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When I was about 10 or 11, my mother signed me up for a book of the month club Every month, I received two Nancy Drew or two Hardy Boys books Every month, they were both read in a week and I was asking when the next book would be there I thank my mother for recognizing and encouraging my love of reading. First published in , this mystery finds Nancy searching for some unpublished musical manuscripts which she believes are hidden in the dark, cluttered attic of a rundown mansion As I read the first chapter, I immediately noticed that there was something unique about the opening premise of this particular Nancy Drew Mystery Generally speaking, the source of Nancy s sleuthing assignments are the parts her father, the famed attorney Carson Drew doesn t have the time to tackle himself He might find himself arranging for an extended business trip, or he s just picked up a larger,demanding case that demands his full attention In essence, he tends to ask for his daugh As I read the first chapter, I immediately noticed that there was something unique about the opening premise of this particular Nancy Drew Mystery Generally speaking, the source of Nancy s sleuthing assignments are the parts her father, the famed attorney Carson Drew doesn t have the time to tackle himself He might find himself arranging for an extended business trip, or he s just picked up a larger,demanding case that demands his full attention In essence, he tends to ask for his daughter s help when he is simply unable to tackle it himself But in the opening pages of chapter one we soon learn that this case is different We find Carson and Nancy talking over breakfast at the dining room table in the Drew home Over the discussion turns to a case the attorney recently pick up, this prompts him to produce a packet of letters which are tied together with a blue ribbon, the ribbon itself caused me to guess that the letters were of a personal nature, probably not business correspondence Carson asks his daughter to examine the love letters for clues, but not because he doesn t have the time, but for another reason This task isn t exactly to my liking I understand these are love letters, and Nancy smiled as he rather clumsily tried to loosen the knot in the ribbon that bound the letters, she offered to do it for him, and he looked relieved Please tell meabout the case, she begged, Maybe I can help you with it I believe you can, her father replied, his eyes twinkling I d say this isyour kind of mystery than mine, Nancy That was unique Carson was passing on a mystery to his daughter because he was uncomfortable with the subject matter, and was clearly advocating that she, because of the subject matter, would do a much better job than he I thought that this was an important signal that the writer intended to signal That being that Nancy would be muchempowered to take on muchownership of this case than the one s she was assigned in past stories The next paragraph actually outlines this when the narrator mentions that Carson was proud of his eighteen year old daughter who had gained a reputation for her talent with solving mysteries, and that the two of them had grown closer since the death of Mrs Drew They d become closer as father and daughter and had come to rely on each otherandas Nancy grew to become a very able young woman I suspected that this would mean that Nancy s role in the mystery would be muchher own, her father only offering his support on the peripheral of the action Back to the story s unfolding action, the packet of love letters had been dropped off at Drew s office earlier that day while he was out Apparently, they were delivered by an elderly man named Philip March who left them with the receptionist, requesting that Mr Drew examine them for clues to the location of a number of original, unpublished musical scores written by his son and most likely hidden away He asked the receptionist if he could possibly stop by Mr Drew s home later, which was arranged As the two examine the letters, the doorbell rings and Philip March is at the door to explain things further It turns out that Philip s son, Philip March Jr., nickname Fipp , was a young lieutenant who tragically lost his life in a routine military training mission four years before Fipp was also a talented musician and songwriter In the years before his passing, he d written a series of love letters to his young wife Connie that might contain coded clues as to the location of a number of his musical scores that he d left behind at home when he was on assignment Philip Sr confirmed that he was aware of the fact that his son and daughter in law enjoyed playing guessing games, and that these letters, aside from their romantic content, may well also contain coded clues as to the location of the precious musical creations The elderly man also guessed that Connie never did find the compositions, and to add to the difficulty, she herself tragically died just a short time ago Mr March goes on to explain to Carson and Nancy that he himself was a longtime widower, and now that his son and daughter in law were passed, he was alone, except for his six year old granddaughter Susan, the daughter of Fipp and Connie He goes on to