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The Clue in the Crumbling Wall

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A sprawling estate was willed to a dancer who has vanished several years earlier. During their investigation at Heath Castle, Nancy, Bess and George realize that its crumbling walls contain a secret, but what is it? They search for clues in the neglected gardens of the vast estate, hoping to find a lead to the missing woman. Danger lurks in a castle tower and throughout th A sprawling estate was willed to a dancer who has vanished several years earlier. During their investigation at Heath Castle, Nancy, Bess and George realize that its crumbling walls contain a secret, but what is it? They search for clues in the neglected gardens of the vast estate, hoping to find a lead to the missing woman. Danger lurks in a castle tower and throughout the vine-tangled grounds as Nancy exposes a sinister plot to defraud the dancer of her inheritance. This book is the revised text. The plot of the original story (©1945) is similar with minor revisions.


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A sprawling estate was willed to a dancer who has vanished several years earlier. During their investigation at Heath Castle, Nancy, Bess and George realize that its crumbling walls contain a secret, but what is it? They search for clues in the neglected gardens of the vast estate, hoping to find a lead to the missing woman. Danger lurks in a castle tower and throughout th A sprawling estate was willed to a dancer who has vanished several years earlier. During their investigation at Heath Castle, Nancy, Bess and George realize that its crumbling walls contain a secret, but what is it? They search for clues in the neglected gardens of the vast estate, hoping to find a lead to the missing woman. Danger lurks in a castle tower and throughout the vine-tangled grounds as Nancy exposes a sinister plot to defraud the dancer of her inheritance. This book is the revised text. The plot of the original story (©1945) is similar with minor revisions.

30 review for The Clue in the Crumbling Wall

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jessaka

    This is one of the most exciting Nancy Drew books that I have read in a long time. Nancy is trying to solve the mystery of a missing dancer who owns a caste near her town. To do tis she sneaks into the run down and abandoned caste with her friends Bess and George by climbing over the walls. Well, they are not alone because some men are blasting away walls and chiseling away other walls looking for a treasure. And did I mention the dogs? In the meantime we have a little boy thief who has stolen Na This is one of the most exciting Nancy Drew books that I have read in a long time. Nancy is trying to solve the mystery of a missing dancer who owns a caste near her town. To do tis she sneaks into the run down and abandoned caste with her friends Bess and George by climbing over the walls. Well, they are not alone because some men are blasting away walls and chiseling away other walls looking for a treasure. And did I mention the dogs? In the meantime we have a little boy thief who has stolen Nancy’s purse and a pearl that she had found in an oyster shell. Then he steals some articles of clothing. The Brat. Then there is a kindly fisherman named Salty who helps the girls out and gets into trouble himself.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gregory Gerard

    This has to be my all-time fave Nancy Drew mystery. It has an aging castle, and hidden trails through the overgrown gardens, and boat trips up secret tributaries, and a cloister walk down to the beach, and a clandestine Poet's Nook...and on and on. This is one guilty pleasure I do allow myself a grown-up read now and then on winter days by the fire.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    This mystery involves yet another abandoned mansion that's a stone's throw away from Nancy's hometown River Heights. In this particular book, the mansion is most easily reached by boat. I'm reminded that River Heights has the word "river" in it, and this book definitely makes the most of it. Nancy's sleuthing brings her to encounter a seafaring gentleman known as "Salty" who makes a living selling mollusks to the townsfolk. Everyone knows him as "the singing clam digger of Muskoka River." (Hey! T This mystery involves yet another abandoned mansion that's a stone's throw away from Nancy's hometown River Heights. In this particular book, the mansion is most easily reached by boat. I'm reminded that River Heights has the word "river" in it, and this book definitely makes the most of it. Nancy's sleuthing brings her to encounter a seafaring gentleman known as "Salty" who makes a living selling mollusks to the townsfolk. Everyone knows him as "the singing clam digger of Muskoka River." (Hey! The river has a name!) No one explains why a saltwater man is hanging around a freshwater river, UNLESS it's a clue to the location of River Heights! I've always wondered whether it's a New England town, but several online sources say River Heights is in the Midwest. It really doesn't matter. Nancy's world is a fictional fantasyland. Regardless, I'm getting the urge to map it. It'll be a lot of fun. Abandoned mansions everywhere!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Ellen

