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The Secret of the Forgotten City

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Rumors of a treasure hidden long ago in a city now buried under the Nevada desert lead Nancy, Bess and George to join a college sponsored archaeological dig in search of this priceless gold. Clues from an ancient stone with petroglyphs lead Nancy to the hidden treasure. Danger from a clever thief wanting this cache almost causes Nancy and Ned to lose their lives! This book Rumors of a treasure hidden long ago in a city now buried under the Nevada desert lead Nancy, Bess and George to join a college sponsored archaeological dig in search of this priceless gold. Clues from an ancient stone with petroglyphs lead Nancy to the hidden treasure. Danger from a clever thief wanting this cache almost causes Nancy and Ned to lose their lives! This book is the original text. A revised text does not exist.


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Rumors of a treasure hidden long ago in a city now buried under the Nevada desert lead Nancy, Bess and George to join a college sponsored archaeological dig in search of this priceless gold. Clues from an ancient stone with petroglyphs lead Nancy to the hidden treasure. Danger from a clever thief wanting this cache almost causes Nancy and Ned to lose their lives! This book Rumors of a treasure hidden long ago in a city now buried under the Nevada desert lead Nancy, Bess and George to join a college sponsored archaeological dig in search of this priceless gold. Clues from an ancient stone with petroglyphs lead Nancy to the hidden treasure. Danger from a clever thief wanting this cache almost causes Nancy and Ned to lose their lives! This book is the original text. A revised text does not exist.

30 review for The Secret of the Forgotten City

  1. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    Let me start this review by saying that this was my first Nancy Drew book...ever. And it will also be my last. I realize that these books were written in a very different time but sheesh. Besides the vast amount of politically incorrect wordage and slang throughout the book to describe the First Nations community (and basically anyone who wasn't blue-eyed and blonde), there was also a very skewed representation of...well people in general. All of Nancy's friends are preppy or football players, t Let me start this review by saying that this was my first Nancy Drew book...ever. And it will also be my last. I realize that these books were written in a very different time but sheesh. Besides the vast amount of politically incorrect wordage and slang throughout the book to describe the First Nations community (and basically anyone who wasn't blue-eyed and blonde), there was also a very skewed representation of...well people in general. All of Nancy's friends are preppy or football players, they're all good-looking, except for poor Bess who gets made fun of because she's a little chubby, and they all talk like like they are stuck in a Stepford Wives story. I realize this was the language of the era, but COME ON! Also, Nancy is not likable at all. Most of the time she by chance falls into clues and right answers, and the other times she is taking all the credit for things that her AND her friends helped her out with. None of the characters are fully developed either, and maybe because it's number 52 in the series, but I didn't feel like I really got to know anyone at all...except for generic things. Who is Nancy Drew? A young girl? A sleuth? A robot? I have no idea! This tale told the story of Mrs. Wabash who has tablets that are stolen from her that tell of a city of Gold hidden in the Nevada desert. Of course for some reason, she thinks Nancy Drew can help her recover her tablets and find the city! I was told that the Nancy Drew Case Files was worth reading- written in '86-'97- but I won't be recommending the older ones for anyone. This gets a 2 for the simple fact that it's Nancy Drew and I realize its a dated story.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Loraine

    SUMMARY: Gold! There are rumors that long ago a treasure was hidden in a city now buried under the Nevada desert. Nancy and her friends plan to join a dig sponsored by two colleges to hunt for the gold. Before she starts, the young sleuth receives an ancient stone tablet with petroglyphs on it. With this amazing clue, however, come a threat and danger from a thief who also wants the treasure. REVIEW: I have not read a Nancy Drew mystery since childhood but still found they are fun to read. The cha SUMMARY: Gold! There are rumors that long ago a treasure was hidden in a city now buried under the Nevada desert. Nancy and her friends plan to join a dig sponsored by two colleges to hunt for the gold. Before she starts, the young sleuth receives an ancient stone tablet with petroglyphs on it. With this amazing clue, however, come a threat and danger from a thief who also wants the treasure. REVIEW: I have not read a Nancy Drew mystery since childhood but still found they are fun to read. The characters are now in college in this particular mystery and the relationships between the 3 girls and their boyfriends are still much the same. Not complex as mysteries go but perfect for children who are just finding their way to this genre. I particularly enjoyed the setting in this one and the archealogical and Indian themes.

