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The Spider Sapphire Mystery

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Librarian's note: This is an earlier/alternative cover edition of ISBN 0448095459 (9780448095455) found here. Excitement is high when Nancy delves into the theft of a fabulous sapphire formed by nature millions of years ago. Her father’s client is Mr. Ramsey, a designer of beautiful and unusual synthetic gems. He is accused of stealing the magnificent spider sapphire and ex Librarian's note: This is an earlier/alternative cover edition of ISBN 0448095459 (9780448095455) found here. Excitement is high when Nancy delves into the theft of a fabulous sapphire formed by nature millions of years ago. Her father’s client is Mr. Ramsey, a designer of beautiful and unusual synthetic gems. He is accused of stealing the magnificent spider sapphire and exhibiting it as his own creation. In River Heights and while on a safari with a group of college students, Nancy has several thrilling experiences. In Africa, she uncovers a nefarious scheme directed at Mr. Ramsey and locates a missing jungle guide. This book is the original text. A revised text does not exist.


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Librarian's note: This is an earlier/alternative cover edition of ISBN 0448095459 (9780448095455) found here. Excitement is high when Nancy delves into the theft of a fabulous sapphire formed by nature millions of years ago. Her father’s client is Mr. Ramsey, a designer of beautiful and unusual synthetic gems. He is accused of stealing the magnificent spider sapphire and ex Librarian's note: This is an earlier/alternative cover edition of ISBN 0448095459 (9780448095455) found here. Excitement is high when Nancy delves into the theft of a fabulous sapphire formed by nature millions of years ago. Her father’s client is Mr. Ramsey, a designer of beautiful and unusual synthetic gems. He is accused of stealing the magnificent spider sapphire and exhibiting it as his own creation. In River Heights and while on a safari with a group of college students, Nancy has several thrilling experiences. In Africa, she uncovers a nefarious scheme directed at Mr. Ramsey and locates a missing jungle guide. This book is the original text. A revised text does not exist.

30 review for The Spider Sapphire Mystery

  1. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    One of the most badly aged of Nancy books. The group goes to Africa. Many insensitive words, cultural appropriation, inaccuracies, whitewashing. However, Bess leans too close to an embankment while taking a picture of a hippo, and the girl rolls down the entire hill. That was interesting. Also, a baboon of unnatural size runs off with George. A regular sized baboon steals a wig from a mean girl; Bess gives the mean girl a makeover, and the mean girl becomes a nice girl. While Nancy, Bess, and Geor One of the most badly aged of Nancy books. The group goes to Africa. Many insensitive words, cultural appropriation, inaccuracies, whitewashing. However, Bess leans too close to an embankment while taking a picture of a hippo, and the girl rolls down the entire hill. That was interesting. Also, a baboon of unnatural size runs off with George. A regular sized baboon steals a wig from a mean girl; Bess gives the mean girl a makeover, and the mean girl becomes a nice girl. While Nancy, Bess, and George are away from the hotel during a tour, someone sets fire to every single piece of their luggage. While Nancy is looking at lemurs, someone throws a bag over her head. More potential deaths than usual.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Madeline

    Oh yes, I'm still reading Nancy Drew novels. As an adult with far too much literary criticism classes, reading them is a very different experience for me than it was as a kid. Then, reading these books was like watching action blockbusters - sure, in the back of my mind I knew they were silly and outlandish and there were better things I could be doing, but dammit I was having fun. Nowadays, the experience is a little different. Reading Nancy Drew now is like watching a Mystery Science Theater s Oh yes, I'm still reading Nancy Drew novels. As an adult with far too much literary criticism classes, reading them is a very different experience for me than it was as a kid. Then, reading these books was like watching action blockbusters - sure, in the back of my mind I knew they were silly and outlandish and there were better things I could be doing, but dammit I was having fun. Nowadays, the experience is a little different. Reading Nancy Drew now is like watching a Mystery Science Theater short - one of those 1950's informational ones on personal grooming or careers for ladies. Now the outlandish, outdated absurdity is brought forward into the harsh light of day, and I am suddenly aware of how stupid these books really are. But I still read them, because they're still fun. The casual sexism and racism is just a bonus. That's why I think Spider Sapphire Mystery is the ideal introductory book for initiating the innocent into the world of Nancy Drew. There's jewel thieves and rich people and lots of attempts to kill Nancy and her friends (Ned even gets kidnapped and then anything that may have remained of his masculinity is destroyed when Nancy rescues him). And the majority of the story takes place in Africa (Nancy and the gang get to go on a safari, yay!), so there's lots of great vintage racism. And at the same time, everything is just so goddamn wholesome it makes your teeth hurt: "Before long, the chattering, laughing Emerson group hurried aboard the chartered plane. When they were airborne, small groups began singing songs, some of them college numbers, others from musical comedy hits. Once in a while someone would call out a wisecrack and set everyone laughing." Doesn't that just sound swell? Safaris! Nice, grinning natives! Chartered planes! Musical comedy singalongs! WISECRACKING! Someone in this group needs to figure out that it's the 60's, and fast. Shrooms and rock music and premarital necking for everyone!