    Ned was missing from this book. Apparently, Nancy "missed her special friend who had gone to South America on a school project." (See chapter 10, paragraph 3). Hopefully, he's in the next one. 2018 challenge: a book mentioned in another book (The Secret in the Old Attic)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    In chapter one, in a non-sequitur action sequence, Nancy finds a pearl in a freshwater clam from a door-to-door clam salesman. What the hell is a door-to-door clam salesman, besides another veiled reference to lesbianism? Ned Nickerson appears once in writing, but apparently he and the other guys are in South America. Nancy helps find a missing woman whose inheritance is being mismanaged by a crooked lawyer. Part of the inheritance includes a Lost Textile Process. Bess loses consciousness when she In chapter one, in a non-sequitur action sequence, Nancy finds a pearl in a freshwater clam from a door-to-door clam salesman. What the hell is a door-to-door clam salesman, besides another veiled reference to lesbianism? Ned Nickerson appears once in writing, but apparently he and the other guys are in South America. Nancy helps find a missing woman whose inheritance is being mismanaged by a crooked lawyer. Part of the inheritance includes a Lost Textile Process. Bess loses consciousness when she falls out of a boat and hits her head on a rock. Nancy loses consciousness when she's in a factory that explodes. Hannah is bound and gagged.

  6. 4 out of 5

    C.E.

    I thought this was a lovely read. The castle reminded me of ones in Romantic-era books and I could really visualize it (something that's usually hard for me). I also enjoyed the Cinderella-like mystery at the heart of it.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Darinda

    Nancy is trying to locate a missing dancer. A delightful mystery.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Susan

    One of the better books in the Nancy Drew series. Very atmospheric with the old castle, overgrown gardens and various crumbling stone walls. Good way to spend a little time.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Sara ♥

    I remember reading this book when I was younger and really loving it. Don't get me wrong—it was cute and all—but not exactly something to write home about. Maybe it was The Mystery of the Moss-Covered Mansion that I really loved? (I'll try that one for the next challenge, as my "cozy" mystery...) The ending was a bit... anticlimactic to me... Anyway, this book was a Nancy Drew version of Cinderella. The kind where Cinderella is a dancer who has been missing for 10 years, and in which the "prince" I remember reading this book when I was younger and really loving it. Don't get me wrong—it was cute and all—but not exactly something to write home about. Maybe it was The Mystery of the Moss-Covered Mansion that I really loved? (I'll try that one for the next challenge, as my "cozy" mystery...) The ending was a bit... anticlimactic to me... Anyway, this book was a Nancy Drew version of Cinderella. The kind where Cinderella is a dancer who has been missing for 10 years, and in which the "prince" (aka rich fiancé) died 5 years afterward, leaving his fortune to the missing woman, who must claim it within 5 additional years. And so time is running out and Nancy Drew must FIND the dancer, or the evil lawyer will get all the money (through mischievous ways)... and in which the solution to the mystery is all about shoe-size. So it's sorta like.... depressing Cinderella. Except it was actually quite happy (and CHEEEEEEEESE-OLA) in the end, though the fiancé was still dead (this isn't Alias, after all)... Because the dancer's sister and niece were all reunited and yadda-yadda-yadda. It was cute, but predictable... And clues come to Nancy a little too conveniently (and always have...), as though she were a HUGE clue-magnet, and clues can't help but to POP right out of the woodworks and jump on her... :)

