Thursday, December 19, 2019

Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys Super Mysteries for Christmas!

Crime for Christmas and New Year's Evil

I am going to lump both of these books together, because there is really not anything remarkable about either of them. Not so super...."Crime for Christmas" written in 1988 is set in New York City and "New Year's Evil" from 1991 is set in Quebec, Canada.

In "Crime for Christmas", the chief of police of New York City asks the Hardy's to help in an investigation because no one on the force is young enough to pull off this undercover assignment. This book was written at about the same time that the TV show, "21 Jump Street" was popular, so this angle makes a lot of sense in that context.  For those of you unfamiliar with "21 Jump Street", it starred Johnny Depp as a youthful police officer, part of a group of similar officers who went undercover as teenagers. It was one of Johnny Depp's first major roles after "Nightmare on Elm Street" and a small part in "Platoon".  The Hardy's ask Nancy Drew to join them in the investigation.
The two mysteries in this book are a pair of cat burglars who have been stumping the police (If you have already read the Paris Connection, you will immediately be able to solve that mystery)  and the abduction of the Prince of Sarconne. Much of the book centers around a possible romance between Bess and the Prince. This part reeks of a Hallmark Movie or one of those Disney Princess Diaries movies. One of the most fantastic things in the book is a chase done by forklift! They drive a forklift 10 Blocks from 136th St to 125th St, I am still trying to rationalize that scene in my head.

Onward to "New Year's Evil," this book takes place over the border in Quebec, Canada. Nancy, Bess and George are in town because Bess's cousin Emily is working on a film shoot about race car drivers and invited them (sabotage on the set.) The Hardy's are being hosted by Dussault Motors, the company that sponsors the Ice Racing during the Winter Carnival.  Ice Racing is racing cars on the frozen St. Charles River. However, I cannot find any evidence that they ever did race cars during Winter Carnival.  This book was written in 1991 and I have researched as far back as 1985 and I cannot find any evidence that they ever raced cars on the river.  The race that they do is done with canoes, called Ice Canoes. Dussault Motors is also filming. They are making a TV commercial.
This book did include one of my favorite quotes.  Joe says, " Solving mysteries is our favorite kind of vacation." Another quote that could apply to any super mystery is, "suspects are easy, it's proof that is hard to get." I was disappointed in Nancy. At one point, she says that she has been an idiot. I kind of agree, she has enough French language skills to translate Pierre Desmoulins to Peter Mills, but she calls the circumflex over the a, " a funny little hat."  Now I know that they do call the circumflex a little hat to describe it to English readers, but it would have helped if Nancy used the proper term and described it also to educate the super mystery readers.

I was again disappointed in these super mysteries, but if you want some winter time atmosphere, they could be fun.

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