explain, with a heavy heart, that he now finds himself in a difficult situation His retirement income is very meager, too small in fact for him to provide a proper home and housekeeper to allow his granddaughter to live with him It is for this reason, above all others, that Philip desires to get to the bottom of the location of the mysterious lost musical compositions his son wrote He explains, with a father s pride, how his son used to play his songs in front of the family, and how exquisite they were He was planning to publish his work after his military service was complete Mr March tells Drew and Nancy that if the scores were found, published, then became commercially successful, he would be able to provide for his granddaughter and fix up his older home The mention of the home itself prompts Nancy to inquire which River Heights area house was his Philip tells her that it s a two hundred year old mansion that was once the celebrated home of the once influential and wealthy March family But now, he tells them, the house is in a state of disrepair after many years of neglect forced by his lack of funds The idea of a storied old mansion, and the search for lost music scores piques Nancy s interest for such an intriguing sleuthing adventure And if that wasn t compelling enough, right there in the first chapter, as Mr March leaves the Drew home, he s hit by a flying rock that causes him to slump down onto the sidewalk Carson and Nancy are shocked by this violence and scoop up the man while keeping their eye on a fleeing figure, trying to get any clue as to the identity They carry the injured man to their sofa, then summon the doctor who arrives a short time later, examines the elderly man and declares that he requires bed rest and good food Philip, somewhat revived, not wishing to burden the Drews, tries to rise and make his way home, but Nancy will hear none of it She offers to care for the man as he convalesces, she also prepares and delivers meals to him Nancy also decides that if the man has soft music playing, it might help him pass the timepleasantly She places her radio in his room and soon after Philip calls out to her that she should come into the room He excitedly announces that the song he just heard was one he recognized as his son s work That song has been stolen He cries out You must find the thief He demands With that, Nancy jumps headlong into the case with the kind of fervor and tenacity that I love about her character What follows is an incredible tie between this story and one of trade secrets being stolen from a textiles manufacturing firm But one of my favorite aspects of this story was the adventure that Nancy had as she investigated the old March mansion which was rather interestingly named Pleasant Hedges The explanation of the old place s intrigue was best described by the Scottish novelist Robert Louis Stevenson when he said Some places speak distinctly Certain dark gardens cry aloud for a murder certain old houses demand to be haunted certain coasts are set apart of shipwreck In this story, Pleasant Hedges definitely qualified under Stevenson s qualifier as a place that, spoke distinctly The Secret in the Old Attic, was a mystery story triumph Aside from the wonderful storytelling, I d be remiss if I omitted my love of the cover designs of the Nancy Drew series The design of this particular cover is the one I like the most My understanding is that this is the second era of Nancy Drew cover art, created by a painter named Rudi Nappi Here is how the Wikipedia article outlines the development of the cover art of this iconic book Collectors of the series seem to greatly enjoy the original art by Russell H Tandy, which depicts Nancy among highly Gothic elements, by candlelight, in the old attic In 1962, Rudy Nappi gave Nancy a modern flip hairstyle and changed the color to red, and altered her shirtwaist wrap dress to a generic red sailor style dress for the cover art In 1970, Nappi updated his art, employing a shadowy apple green color motif and Gothic elements, including the skeletal hand, to showcase Nancy, looking very much like Barbara Eden in a coat front shift, with a candle This cover plays heavily on the spooky elements popular during the Dark Shadows era I absolutely love Nappi s exquisite design of this cover A five star reading experience all around 3.5 starsThis gets an extra half star just for the following passage alone By this time Mr Drew had reached River Heights Bess thought that she and George ought to go home, and were driven to their respective houses If you and your father have a job to do, said Ned, perhaps I should go too Oh please stay Nancy urged Mr Drew added, I believe we ll need an extra man before the night s over One with strong muscles The day my dad tells my boyfriend that he has strong muscles will 3.5 starsThis gets an extra half star just for the following passage alone By this time Mr Drew had reached River Heights Bess thought that she and George ought to go home, and were driven to their respective houses If you and your father have a job to do, said Ned, perhaps I should go too Oh please stay Nancy urged Mr Drew added, I believe we ll need an extra man before the night s over One with strong muscles The day my dad tells my