  10. 4 out of 5

    Ari

    These may be the books that pull me out of my reading slump!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    "When Nancy is asked to find a professional dancer who disappeared several years before, the young detective becomes involved in a mystery reaching far beyond a missing-person's case. During Nancy's investigation at Heath Castle, she and her friends Bess and George realize that its crumbling walls contain a secret, but what is it? And who are their enemies that try to foil their every attempt to unravel the intricate puzzle? Danger lurks in a castle tower and throughout the vine-tangled grounds "When Nancy is asked to find a professional dancer who disappeared several years before, the young detective becomes involved in a mystery reaching far beyond a missing-person's case. During Nancy's investigation at Heath Castle, she and her friends Bess and George realize that its crumbling walls contain a secret, but what is it? And who are their enemies that try to foil their every attempt to unravel the intricate puzzle? Danger lurks in a castle tower and throughout the vine-tangled grounds of the estate. The girls' gripping adventures culminate in a dramatic climax when Nancy exposes a sinister plot to defraud the dancer of her inheritance." [x] I've read this book either once or twice and did not enjoy it. I actually confused it with Moonstone Castle and when I re-read that a few months ago I kept think "where are all the parts I hate like George getting her clothes stolen?" then I realized I was thinking of the wrong book and its actually Clue in the Crumbling Wall I can't stand (Moonstone Castle is an excellent book btw). I don't remember much about this book except for George getting her clothes stolen while they're drying and the girls looking through a box they find in the crumbling wall. As for what's in the box I don't recall at all. Gosh, I am not looking forward to reading this but lets get it over with. - Nancy has 3 weeks to find Juliana Johnson so she can claim her inheritance. Why would anyone wait until there's only 3 weeks to hire someone to track her down? Someone should have been on that a year ago. I know the lawyer is crooked and not really trying but Juliana's sister should have tried. - I find Salty a little disturbing. This man just walks down the street with a wagon full of Oysters for sale. Its kind of strange and seems unsanitary. And of course Nancy just happens to get an oyster with a pearl. - Nancy's purse gets stolen. It contains her drivers license, car registration, credit cards, money, the pearl from the oyster, and some cosmetics. She says she's just thankful she didn't lose more but like...what else could she have lost. Its not like she's going to keep her real valuables in her purse. Instead of being thankful she should be concerned about those credit cards. - Bess stuck in a tree with vicious dogs surrounding her, George stuck clothe-less in a tool shed, and Nancy locked in the tower of an abandoned castle may be the most hopeless situation the girls have been in. - Heath castle just happens to be based off an English castle and Nancy just happens to have a book featuring that castle and the book just happens to mention the secret hiding place in the wall. Talk about luck! You can read the rest of this review at VintageGirlsBooks.blogspot.com You can see all the illustrations from this book at www.pinterest.com/Nancydrewart

  12. 4 out of 5

    Sahifa

    Thank the crumbling walls. They contained the clues that brought you here. To me Heath Castle will always remain a symbol of mystery and romance.” Indeed the story of Heath Castle not only had mystery in itself but also a lot of romance ,a broken heart and two separated love-birds. The Mystery of Crumbling wall is 22nd edition in Nancy Drew mystery Series. This book had been authored by Mildred Benson and its a fine example of her adroit story-telling. One of the most beautiful stories from the s Thank the crumbling walls. They contained the clues that brought you here. To me Heath Castle will always remain a symbol of mystery and romance.” Indeed the story of Heath Castle not only had mystery in itself but also a lot of romance ,a broken heart and two separated love-birds. The Mystery of Crumbling wall is 22nd edition in Nancy Drew mystery Series. This book had been authored by Mildred Benson and its a fine example of her adroit story-telling. One of the most beautiful stories from the series. This story is unique in itself because of the romantic factor added to it.The english Castle ,A lost treasure and A stolen pearl ring all added to the charm of the mystery . This mystery was less action-filled and adventurous but still intriguing and captivating. The story starts with a missing dancer and also a potential hieress to a big fortune. The dancer must be located in time so as to prove her rightful inheritence. Nancy begins her quest to locate the dancer in order to help her impoverished sister and her little daughter Joan. But a lot of hurdles and sinister plotting lies between Nancy and her goal. Will she be able to achieve it before the time runs down? Overall a very nice and enjoyable read.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    Well, I met a woman who collects Nancy Drew books. I haven't read any in a long time. We exchanged favorite titles so I went to the library and got out my 2 favorites and hers. I read all three and they were better than I remembered. This was my absolute favorite from adolescent days. The descriptions of the estate was just as wonderful as I remembered. I was impressed that Nancy was an interesting young woman - not the pablum I kind of remembered. But I did notice the edits. She now drives a sp Well, I met a woman who collects Nancy Drew books. I haven't read any in a long time. We exchanged favorite titles so I went to the library and got out my 2 favorites and hers. I read all three and they were better than I remembered. This was my absolute favorite from adolescent days. The descriptions of the estate was just as wonderful as I remembered. I was impressed that Nancy was an interesting young woman - not the pablum I kind of remembered. But I did notice the edits. She now drives a sports car (still a convertible), not the "roadster" of the books I read oh so long ago. And is George the first model of gayness for young women?