  3. 5 out of 5

    Melanie

    This book is actually an insanely boring hunt for a sapphire with a fossilized spider inside it. OMG GUNFIRE! Someone shoots out Nancy's tires. Actually, no, they shoot at her tires while she's parked, but don't manage to actually puncture them. So. Hm. Safari to East Africa! Wondering when she's going to go to Antarctica to look for Bernadette. If a person is black, they're referred to as "a black," like, "the cab driver was a black wearing a gold chain." There's also some bitchy girl who chills This book is actually an insanely boring hunt for a sapphire with a fossilized spider inside it. OMG GUNFIRE! Someone shoots out Nancy's tires. Actually, no, they shoot at her tires while she's parked, but don't manage to actually puncture them. So. Hm. Safari to East Africa! Wondering when she's going to go to Antarctica to look for Bernadette. If a person is black, they're referred to as "a black," like, "the cab driver was a black wearing a gold chain." There's also some bitchy girl who chills out and is beautiful after a baboon steals her blond wig. Ned is drugged and kidnapped by unknown assailants. Nancy briefly loses consciousness when someone ties a bag over her head. George gets kidnapped by a "baboon" that ends up being a black in disguise. Ned gets knocked unconscious in a fight. Nancy and Ned get their hands burned by acid.

  4. 5 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    Nancy Drew must solve this case of fraud, counterfeiting, and blackmail before it's too late!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kerry

    This book was written in a different era. This book was written in a different era. This book was written in a different era. This book was written in a different era. This book was written in a different era. I had to repeat this to myself more times than I wanted to count as I read this. The writing was terribly passive, characters were flat, and, oh, it was clearly sexist and racist. I was so excited to pull this off the shelf in a Little Free Library, but it was, alas, a mistake. I should have le This book was written in a different era. This book was written in a different era. This book was written in a different era. This book was written in a different era. This book was written in a different era. I had to repeat this to myself more times than I wanted to count as I read this. The writing was terribly passive, characters were flat, and, oh, it was clearly sexist and racist. I was so excited to pull this off the shelf in a Little Free Library, but it was, alas, a mistake. I should have left it. Now I don't know what to do with it? Do I put it back in the LFL? Burn it in some sort of sacred ceremony to celebrate that the original Nancy Drew series was, once, a beacon of literacy?

  6. 4 out of 5

    Natalie Cannon

    There was an attempt not to be racist, but it failed.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Hillary

    The reread continues! This one had a pretty good mystery, but was full of casual, colonialist racism, which was gross. On the upside, Ned was the kidnappee instead of Nancy, so that was a nice change. I also looked up whether a spider sapphire could exist, and it turns out insect inclusions are only known in amber and one single weird opal, so I also got to be disappointed about the bad science. Boo.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Leah

