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The Clue of the Black Keys

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During an archaeological expedition in Mexico, two professors, the senior Dr. Joshua Pitt and young Terry Scott find a clue to buried treasure. The clue was a cipher carved on a stone tablet. Before the older professor had time to translate it, he and the tablet disappeared! Terry tells Nancy of his suspicions of a Mexican couple, posing as scientists, who vanished the sam During an archaeological expedition in Mexico, two professors, the senior Dr. Joshua Pitt and young Terry Scott find a clue to buried treasure. The clue was a cipher carved on a stone tablet. Before the older professor had time to translate it, he and the tablet disappeared! Terry tells Nancy of his suspicions of a Mexican couple, posing as scientists, who vanished the same night as Dr. Pitt. Nancy follows a tangled trail of clues that lead to Florida and Mexico and a secret of antiquity that can only be unlocked by three black keys. This book is the revised text. The plot of the original story (©1951) is similar with minor revisions.


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During an archaeological expedition in Mexico, two professors, the senior Dr. Joshua Pitt and young Terry Scott find a clue to buried treasure. The clue was a cipher carved on a stone tablet. Before the older professor had time to translate it, he and the tablet disappeared! Terry tells Nancy of his suspicions of a Mexican couple, posing as scientists, who vanished the sam During an archaeological expedition in Mexico, two professors, the senior Dr. Joshua Pitt and young Terry Scott find a clue to buried treasure. The clue was a cipher carved on a stone tablet. Before the older professor had time to translate it, he and the tablet disappeared! Terry tells Nancy of his suspicions of a Mexican couple, posing as scientists, who vanished the same night as Dr. Pitt. Nancy follows a tangled trail of clues that lead to Florida and Mexico and a secret of antiquity that can only be unlocked by three black keys. This book is the revised text. The plot of the original story (©1951) is similar with minor revisions.

30 review for The Clue of the Black Keys

  1. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    Rather a silly episode, focused on Mexican ancient cultures, and involving a trip to a town and archaeological dig in Mexico. How many diversity points does Nancy get? Unfortunately Zero. The ancient culture lore is all made up, the bad guys are the only ones with Hispanic-inspired names: Mr. and Mrs. Juarez Tino. Mrs. Tino doesn't even tell us her first name. She just yells it before attempting to clobber Nancy. (I am Mrs. Juarez Tino! Does that mean anything to you?!") The same Mrs. Tino is as Rather a silly episode, focused on Mexican ancient cultures, and involving a trip to a town and archaeological dig in Mexico. How many diversity points does Nancy get? Unfortunately Zero. The ancient culture lore is all made up, the bad guys are the only ones with Hispanic-inspired names: Mr. and Mrs. Juarez Tino. Mrs. Tino doesn't even tell us her first name. She just yells it before attempting to clobber Nancy. (I am Mrs. Juarez Tino! Does that mean anything to you?!") The same Mrs. Tino is astoundingly inept at apprehending her enemies. As soon as she sets eyes upon Nancy's accomplice, who simply enters the room, Mrs. Tino flies into a rage, trips over a chair, and falls to the floor. So Nancy's associate simply unties Nancy, and uses those ropes to tie up Mrs. Tino. A couple stars go toward the accurate depiction of academic departments: a cluster of old guys who are crabby and distrustful of each other. An extra star goes toward the "What in the heck?" category. The professors are seeking an ancient treasure, in the shape of a silver frog. But beware, the treasure may also bring "the destruction of mankind"!! Nancy, being Nancy, of course finds the treasure. Fully prepared to prevent the world's destruction, she watches as the professors open the frog, and a mysterious green powder trickles out. Luckily, no one is destroyed. The scientists decide to bring the frog and powder to a university laboratory, where the items can be studied. And this is the end of the tale. No one in this book has any curiosity about this substance. It really bothers me. And because all these Nancy books are stand-alone novels, readers will never know if this batch of professors die horribly via the powder, or gain immortality by the powder. What is it? Penicillin? Wasabi? Matcha? Something illegal?? Nancy doesn't care. She's already looking forward to her next case, whatever it may be.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Katja Labonté