  3. 5 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    Yet another wonderful adventure in the Nancy Drew book series.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Anna

    I probably read this too adventure as a kid, as my local library had a good selection of the series. But relistening to it now, decades later... the magic has disappeared from this one really badly. There are a lot of things written in the books in the 1970s that would quite raise the eyebrows now, and this has quite a few. “Juana” - “what a pretty name!” calm down, Bess. Mexicans wearing sombreros... but of course (insert a silent eye rolls), how else would you know they are Mexicans? Indians, w I probably read this too adventure as a kid, as my local library had a good selection of the series. But relistening to it now, decades later... the magic has disappeared from this one really badly. There are a lot of things written in the books in the 1970s that would quite raise the eyebrows now, and this has quite a few. “Juana” - “what a pretty name!” calm down, Bess. Mexicans wearing sombreros... but of course (insert a silent eye rolls), how else would you know they are Mexicans? Indians, where there wasn’t much any research done by the writers before writing this story. Oh, and in Nevada they can’t find anybody except Nancy who can help interpret what the Mexicans say. Ja ja ja ja (laughing out loud in Spanish here). and of course a random Indian person (as in, native American) can easily translate some ancient plates full of images, hieroglyphs and pictograms to modern English because they have a dictionary and that’ll totally help with the grammar and everything. I need a drink...

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

    I remember really loving Nancy Drew as a kid. I picked this one, because I loved Anthropology and Archaeology in college and thought it would be a fun read. Perhaps entertaining for children, but definitely not my cup of tea as an adult. First, the writing style really threw me. It was clearly written for young girls, but none of the characters felt developed to me. Not even Nancy herself. Also, the anthropologist in me has issues with how poorly the sites were maintained in this book, and how m I remember really loving Nancy Drew as a kid. I picked this one, because I loved Anthropology and Archaeology in college and thought it would be a fun read. Perhaps entertaining for children, but definitely not my cup of tea as an adult. First, the writing style really threw me. It was clearly written for young girls, but none of the characters felt developed to me. Not even Nancy herself. Also, the anthropologist in me has issues with how poorly the sites were maintained in this book, and how mistreated the artifacts were. Again, I know it’s written for children and was written in a time when anthropological sites were treated differently, but some of the lack of respect from the characters regarding their finds made me really sad. Overall, probably not a book I will read with my future children unless it comes with a lesson on how not to disrespect other cultures and the ancient dead.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Wenqian-1e3

    Nancy and her friends plan to join a dig sponsored by two colleges to hunt for the gold . Before she starts , the young sleuth receives an ancient stone tablet with petroglyphs on it . With this amazing clue , however , come a threat and danger from a thief who also wants the treasure . One harrowing adventure after another besets Nancy , Bess , George , Ned , Burt , and Dave in 102 degree temperatures as they pursue Nancy's hunches above and below ground . They are assisted by a fine Indian w Nancy and her friends plan to join a dig sponsored by two colleges to hunt for the gold . Before she starts , the young sleuth receives an ancient stone tablet with petroglyphs on it . With this amazing clue , however , come a threat and danger from a thief who also wants the treasure . One harrowing adventure after another besets Nancy , Bess , George , Ned , Burt , and Dave in 102 degree temperatures as they pursue Nancy's hunches above and below ground . They are assisted by a fine Indian woman and a young geology student , but both are unwilling participants in a strange plot . In the end Nancy and Ned nearly lost their lives , just after she has discovered the priceless hidden treasure of gold .

