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Nancy Drew is alarmed when Nathan Gombet threatens her father. Gombet sold a piece of land for a railroad bridge through Carson Drew and now believes that he was cheated. Meanwhile, valuable objects are disappearing from rooms in the Turnbull mansion even while the Turnbull sisters, Rosemary and Florette, are at home in their locked house. Having heard about her reputation Nancy Drew is alarmed when Nathan Gombet threatens her father. Gombet sold a piece of land for a railroad bridge through Carson Drew and now believes that he was cheated. Meanwhile, valuable objects are disappearing from rooms in the Turnbull mansion even while the Turnbull sisters, Rosemary and Florette, are at home in their locked house. Having heard about her reputation for solving mysteries, the sisters invite Nancy Drew to stay in the mansion and discover the thief. In seeking to solve the mysterious happenings in an old stone mansion, Nancy uses her courage and powers of deduction and tackles a situation that would have appalled a far older person.


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Nancy Drew is alarmed when Nathan Gombet threatens her father. Gombet sold a piece of land for a railroad bridge through Carson Drew and now believes that he was cheated. Meanwhile, valuable objects are disappearing from rooms in the Turnbull mansion even while the Turnbull sisters, Rosemary and Florette, are at home in their locked house. Having heard about her reputation Nancy Drew is alarmed when Nathan Gombet threatens her father. Gombet sold a piece of land for a railroad bridge through Carson Drew and now believes that he was cheated. Meanwhile, valuable objects are disappearing from rooms in the Turnbull mansion even while the Turnbull sisters, Rosemary and Florette, are at home in their locked house. Having heard about her reputation for solving mysteries, the sisters invite Nancy Drew to stay in the mansion and discover the thief. In seeking to solve the mysterious happenings in an old stone mansion, Nancy uses her courage and powers of deduction and tackles a situation that would have appalled a far older person.

30 review for The Hidden Staircase

  1. 5 out of 5

    Sheri

    You're never too old to re-read childhood favorites. I'm currently working my way through the Nancy Drew hardcovers. In this book, Nancy discovers a hidden staircase and solves the mystery of unexplained happenings at the mansion. A quick, easy read with an element of danger.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    I blame these books for my first recess of having to sit on the bench while the other kids played. It was third grade, I was reading one of these under my desk during math time, and totally got caught answering, "Wha-hu?" instead of the answer to a long division problem. It was traumatizing, I had never been in trouble! (Except that one time we got in trouble for throwing snowballs on the playground in the middle of January. No, really.) But it tells you how much I love these books that I didn't I blame these books for my first recess of having to sit on the bench while the other kids played. It was third grade, I was reading one of these under my desk during math time, and totally got caught answering, "Wha-hu?" instead of the answer to a long division problem. It was traumatizing, I had never been in trouble! (Except that one time we got in trouble for throwing snowballs on the playground in the middle of January. No, really.) But it tells you how much I love these books that I didn't care! In fact, I think I went right back to reading the next day. I had the ones with just these exact covers, too. I must've had at least thirty of them, if not more. They consumed pretty much the entire third grade year. Nancy was smart and pretty and had a nice boyfriend, and got to go into chillingly fun places that involved fog and full moons and stakeouts, and at that age, I hadn't a /clue/ what the end could /possibly/ be, so they always kept me in suspense right until the very end. What isn't to love?

  3. 4 out of 5

    Adita ✨The Slumbering Insomniac✨

    ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐[8/10] Guess who goes on a date this time around??! *Hush Hush* Nancy's father goes missing. Helen's great grandmother Miss Flora's Twin Elms home is haunted, a mystery which Nancy decides to investigate upon her close friend Helen's insistence. What would Nancy Drew do? Go after her father or help her friend? Imagine Nancy's surprise when Nathan Gomber, the very man who threatened Nancy's lawyer father, turns up at Twin Elms to coerce Miss Flora into selling him her much vaunted colonial ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐[8/10] Guess who goes on a date this time around??! *Hush Hush* Nancy's father goes missing. Helen's great grandmother Miss Flora's Twin Elms home is haunted, a mystery which Nancy decides to investigate upon her close friend Helen's insistence. What would Nancy Drew do? Go after her father or help her friend? Imagine Nancy's surprise when Nathan Gomber, the very man who threatened Nancy's lawyer father, turns up at Twin Elms to coerce Miss Flora into selling him her much vaunted colonial house. Ah, (view spoiler)[ha-ha, I got you, nothing here, this is Nancy Drew after all!*smirks* (hide spoiler)] Nathan Gomber, do you smell a rat? ⭐Buddy read(yes, my first BR with any of my GR friends) with my sweet big sis, Emer! Together we recreated our respective childhoods- hers in which she hid the book under her pillow just in case Nathan Gomber and the Ghost decided to creep out of the pages of the book and materialize in her room, mine in which Nancy Drew was totally unheard of. We could have giggled like two happy little girls at the all-too-perfect ending, but life got in the way. I hope you are recuperating faster than we all want and I am sure all this little hazy feeling will pass in no time. I know that the fighter in you will brave all odds and pains, just as sure. Love you a mountain, come back soon with reinvigorated and revitalized self, Ems!! ❤❤❤❤❤❤