  14. 5 out of 5

    Nicki

    When I want to escape for a few hours there is no where better to lose yourself than a Nancy Drew book.Easy to read,usually plenty of dangerous situations that you know Nancy will get out of some how.Yeah in the earlier mysteries you know who the bad guys are but who cares,you still can't beat a good Nancy Drew book and this mystery is one of my favourites.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Josiah

    I was actually really surprised with this Nancy Drew. It’s such a heartwarming story of suspense. Nancy is helping a lady and her daughter who’s sister disappeared. The sister was a dancer, and was going to inherit a large mansion and large sum of money. Nancy looks for the missing dancer. The end is so heartwarming, this book is hard to put down!

  16. 4 out of 5

    Greta

    Probably the most romantic Nancy Drew ever. Not so campy as some, but high marks for atmosphere, romance, and imagery. Solid mystery and love combination made this a very piognant Nancy Drew.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Joy Gerbode

    Once again enjoyed this one ... especially the Cinderella references, as I am a big Cinderella buff. Delightful, easy afternoon read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    Yet another excellent addition to the Nancy Drew mystery book series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Deb Sharp

    I remember doing a book review on this Nancy Drew Mystery when I was 12 years old!

  20. 5 out of 5

    David Hines

    This is a good solid classic Nancy Drew adventure. Nancy is asked to search for a missing dancer, who stands to lose a large inheritance if she does not claim it by a deadline. The estate's attorney seems more interested in taking his own advantage of the estate than in locating the heir, while the heir's sister lives in poverty and misses her sibling. The estate includes an old castle type manorhouse and a decayed factory and it turns out the owner had been inventing some rare dyes and left a s This is a good solid classic Nancy Drew adventure. Nancy is asked to search for a missing dancer, who stands to lose a large inheritance if she does not claim it by a deadline. The estate's attorney seems more interested in taking his own advantage of the estate than in locating the heir, while the heir's sister lives in poverty and misses her sibling. The estate includes an old castle type manorhouse and a decayed factory and it turns out the owner had been inventing some rare dyes and left a secret hidden in a wall in the property. Nancy explores the estate while the bad lawyer tries to subvert her and find the secret in the wall himself. This book has aged well and still reads as a plausible story any fan of the series will enjoy. The cover art is also very nice. The original story dates from the 1940s and was rewritten to "modernize" it in the 1960s so the original tale may be worth reading too.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    Nancy and her buddies, George and Bess have adventures in the overgrown Heath Castle, as they try and find multiple treasures left by the former owner. Stakes are raised as the estate deadline draws near and the girls and Mr. Drew are looking for the missing heiress. This might be a top ND mystery for me as it was a tad more complex, and the writing was clearly updated to an era that takes into account my sensibilities. More palatable. 3.5 stars rounded up. Off to #23!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Peter Clark

    I first read this book when I was a kid. It was one of my favorite Nancy Drew stories.I have since read this a few times as an adult. It holds up very well. The mood of the story and the details are very clear add so much to this mystery. You feel as if you are there with Nancy, Bess and George at the estate. Please note I am talking about the original text not the revised edition from the seventies. It is a very fun read and one of the best in the whole series.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    I must be in some kind of a reading slump, since it took me four days to read this, lol. This was another typical Nancy Drew mystery. Sorry Nancy, but that's all the time I have to write a review today haha. Maybe I'll update this later.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Suziey

