Thursday, February 20, 2020

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys Super Mysteries in Mexico

South of the Border into Mexico!

Supermysteries,  Passport to Danger and Copper Canyon Conspiracy were both written in 1994 and they both take Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys over our southern border and into Mexico to solve some mysteries. This was back in the day when you only needed a driver's license to visit Mexico.

In Passport to Danger, Nancy and Bess are in San Miguel de Allende helping friends of Aunt Eloise who have an art school. The mystery is that the art school seems to be the source of fake green cards that are being circulated in the area. Nancy must find the forger.  In this book, Frank and Joe are on vacation and visiting Mexico City friends who own an art gallery in that city.  There is a little Bess bashing, when she is eating chips and salsa and they mention that she is always trying to lose 5 pounds.  The Mexican Police tell Nancy Drew to not interfere because this is a serious police investigation and very dangerous.  Nancy, Bess and Joe are held at gunpoint while the bad guy confesses all.  But, Nancy, Frank and Joe all fight the bad guys and Nancy uses a judo kick to subdue him!

Copper Canyon Conspiracy starts in Tucson, AZ with Nancy, George and the Hardys at the Cactus Marathon. George and Joe are participating and they all meet some amazing runners from Mexico,the Tarahumara Indians who run barefoot.  They are world famous for being amazing endurance runners.  The Tarahumara are also trying to protect their home land in the Mexican Copper Canyon from being deforested.  The Mexican Police are not as well represented in this book. They are shown taking bribes.  We are told that Frank is a pilot and he knows the Amtrak 1-800 number by heart!  The best message from this book, "When you are someone's friend you have to stand up for their rights, even if that means suffering for it."

I was pleasantly surprised to like BOTH of these books. They had the Hardys and Nancy Drew on equal footing as detectives and they let the girls and the boys work together to solve the mysteries and fight the bad guys with neither having an obvious advantage. Romance took a back burner, although there is this quote from Passport to Danger, "somehow Bess always managed to find just the right amount of romance wherever she went."  There were a lot of great descriptions of Mexico and Mexican cities! I am ready to take a trip south of the border!

Monday, February 17, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach Today

Here are two of the few modern, present day postcards that I have of Wrightsville Beach, NC

View from the Bridge over the Intracoastal Waterway

The Causeway crossing over Banks Channel to Wrightsville Beach

Monday, February 10, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach: Blockade Runner Hotel

In 1964 The Blockade Runner Hotel was built on the site of the Old Ocean Terrace Hotel (which had burned down in 1955)  I learned to sail on a sunfish at Wrightsville Beach just like in these photos of the boats in front of the hotel 

Monday, February 03, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach: Ocean Terrace Hotel

The Ocean Terrace Hotel was destroyed by fire in 1955, at the time, it was the largest hotel on Wrightsville Beach. The site is now occupied by The Blockade Runner Hotel.