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jessaka

    Nancy and Helen Go A-Sleuthing I am now listening to Nancy Drew books rather than reading the old ones that I own. And so I now ask, Who is Helen, and what happened to Nancy’s old friends? asn’t Nancy’s hair brown and not blonde? And since when did she own a blue convertible instead of a roadster? Times change, and yet Nancy has not grown up. She is still in the 1930s. Perhaps she bleached her hair. I must have missed that. Getting into the book wasn’t easy for me under these conditions, plus I am Nancy and Helen Go A-Sleuthing I am now listening to Nancy Drew books rather than reading the old ones that I own. And so I now ask, Who is Helen, and what happened to Nancy’s old friends? asn’t Nancy’s hair brown and not blonde? And since when did she own a blue convertible instead of a roadster? Times change, and yet Nancy has not grown up. She is still in the 1930s. Perhaps she bleached her hair. I must have missed that. Getting into the book wasn’t easy for me under these conditions, plus I am used to my own silent voice while reading her books, and now I am at the mercy of a narrator whose voice changes according to who is speaking. Ah, if only the voice activator on my kindle could work on the BARD app that I have, It could be all one sounding voice again. So, a ghost is expected to be in this mansion that two old ladies own, and jewelry is stolen. I wonder what ghosts want with jewelry? Plus, food is stolen out of the kitchen. Again, what do they want with food? Perhaps these ghosts are stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, as in, real live people. Nancy and Helen suspect that the ghost is a real person, and they suspect that there is a hidden passage way in the house as well as a staircase, and if they can find it they will find the criminals, and they will find Nancy’s father too, who has been kidnapped. The best part of this book is the recipe for custard pie, well, only the mention of their eating one. I love homemade custard, but I am not so sure that I would want it with pie crust. Still, I will give you the recipe I found for you see I do not have that recipe in my own, unpublished cookbook, as I have never considered it worthwhile, well, actually, I had never heard of custard pie, just custard. Custard Pie 1 unbaked pie shell 3 eggs ¾ c. sugar ½ t. salt 2 c. whole milk 1 c. half-and-half 1 T. real vanilla extract ½ t. freshly grated nutmeg Scald milk and cream together. Set aside. In a bowl, mix sugar, eggs, salt and vanilla together. Mix well. Add this milk mixture while continuing to mix. Pour into the unbaked pie shell. Grate nutmeg over the top of the pie. Bake at 400 degrees for 10 minutes on the bottom rack of the oven. Then move to the top rack and turn the oven down to 325 degrees and bake for approximately 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Eilonwy

    A very unpleasant man confronts Nancy Drew one day when she is alone in the house. Thanks to her resourcefulness, he is quickly sent on his way. He’s pushed out of Nancy’s mind when an acquaintance begs her to help solve what seems to be a haunting at a local mansion. When Nancy goes for a week’s stay, mysterious events come fast and furious. Could there really be a ghost? Or is there an all-too-human reason for someone to want two older ladies to abandon their family home? I borrowed this o A very unpleasant man confronts Nancy Drew one day when she is alone in the house. Thanks to her resourcefulness, he is quickly sent on his way. He’s pushed out of Nancy’s mind when an acquaintance begs her to help solve what seems to be a haunting at a local mansion. When Nancy goes for a week’s stay, mysterious events come fast and furious. Could there really be a ghost? Or is there an all-too-human reason for someone to want two older ladies to abandon their family home? I borrowed this off my niece’s bookshelf because I haven’t read a Nancy Drew since I was a child, and I wanted to see how this would strike me from my adult perspective. And … it struck me pretty well! The story is breathlessly fast-paced, with constant cliffhangers and no good places to stop reading. It was very well plotted, too -- everything came together perfectly and satisfactorily, with not a single hole that I can spot. It was also very taut and tense, with lots of nerve-wracking moments even for my adult self. I can see why these books have stayed popular for almost a hundred years now. Nancy’s resourcefulness and quick-thinking is admirable and inspiring. A kid who’s read all these books probably can think on their feet in almost any situation. Her freedom is enviable. And the plot elements in this one -- possible ghosts, huge mansions, secret wall panels and staircases -- are what filled my childhood imagination. My quibbles about the book are first, Nancy is a little too perfect. Good grief, she’s so helpful to everybody. Show some self-centeredness, kid! Second, she’s practically a goddess. By this second book in the series, she’s treated with awe and deference by the adults she helped in the previous book, and adults she doesn’t even know are now eager to get the aid of someone who is still mostly a child. I wanted to shake those two “old” ladies who live in the mansion (I think really they’re both under 50 years old, yet they are presented as if they’re frail and getting feeble-minded) and tell them to help themselves! But between Nancy’s reputation and her relation to her also universally-admired high-powered lawyer father, there is no door closed to her. We should all enjoy such privilege. And speaking of privilege (or lack thereof), the portrayal of the one character of color was just cringeingly awful. She’s the only person who speaks in any local dialect, and is not even given a name, despite appearing in multiple scenes. On the one hand, I appreciate that this book is unexpurgated and is a product of its time. But on the other hand, ugh, this was just painful. I also found it funny how many times Nancy Drew was referred to by her full name. I don’t know if that’s a quirk of the writer, or whether it was the style in all 1930’s novels. Other than that, though, I didn’t find the writing too stilted or old-fashioned. It flowed very well. Overall, this was a very fun and enjoyable read, and made me wish I’d read more of these when I was a kid. (I thought I was too cool for these old books, and rolled my eyes if anyone gave them to me. I think I read maybe two of them ever.) I’ll see if I feel compelled to read any more of them now.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Emer (A Little Haze)