boyfriend that he has strong muscles will be the day Our story begins with Nancy and her attorney father receiving a stack of letters, which may be important clues to a new case that Mr Drew has been asked to take on However, they decline to read these love letters because they might possibly be of a private nature.Next, an old man arrives, the very same man whose deceased son wrote those letters Not only is the son dead, but his wife, the recipient of those letters, is also dead Naturally, as soon as they married but before they died of co Our story begins with Nancy and her attorney father receiving a stack of letters, which may be important clues to a new case that Mr Drew has been asked to take on However, they decline to read these love letters because they might possibly be of a private nature.Next, an old man arrives, the very same man whose deceased son wrote those letters Not only is the son dead, but his wife, the recipient of those letters, is also dead Naturally, as soon as they married but before they died of course , they had a daughter, who was left with no other guardian but the feeble old man The family used to be wealthy, and the son had a great musical talent.Here are some problems Despite the young man s amazing talent, he A Never published his music but instead stuffed the written compositions into various crevices in the decrepit family mansion B Never performed his music, but instead joined the armed forces, and thus he was killed during a routine training mission This wasn t even active duty We have a squandered life and squandered talent on our hands Ugh Next now that the old man has a young girl to look after, and no source of income, he spends half a decade selling valuable family heirlooms in his house, because his son would be heartbroken to know that his father would seek charity or assistance.To keep things eveninteresting, as soon as the old man relates this sadness to Nancy and her father, he meets an incident right outside their house As he stepped outside, a rock came whizzing through the air toward him It struck Mr March on the head and he slumped to the flagstone walk Gee, it s like the community suddenly realized Hey That man is thinking about asking for charity Get him Of course Nancy assists and gets the man s life back in order she solves the case and secures a proper inheritance for the man s granddaughter.Added bonus a look behind the scenes of the music industry Since Mr March s son wrote very fine music, the kind of up to date music you young people like, naturally, some thugs have hatched an elaborate plan to steal the sheet music from the old mansion and instantly put it on the radio But don t worry Nancy and her gal pals track down the music thief They simply go to hotels and ask if he s there The hotel desk attendant helpfully informs them that they have the man s pseudonym, and she informs them of his actual name Now that s customer service What a world Nancy lives in This is an excellent novel by Mildred A Wirt in 1944, unrecognized as its author for years Unless pertaining to computers or freedom, I disregard remarks about a story feeling outdated It would be silly to expect literature or films to accommodate 2012 and all the years my review gets read A story is current when it s composed People shouldn t penalize era of origin in feedback.A man in a declining mansion he can t afford, is raising his Granddaughter, Susan Her Dad Philip March, a decea This is an excellent novel by Mildred A Wirt in 1944, unrecognized as its author for years Unless pertaining to computers or freedom, I disregard remarks about a story feeling outdated It would be silly to expect literature or films to accommodate 2012 and all the years my review gets read A story is current when it s composed People shouldn t penalize era of origin in feedback.A man in a declining mansion he can t afford, is raising his Granddaughter, Susan Her Dad Philip March, a deceased soldier and composer, identified hidden sheet music for his late wife in coded letters Publishing the songs would bring money Susan and her Grandpa desperately need but some were located and stolen This sub plot is weak because one cannot pose as a musician and bring music notes to a radio station, airing a finished product in a week That s my sole critique suggesting sheet music is an instant commodity, as accessible and valuable as stealing a key or social insurance number However if we take the rest as is, this is a compelling mystery Nancy cons a disliked peer, sneaks into a high security factory, and works on codes I am always excited by secret compartments and rooms They are ample here, to heart s content Nancy s Dad, who is a lawyer, has tremendous respect for her by utilizing her investigative talents on difficult cases It was also extremely brave for a 20 year old to glean information from a family she dislikes and to sneak into a rival laboratory after hours LikeHarry Potter , don t be dissuaded by the target demographic I maintain that the most enthralling, suspense raising mysteries, are those that involve anything except a dead body Most fiction siphons their plots from a murder Secrets and clues are faroriginal and gripping Title The Secret in the Old AtticAuthor Carolyn KeeneSeries Nancy Drew, 