Monday, September 1, 2008

What an invitation

At a garage sale this weekend, I hit one awesome sale--the lady just wanted to get rid of everything. I was able to get four books for 25 cents! Bling bling. I actually ended up getting six books for my church's library and two for myself. One book I picked up was a Nancy Drew mystery: The Twin Dilemma. The book isn't part of the original series; it's actually part of the later "Nancy Drew Mystery Stories." Twin Dilemma was written in 1981 and the series evidently went up through the 2000s.

But the cover lured me in. Its tagline read: "Nancy receives an engraved invitation to danger." How could I resist? An ENGRAVED invitation to danger???? How exciting!

Unfortunately, there were no invitations anywhere in the book, other than vocal ones. Booo to misleading cover descriptions. And how disappointing that there was no engraving anywhere.

Basically the plot is this: Nancy, Bess and George go to visit Nancy's Aunt Eloise in New York City, who has to be the worst aunt ever. She lets the girls go wherever and do whatever they want--alone!--in freakin' NYC. The girls are only 18! Auntie E never makes them check in--at one point, the girls are trapped in a BURNING BUILDING and have a narrow escape but when they get home, Aunt Eloise is asleep. They wait until morning to tell her what happened. Her response? "Oh, you'd better call your father and tell him your adventure." Another time, Bess and George leave a party with two random guys who end up being bad guys. Stupid, stupid, stupid.

Anyway, the book features about four different mysteries, somehow loosely tied together. There was something about a missing model, then a kidnapped reporter, then missing clothing, lying people, illegal imports, conniving employees and other connections I don't understand. This is kind of embarrassing, but it was too taxing to figure it all out and remember who all the random people were, so I gave up. I'm still not sure what happened. (This might be a good time to mention that I have a B.A. in English and a master's degree in library I am literate. Still, that Nancy Drew was too much for me.)

Let's not even go into the believability aspects of the parts I did understand. A top designer let Nancy model, gave her sketches of his designs and let her wear his dresses to random parties. Whatever. Not even Nancy Drew could finagle that.

To be honest, I'm going to recycle this book. No one should ever read it--I love the original Nancy Drew books, but this was just pure trash that didn't make sense. On the plus side, it was entertaining at times.

Rating: 3/10

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