    I read this as a buddy read with my dear friend Adita Is it a wise decision to re-visit a series that you adored as a child as an adult????? They say you can never truly go back….but maybe you can a little?????? A short while ago my lovely Goodreads friend Adita read and reviewed the first book in the Nancy Drew series; you can read that wonderful review here. This review brought back the most wonderful memories for me and so I decided to partake in a little nostalgia and join Adita in her Na I read this as a buddy read with my dear friend Adita Is it a wise decision to re-visit a series that you adored as a child as an adult????? They say you can never truly go back….but maybe you can a little?????? A short while ago my lovely Goodreads friend Adita read and reviewed the first book in the Nancy Drew series; you can read that wonderful review here. This review brought back the most wonderful memories for me and so I decided to partake in a little nostalgia and join Adita in her Nancy Drew reading quest. And I am so very pleased that I did. Nancy Drew is still as appealing to me now as when I was a little girl. • Her confidence in her sleuthing abilities; her drive and ambition • Her love and respect for her father, the closeness of that relationship. • Her love of family • Her close female friendships… All these things add up to a wonderful role model for young girls and looking at this book with grown-up eyes makes me confident that these books certainly enriched my well-being as a child and had a positive influence on me. Okay things have dated somewhat but the heart of the book…. Well that is still true. And isn’t that what is important??????? What are the key things that make a Nancy Drew book exciting to read???....well this book had it all!! Sneaky ghosts, shady characters, secret passages, haunted houses, mysterious footprints… I was actually pleasantly surprised at the level of tension in this book! I found myself getting quite caught up in the storyline and had the constant sensation that something or someone was going to jump out from behind a closed cupboard at any minute. I remember as a child reading a Nancy Drew book entitled the Ghost of Blackwood Hall and being TERRIFIED!! This book reminded me very much of that experience… okay so the 2016 version of me was somewhat less terrified but I still got a little adrenalin rush!!!.... Ok so I got scared…what can I say? I’m a wimp!!!!!!!! Perhaps you can say that all Nancy Drew books are similar, that they are just a great marketing idea with all the ghost writers behind them… Okay if cynicism is your thing then go embrace that. God knows I do it all the time!!!!!! But when it comes to Nancy Drew my childish love for these books wins out. Sorry, nostalgia rules all!!! Eeeek Will I read further books in the series? I hope to. This book had no Bess Marvin or Georgia “George” Fayne, Nancy’s best friends… and I would very much like to meet those characters again. There was also no Ned Nickerson, Nancy’s long-term boyfriend. Instead Nancy went out on a date with some guy called Dirk….DIRK!!!!!! I KNOW!!!! Where did he come from all of a sudden????? Dirk Jackson, ”a red-haired, former high-school tennis champion”!!!!! All the time I felt like screaming NOOOOO where’s Nick???????? I felt like Nancy was cheating…ok I’ve since looked it up, apparently Ned doesn’t arrive on the scene until book seven in the series but OH that felt shocking to me!!!! I am going to leave this book unrated as I cannot make up my mind as to what rating it deserves. My inner child wants to scream five, five, FIVE… But the adult version of me is unable to reconcile with that decision so I will just leave it to the younger members of our Goodreads community to imbue this with an appropriate rating. What I will say is that Nancy Drew, I still love you very much. Thanks for the memories.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Juli

    The Hidden Staircase is the 2nd book in the Nancy Drew series. First published in 1930, the book still remains in print today, although edited and updated from the original just a bit. I am revisiting a lot of favorite children's books at the moment, because a summer cold is totally kicking my butt. I found several Nancy Drew audio books on my library's digital site.....perfect! The audio versions are about 3 hours long on average. Perfect listening time for someone who is stuck indoors coughing The Hidden Staircase is the 2nd book in the Nancy Drew series. First published in 1930, the book still remains in print today, although edited and updated from the original just a bit. I am revisiting a lot of favorite children's books at the moment, because a summer cold is totally kicking my butt. I found several Nancy Drew audio books on my library's digital site.....perfect! The audio versions are about 3 hours long on average. Perfect listening time for someone who is stuck indoors coughing and feeling pretty miserable. I worried that I might find these childhood favorites dated or juvenile, but I'm actually quite entertained! The audiobook I listened to (Penguin Random House) was narrated by Laura Linney. She does a great job reading! She reads the story at a nice pace and has a pleasant, easily understandable voice. The production quality is top notch....at suspenseful moments there are cheesy music stabs and sound effects. It was a fun listening experience! In this second book, Nancy is investigating two mysteries.....ghostly activities at a local mansion and threats made to her father, Carson Drew. It develops into quite the interesting mystery! The mysteries in the Nancy Drew series are not all that complex and the plot gets cheesy at times....but the stories are targeted at children and the first few books were written almost 90 years ago. They had a bit of an edit in the 1960s to remove some outdated stereotypes and to add in more action, but other than that the character and her adventures are as originally written. There is a reason these stories are classics. There might be some cheesy moments, but Nancy solves some interesting cases. She is intelligent, self-reliant and interesting as a main character. The books are a bit more outdated now than they were when I read them as a child, but the stories are still interesting and enjoyable. I can see the books being fun supplemental reading in a classroom or homeschool setting. There could be some fun writing prompts for students such as how could Nancy be aided in her sleuthing if she had access to modern technology (cell phone, computer for research, etc), what are some things Nancy does/says that are outdated and what would she say and do if she was a teen today? The books are totally appropriate for middle grade students. There are some mild threats of violence and suspenseful moments, but nothing is ever graphic, gory or scary. Moving on to the next book! Totally enjoying re-reading these classic favorites!