    4 stars & 4/10 hearts. I enjoyed this mystery... although I do have a few grips. 1, why does Nancy always get herself captured and tied up (and either locked up somewhere or carried off)? You'd think she'd have caught on by now that going into places after dangerous people alone is just asking for trouble?? And why does she never take seriously any warnings?? Also, I'm kind of tired of Nancy having unlimited money at her disposition even though she doesn't work or do school... idk, it's just a m 4 stars & 4/10 hearts. I enjoyed this mystery... although I do have a few grips. 1, why does Nancy always get herself captured and tied up (and either locked up somewhere or carried off)? You'd think she'd have caught on by now that going into places after dangerous people alone is just asking for trouble?? And why does she never take seriously any warnings?? Also, I'm kind of tired of Nancy having unlimited money at her disposition even though she doesn't work or do school... idk, it's just a minor grip but it bugged me in this book. Also how she manages to get herself into special groups and gets special privileges. I know, Nancy is awesome and perfect, but every once in a while I get tired of her perfectness! Finally, the mystery was a little too fast-paced and easy and... unrealistic, in my opinion. All that said, I enjoyed the mystery. The new characters were fun, and the plot was intriguing. It just had too many of the stuff that bugs me in the Nancy books for me to give it 5 stars. Maybe I'll like it better upon reread. ;)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    Nancy's 28th adventure takes her all the way to the Florida keys, and she has experiences with boats, islands, a wee drop of torture, buried treasure, academics, test taking, and a mysterious green powder that can either save mankind or destroy it but when found gets only one sentence! I wish for the rest of the story on that! I'm over halfway through on my serial read. . . this one was in the middle of the pack, like most. Nancy's 28th adventure takes her all the way to the Florida keys, and she has experiences with boats, islands, a wee drop of torture, buried treasure, academics, test taking, and a mysterious green powder that can either save mankind or destroy it but when found gets only one sentence! I wish for the rest of the story on that! I'm over halfway through on my serial read. . . this one was in the middle of the pack, like most.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    This is #28 of the Nancy Drew Mystery Series. I re-read it on a whim. I think that it's one of the better Nancy Drew mysteries. Young Professor Terry Scott comes to Nancy with a broken key that was found in Mexico with some stone tablets. The tablet, 2 keys, and another Professor have all disappeared. Terry wants Nancy's help. The story then takes place in the (Black) Florida Keys where Nancy searches for the missing professor and a treasure. This is #28 of the Nancy Drew Mystery Series. I re-read it on a whim. I think that it's one of the better Nancy Drew mysteries. Young Professor Terry Scott comes to Nancy with a broken key that was found in Mexico with some stone tablets. The tablet, 2 keys, and another Professor have all disappeared. Terry wants Nancy's help. The story then takes place in the (Black) Florida Keys where Nancy searches for the missing professor and a treasure.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Dean Cummings

    Nancy Drew and her friend Bess Marvin were both in an animated mood as they stepped off the airplane. They’d just spent a weekend in New York City and based on the sparkle in their eyes and the laughter in their conversation, it was clear to Mrs. Marvin, watching the girl’s approach, that they’d had a grand time. Mrs. Marvin kissed them both, then offered Nancy a ride home. “Thank you,” Nancy answered, “but I left my car here.” The small party then went their separate ways with Nancy making her wa Nancy Drew and her friend Bess Marvin were both in an animated mood as they stepped off the airplane. They’d just spent a weekend in New York City and based on the sparkle in their eyes and the laughter in their conversation, it was clear to Mrs. Marvin, watching the girl’s approach, that they’d had a grand time. Mrs. Marvin kissed them both, then offered Nancy a ride home. “Thank you,” Nancy answered, “but I left my car here.” The small party then went their separate ways with Nancy making her way to the parking lot. Suddenly, a young man in a gray topcoat signaled for her to wait, he was wearing a look of apprehension when he asked, “Are you Nancy Drew?” Nancy nodded, which prompted him to go on, “This morning I consulted your father about my situation, and he told me that my case sounded more like a mystery for a detective than a legal case for a lawyer.” Nancy studied the eager young man, choosing not to reply in favor of waiting to hear what he had to say. He seemed to perceive that she was doing this when he started up again most earnestly, “Perhaps I should introduce myself, my name is Terence Scott, but my friends call me Terry. You may think it strange, my coming to meet you here, but when I learned how clever you are at solving mysteries…” “I’ll do what I can,” Nancy promised. Nancy then suggested that they relocate to the waiting room inside the airport terminal. A moment later, they sat down on a bench and Terry Scott removed his topcoat, folded it and placed it on the bench between them. Terry then mentioned that he was a professor and went on to share his story which mainly took place in Mexico. He told Nancy he’d been there with a group of other professors, the previous summer. Together, they were trying to unravel an ancient mystery, and after some early research, were quite sure of the location they’d narrowed down to, one where clues to the mystery might be found. So sure, were Terry and his colleagues, Dr. Graham, Dr. Pitt and Dr. Anderson, that they began searching with vigorous enthusiasm. And it was while they were looking for the treasure, Terry explained excitedly, that a couple, strangers to all of them, suddenly appeared. The man, Juarez Tino and his wife were seen working a site nearby where the group of professors were digging. “They were trying to pass themselves off as scientists, but we suspected that they were nothing more than untrustworthy opportunist who’d somehow found out about what we were doing,” Terry asserted with a frown. “Why did you suspect them opportunists?” Nancy asked, she could feel herself becoming drawn into this story of adventure and intrigue. Terry sighed in frustration, “We actually found a stone tablet that we believed contained a clue to the location of what we now guessed to be a great treasure.” He was shaking his head as he recalled the next part, “late, one night, we actually found an important stone tablet, and since it was such a long day, we all turned in after the amazing find. We hadn’t even made a copy of the cipher that was carved into it.” “And then what?” Nancy asked, she was now sitting on the edge of her seat. The professor was now looking rather dejected as he said, “When we woke the next morning, the tablet was gone, as was Dr. Pitt and the Tino’s!” For the next few minutes, Terry and Nancy mused as to what might have happened while all the other professors were sleeping. Ideas batted around included a scenario where Dr. Pitt may have awoken and witnessed the Tino’s attempting to steal the tablet, which may have led to them taking him hostage. Or, they guessed, Dr. Pitt and the Tino’s were in league together from the start. There was a pause in the musing when Nancy asked, “Have you any further clues that might help solve the mystery?” “Yes,” Terry replied, “After Dr. Pitt disappeared, I found this in his tent,” he then pulled out a part of an ancient key, one that he told Nancy was made of obsidian and was rumored to be one of a set of three. After they studied the key, Terry placed it back into the pocket of his topcoat. “We’ll need to find the other part of this key, as well as the other two…and we’ll need to find Juarez Tino, I think he’s the mastermind of the whole criminal operation.” Suddenly, Terry glanced at his wristwatch, “I must make a phone call, can you please excuse me?” Nancy nodded, and Terry made his way to a pay phone, leaving his topcoat sitting on a bench beside Nancy. A moment later, a sinister looking man approached the bench, and through the corner of her eye, Nancy saw the man fingering the professor’s topcoat! “What are you doing?!” Nancy cried out. The man stood up and ran away hastily, and just as he disappeared, Terry Scott returned. “Is something wrong?” he asked anxiously. “I’m not sure,” Nancy answered, “A man who came to sit here acted as if he wanted to steal your coat.” Terry Scott then snatched up his coat and plunged his hand into the pocket, “It’s gone…the black key has been stolen!” He cried out. That marked the end of chapter one, and already we’ve learned that this story would contain amazing elements such as a lost treasure that if discovered would have serious impact on the human race, a cipher that might be a link to unlocking the secrets of the lost treasure in the hands of the last people you would want to control a power such as this, and a daring artifact theft that occurs right out in the open in a guarded airport! All of this seemed to add up to being a promise of a grand story, and by the end, I’m happy to say, the promise was kept! This story was filled with colorful characters and unusual circumstances, some of which were: A fake fruit stand owner, a pair of devious art dealers, a small camera that helps Nancy capture clues, a rather effective trap set by a housekeeper, the legendary story of the sinking of a great vessel and a memorable fisherman named “Two Line Parker,” and lastly, much to my delights as a owner of a music school, we find out that Nancy makes a habit of improvising on the piano as a way to think through her cases! And as to the last couple of chapters, I must say that the tone of these was more menacing than I’ve experienced in any Nancy Drew story up to this point. After reading it, I imagined that the publisher was pushing to the limits of what might have been considered “children’s reading” in the 1950’s. I must admit that I found myself, for a short time there, wondering if the author had strayed from the limits of threatening subject matter, and that the publisher perhaps didn’t catch this before the book went to print. All of this to say, it was a smashing finish to the story. And as to Nancy Drew herself, I liked that the narrator tells us that she made it a habit to pay heed to the wisdom of her father, and others of his generation. This respect for the good judgement of those who care for us, but also have the experience to know what is good for us is an attribute of good character. In this story, Nancy’s father does not allow her to step away from her duties at the law firm in order to pursue a certain aspect of the mystery. We’re told that left to her own devices, she would’ve liked to take the mystery on as early as possible, (I mean, we are taking about Nancy Drew after all), but she respectfully acquiesces to her father’s judgement that the timing wasn’t yet right for her to purse the case. Yet another reason why she has been an extraordinary heroine of fiction for nearly a century. Enjoyable in every way!

  6. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    A fun little mystery. It has been YEARS since I last read a Nancy Drew book and it was great to read this story. I liked the treasure hunt aspect and, of course, Nancy and her friends were great characters.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Treslyn

    It's my first Nancy Drew book and now i'm hooked.... hey that rhymed! It's my first Nancy Drew book and now i'm hooked.... hey that rhymed!

  8. 4 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    Dark mystery as Nancy Drew travels to Mexico to help solve and international mystery.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Seema M. Fazil

    Great Nancy Drew read. Would recommend for a Nancy Drew fan.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ellie Naomi

    I read this one in a two book combo I have and it was super fun! The plot twist at the end shocked me and I loved all of the characters! I love it how her dad always supports here, he reminds me of my own dad, who has always supported me! Terry was super funny and Ned's reaction when he met him was so funny lmao! I read this one in a two book combo I have and it was super fun! The plot twist at the end shocked me and I loved all of the characters! I love it how her dad always supports here, he reminds me of my own dad, who has always supported me! Terry was super funny and Ned's reaction when he met him was so funny lmao!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Travis

    A 'okay' mystery that gives us some interesting bits of history and scenes in the Florida Keys. What I found fascinating was how despite not being allowed to do anything too action-packed, because she's 'just a girl', or having any actual authority, Nancy is in charge of everyone and everything and seems to keep all the men in her thrall. Her relationship with Ned has a weird almost sexual tension to it that is worthy of the 'Sex in the city' girls. A 'okay' mystery that gives us some interesting bits of history and scenes in the Florida Keys. What I found fascinating was how despite not being allowed to do anything too action-packed, because she's 'just a girl', or having any actual authority, Nancy is in charge of everyone and everything and seems to keep all the men in her thrall. Her relationship with Ned has a weird almost sexual tension to it that is worthy of the 'Sex in the city' girls.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Laura (Reading is a Doing Word)

    Nancy help young professor Terry Scott is a search for his missing colleague and a mysterious mexcian treasure. There are broken keys, mysterious codes and clues, robbery and abduction - the usual elements of a Nancy mystery. I liked the sleuthing Nancy does to solve the clue of the "keys" and the ambiguity of the title. The action takes place in Florida and Mexico and all in all was a fun read. Nancy help young professor Terry Scott is a search for his missing colleague and a mysterious mexcian treasure. There are broken keys, mysterious codes and clues, robbery and abduction - the usual elements of a Nancy mystery. I liked the sleuthing Nancy does to solve the clue of the "keys" and the ambiguity of the title. The action takes place in Florida and Mexico and all in all was a fun read.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nick Baam

    A very strong entry. Nice characters, nice plot, a few exotic locales, Mr. Drew is very good, as usual, and the illustrations of Nancy some of the best, the young sleuth rarely looking better, save the cover illustration, which doesn't look like Nancy at all. A very strong entry. Nice characters, nice plot, a few exotic locales, Mr. Drew is very good, as usual, and the illustrations of Nancy some of the best, the young sleuth rarely looking better, save the cover illustration, which doesn't look like Nancy at all.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Darinda

    Nancy does some traveling to solve this mystery that involves an archaeological find in Mexico. A fun and exciting story.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. If there were a "what are the worst elements of Nancy Drew" bingo card, this one would win. A group of (white) scientists are on an archaeology trip in Mexico, looking for a buried treasure. To their credit, they 100% acknowledge that what they are looking for isn't theirs, and would belong to the Mexican government. They find a stone tablet with three black keys attached, but before they can decipher the tablet, one of the scientists, Dr. Pitt, disappears, along with the tablet. Dr. Terry Scott If there were a "what are the worst elements of Nancy Drew" bingo card, this one would win. A group of (white) scientists are on an archaeology trip in Mexico, looking for a buried treasure. To their credit, they 100% acknowledge that what they are looking for isn't theirs, and would belong to the Mexican government. They find a stone tablet with three black keys attached, but before they can decipher the tablet, one of the scientists, Dr. Pitt, disappears, along with the tablet. Dr. Terry Scott is on the trip, and he thinks a shifty ethnic type named Juarez Tino (??!??!) who is described as swarthy and just a general asshole is behind it. He comes to Carson Drew for help, and Carson refers the case to Nancy because, eh, whatevs. But Carson also cautions Nancy because Terry's story seems kinda... implausible. Terry has half of one of the black keys, though. Also, Juarez Tino has an equally awful (and ethnic) wife. So Nancy agrees to take Terry's case, but not before there's a dance at Emerson, bitches! Ned asks Nancy to bring along "an old professor" who is apparently an Omega brother, who is invited to the dance. Said "old professor" is Terry, of course. On the way there, someone moves a detour sign and Nancy's car plunges into the ditch! The car is okay, though, and they're both all right. Nancy thinks Ned being unaware that Terry is a hot younger guy is hilarious, because she knows that Ned is a jealous son of a bitch, and she's not wrong. Terry makes Nancy promise him a dance, but Ned presumably claims all her dances. When he asks about going to the Thanksgiving dance back in River Heights, Nancy says she's not sure she'll be going and Ned's like "cause of Terry?" and Nancy's like, "no, Mexican treasure!" And Ned says he wants her back in one piece for the Emerson winter prom. OF COURSE Y'ALL. Then Terry is held captive by a pair of swindling assholes and left for dead! Nancy tracks him down and gets the cops to break in and saves his life! And Terry's all like "I would have died if not for you" and I'm like "chill out, Nancy has a bf." And the next day Terry's like "hey guess who's goin' to Mexico! Bye bitches!" Because a near-death experience ain't shit. Nancy asks a college professor planning an archaeology trip to Florida if she can come along (her father won't let her just traipse off to Florida without a chaperone) and he's like "if you can pass the quiz I'm about to give for my college class which has been learning about this for a month" and Nancy's like "bring it!" She goes to the library and crams for like 4 hours and passes the quiz. Of course she does. Nancy meets Fran and a few other students, and Fran has an older cousin (I think) who has a speedboat, so they meet up with that guy and waterski and look for a possible villain hideout. Terry pops back up because he needs to get Nancy to Mexico, and they find Dr. Pitt on one of the Florida keys! Terry and her relative go for help/the cops, and Nancy and Terry and Dr. Pitt are captured by the Tinos and the swindling assholes, and Mrs. Tino has an EVIL TORTURE BRACELET Y'ALL. And they use it on Nancy! Those assholes! The torture isn't to get Nancy to talk; it's to get the guys to talk, and it works. The bad guys take Dr. Pitt to Mexico so he can find the treasure for them. Nancy, Terry, and the cops head to Mexico to stop them. Dr. Pitt is sure the treasure is evil or cursed, so he doesn't want it found, but the bad guys give him no choice. The bad guys are taken into custody and the good guys dig up the treasure, which is a treasure box full of frogs. One of them has a mysterious green powder inside! Terry thinks the markings say that it will benefit mankind. Dr. Pitt is immediately like "seems legit," and the guy who led the Florida school trip, Dr. Anderson, is like "I wish all my students were as awesome as you, Nancy Drew!" As do we all, Dr. Anderson.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Suzie

    Nancy helps Professor Terence “Terry” Scott find one of his missing colleagues, Dr. Pitt who mysteriously disappeared in Mexico while on an expedition. Professor Scott also asks Nancy to help him hunt for the treasure that he and his colleagues discovered whilst on said expedition. What I Loved: 1) All of the Travel. The story starts off with Nancy returning from a trip to New York with Bess and George. At the airport, she meets Terry. The mystery takes Nancy first to Baltimore, Maryland. But this Nancy helps Professor Terence “Terry” Scott find one of his missing colleagues, Dr. Pitt who mysteriously disappeared in Mexico while on an expedition. Professor Scott also asks Nancy to help him hunt for the treasure that he and his colleagues discovered whilst on said expedition. What I Loved: 1) All of the Travel. The story starts off with Nancy returning from a trip to New York with Bess and George. At the airport, she meets Terry. The mystery takes Nancy first to Baltimore, Maryland. But this stop turns out to be a ruse perpetrated by the criminals she’s hunting down, so she quickly returns to River Heights. Then, the clues lead her to Florida. Her father is hesitant to let Nancy travel there by herself, so she joins a special trip being conducted by one of Terry’s colleagues, Dr. Anderson. Finally, the mystery comes to a close in a Mexican jungle.   2)The characters. Specifically Terry and Sergeant Malloy. Terence Scott is a handsome 25-year old professor. He and Nancy work extremely well together. At one point, she comes to his rescue. Not the other way around. Which made me absurdly happy. I would love to see more of this guy! There are sparks there!! Sorry Ned! Anyway, Sergeant Malloy is a straight-up decent officer. Sometimes the police don’t take Nancy seriously because she’s a young woman. But Sergeant Malloy meets Nancy and listens to her and believes in her abilities. And when there’s a car chase, he lets Nancy take the wheel haha.  3) The humor. When Nancy is tied up in her bedroom and escapes, George makes this quip:  “Talk about a cat having nine lives. This must be your forty-ninth!" I laughed way too hard and for way to long at this. 4) I fell down a research rabbit hole. It all started when Nancy figures out what the mysterious number 74772 is. A phone number. More accurately, River Heights 7-4772. Now, that got me thinking about phone numbers. Because in a lot of old movies and shows, it’s the same thing. You use an exchange followed by 5 numbers. So I did research on the history of phone numbers. It’s a little complex. Final Thoughts To be fair, I should mention one thing I didn’t like. Because even though I loved this book, it has its flaws. A few times it is mentioned that Nancy needs a man with her to protect her while she works the case. And it’s an idea that appears in so many of these mysteries. It got old, real quick. Nancy has proven herself capable on multiple occasions. Why is that not enough? It’s a sign of the times, I guess.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    This one was meh. Too many plot points and, yet again, someone is kidnapped and drugged. That's the go-to for Nancy Drew villains. Something about this bothered me and it was halfway through the book that I realized what. The villains are, going by their name and description, Mexican. Yet all the good guys involved are white. Just like in"Mystery of the Moss-Covered Mansion," the locals are the bad guys. It would have been better if the Tinos had been part of the original expedition and then mak This one was meh. Too many plot points and, yet again, someone is kidnapped and drugged. That's the go-to for Nancy Drew villains. Something about this bothered me and it was halfway through the book that I realized what. The villains are, going by their name and description, Mexican. Yet all the good guys involved are white. Just like in"Mystery of the Moss-Covered Mansion," the locals are the bad guys. It would have been better if the Tinos had been part of the original expedition and then make one of the white professors the bad guy who is stealing other people's work. Because that's what usually happens! Is Ned in this one? I think so? Oh yes, because Nancy teases him with how cute Professor Scott is at Emerson. Ah, Ned. What are you majoring in, anyway? The book was a bit of a slog, honestly. A lot happening too fast. It's River Heights to New York to Florida to Mexico. The ending felt a bit rushed, but it was cool. Nancy staying at 18 is getting a bit harder to believe at this point.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Erika

    2018 Nancy Drew Sleuths Convention theme. 5/5 stars! Read the original text and I was transported back to 1951 when this book was originally written. The fashions, language, dialogue, atmospheres, and many descriptions held my attention the entire time. While reading about a mystery set in the Florida Keys, I learned about the 1950s time period as well. When Terry Scott, a university professor, literally bumps into Nancy Drew one day, he enlists her help in solving a mystery surrounding ancient Me 2018 Nancy Drew Sleuths Convention theme. 5/5 stars! Read the original text and I was transported back to 1951 when this book was originally written. The fashions, language, dialogue, atmospheres, and many descriptions held my attention the entire time. While reading about a mystery set in the Florida Keys, I learned about the 1950s time period as well. When Terry Scott, a university professor, literally bumps into Nancy Drew one day, he enlists her help in solving a mystery surrounding ancient Mexican empire tablets, holding a mystery involving frogs and obsidian black keys. Nancy, along with her best pals Bess and George, learn of new details surrounding this mystery and follow various leads and clues, only to find their detective work must continue in Florida. Nancy poses as a student on Professor Anderson's college class field trip, another man dedicated to studying the history of Florida, to visit Florida's many islands and unearth the secret Black Key treasure!

  19. 4 out of 5

    Thomas Santomartino

    This Nancy Drew book was different and more engaging than some of the later ones. It seemed that Nancy had a new love interest, if you consider Ned Nickerson more than a platonic pal. It wasn't until later books that Nancy could even get a peck from a boyfriend. The basic story was interested but got bogged down in dubious facts and confusing bad guys. I felt there was a big of misdirection as well. I believe that Carson Drew's domination of Nancy was a bit too severe in this one--it was like sh This Nancy Drew book was different and more engaging than some of the later ones. It seemed that Nancy had a new love interest, if you consider Ned Nickerson more than a platonic pal. It wasn't until later books that Nancy could even get a peck from a boyfriend. The basic story was interested but got bogged down in dubious facts and confusing bad guys. I felt there was a big of misdirection as well. I believe that Carson Drew's domination of Nancy was a bit too severe in this one--it was like she had no voice being legally an adult and none of her own money, falling under the complete control of her father. As usual it was light and entertaining reading, nothing to bother your head about at bedtime and actually better than some others in the series. I always wondered how Ned Nickerson could go through year after year of college, being a saleman, camp counselor and Nancy is eternally 18.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Danielle

    Title: The Clue of the Black Keys Author: Carolyn Keene Series: Nancy Drew, 28 Format: hardcover Length: 174 pages Rating: 3 stars Synopsis: During an archaeological expedition in Mexico, two professors, the senior Dr. Joshua Pitt and young Terry Scott find a clue to buried treasure. The clue was a cipher carved on a stone tablet. Before the older professor had time to translate it, he and the tablet disappeared! Terry tells Nancy of his suspicions of a Mexican couple, posing as scientists, who vanish Title: The Clue of the Black Keys Author: Carolyn Keene Series: Nancy Drew, 28 Format: hardcover Length: 174 pages Rating: 3 stars Synopsis: During an archaeological expedition in Mexico, two professors, the senior Dr. Joshua Pitt and young Terry Scott find a clue to buried treasure. The clue was a cipher carved on a stone tablet. Before the older professor had time to translate it, he and the tablet disappeared! Terry tells Nancy of his suspicions of a Mexican couple, posing as scientists, who vanished the same night as Dr. Pitt. Nancy follows a tangled trail of clues that lead to Florida and Mexico and a secret of antiquity that can only be unlocked by three black keys. Mini-review: So this was one I hadn't read before and it's always nice to read Nancy Drew books that I've never read. As a kid I reread the same ones over and over again, but a couple of years ago my mom and her friend found a box of all the classics from Secret of the Old Clock to the Thirteenth Pearl, so I went through them and took all the ones I hadn't read and only now am I getting to them. Wish the gang had been in it more, and I really, really, really wish that George would stop saying "Hypers!" Fan Cast: Nancy Drew - Katherine McNamara Hannah Gruen - Mary Steenburgen Carson Drew - Paul Rudd Bess Marvin - Abigail Breslin George Fayne - Brianna Hildebrand Ned Nickerson - Ansel Elgort Sergeant Malloy - Jeremy Jordan Terry Scott - Joseph Mazzello Dr. Anderson - Kyle McLachlan Frances "Fran" Oakes - Jenna Boyd Jack Walker - Aaron Tveit Juarez Tino - Pedro Pascal Dr. Graham - David McCallum

  21. 4 out of 5

    Donna

    Challenge: Mysterious MAYhem 2022 - Key in title. Jumping ahead from my reading of 1930s Nancy Drew books, this story as a series installment would have been published about six years prior to my reading it as a young girl. Of note is that the Drews have a TV to watch now in 1951 about the same year we got our very first family TV, an occurrence lacking as would be expected in the books of the 30s and 40s. This is a story that is archaeologically based, always of interest, but makes the usual ba Challenge: Mysterious MAYhem 2022 - Key in title. Jumping ahead from my reading of 1930s Nancy Drew books, this story as a series installment would have been published about six years prior to my reading it as a young girl. Of note is that the Drews have a TV to watch now in 1951 about the same year we got our very first family TV, an occurrence lacking as would be expected in the books of the 30s and 40s. This is a story that is archaeologically based, always of interest, but makes the usual bad connection between treasure-seeking and archaeology. However, I was pleased to see that once the object of their search was found that the archaeologist said that it belonged to the Mexican government rather than being considered for market value. From River Heights, to Florida, to Mexico, Nancy engages new and old friends alike on this adventure that did get a bit harrowing at times.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Jennipher

    Nancy & her gal pal Bess just land at River Heights airport from a fabulous girls trip in the Big Apple. Bess makes it home but Nancy becomes distracted by a handsome professor who has something she is unable to resist, an exotic mystery that will lead her to explore the Florida Everglades & the “jungles” of interior Mexico. After being bound & gagged in her own home you would think she’s had enough of this lifestyle but it just ignites her resolve at catching the bad guys. I’m sure Bess & Georg Nancy & her gal pal Bess just land at River Heights airport from a fabulous girls trip in the Big Apple. Bess makes it home but Nancy becomes distracted by a handsome professor who has something she is unable to resist, an exotic mystery that will lead her to explore the Florida Everglades & the “jungles” of interior Mexico. After being bound & gagged in her own home you would think she’s had enough of this lifestyle but it just ignites her resolve at catching the bad guys. I’m sure Bess & George appreciate the break from all the detective drama as she becomes embroiled in handsome Terry Scott’s mission to find his elderly colleague kidnapped by a gang hellbent on torturing Nancy for inconveniencing their plot for world domination.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Emilee (emileereadsbooks)

    If you want to join in a Nancy Drew Book-club, I run the #NancyDrewBookCrew over on my Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/emileereads...) where we are reading all the books in order. You can come participate in the discussion there! We are discussing the 1968 revised version. The discussion questions I wrote for this book and my answers to them: (view spoiler)[ 1. How did you feel about the book overall? I really enjoyed this one! It is definitely up there for me as one of my favorite books of thi If you want to join in a Nancy Drew Book-club, I run the #NancyDrewBookCrew over on my Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/emileereads...) where we are reading all the books in order. You can come participate in the discussion there! We are discussing the 1968 revised version. The discussion questions I wrote for this book and my answers to them: (view spoiler)[ 1. How did you feel about the book overall? I really enjoyed this one! It is definitely up there for me as one of my favorite books of this reread. I loved the treasure hunt aspect and that Nancy seems to have to work a bit more to solve the mystery. I also liked that everything went together more seamlessly than some other books. 2. Priscilla Baker-Carr was the ghost writer for this book (28) and The Clue of the Leaning Chimney (26) and The Ghost of Blackwood Hall (25). How does her writing style compare for you between these three books? I was prepared to dislike this book because I thought both of those books weren't great. But the mystery in this one was one of the most fleshed out in the series so far and other than George's dumb "Hypers!" catchphrase, I really enjoyed this one. 3. Who was your favorite non-Nancy character in this one? Hannah! I love that she is standing up more for herself and is taking ownership of protecting herself from the fall-out of Carson and Nancy's sleuthing/meddling. 4. How do you feel about Nancy being in love triangles? I am here for it! I love the thought that it's making Nancy and Ned appreciate each other more. I never want Nancy to end up with the flash in the pan handsome flirt, but I enjoy that interaction while he's on the page. 5. How many eyerolls would you give this book? 1! 0.5 for the "Hypers!" catchphrase that is beyond dumb, and 0.5 for the ending wrapping up too quickly. Which is typical for a Nancy book but this one felt more rushed than normal. (view spoiler)[ (hide spoiler)] (hide spoiler)]

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Actual torture happens in this one. Well… As torture-y as anything can be in a Nancy Drew. By far one of the more menacing stories from the original series. Nancy gets caught up in another mystery, this time with a handsome your college professor. Juarez Tina (yeah.. That’s his name) and his band of miscreant’s will stop at nothing to find the treasure. kidnapping, deliberate car wrecks, intentional fires, and narrowly escaping death - it’s all just another day in the life of a girl detective.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Penguin

    Original 1951 edition. Potentially a little racism on the part of a description of a minor character. Definitely bias based on looks if nothing else. Plot was great until the end where it wraps up way too quickly and just felt rushed and rather trying too hard. Starting to get to the point here of where Nancy is still feisty but becoming a do-gooder Mary Sue (rescuing kids from smoke-filled houses in a single page like "oh, it was nothing"). This book was ghost-written by Whilemina Rankin and is Original 1951 edition. Potentially a little racism on the part of a description of a minor character. Definitely bias based on looks if nothing else. Plot was great until the end where it wraps up way too quickly and just felt rushed and rather trying too hard. Starting to get to the point here of where Nancy is still feisty but becoming a do-gooder Mary Sue (rescuing kids from smoke-filled houses in a single page like "oh, it was nothing"). This book was ghost-written by Whilemina Rankin and is the only book of the pre-revision 34 that she wrote.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    Kind of meh on this book. Nothing is particularly wrong with it or anything, just it didn't captivate me as much as some of the others. Really, my favorite part was Ned asking him to do him a favor and drive a fraternity brother professor of his down to Emerson, but assuming that it was an old man and not, in fact, the attractive young Professor Terry Scott who Nancy had already met, and Nancy and Terry decided to play a prank on Ned. Poor Ned... XD Kind of meh on this book. Nothing is particularly wrong with it or anything, just it didn't captivate me as much as some of the others. Really, my favorite part was Ned asking him to do him a favor and drive a fraternity brother professor of his down to Emerson, but assuming that it was an old man and not, in fact, the attractive young Professor Terry Scott who Nancy had already met, and Nancy and Terry decided to play a prank on Ned. Poor Ned... XD

  27. 4 out of 5

    Lauren

    I really enjoyed this mystery, it was fun, but a bit shallow-on a story that really should have had more depth. There was more prominent sexism than usual, and it was pretty grating, but not distractingly so. I recommend this book to anybody who enjoys Nancy Drew mysteries, who is interested in reading a Nancy Drew mystery, or is looking for a good juvenile mystery read.

  28. 5 out of 5

    IrishFan

    I had been looking for the last 5 original ND stories to finish my re-read of them. I finally found this one at a used bookstore for a reasonable price. I remember this one from when I was younger. As always, Nancy gets good luck while solving her mysteries, the pieces just seem to fall into place for her. Lucky gal!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kerry

    This was a pretty good story with lots of travel involved. Hannah and Nancy both got tied up more than their fair share, but in the end our fair sleuth managed to figure out who would be where and when, and then work to set a proper trap with the police, and rid the world of a few more bad guys and girls.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Findley

    Not the worst Nancy Drew book, but certainly not the best either. The mystery itself was okay, but the actual macguffin was ridiculous. Also, the writer made Nancy and her friends look like stereotypical high school girls out for a husband with status. Definitely a product of its time. Find it. Buy it (cheap). Read it.

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