  7. 5 out of 5

    Darinda

    Nancy Drew and friends go on an archaeology dig to solve a case. Another fun Nancy Drew mystery!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Suziey

    Nancy’s friends have a surprise for her. They are all going to the Nevada desert to take part in an archaeological dig. The area is also believed to have hidden gold nearby and Nancy endeavors to find it. This wouldn’t be a Nancy Drew story if another mystery didn’t fall into Nancy’s lap. A Native American woman has 6 ancient tablets that wind up being stolen. She was initially hoping Nancy would help her decipher the petroglyphs. Now, Nancy has to find the thief first. A few books back, I made th Nancy’s friends have a surprise for her. They are all going to the Nevada desert to take part in an archaeological dig. The area is also believed to have hidden gold nearby and Nancy endeavors to find it. This wouldn’t be a Nancy Drew story if another mystery didn’t fall into Nancy’s lap. A Native American woman has 6 ancient tablets that wind up being stolen. She was initially hoping Nancy would help her decipher the petroglyphs. Now, Nancy has to find the thief first. A few books back, I made the observation that Nancy messed up a dig. Which is true. She dug up old tribal grounds to solve a mystery. And she went about it completely wrong. But this book addressed the issues I had then. This dig is sponsored by a university, so all of the students are taught the proper way to proceed. Hallelujah! Way to right a wrong.  Speaking of wrongs, there were a number in this story. The biggest one being when at one point Nancy finds a human bone. The crew takes turns unearthing it, string the uncovered skeleton and then proceed to play and joke around with it. Sigh. Do you know how disrespectful that is? What they did is despicable and shows a lack of consideration towards the tribe. No respectable archeaologist would ever allow this to happen. Because it’s wrong on so many levels.  Anyway, the story is fairly entertaining. Nancy and Ned kiss. A lot. Well, a lot for one of these stories. Nancy and crew find gold and an underwater river in the desert. Oh, and all of a sudden Nancy knows spanish? And, can differentiate between various dialects. Yeah, okay Jan.   Look, I know these are kids books so I shouldn’t take them too seriously. But honestly, I wouldn’t feel comfortable giving this specific book to my 8 year old niece. We’re teaching her to be respectful. And this book doesn’t send that message. Blegh.  There were parts I really did like about this book. But I simply couldn’t get past all of the problematic aspects. Which is just too bad. It had the markings of a favorite. 

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    This was actually a typical old school Nancy Drew adventure. So it would normally get a three. But this one. Well, it has problems. Lots and lots of problems. By this point in the series the ghostwriters (which were still Harriet Adams for the most part) had come up with a new gimmick for the series. There can only be so many crimes that a kid could solve in River Heights so every once in awhile they would do these 'Nancy gets a case that takes her to fill in the blank'. Now, most of these adven This was actually a typical old school Nancy Drew adventure. So it would normally get a three. But this one. Well, it has problems. Lots and lots of problems. By this point in the series the ghostwriters (which were still Harriet Adams for the most part) had come up with a new gimmick for the series. There can only be so many crimes that a kid could solve in River Heights so every once in awhile they would do these 'Nancy gets a case that takes her to fill in the blank'. Now, most of these adventures have good intentions. It is clear they do want to teach children about other cultures, in this case Native Americans. But at the same time they are chock full of good old fashioned unintentional racism. (IE: Nancy can read ancient pictoglyphs better than a professor has been studying the culture for at least a decade.) Really, the only thing that makes Nancy Drew an unusual white savior hero of western 20th century literature is that she's female. Another problem is also some unusual use of the word faggot. Now, I know what the author meant. The meant it in the sense 'a a bundle of sticks or twigs bound together as fuel' and NOT as a homophobic slur. This is NOT consider this wasn't early in the series. This was 1975. This was after Hariet Adams went through the old books and made Hannah no longer explicitly black with a 'Mammy Twoshoes' accent. I guess in 1975 it was still considered an okay word as long as it wasn't used 'in that context'. But here's the thing. This is a 1999 reprint of a book from 1975. Certainly it's a word the reprint editor should have wanted to avoid using in any context by then. The final problem I have with this one is huge. This book, and almost every other Nancy Drew book of the period, describes Nancy as blonde haired, blue eyed and perfect. What kind of perfect person laughs, thus gives at least a tacit endorsement, to fat shaming? Especially when the person being bullied is someone we're told REPEATEDLY is one of her best friends?

