Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Nancy Drew's 85th Spotlight #23

In honor of the 85th anniversary of Nancy Drew, I'll be discussing the first 3 books this week, which were released on April 28, 1930, 85 years ago...

The Bungalow Mystery

A secluded bungalow, a raging storm on a lake, an overnight bag in Nancy's trunk. Let's discuss.

A Few Fast Facts:

Ghostwriter: Mildred A. Wirt Benson

1930 Outline Length: A little over 2 1/2 pages

3 Cover Illustrations By: Russell H. Tandy, Bill Gillies, Rudy Nappi

Texts: Revision does vary quite a bit in some sequences and in sub-plots!

Synopsis From My Website:

When Nancy and Helen Corning get swept up in a lake storm , mysterious Laura Pendleton comes to their rescue. Her mother recently having passed away, Laura has come to meet up with her new guardians and something isn't quite right about them. Their mistreatment of Laura leads Nancy to investigate and stumble upon a shocking surprise in the cellar of a bungalow. Nancy must use her wits to overcome the villains and solve this baffling mystery involving Laura's guardians!

This mystery begins with a raging storm on the lake and Nancy and her chum Helen Corning are caught up in it--they go overboard and Nancy tries to save herself and Helen. They might have drowned if Laura Pendleton hadn't saved them--and this chance meeting leads Nancy to try and solve the mystery surrounding Laura's strange guardian.

This hasn't been included in the list of books that when revised, became pretty much or totally an all new story. The Hidden Staircase is included in that list. I'd frankly include Bungalow Mystery as well--the revision changes the story quite a bit in parts, locations and sub-plots are quite different in others--even more so I think than Hidden Staircase.

As a mystery, there are suspenseful parts-which are played up quite a bit more in the original as usual since those tend to be more melodramatic. Stumpy seemed much more cruel and hardened in the original than he did in the revision. Of course his wife in the revision had the typical bleached blond hair that these female Nancy Drew villains tend to sport. In the original, Laura seemed to be much more of a feeble character. Interesting too some of the changes such as Nancy getting a ring in the original as a reward and in the revised it's a bracelet.

Original vs. Revised - 5 Interesting Clues:

1. In the revision, Stumpy Dowd's wife is a main character.

2. In the original, near the end there is a whole scene at a bungalow that is not in the revision--in which Carson Drew gets knocked out!

3. Nancy drove at a rate of speed that made Laura Pendleton gasp in alarm at in the original. By the revision, her driving was speedy but careful.

4. The revision has a sub-plot involving an embezzling case that Carson has Nancy helping him with.

5. Nancy is hit over the head with the butt of a revolver in the original version--by the revision it's a cane!

3 Mysterious Things About Nancy:

1. Nancy keeps an overnight case in her trunk with clothes, toiletries, and when in season--a bathing suit.

2. Nancy's an excellent swimmer.

3. Nancy collects matchbooks.

An Important Lesson We Learned From Nancy:

Enter a mysterious and deserted bungalow at your own risk!

Sleuthworthy Rating on a Scale of 1-10:

7. The mystery was a bit all over the place to me--as far as locations and going back an forth. Laura Pendleton wasn't as sympathetic a character in the original as she seemed to be in the revised. It was like reading about a Paris Hilton type complaining about not having maid service and finer things. The bungalow and the cellar with the real Jacob Aborn was creepy and the scene where Nancy is knocked out by Stumpy a bit frightening--especially in the original version. I thought it was very brave of Nancy to try and save the suitcases in the burning fire at the end, though it was a very reckless thing to do.

No comments: