Friday, April 24, 2020

Nancy Drew Hardy Boys Super Mystery Courting Disaster

Courting Disaster 1993

This book starts without a hint of mystery. Bess and Nancy are invited to the Southern EXPOsure Festival in Charleston, SC by Kurt Zimmer, an old family friend of the Marvins.  Kurt is directing a rock musical, called Beauty and the Beat and starring a former child star, now a video deejay, named Terry Alford.  Terry immediately starts getting threats to leave the show and there is some sabotage to the theater as well, so Nancy Drew is on the case to protect Terry and find out who is responsible.
By coincidence, Terry is dating tennis professional "bad boy" Pat Flynn. Pat is playing in a exhibition match at nearby McCallum Island resort. Pat has been getting threats as well and the organizer of the exhibition tour has asked the Hardy Boys to protect Pat. Standard Super Mystery script of threats and sabotage.
This author had a fixation with height. We learn that Nancy Drew is 5'7", and 3 inches taller than Bess. Terry Alford is petite, barely 5'2" and Alan Lassiter, Pat's tennis rival is a gangly 6'4". I kept waiting for height to play some role in the mystery, but that never materialized.
There is a little bit of local Charleston, SC color sprinkled into the story.  They visit a restaurant on Shem Creek and walk along King Street and the Battery. They attend a garden party at a plantation along the Ashley River. All of the references could easily be written by someone who had never been to Charleston, SC.
At one point, Frank and Joe Hardy are actually fired from their case by the head of the Tennis Exhibition Tour. Pat Flynn does ask them to stay on as his bodyguards and he will pay them. Pat has a terrible temper and is very unlikable. The Hardys don't even like him, but they want to solve the mystery. I was very unhappy with the denouement of Pat Flynn's story line at the end. It seemed ludicrous to me and was contradictory to things that had happened earlier in the book.
The cliffhangers that ended every chapter got very annoying in my opinion. And some of the red herrings, were not so far off the mark. Many persons who were suspects did actually cause harm and make threats even if at the end, they were not the main villain.  All in all, another disappointing super mystery, not because Nancy Drew was not depicted well, but because of the lame story line and mystery.

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