  10. 4 out of 5

    LobsterQuadrille

    About 2.5 stars The best aspects of this Nancy Drew mystery were definitely the plot, which was pretty decent light reading, and the inclusion of not one, but two positive Native American characters. The depiction of Southwestern Native American culture is probably not very accurate, but it is nice to see a bit more cultural diversity among the good guys. But there are a few things that definitely should have been edited out before publication. First, Nancy is reading aloud about scorpions to Ge About 2.5 stars The best aspects of this Nancy Drew mystery were definitely the plot, which was pretty decent light reading, and the inclusion of not one, but two positive Native American characters. The depiction of Southwestern Native American culture is probably not very accurate, but it is nice to see a bit more cultural diversity among the good guys. But there are a few things that definitely should have been edited out before publication. First, Nancy is reading aloud about scorpions to George and Bess because they for some reason don't know that there are venomous scorpions and that they sting using their tails. I know this is a fairly old book and written for children, but wouldn't most people still know that scorpions are venomous and have tail stingers, even if they only knew it from watching westerns on TV? Next, and far worse, is when Nancy and her friends are on an archaeological dig and find an ancient human skeleton. This seems fairly innocuous at first, but then after the skeleton is wired together Burt uses it as a puppet to speak in silly voices and entertain everyone around the campfire. To make this even more horribly disrespectful, it is mentioned that the skeleton had a skull wound most likely from a spear. Therefore Burt uses a probable ancient murder victim's remains as a comedic prop! I know the 70s were a less culturally sensitive time, but I don't believe for a second that no one would have found this questionable 40 years ago. Two stars for an enjoyable story, nostalia, and a couple of interesting new characters, but brought down by two main characters not knowing extremely basic scorpion facts and the cringe-inducing skeleton scene.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    It’s rather a baddie. Cute concept, with an archaeological expedition, and Nancy and her gal pals and their favorite dates spend a wholesome weekend together, lowering one another into the pit. Yes literally. No, not a kinky euphemism. Among their group are some other students. Two of them assume the responsibility of harassing a group of Spanish speaking men who are passing by the camp site. Said students also think it a good idea to help the men hurry along into the desert, without adequate sup It’s rather a baddie. Cute concept, with an archaeological expedition, and Nancy and her gal pals and their favorite dates spend a wholesome weekend together, lowering one another into the pit. Yes literally. No, not a kinky euphemism. Among their group are some other students. Two of them assume the responsibility of harassing a group of Spanish speaking men who are passing by the camp site. Said students also think it a good idea to help the men hurry along into the desert, without adequate supplies. Students helpfully drive behind the men, in a large truck, to verify the men are safely far away, possibly close to dying out there but who cares right? Maybe I wasn’t reading this part correctly, but it seems like some archaeology students may have done a mass murder here.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Diana

    I will preface this by saying that as a 8-10 year-old, I was one of the biggest Nancy Drew fans. I'd request the books for birthdays, holidays, or any other gift receiving occasion - I must have collected at least 30 of the original yellow-spine edition hard-backs in my adolescence. I picked up this one from my local library out of sheer nostalgia and I must say... these books did not age well. The gender stereotypes in the book were glaring and the lack of plot development was almost laughable. I will preface this by saying that as a 8-10 year-old, I was one of the biggest Nancy Drew fans. I'd request the books for birthdays, holidays, or any other gift receiving occasion - I must have collected at least 30 of the original yellow-spine edition hard-backs in my adolescence. I picked up this one from my local library out of sheer nostalgia and I must say... these books did not age well. The gender stereotypes in the book were glaring and the lack of plot development was almost laughable. I still love Nancy Drew, the character, but I don't think I'll be reading another of these out desire to preserve my fond childhood memories of this series.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Parag Rajendra Rokade