21Format ebookLength 263 pages iPhone Synopsis Nancy searches for clues to missing music manuscripts in love letters written by a deceased soldier This soldier s elderly father and young daughter are sole survivors of a once prominent family The Marches, inhabitants of a run down family estate, are facing financial ruin The old man believes some of his son s music is being sold and played on the radio Nancy, Bess Title The Secret in the Old AtticAuthor Carolyn KeeneSeries Nancy Drew, 21Format ebookLength 263 pages iPhone Synopsis Nancy searches for clues to missing music manuscripts in love letters written by a deceased soldier This soldier s elderly father and young daughter are sole survivors of a once prominent family The Marches, inhabitants of a run down family estate, are facing financial ruin The old man believes some of his son s music is being sold and played on the radio Nancy, Bess and George go to the estate to investigate In the meantime, a client of Nancy s father turns to her to examine a competing company he believes is using his patented production methods illegally As Bess and George prepare for an important Emerson College dance, they are bothered that Ned has not asked Nancy He frequently seems be in the company of a snobbish socialite Nancy investigates both mysteries, ponders her friendship with Ned and discovers hidden songs in the spooky attic Clues lead her to a music plagiarist and a chemist with a stolen formula Nancy learns that both are the same dangerous criminal Mini review This was a good Nancy Drew book, filled with the right amount of spookiness that reminded me why I fell in love with the series when I was a kid, reading The Hidden Staircase I still don t understand why Effie s important, she s a nuisancethan anything.Fan Cast Nancy Drew Katherine McNamaraCarson Drew Paul RuddBess Marvin Abigail BreslinGeorge Fayne Brianna HildebrandEllie Schneider Allie GrantHannah Gruen Mary SteenbergenNed Nickerson Ansel ElgortPhilip March Michael DouglasDiane Dight Anne WintersBushy Trott Ben SavageLawrence Dight Matt Leblanc Little Susan s parents have died and she s left in the care of her Grandfather, Phillip March Having not enough finances to support her, he desperately needs the help of Nancy Drew to find some musical manuscripts hidden in his homestead very creepy house by his late son This was definitely one of Nancy sintense mysteries While hunting for the manuscripts, she finds aliteral skeleton in the closet, gets captured and tied up, and is threatened by Black Widow spiders And that is on Little Susan s parents have died and she s left in the care of her Grandfather, Phillip March Having not enough finances to support her, he desperately needs the help of Nancy Drew to find some musical manuscripts hidden in his homestead very creepy house by his late son This was definitely one of Nancy sintense mysteries While hunting for the manuscripts, she finds aliteral skeleton in the closet, gets captured and tied up, and is threatened by Black Widow spiders And that is only like half of it So, the pace was definitely great and I liked how the story was constantly moving forward It s been a while since I ve read a Nancy Drew story so I couldn t remember much about her I found her kind of annoying this time She gets excited foreverything and uses a lot of exclamation points And not to mention that she talks to herself all the time When she was hiding in a bush, waiting for a suspect to walk by, she would be constantly taking to herself and I m just like No wonder you keep getting caught Besides that little thing, the story was enjoyable and a page turner And Ned was in this one, yay I am giving this review through the eyes of me as a child I couldn t get enough of these books My library of Nancy Drew books was massive in my bedroom when I was a pre teen I had every one of them that was in print at the time I use to read through them in just a matter of hours I believe that Carolyn Keene handed me my love for reading, any imagination I may have, and my passion for writing as well She was my childhood superhero, the only celebrity that I honored who was a woman.I won I am giving this review through the eyes of me as a child I couldn t get enough of these books My library of Nancy Drew books was massive in my bedroom when I was a pre teen I had every one of them that was in print at the time I use to read through them in just a matter of hours I believe that Carolyn Keene handed me my love for reading, any imagination I may have, and my passion for writing as well She was my childhood superhero, the only celebrity that I honored who was a woman.I won t do a review on all of the Nancy Drew Mysteries that I have read because there are just too many of them However, I can honestly say that I remember some of them down to very minute details and feelings These books were one of the greatest works of art for me as I was becoming literate and gaining expression What a wonderful thing for a child.It s very strange how none of my own children ever took to them I read all the Nancy Drew books and the Hardy Boys when I was a child, but I will admit that I have read them all again as an adult a few years ago The stories are old fashioned, but that s why I like them so much.