, all the policemen will get into the fraternity!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'The special treatment to restore youthful vigor isn't ready yet,' Dr. Bell replied. 'But it will be very expensive. I must have the extra money now.'" (page 128)
Dr. Bell: "After all, it's not like you women can just go and buy Viagra online like I can!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'I demand that you let me go,' Mrs. Eldridge cried out.
Without an exclamation point? Not too believable, sweetie. 
'We can't do that,' Dr. Bell said. 'It would discredit our sanatorium to have a person leave in a poor state of health. Besides, I have your signed declaration that you are a patient here of your own accord, and that you agree to remain as long as I think necessary. Naturally, I forbid you to go.'" (page 128-129)
So... this is like Girl, Interrupted with old people,  then?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Take Mrs. Eldridge to the porch!' the doctor snapped. 'Any word about the new patient?'
'A message arrived by Bird X that she will be here at nine,' the attendant said..." (page 130)
You know, when e-mail is finally invented, these people are going to be so relieved.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Then right after we eat, I'm going shopping,
Nancy: "I just can't go out sleuthing wearing these out of style pumps!"
while you two hire a black sedan.'" (page 131)
Nancy: "Make sure you sound really, really evil, or the car rental people will get suspicious."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"George nodded. 'I see. I'll play it cool.'" (page 132)
George: "Don't I sound as hip as all the kids these days?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'Singing horses,' repeated the guard. 
Guard: "Are you high?"
'Right you are.' 
Striding up to the gates, he opened them wide. Bess guided the car between the posts and the portals clanged shut.
The password had permitted them to enter!" (page 134)
Nooo, really? Is that what happened? You really think so?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Bess brought the car to a halt and Nancy said, 'Back the car off the drive into that clump of trees, Bess. Good! Lucky there's enough room. Get in as far as you can. Keep on backing- farther.'" (page 134)
Bess: "Uhhh... are you sure this is going to be on my driving test, Nancy?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"An idea suddenly occurred to Nancy. 'If that nurse is going to lecture Mrs. Eldridge, I'll have some time to act.' she decided." (page 138)
Nancy: "Thank God for monologuing!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"The old lady was propped up in bed, with two pillows behind her back, contemplating her bedtime snack.
Ladies and gentlemen- Bess Marvin's future.
With a sigh she pushed aside the tray on her lap." (page 139)
Oh. Never mind.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"Just then [Nancy] heard a low sigh behind her in the dark attic. It seemed to come from above." (page 149)
Nancy: "God? Is that you?"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"The big man was puffing. 'There's nobody here, Tarr. All those stairs for nothing!'
'Chief said he saw a light.'" (page 149)
Okay, help me out here- I'm getting a bit confused. Is this 'Chief' the cult leader from Red Gate Farm, or the dog from Shadow Ranch? You villains seriously need to start coming up with some better nicknames for your authority figures.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"'We ought to search,' the thin man said weakly. 
The heavy one grinned craftily. 'Let's not, and say we did.'" (page 150)
Heavy Man: "I can't believe no stupid bad guy has ever thought of that before! I'm a genius!"
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"[Dr. Bell] turned to Adam Thorne and spoke in an undertone, but Nancy, straining her ears, heard him say 'password to Larkspur Lane' before their voices became hushed.
Nancy: "Why, what a lovely idea for the name of my new book! Thanks, you guys!"
After a few minutes the attendant appeared with the gateman. 'Jones, have you ever seen this young woman?' Bell demanded, glaring at the man standing before him.
'I? No, sir,' the guard declared, not recognizing Nancy dressed in her own clothes." (page 154)
Narrator: "He had been very drunk that night. And it was still dark the next morning when he left the hotel room before her."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"As [Nancy] was marched out of the room, she heard Bell say, 'The disappearance of the Eldridge woman and the Drew girl showing up have me so upset I can't think. I'm going upstairs
Bell: "- to throw myself onto my bed and cry myself to sleep!" *emo!tear*
and tell Adolf.'" (page 157)
First he uses horrible grammar, then he goes to talk to Hitler? This book is getting worse by the minute.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

"They  joined the others in the circle of light, where the officers began snapping handcuffs on the prisoners." (page 169)
Meh. I like the Lion King version better.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"Mr. Corning spoke up. 'And I am going to order French crystal earrings in the form of tiny larkspurs for you and the other girls.'
...
George grinned and added her thanks." (page 175)
George: "Even though I'm far to butch to actually wear them."
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

"'I'll find you a mystery by tomorrow morning,' [Ned] promised jokingly.
Ned: "I'll find someone to murder me- you can solve that!"
'And I'll be ready for it,' Nancy said with a twinkle in her eyes. 
Nancy: "Desperation is always so attractive in a man."
'But make it very, very complicated and original.'" (page 175)
In these books? That's not gonna happen, hon.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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