    This is the story of a young detective named Nancy drew. Nancy and her friends,Bess, George,Ned,Burt and Dave, plan to join two colleges which go for an excavation in the Nevada desert to find the treasure which was hidden in a city now buried in the Nevada desert. She receives tablets, from an Indian woman, with petroglyphs on it before she starts her find. Nancy has to find six more petroglyphs which are stolen by a thief named, Fleetfoot Joe,who is also behind the treasure. The petroglyphs re This is the story of a young detective named Nancy drew. Nancy and her friends,Bess, George,Ned,Burt and Dave, plan to join two colleges which go for an excavation in the Nevada desert to find the treasure which was hidden in a city now buried in the Nevada desert. She receives tablets, from an Indian woman, with petroglyphs on it before she starts her find. Nancy has to find six more petroglyphs which are stolen by a thief named, Fleetfoot Joe,who is also behind the treasure. The petroglyphs represent a map which lead to the desert. At last, Nancy and her friends find all the petroglyphs and the treasure.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jess Sohn

    As far as Nancy Drew books typically go, this one was exciting and action-packed to the last page. Ned is his usual dorky drip self, so his friends Burt and Dave are along to help Nancy, "stupid" "fat" Bess, and George do their adventuring in "Indian" country. Sigh. Just the typical inappropriate cultural references and unbelievable sleuthing that always puts Nancy alternately in grave danger or fortuitously positioned for a crazy discovery. A couple odd things I liked about this one is the anno As far as Nancy Drew books typically go, this one was exciting and action-packed to the last page. Ned is his usual dorky drip self, so his friends Burt and Dave are along to help Nancy, "stupid" "fat" Bess, and George do their adventuring in "Indian" country. Sigh. Just the typical inappropriate cultural references and unbelievable sleuthing that always puts Nancy alternately in grave danger or fortuitously positioned for a crazy discovery. A couple odd things I liked about this one is the annoying Archie character that pestered the group for no reason, and the coded warning sentences. Cute.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kathyanngallagher

    Don't let the 2 stars indicate that I don't like Nancy Drew books. I absolutely do! Lots of unbelievable events occurred in #52. Of course, Nancy came to the rescue when she knew Spanish just in time to persuade a group of Mexicans to leave their campsite. This particular book, "The Secret of the Forgotten City" revealed the word fagot to me. It is a bundle of twigs or sticks. Also, I am once again conflicted as to use the word used/use correctly. Stay tuned as I unfold that mystery. Don't let the 2 stars indicate that I don't like Nancy Drew books. I absolutely do! Lots of unbelievable events occurred in #52. Of course, Nancy came to the rescue when she knew Spanish just in time to persuade a group of Mexicans to leave their campsite. This particular book, "The Secret of the Forgotten City" revealed the word fagot to me. It is a bundle of twigs or sticks. Also, I am once again conflicted as to use the word used/use correctly. Stay tuned as I unfold that mystery.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lik C

    Nancy and her friends go on a digging trip in Nevada. They discover stolen stone tablets (more like the tablets coming to them), unearth clay dolls, cursed beads, a skeleton, which I don't think it was right to play with around a bonfire, and fagots of gold (not to be confused with the other term fagot). It wasn't really a mystery for me, more like just an expedition trip, and a story that will be forgotten. Nancy and her friends go on a digging trip in Nevada. They discover stolen stone tablets (more like the tablets coming to them), unearth clay dolls, cursed beads, a skeleton, which I don't think it was right to play with around a bonfire, and fagots of gold (not to be confused with the other term fagot). It wasn't really a mystery for me, more like just an expedition trip, and a story that will be forgotten.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Tia

    Nancy Drew was a big part of my childhood. Huge. I will always love Nancy Drew, but maybe I just shouldn't go back and read any more of them and just keep them in my childhood. Besides the problematic politically incorrect terms, treatment of Native American culture, artifacts, poor Beth, and other things, the writing is just really bad. This story was all over the place! Still love Nancy Drew though. Nancy Drew was a big part of my childhood. Huge. I will always love Nancy Drew, but maybe I just shouldn't go back and read any more of them and just keep them in my childhood. Besides the problematic politically incorrect terms, treatment of Native American culture, artifacts, poor Beth, and other things, the writing is just really bad. This story was all over the place! Still love Nancy Drew though.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Freckles14333

    I think that they should make modern versions of the Nancy Drew books. They are teaching kids that they can make fun of people for being overweight. Nancy drew always steals the credit. I know this is a old book and it was fine to talk like that before but times have changed so I think someone should make a modern version of the book.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    As a huge Nancy Drew fan, I am usually ready to rate all the books as 5-star. Unfortunately this one has not aged as well as the others, with occasional moments of indelicacy towards Native Americans and ancient cultures in general.