    Nancy is tasked with finding a dancer, named Juliana, who disappeared many years ago at the height of her career. Her fiancé at the time, Walt Heath, has passed away and left his vast estate to Juliana. But she has to claim the fortune within 5 years of his death, or the estate will go to various charities. There are 3 weeks left to find Juliana and Nancy Drew is desperately searching for the missing dancer.  Okay I loved this book! Nancy has one mystery to solve which was great. There were no co Nancy is tasked with finding a dancer, named Juliana, who disappeared many years ago at the height of her career. Her fiancé at the time, Walt Heath, has passed away and left his vast estate to Juliana. But she has to claim the fortune within 5 years of his death, or the estate will go to various charities. There are 3 weeks left to find Juliana and Nancy Drew is desperately searching for the missing dancer.  Okay I loved this book! Nancy has one mystery to solve which was great. There were no convoluted subplots and unnecessary situations. And in a nice change of pace, Nancy is not rescued by Ned . In fact, Ned is apparently in South America on a college trip. Which also means, no Dave and Burt either. The cousins, Bess and George, do appear though. Helping Nancy investigate whenever necessary. One thing I didn’t like? The mystery’s resolution.  Nancy is unsatisfied by the conclusion of the case. And I am too. It wasn’t the usual happily ever after that these books always have. Yes, all the characters are happy in the end. But. I don’t know. It was a bit underwhelming. Realistic though. (Probably why I didn’t like it, haha). Another deviation from the norm, is the flash forward. Like I said, the ending of the case isn’t quite satisfactory. I guess in an attempt to remedy that, there is a fast forward to a year later. Everyone is happy, healthy and flourishing. Which I am thrilled about.  Overall, an enjoyable read. There were a few funny scenes. And at one point I got serious An Affair to Remember vibes which was a bit depressing. But I loved this story. It was different.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Gerard Patrick

    When Nancy Drew becomes involved in a case where a dancer went missing ten years ago, clues lead her and her friends to the haunting HEATH CASTLE. They become aware that thieves are exploiting the estate and its crumbling walls. Who are they and why? And what is the lawyer in charge of the estate doing about it? Nancy and her friends are pretty sure that the lawyer is not making any effort in finding the missing dancer. Danger lurks in the castle and its towers. The girl's gripping adventures en When Nancy Drew becomes involved in a case where a dancer went missing ten years ago, clues lead her and her friends to the haunting HEATH CASTLE. They become aware that thieves are exploiting the estate and its crumbling walls. Who are they and why? And what is the lawyer in charge of the estate doing about it? Nancy and her friends are pretty sure that the lawyer is not making any effort in finding the missing dancer. Danger lurks in the castle and its towers. The girl's gripping adventures end their most baffling mystery as it ends with a dramatic confession of the whole scheme which will hold all Nancy Drew fans in suspense.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Elfiegirl

    This was pretty good, but it seemed that the clues were too far apart and weren't pieced together properly until the last second. I felt this way with The Secret of the Glowing Eye. I've been reading a lot of Nancy Drews this summer because i get a thirst for some mystery each summer. The one i would recommend is The Secret Of The Broken Locket or something related to the Broken Locket, but I think that one's my favorite and i have read it at least four times.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Malia Turner

    Just finished reading this with my granddaughter, Mattie, and I believe she liked it as much as I did 50 years ago. I read every Nancy Drew book I could get my hands on; it really was the beginning of my passion for reading. My granddaughter loved it when I told her I would put a lamp under my covers and read all night to keep my parents from knowing I was awake. It's a wonder I didn't catch the bed on fire! I highly recommend sharing your favorites with the next generation.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    I’ve got to say River Heights sounds like a magical place—someone’s even built a castle! And thank goodness Nancy could just whip out her knowledge of Middle English to solve the mystery! My favorite part of the book is when Nancy gets so wrapped up in the mystery she forgets George in a shack, who is waiting for her clothes to dry and depending on Nancy. It's nice to know that Nancy has some faults, and it's even better because she her fault is a result of being so absorbed in the mystery.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Dinnu Reads Books

    I like more the Nancy Drew mysteries where Nancy interviews suspects and the reader can try to guess the culprit based on the clues. This story was interesting but the suspicious characters were actually the ones at fault and the investigations were more meant to prove their guilt and fill in some of the blanks in the motives.🧐 Still a nice and nostalgic book that's easy to read! 😄 Most liked characters: Nancy, George, Bess Most disliked characters: Jeddy and his mother

  30. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    My # 1 favorite Nancy Drew. I love the setting of the decaying, crumbling castle and the outdoor grounds. It has a sad, eerie yet beautiful feel to it that I just love. The romance aspect of the tale is nice as well. I remember reading this a little girl at my Grandma's and really loving it. The cover is beautiful as well.

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