Friday, January 31, 2020

January 2020 Books I read

Catherwood by Marly Youmans the fictional story of a lady in 1676 America (the new world) who gets lost in the wilderness and how she survives.
The 39 Steps by John Buchan a spy story circa WWI
Flotsametrics and the floating world by Curtis Ebbesmeyer and Eric Scigliano Living in Seattle and beachcombing, you find crazy things sometimes. This scientist studies how things move in the oceans. Fascinating.
Winter Grave by Helene Turston (library) swedish thriller with a complex protagonist.
The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides (library) I did not think it was an "edge of your seat" read. It is a psychological drama more than a thriller in my opinion.
Wheat Belly by William Davis (library) great book about the gluten-free thing. Lots of great information.
Richard Potter by John A. Hodgson (library) The true history of America's first black celebrity 200 years ago in the early 1800's Richard Potter was the most popular entertainer in America.
Miss Zukas and the Raven's Dance by Jo Dereske I love this series of mysteries set in the PNW with a librarian protagonist.
Off the Beaten Page by Terri Peterson Smith (library) A travel book with suggestions on where to go with a Literary Theme.
Normal People by Sally Rooney (library) thought it was kind of sad, sort of dysfunctional relationship between a boy and a girl thru High School and College.
Prairie Fever by Michael Parker (library) 2 sisters in early 1900's Oklahoma and the man that comes between them.
The Dental Diet by Dr. Steven Lin (library) great book again about how our modern diet is bad for us...processed foods, too much grain etc.
Oxygen by Carol Cassella an anesthesiologist has a child die during surgery and faces a malpractice suit. Set in Seattle (attention Grays Anatomy fans!!)
McTeague by Frank Norris just rereading this classic, I first read it as a teenager, my Dad had recommended it to me about the same time I was reading stuff like American Tragedy by Dreiser and The Jungle by Upton Sinclair.. It is set in San Francisco, so has some great atmosphere of that city.
Being Mortal by Atul Gawande (library) Great book about aging and death and how it is dealt with in the USA particularly. nonfiction
Time After Time by Lisa Grunwald (library) If you liked Somewhere in Time or The Age of Adaline or The Time Travelers Wife, you might want to check this one out too. Interesting idea about time travel and loving someone who is out of your time.
While I am Falling by Laura Moriarty (library) story of a girl in college whose life falls apart as her parents are divorcing. Very good. I recommend.
The Man Who Invented Christmas by Les Standiford (library) Basically the story of the writing of A Christmas Carol by Dickens. I liked the history of how Christmas was celebrated and also the biography details about Dickens.
The People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (audiobook) I really love this book and I caught different stuff during the listening of it.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Postcards 2020 Wrightsville Beach: Watersports

Wrightsville Beach is separated from the mainland by the Intracoastal Waterway and Banks Channel, so there are lots of places for protected boating, sailing, water-skiing, canoeing, kayaking, swimming (and now stand up paddle boarding)

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super Mysteries Secrets of the Nile

There are 36 Super Mystery Books, so I still have more to read and review!

Secrets of the Nile 1995

Frank Hardy calls Nancy Drew and asks for her help. He wants her and Bess to join him and Joe in Egypt. They will need to pose as newlyweds! Someone from the State Department has contacted Frank and Joe and asked them to take the place of newlywed brothers who have been threatened with kidnapping by a terrorist group.  The Addisons are one of the richest families in New York and the State Department is going to make fake passports for the Hardys and track the couples in an attempt to foil the terrorist kidnappers.

Of course, Nancy and Bess go along and they quickly grab a flight from Chicago to New York to meet up with the Hardys and continue on to Cairo. Immediately on arrival in Egypt, their rooms are ransacked. When they try to contact the State Department, there is no record of the agent who contacted them  and there is nothing to show that they are working for the government! Either they are disavowed like some Mission Impossible Ethan Hunt OR they have been set up.  They discover that the Addison brothers are not even married and all clues point to the entire trip being a set up, but for what? And so much money was spent, first class tickets, spending money, new wardrobes for the guys and the girls, what could be so important to justify all this expenditure just to get the Hardys and Nancy Drew to come to Cairo?

Nancy and Bess meet a woman who is trying to find her daughter.  Reminds me of Not Without My Daughter (which was a movie in 1991).  The American woman suspects that her ex-husband who is Egyptian has kidnapped their daughter and brought her to Egypt. Nancy and Bess decide to help her find her daughter.   Frank and Joe get into a knife fight and are arrested. Joe breaks into a warehouse using a credit card to jimmy a door lock. Nancy gets knocked unconscious.  They are threatened twice to stop investigating why they were brought to Egypt.

Nancy is always prepared and manages to have a McGyver handbag, which has a flashlight when needed, scissors when needed etc.  Nancy and Joe work together to defuse a bomb. There is a lot of romance between Nancy and Frank, since they are pretending to be newlyweds and often have to act like they are married. But in the end, they agree that they actually love other people and are just great friends.

I enjoyed the travelogue aspect of the Secrets of the Nile. The fact that the bad guys brought the Hardys and Nancy Drew to Egypt and then they threaten them and don't want them in Egypt is pretty ludicrous to me. This has happened in other Supermysteries where the bad guys are the people who actually bring the detectives into the story. I do not understand. Why?  The two mysteries, the "not without my daughter" story line and the "kidnapping terrorist" story line of course come together in the end and are intertwined.