  20. 5 out of 5

    DeAnna

    Wow! What a great book! This book was good because of all the detail that the author put in the book. She also added a lot of cliffhangers. She made some parts really suspenseful! The author did a really good job writing this book! Thanks!

  21. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    I just find it hard to believe that an 18 year-old could decipher the writing on ancient Native tablets better than say... an actual freaking professor?! This one was unbelievable. Nancy has also learned several dialects of Spanish and can tell which village the men are from and tal to them! The villain is an idiot with a stupid name, Fleetfoot Joe. Really. He also decided to seal all the tablets and then buried them in the desert for some reason. Just follow Nancy and steal the dang treasure, d I just find it hard to believe that an 18 year-old could decipher the writing on ancient Native tablets better than say... an actual freaking professor?! This one was unbelievable. Nancy has also learned several dialects of Spanish and can tell which village the men are from and tal to them! The villain is an idiot with a stupid name, Fleetfoot Joe. Really. He also decided to seal all the tablets and then buried them in the desert for some reason. Just follow Nancy and steal the dang treasure, dude. How come everyone knows who Nancy Drew is... except the dang villain? Still fun. George is still a jerk to Bess. And the way if discovering the treasure a little too convenient. Lucky that underwater river didn’t divert, Nancy!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    Sure, they solved the mystery and found the "treasure", but I felt like it was left very open ended with no real details about the treasure itself. Sure, they solved the mystery and found the "treasure", but I felt like it was left very open ended with no real details about the treasure itself.

  23. 5 out of 5

    IrishFan

    This one was ok, interesting to me because they came to Las Vegas where I live, so a couple of the places were real and I've been to them. This one was ok, interesting to me because they came to Las Vegas where I live, so a couple of the places were real and I've been to them.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Anna Field

    It's been a lot of years since I read a Nancy Drew Mystery. I really enjoyed the journey back to my childhood! It's been a lot of years since I read a Nancy Drew Mystery. I really enjoyed the journey back to my childhood!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Hillary

    The mystery was pretty good and held together well, which helped with the vaguely racist tinge over it. Well, can't have everything, I suppose. The mystery was pretty good and held together well, which helped with the vaguely racist tinge over it. Well, can't have everything, I suppose.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sandy

    Not quite a mystery — as offensive as you would expect from a book written in 1947 about Native Americans haha

  27. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Turner

    I do love reading old Nancy Drew books. This particular novel follows Nancy and her friends as she searches for golden tablets left by an ancient native american civilization.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jerah

    It's one of the better books if you can manage to overlook the horrifying manner in which the crew desecrates human remains in Ch XVI. I was thoroughly disgusted by that. It's one of the better books if you can manage to overlook the horrifying manner in which the crew desecrates human remains in Ch XVI. I was thoroughly disgusted by that.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Natalie Cannon

    The mystery itself was well-written and there was a definite attempt to accurately portray Native Americans, though not as far as calling them Native Americans instead of "Indians." The one-star is a further warning for me not to re-read this because the last chapters use the word "fagot." Granted, it's the original small-bundle-of-wood context, but it got to me after the 50th use. Perils of knowing the history of homophobia, I suppose. The mystery itself was well-written and there was a definite attempt to accurately portray Native Americans, though not as far as calling them Native Americans instead of "Indians." The one-star is a further warning for me not to re-read this because the last chapters use the word "fagot." Granted, it's the original small-bundle-of-wood context, but it got to me after the 50th use. Perils of knowing the history of homophobia, I suppose.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Christine Arvinth

    Well this book is really interesting. I do not know how Nancy figured out the whole "aging" process. It was a really exiting book. Well this book is really interesting. I do not know how Nancy figured out the whole "aging" process. It was a really exiting book.

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