Friday, April 9, 2010


I'm going to stop blogging except on weekends and holidays (except b-days). I need to worry about my school work on weekdays. Thank you for understanding.

The Hidden Staircase (1930's edition)

Nancy is introduced to the Turner sisters, Pat and Rosemary by Abigail Rem, a character who aids Nancy in the previous, and first volume of the series. They believe that their home is haunted. Nancy's father is being harassed by a crooked character, Nathan Gombet, who threatens violence. Carson Drew, undaunted, agrees to allow Nancy to investigate the house and sends his revolver with her. He will travel to Chicago during the first part of Nancy's stay at the old estate and join her later.
Odd things have been happening at The Mansion. A valuable necklace has been stolen, and canaries get into the house, seemingly of their own accord. Nancy finds it difficult to focus on the mystery at hand when her father fails to arrive home from Chicago in a timely manner - he appears to have vanished. Meanwhile, Nancy discovers that the nefarious Gombet owns the adjacent estate, nearly identical in appearance to The Mansion, nevertheless in a much more dilapidated state. She decides to investigate Gombet's house one rainy night, armed with revolver and flashlight. While roaming around the odd house, Nancy accidentally falls through a secret panel and down a staircase into a tunnel, which leads back to the house in which she is staying.
Nancy reveals her discovery to the Turners in the morning, then they investigate together. The police, acting on Nancy's suspicions, raid Gombet's house, where Carson Drew is discovered to have been a prisoner for days. Gombet is found to have been behind the hauntings as well.

Hardy Boys The House on the Cliff

Fenton Hardy, the famous private detective and father of the Hardy Boys, asks his sons to help him with his latest case involving a criminal named Snattman and the illegal drug trade smuggling of stolen drugs. Hardy directs Frank and Joe to a house on the cliff, whose location overlooking Barmet Bay offers an excellent vantage point to watch for smugglers. The Hardys are tricked into the house by cries for help, and are trapped for a short time in the attic; meanwhile, their telescope and motorcycles are damaged, possibly by the smugglers. On the way home, they observe a man boating on Barmet Bay being chased by another motorboat. After his boat explodes in flames, Biff and Joe swim out while Frank and Chet get a rowboat to rescue the man. Once brought to shore, the man regains consciousness and says his name is Mr. Jones, which the Hardys believe to be a thinly-disguised alias. The next day, both Mr. Hardy and Mr. Jones disappear. Frank and Joe seek out Mr. Hardy's informant at the maritime docks, Pretzel Pete, to see if he knows anything about the smugglers. Frank and Joe revisit the Shore Road area, and inside the house not far from the house on the cliff, Frank sees Mr. Hardy's hat. With their friends Chet Morton, Biff Hooper and Tony Prito, they use a boat to search for a secret tunnel at the base of the cliff. Frank and Joe try to rescue Mr. Hardy but they are also captured at gunpoint. Chet and Tony go to the United States Coast Guard and find Biff Hooper, Jerry Gilroy, and Phil Cohen there and lead them to the smuggler's secret cave. It turns out that Mr. Jones was a spy working for the Coast Guard. At the end the Hardys escape into the house on the cliff, and capture Snattman while he is negotiating with police. Snattman apologizes and says he will turn the house on the cliff into a Boys Home - a place where boys without proper home training can come to live.

Nancy Drew Secret of the Old Clock

Nancy is 18, and is prompted to help the Crowley kin by her affection for a young child who is Crowley's distant relative. The Hoover Sisters (Changed from 1930 "Horner") and Nancy help one of the Hoover sisters obtain singing lessons to develop her skills; in the original version, they sought to improve their hatchery and dress-making skills. This is a more refined and sedate Nancy; Crowley's initial "heirs" are depicted as very undeserving of wealth; and Helen is older (in preparation for her eventual "write-out" after volume 4 of the revised series - no explanation is made in the original series to introduce Bess and George, although two figures illustrated in the same vein as these girls appear in a 1959 illustration at a camp for girls.) The action is increased significantly, and is faster-paced. Greater detail is given to show Nancy described as wearing a variety of fashions in the book, and her encounter with the undeserving Topham sisters now centers around a torn evening dress instead of a broken vase, as in the original story. Racial stereotypes and all minority characters are omitted, and Nancy encounters an additional difficulty with her car--a faulty top switch, resulting in her chance meeting of the Hoovers while caught in a deluge driving the open car. The final scene, reading of the will which disinherits the Tophams, focuses on the delight of awarding deserving Crowley kin, instead of Nancy's desire to harm the snobbish Topham family.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Hardy Boys Tower Treasure

The story begins with Frank and Joe Hardy barely avoiding being hit by a speeding driver with bright red hair. Later, this same red-haired driver attempts a ferryboat ticket office robbery and successfully steals a yellow jalopy called Queen from the Hardys' friend, Chet Morton. Due to one witness reporting that the villain had dark hair, the Hardys assume he is using a red wig. It is learned that the thief returned to Chet's home to steal a tire, helping Frank and Joe to find Queen abandoned in a public wooded area.
The excitement of finding Queen is quickly gone when it is reported that there has been a robbery of forty thousand dollars in securities and jewels from the Tower Mansion owned by
siblings Hurd and Adelia Applegate. Hurd Applegate is convinced that the Tower's caretaker, Henry Robinson, is the guilty party. The Hardys are especially concerned by this accusation because Henry's son, Perry, is a friend of theirs who will have to quit school to work since his father can no longer get a job as a result of Applegate's accusation. The only 'proof' of Henry Robinson's guilt is that he was suddenly able to pay off a debt, and refused to reveal where he got the money to pay off the debt.
The Hardys suspect that the red-haired man may be involved with the Tower robbery and search the place where Queen was found, finding the red wig. The Hardys' dad, detective
Fenton Hardy, learns that the wig was manufactured in New York City. The three Hardys go to New York and learn of a criminal named John "Red" Jackley who is fond of using disguises. Soon, Jackley is injured in a train accident causing him to be hospitalized. About to die, Jackley confesses that he committed the Tower Mansion robbery and put the loot "in the old tower…" Jackley dies before he is able to explain further. After searches inside and outside of the Tower Mansion the stolen loot is still not found.
Frank and Joe decide to go to the railroad where Jackley used to work to find out more information. While investigating, they see two water towers nearby. The Hardys realize that Jackley was referring to the old
water tower and not the Tower Mansion. Inside the water tower they find the stolen items but are locked in the tower by a man calling himself Hobo Johnny. Johnny feels anything in the tower belongs to him. Frank and Joe break out of the water tower and return the securities and jewelry. In the original version of the book Henry admits that a man who owed him money repaid a debt to him, but he was not allowed to tell anyone in case the man's other debtors found out. This was revised in the 1959 version such that Adelia reveals that she loaned Henry Robinson the money to pay off his debt. Following the revelations and with the stolen loot returned, Hurd re-hires Henry with an increase in salary and Hurd builds a greenhouse for Henry.