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alice (Married To Books)

    *Borrowed from my library's e-book service!* I grew up on anything Nancy Drew, from the video games to one of my childhood favourites: The Secret of the Old Clock. The Hidden Staircase is the second in the original Nancy Drew series, published in 1930 and still remains in print! Nancy is trying to solve two mysteries: A haunting tale of a ghost that is running amok in an old mansion or so it seems... and a mystery surrounding threats made to her own father. This was a very dialogue driven novel, *Borrowed from my library's e-book service!* I grew up on anything Nancy Drew, from the video games to one of my childhood favourites: The Secret of the Old Clock. The Hidden Staircase is the second in the original Nancy Drew series, published in 1930 and still remains in print! Nancy is trying to solve two mysteries: A haunting tale of a ghost that is running amok in an old mansion or so it seems... and a mystery surrounding threats made to her own father. This was a very dialogue driven novel, with a range of characters that had their own secrets and personalities. It was a little predictable for me and world-building did lack. However, this series remains a strong classic within my heart and would revisit it again!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Courtnie

    Nancy Drew could probably bake a beautiful pie, crochet an afghan, tutor French, write a column on comportment and change her little blue convertible's oil all in the same afternoon.I hate her perfectness, but I love her courageousness and cleverness.This was my first Nancy Drew, I just didn't grow up reading her as many do. I chose this book for my mystery square because it had elements that fit the theme of the Halloween book bingo - a haunted mansion and a thieving ghost.It was cute and quick Nancy Drew could probably bake a beautiful pie, crochet an afghan, tutor French, write a column on comportment and change her little blue convertible's oil all in the same afternoon.I hate her perfectness, but I love her courageousness and cleverness.This was my first Nancy Drew, I just didn't grow up reading her as many do. I chose this book for my mystery square because it had elements that fit the theme of the Halloween book bingo - a haunted mansion and a thieving ghost.It was cute and quick and ended well. You can tell what's going to happen about a mile away though. I think the biggest mystery for me was how you prepare gelatin and then immediately eat it (doesn't that have to set for a couple hours?) or how you would make cream of chicken and rice soup with a can of soup and milk (replace the water with milk?). I was clearly more interested in what they were eating than the mystery. Maybe I was just hungry?  

  10. 5 out of 5

    Neha

    Enjoyed it, even a decade later 😁

  11. 4 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    Enjoyed #2 of Nancy's adventures. . . this, like #1 continues with her older friend, Helen Corning. In and out of old - VERY OLD - homes, dating back to Revolutionary days. The homes are connected and honeycombed with all kinds of hidey-holes to keep posessions and persons hidden from any who would try and take off with valuables. In my original reading of these books, elements like time and historical context were not even present in my kid-brain. The place where Nancy lived, in my young mind wa Enjoyed #2 of Nancy's adventures. . . this, like #1 continues with her older friend, Helen Corning. In and out of old - VERY OLD - homes, dating back to Revolutionary days. The homes are connected and honeycombed with all kinds of hidey-holes to keep posessions and persons hidden from any who would try and take off with valuables. In my original reading of these books, elements like time and historical context were not even present in my kid-brain. The place where Nancy lived, in my young mind was most likely Southern California, close to me. Clearly, she is in one of the original 13 colonies. . . .guess I still need to keep my ND research hand in. 3.5 stars, rounded up. Am still smiling during my self-imposed ND challenge. . . . .

  12. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    I just finished a bizzarro version that was written in 1930, prior to the edits and whitewashing that re-did the Nancy novels in the 1950s. Ah, mass-market paperbacks. Write a book twice and sell it to two different generations. Offensive racial stereotypes? Take them out and pretend they never existed! But of course Now I Need to find the more recent version of Hidden Staircase to figure out what got changed. Nancy Drew is so cute and compelling, dammit. A real plucky go-getter. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I just finished a bizzarro version that was written in 1930, prior to the edits and whitewashing that re-did the Nancy novels in the 1950s. Ah, mass-market paperbacks. Write a book twice and sell it to two different generations. Offensive racial stereotypes? Take them out and pretend they never existed! But of course Now I Need to find the more recent version of Hidden Staircase to figure out what got changed. Nancy Drew is so cute and compelling, dammit. A real plucky go-getter. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I can confirm that the revised edition of The Hidden Staircase is even MORE ridiculous than the first one. In the 1950s Nancy has a friend named Helen who helps investigate. During the plot, Helen excitedly explains that her boyfriend has written her a letter, and they are now engaged to be married! Yippee! Also, instead of two elderly (spinster) sisters owning the mysterious "haunted" house, the women are now a (widowed) aunt who has moved in with her elderly (of course widowed) mother. The women are certain to conduct their domestic duties EVERYDAY, even though their lives are in danger and unknown beings are in their house threatening their mental health. No, Nancy, we can't go sleuthing for clues right now. We need to vacuum the floors and wash the dishes first!!! Also, we need to go marketing, both to feed ourselves and the "ghost" who is stealing our food. Good gawd, ladies! Get the heck out of there! But no. When the mystery is solved, and luckily after Nancy's dad Carson Drew is found in a nearly airless room, heavily sedated, the girls' first idea is to prepare a nice lunch for everyone. I blame you for this, McCarthy!!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Kat | Rustic Pages

    ‪I remember this being a childhood favorite and I definitely enjoyed it the second time around now as an adult reader! Find me on Booktube! youtube.com/c/rusticpages ‪I remember this being a childhood favorite and I definitely enjoyed it the second time around now as an adult reader! Find me on Booktube! youtube.com/c/rusticpages

  14. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I know I read these over and over. I probably would have rated them 4**** back then but I’d say an enjoyable 3*** nowadays.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jaksen

    Oh, yeah, prob my first Nancy Drew book. Read the original version; it was my older sister's. Hardcover with an intact dust jacket. The idea that there might be a 'hidden staircase' in a house, fascinating, and then I learned my grandmother had one in her house, built in 1888. (Behind a 'closet door' which she kept locked.) It was an old servant's staircase. (The stairs were old, not the servants.) :D But anyhow, I owned and read about 20 ND books and this was the first, and to me, the best. I le Oh, yeah, prob my first Nancy Drew book. Read the original version; it was my older sister's. Hardcover with an intact dust jacket. The idea that there might be a 'hidden staircase' in a house, fascinating, and then I learned my grandmother had one in her house, built in 1888. (Behind a 'closet door' which she kept locked.) It was an old servant's staircase. (The stairs were old, not the servants.) :D But anyhow, I owned and read about 20 ND books and this was the first, and to me, the best. I learned about coupes and pumps, too. Loved these books. Added on December 12, 2015 Well I just re-read this book, found my old, original copy while pulling Christmas decorations out of a closet. Published in 1930, it belonged to my mother, not my sister. Though it may not be a first edition, I'm fairly certain it's the original story. Nancy drives a 'roadster,' has 'bobbed' hair and is amazed when a friend has an 'electrical refrigerator.' She pumps water to get her father a drink. (But not in her own house, someone else's.) And she stays with two elderly women for awhile who do not have a radio, electricity or a phone in the house. Sounds 1920's-ish to me. The story is full of many dated references, too, as in a colored woman who calls herself 'culled' and talks in an exaggerated and - to be honest - uncomplimentary, very deep South accent. The woman is often referred to as a 'negress' and is written as being very fearful and not too smart. The main villain, a man, is also very stereotypical. He's nasty, short and sort of brutish. So why did I love this story in 1964? It's all about the hidden staircase. In the course of helping two elderly women who are being coerced into selling their home, Nancy discovers a passageway from their house to another one. The descriptions of underground tunnels, numerous stairs going off into different rooms, and the way the staircase(s) are entered using latches and springs and sliding doors was really well-done. It's probably what sold the book to me as a ten or eleven-year old. The mystery is fairly complex and well-thought out, too, so why all the unnecessary stereotyping and why did I not notice? My age, perhaps, and the times, when certain things which today would make us cringe were commonplace in (some) books. (There's also a bumbling police chief and the fact he just charges into a house with his guns a-blazing. Craziness.) One more little aside which amazed me. Nancy's father, prominent lawyer Carson Drew, GIVES Nancy a loaded revolver to protect herself. This guy goes from one extreme to the other: here's a gun and oh by the way, be careful. Nancy then admits she couldn't hit the broad side of a barn if she tried yet she carries the thing around and sleeps with it under her pillow. Cliches, much? Too much, though this was still one of my favorite ND books and it's all because of those creepy tunnels AND the hidden staircase.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kirsten

    Finished book #2 with Laura Linney. I just love these audiobooks of the classic girl detective. They have interstitial music... you know the kind where it emphasizes significant events. The actress Laura Linney does a great job voicing Nancy and her friend. What you discover after picking these up after 30-40 years is just how well crafted the mysteries are. There are threats to the safety of the detective and others, but no real violence. Just some sketchy characters doing menacing very well. ( Finished book #2 with Laura Linney. I just love these audiobooks of the classic girl detective. They have interstitial music... you know the kind where it emphasizes significant events. The actress Laura Linney does a great job voicing Nancy and her friend. What you discover after picking these up after 30-40 years is just how well crafted the mysteries are. There are threats to the safety of the detective and others, but no real violence. Just some sketchy characters doing menacing very well. (Though, it seems like the bad guys always have a problem with personal hygiene.) It is also quite amusing in this one where Nancy has private talks with some of the minor criminals and they confess happily. (Hardened criminals, they're not.)

  17. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    I listened to this on audiotape in my car. I originally put this book on here a few years ago to represent my love for Nancy Drew, since this one was my favorite. Upon my "re-read", I found this to still be a fun story. These are definitely dated books, but they're timeless in my opinion. Nancy can really be annoying sometimes, though. Is there anything she's not perfect at? I clearly have to give this 5 stars due to my love of this book as a kid. ___________________________________ (original review: I listened to this on audiotape in my car. I originally put this book on here a few years ago to represent my love for Nancy Drew, since this one was my favorite. Upon my "re-read", I found this to still be a fun story. These are definitely dated books, but they're timeless in my opinion. Nancy can really be annoying sometimes, though. Is there anything she's not perfect at? I clearly have to give this 5 stars due to my love of this book as a kid. ___________________________________ (original review: - 8/12/10) This is my favorite Nancy Drew book of all time. I re-read this one over and over again as a kid. I truly loved them all, but this one was the best.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    A cute read for what it is, but really this is so unrealistic that it is almost laughable. The father is kidnapped, Nancy believes he is probably being held prisoner somewhere, drugged, etc., yet she just continues to go nonchalantly along trying to solve the mystery of the ghost in her friend's mansion, with her father just being a sideline thought. Really??? If someone has been kidnapped and missing for many days, THAT should be your TOTAL focus! Hello! But she is having too much fun driving a A cute read for what it is, but really this is so unrealistic that it is almost laughable. The father is kidnapped, Nancy believes he is probably being held prisoner somewhere, drugged, etc., yet she just continues to go nonchalantly along trying to solve the mystery of the ghost in her friend's mansion, with her father just being a sideline thought. Really??? If someone has been kidnapped and missing for many days, THAT should be your TOTAL focus! Hello! But she is having too much fun driving around in her convertible, looking for 'clues'. Sheesh!

  19. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I was a huge Nancy Drew fan and loved her mysteries. Since my library has many books that I read as a child, I thought I'd revisit some of them. Nancy receives a warning that her father's life may be in danger. Carson Drew tells her there is nothing to worry about; someone was just trying to scare them. So when Nancy's friend, Helen, invites her to go with her to visit her aunt and grandmother, Nancy decides to tag along. When they arrive, they find that the inhabitants are very nervous. Small it I was a huge Nancy Drew fan and loved her mysteries. Since my library has many books that I read as a child, I thought I'd revisit some of them. Nancy receives a warning that her father's life may be in danger. Carson Drew tells her there is nothing to worry about; someone was just trying to scare them. So when Nancy's friend, Helen, invites her to go with her to visit her aunt and grandmother, Nancy decides to tag along. When they arrive, they find that the inhabitants are very nervous. Small items have been disappearing from the home. They also hear mysterious noises and believe the house may be haunted. It's up to Nancy to figure out if someone is hiding in the old house and trying to scare the people who live there. This was a solid mystery narrated by Laura Linney. It brought back a lot of memories. My rating: 4 Stars.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Hannah

    I loved Nancy Drew as a young girl. This was the first one I ever read.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Prabhjot Kaur

    Nancy Drew is back with yet another mystery but this one is personal. Nancy's lawyer father goes missing. So Nancy does what she does best. She tries to solve this mystery. Nancy finds out that the ghosts are stealing objects from a mansion and the residents at the mansion seek Nancy's assistance in finding out the truth. Nancy uncovers more than she thought possible. This book was full of little mysteries and it was fast paced. It is always delightful to read about Nancy Drew and her detective sk Nancy Drew is back with yet another mystery but this one is personal. Nancy's lawyer father goes missing. So Nancy does what she does best. She tries to solve this mystery. Nancy finds out that the ghosts are stealing objects from a mansion and the residents at the mansion seek Nancy's assistance in finding out the truth. Nancy uncovers more than she thought possible. This book was full of little mysteries and it was fast paced. It is always delightful to read about Nancy Drew and her detective skills. 4 stars

  22. 4 out of 5

    Kavita

    Nancy's friend, Helen Corning, asks her for help in solving a mystery involving her great grandmother. There is a ghost in the family mansion, and Nancy has to get rid of it! At the same time, Nancy has other things on her plate. A crooked lawyer openly is threatening her father with danger over a railway company case. Which mystery should she concentrate on? This really was a good one! Nancy solves two mysteries, rescues her father from kidnapping, and finds time to enjoy herself playacting in o Nancy's friend, Helen Corning, asks her for help in solving a mystery involving her great grandmother. There is a ghost in the family mansion, and Nancy has to get rid of it! At the same time, Nancy has other things on her plate. A crooked lawyer openly is threatening her father with danger over a railway company case. Which mystery should she concentrate on? This really was a good one! Nancy solves two mysteries, rescues her father from kidnapping, and finds time to enjoy herself playacting in old costumes. Helen is still her best friend, as Bess and George haven't yet made an appearance. Helen is a mere 21 years old and is already getting married to a man she has known for barely two months. I've never liked this character as a married woman in later books, but she shows some spunk in The Hidden Staircase. Nancy is still dating Don Cameron, who simply disappears down the line. The book is hopelessly dated in pretty much every aspect. But for me, that's the charm of it. Would I want to read a modern Nancy prancing around with a mobile phone and posting social awareness messages on Facebook? Not really! It's the idea of an independent go-getter from the 1930s that is appealing.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Suhailah

    I shall continue forth on my quest to read and review each of the Nancy Drew mysteries as an adult! May the nostalgia continue! Perhaps it is just my exhausted little brain, but I found that this mystery was a bit more enticing for me as it was less predictable than the first book was. It's mostly centered around inexplicable haunting events occurring at Twin Elms, a red brick colonial home built in 1785. From the beginning, multiple mysteries were introduced which made the story feel a bit off b I shall continue forth on my quest to read and review each of the Nancy Drew mysteries as an adult! May the nostalgia continue! Perhaps it is just my exhausted little brain, but I found that this mystery was a bit more enticing for me as it was less predictable than the first book was. It's mostly centered around inexplicable haunting events occurring at Twin Elms, a red brick colonial home built in 1785. From the beginning, multiple mysteries were introduced which made the story feel a bit off balance, but it all came together at the end. Once again, we see our brave heroine Nancy Drew swoop in to utilize her super sleuthing skills and save the day. We also learn just how persuasive Nancy can be while confronting scummy guys, dealing with police chiefs, and sorting through legal matters. Overall, the book is a quick enjoyable read and showers readers with just the right amount of suspense with a sprinkle of danger here and there.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    The Good: As you might expect, this is more of the same that the premiere Nancy Drew novel delivered, but, that isn't a bad thing. The usual suspenseful scenes and twists and turns that have taken place in many a mystery are present here...and that's just what readers are likely expecting. Nothing really to complain about. The Bad: While there weren't any serious issues, this book wasn't outstanding, which is why I'm only giving it four stars. Content Concerns: • Sex: None. 5/5 • Nudity: None. 5/5 • The Good: As you might expect, this is more of the same that the premiere Nancy Drew novel delivered, but, that isn't a bad thing. The usual suspenseful scenes and twists and turns that have taken place in many a mystery are present here...and that's just what readers are likely expecting. Nothing really to complain about. The Bad: While there weren't any serious issues, this book wasn't outstanding, which is why I'm only giving it four stars. Content Concerns: • Sex: None. 5/5 • Nudity: None. 5/5 • Language: Occasional usage of euphemisms such as "gosh". 4/5 • Violence: Some "PG"-level peril. 4/5 • Drugs: None. 5/5 • Frightening/Intense Scenes: The aforementioned peril, especially when the main character's father is feared dead. 4/5 Conclusion: As usual, I'm late to the party, but, I still enjoyed this second volume of an insanely long series. Mystery fans who have yet to check these books out definitely should. Score: 4/5

  25. 5 out of 5

    Enia

    Welp, I read another YA novel! 🚗 🔦 I love the fact that my last three books have women characters that are really brave and great. Love it. Girl power💪!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Abigail

    Home alone one afternoon, Nancy Drew receives a most unwelcome visitor in the form of Nathan Gombet, a rude man who barges into the Drew home, raving about how Nancy's father, Carson Drew, had cheated him in a property deal. Shortly after this unpleasant episode, while visiting with Abigail Rowen, an elderly lady she aided in her first adventure, The Secret of the Old Clock , Nancy is introduced to a Miss Rosemary Turnbull. Miss Turnbull and her sister Floretta, older maiden ladies, live toge Home alone one afternoon, Nancy Drew receives a most unwelcome visitor in the form of Nathan Gombet, a rude man who barges into the Drew home, raving about how Nancy's father, Carson Drew, had cheated him in a property deal. Shortly after this unpleasant episode, while visiting with Abigail Rowen, an elderly lady she aided in her first adventure, The Secret of the Old Clock , Nancy is introduced to a Miss Rosemary Turnbull. Miss Turnbull and her sister Floretta, older maiden ladies, live together in a Civil War-era mansion in the nearby town of Cliffwood, and are dealing with a most frightening situation, in the seeming haunting of their home. Nancy is intrigued, and arranges to spend a week with the Turnbull sisters, investigating the ghost. When she discovers that Nathan Gombet, the man who had been threatening her father, lives next door and had previously offered to buy the Turnbull mansion, she immediately has her suspicions regarding the haunting. But how can she prove her theory that Gombet is the ghost, when she can't figure out how he is coming and going? And what does the disappearance of her father, who fails to return from his trip to Chicago, have to do with it all...? First published in 1930, The Hidden Staircase was girl sleuth Nancy Drew's second adventure. Like all of the Nancy Drew books, it was condensed and revised in the 1950s, in a project intended to update the vocabulary and narrative incidents of the stories, and to excise any racially insensitive content. This particular title was apparently more revised than most, with quite a bit of storyline changed, so I am particularly glad to have access to the original version from 1930. As I mentioned in my review of The Secret of the Old Clock , although I read this series as a girl, I tended to find it fairly uninspiring and wooden, and only realized its charm when I happened many years later upon the Applewood Books editions, which present facsimiles of the original versions from the 1930s. These original stories are far more quirky, far more descriptive, and unfortunately, far more racist than their later counterparts. On the last point, it is interesting to me to note that almost every detailed review I have encountered of The Hidden Staircase reads the Nathan Gombet character as Jewish, and his depiction as anti-Semitic. This surprises me, as I simply never picked up on that subtext, in any of my multiple readings of this book. The description of Gombet never struck me as coded in a way meant to suggest he was Jewish, which stands in contrast to any number of vintage children's books I have read that do have such coded depictions. The unscrupulous book dealer in Jane Abbott's A Row of Stars (1937), for instance, is never overtly labeled a Jew, but his depiction makes it plain that he is. Here however, I simply didn't pick up on this. I read a review recently that mentioned a description of Gombet having a "hooked nose," but although I read through carefully this time, I couldn't find the passage. Doing a little research, I have discovered that a similar surname, Gombert, is sometimes a Jewish one, so perhaps that was also meant as a hint? However that may be, and whether he is meant to be Jewish or not, the villain's characterization is certainly not subtle, and the depiction of his African-American maid and co-conspirator, who is frequently referred to as a "negress," is most certainly racist. The outdated racial and ethnic content of these original Nancy Drew books is their chief drawback, detracting from the enjoyment of otherwise entertaining tales of a clever and brave young heroine, always stalwartly pursuing the truth. I always feel torn about this: the originals are much better, from a storytelling and writing perspective, and they have greater charm, with their old-fashioned terms - roadsters, chums, and so on - and period details. The 50s version are like stale, bland copies in these respects, but they are't quite as outdated. It's a tradeoff. For myself, I tend to prefer the original version of any work of literature, however offensive that original is, but I would understand why some would hesitate to give these original Nancy Drew titles to young readers. This (the original) is one I would mostly recommend to adult readers who enjoy vintage girls' fare, while the revised 1950s version is one I would recommend to middle-grade readers who enjoy mystery fiction.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    As a kid my mom would take us to the local library, which was in a fantastically ancient house on Main Street. The comforting smell of old books, ink, and wood polish combined with the sacred hush and shrewd eye of the a-social librarian made these trips feel sacrosanct. To get to the children and youth section, you climbed a set of echoing, wooden stairs which, no matter how hard you tried to tread softly, elicited a reproachful stare from the (presumable) spinster at the desk. Upstairs, in one As a kid my mom would take us to the local library, which was in a fantastically ancient house on Main Street. The comforting smell of old books, ink, and wood polish combined with the sacred hush and shrewd eye of the a-social librarian made these trips feel sacrosanct. To get to the children and youth section, you climbed a set of echoing, wooden stairs which, no matter how hard you tried to tread softly, elicited a reproachful stare from the (presumable) spinster at the desk. Upstairs, in one bright corner room were picture books - all stacked in wooden bins. When you raced over to take a look, the floor boards creaked and moved beneath your feet. In the adjoining room were the chapter books, lined impeccably on shelves. I remember being in awe of them, imagining how smart and sophisticated one would have to be to check out such "hard" books. And in this room, lined in beautiful symmetry, was the Nancy Drew mystery series, hardbound. And, just below them, in volumes of identical size and width, were the Hardy Boys. That was many years ago, and so when I took my own children to the new, brick, streamlined library in town that replaced the old one (but could not replicate its charm), Nancy Drew was displayed now on audio. I picked it up and as all of us listened, the simple story of a girl detective and her friends came rushing back to me across the years. Dated in some ways? Yes. It is difficult to believe that times and situations could be so simple, so free from the stranglehold of bureaucracy and the second-guessing of a culture now deprived of the universal language of common sense. But the book was also interesting, clean, and with an ingredient of suspense that allowed me to pass on to my young children a joy I'd once known in my own girlhood.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    Nancy’s friend, Helen, and Helen’s Great-Aunt Rosemary ask Nancy to solve a mystery at her great-grandmother’s home, Twin Elms, a stately Colonial mansion in nearby Cliffwood. And Nancy is determined to check it out until she hears that her father is being threatened by crooked lawyer Nathan Gomber, who feels Carson, as attorney for the railroad, cheated property owners near a new railroad bridge. Carson Drew, Nancy’s father, tells her not to worry and Nancy and Helen go to stay at Twin Elms whi Nancy’s friend, Helen, and Helen’s Great-Aunt Rosemary ask Nancy to solve a mystery at her great-grandmother’s home, Twin Elms, a stately Colonial mansion in nearby Cliffwood. And Nancy is determined to check it out until she hears that her father is being threatened by crooked lawyer Nathan Gomber, who feels Carson, as attorney for the railroad, cheated property owners near a new railroad bridge. Carson Drew, Nancy’s father, tells her not to worry and Nancy and Helen go to stay at Twin Elms while Carson goes to Chicago to find Willie Wharton, who is holding up the proceedings by hiding. On the girls’ first day, a chandelier sways by itself. Miss Flora is missing items, music comes out of nowhere, and a gorilla is seen peering in a window. After Nancy confers with the local chief of police, an officer named Patrick is assigned to patrol the grounds while Nathan Gomber repeatedly harasses Miss Flora and Rosemary to sell their property to him. When Nancy’s father fails to arrive on schedule, Nancy becomes worried, later finding out that her father was kidnapped. As she rushes to find him she also finds a connection between her father and the ghost of Twin Elms. Once again, the title gave it away but I thought The Hidden Staircase was much better than The Secret of the Old Clock. Even though this one moves a lot slower and most of the drama occurs in the last three chapters, there is an actual mystery here that has much higher stakes. After all, Nancy’s father is kidnapped. And unlike the first book in the series, The Hidden Staircase’s descriptions are a lot better while still maintaining it’s simple nature.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Sophiesticated ✨

    Okay, here's my problem; I didn't realize but I picked up the re-written Nancy Drew book, which is apparently really crappy compared to the original one, and I agree. This was not what I was expecting at all. Many of the exciting aspects of the original text were taken away from this re-written version, and for many reasons, I didn't end up enjoying it! Nancy Drew was asked to talk to many of the suspects multiple times because she was "persuasive", but all she did was pout, say a few sentences, Okay, here's my problem; I didn't realize but I picked up the re-written Nancy Drew book, which is apparently really crappy compared to the original one, and I agree. This was not what I was expecting at all. Many of the exciting aspects of the original text were taken away from this re-written version, and for many reasons, I didn't end up enjoying it! Nancy Drew was asked to talk to many of the suspects multiple times because she was "persuasive", but all she did was pout, say a few sentences, and next thing she would have the criminals bursting out information. Unrealistic thing number one. Everything happened too easily in this novel, and there were some scenes that totally made no sense. Like when the "young sleuth" and the rest of the women from Twin Elms left the mystery behind to play dress-up and dance around pretending to be at a ball. What the heck? People have told me that all of the things that annoyed me from this book were not in the original one, including all the appealing qualities about Nancy Drew and her deduction skills. I could not take this version of Nancy Drew seriously. She was ANNOYING and child-like. Even worse, she was supposedly 18 years old. I felt no thrill, no suspense. It was like a very poor children's book dumbed down a hundredfold. I WISH I had figured out my edition was the re-written one! Aghhh I'm so frustrated.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    2006 audio file of this 1959 book. I suddenly became interested in the long long long life and popularity of Nancy Drew. I love these books when I was a kid, but I am interested and why kids nowadays would be interested In stories with no video games no I phones no computers. I mainly wanted to make sure that this version of the book that was currently offered as an audiobook by my library was actually the version of the book that I had read. It was. As a kids book and even as a light read I thi 2006 audio file of this 1959 book. I suddenly became interested in the long long long life and popularity of Nancy Drew. I love these books when I was a kid, but I am interested and why kids nowadays would be interested In stories with no video games no I phones no computers. I mainly wanted to make sure that this version of the book that was currently offered as an audiobook by my library was actually the version of the book that I had read. It was. As a kids book and even as a light read I think it was still very interesting. A fast moving mystery. It is quite non-realistic in terms of having a teenage girl show up at a police department and ask them to tail someone and the police agreed to do it right away, in fact the police agreed to do everything that Nancy asked. Also, kids were a bit less Wise to the ways of the world back then which is obvious given Nancy’s lack of concern that the bad guys May have control over someone that she cares about. But still a very good book but still

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