    Oh, Nancy Drew... When I was a kid, I'd read a Nancy book a day. I couldn't put them down. The adventures were top notch and she was such a strong female character who had strong female, kick-ass friends. So I wanted to revisit. This is what I hope will be the first of many re-read Nancy books. As usual, within the first 10 pages, Nancy is in a scrape and some criminals are stealing her purse and trapping her car in a parking lot for no reason. In this mystery, a rare gem is stolen and Nancy is pu Oh, Nancy Drew... When I was a kid, I'd read a Nancy book a day. I couldn't put them down. The adventures were top notch and she was such a strong female character who had strong female, kick-ass friends. So I wanted to revisit. This is what I hope will be the first of many re-read Nancy books. As usual, within the first 10 pages, Nancy is in a scrape and some criminals are stealing her purse and trapping her car in a parking lot for no reason. In this mystery, a rare gem is stolen and Nancy is put on the case. Her travels take her to Africa (because she is that cool!) and she ends up having run-ins with thieves, while finding a lost man with amnesia and helping him recover his memory. The books was a bit racist, but these were written a long time ago. My biggest disappointment is that Nancy's friend George doesn't pull many judo moves in this one.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    I remember having read this book, but otherwise very little about it. I got it from the mobile library that used to park on Kirkham Road, Southport, outside the Temperance Hall. I would have been about 8 years old and attracted to it by the spider in the title and on the cover - I liked spiders, and still do. My rating of 3 stars is rather arbitrary, but as it's stuck in my mind all these years I will give it the benefit of the doubt.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Woodman

    I absolutely adored these growing up, much more so than the Hardy Boys, and still carry a fondness for them into adulthood

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mskychick

    Placeholder for reread of Ilona Andrews' Magic Rises

  12. 5 out of 5

    Darinda

    Loved these books when I was a kid. Have enjoyed rereading them as an adult.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brianna D

    The Spider Sapphire Mystery By: Carolyn Keene In the book, The Spider Sapphire Mystery by Carolyn Keene, Nancy faces a mystery including a spider sapphire being stolen. Part of the mystery takes place in her hometown, River Heights, and in Africa on a trip. She faces many dangerous encounters while working the mystery. The lexile for this book is 760L. I think the theme of this book would be to never intentionally do bad things. Over the course of the book the people behind the mystery that stole The Spider Sapphire Mystery By: Carolyn Keene In the book, The Spider Sapphire Mystery by Carolyn Keene, Nancy faces a mystery including a spider sapphire being stolen. Part of the mystery takes place in her hometown, River Heights, and in Africa on a trip. She faces many dangerous encounters while working the mystery. The lexile for this book is 760L. I think the theme of this book would be to never intentionally do bad things. Over the course of the book the people behind the mystery that stole the gem put people in danger and, of course, stole something. This lead to them being in trouble at the end of the book. As Nancy found out more of the case, they would keep putting her and her friends in danger, which like I said, lead to major consequences. When they made the first threat on Nancy, there were going to be many more. The setting is very important because it shows that no matter where Nancy goes to solve the mystery, they’ll be there to try and stop her. Nancy deciding to work on the mystery and to keep working on the mystery provoked the thieves to harm her. “In an instant Nancy realized that they were parked so close she could not open either of her doors. The two drivers immediately jumped out and hurried away” (p. 1). “Was she being harrassed to make her father give up the case? Nancy wondered” (p. 2-4) “ ‘Nancy, don’t worry. Everything is all right here. But I’m not so sure it will be all right for you in Africa. I want you to watch your step very carefully. Our police got a tip that Jahan and Dhan took off for Africa’ “ (p. 55). I recommend you read this book because overall it was a good book. Some parts of it were confusing at the beginning and throughout the book but made a little more sense at the end. It wasn’t predictable at all because the author always leaves you in suspicion at the end of each chapter and surprises you with things throughout the book. The author includes sketches throughout the book to help you visualize some things which I think is neat. She also usually evens out the chapters so ones not super long and ones not super short. I think really anyone in middle school could read this book and enjoy it. It keeps you wanting to read more and is at a good reading level.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Suziey

    Nancy and her friends are going on an African safari that is being hosted by Emerson College. While in Africa, Nancy is able to investigative work for one of her father’s cases. A rare spider sapphire has gone missing in Africa and Mr. Drew’s client is being accused of stealing it. It is up to Nancy and her friends to figure out where the sapphire could be. Also, Nancy is tasked with finding a singer’s missing brother in Africa. The last time he was seen, he was giving a tour before being attack Nancy and her friends are going on an African safari that is being hosted by Emerson College. While in Africa, Nancy is able to investigative work for one of her father’s cases. A rare spider sapphire has gone missing in Africa and Mr. Drew’s client is being accused of stealing it. It is up to Nancy and her friends to figure out where the sapphire could be. Also, Nancy is tasked with finding a singer’s missing brother in Africa. The last time he was seen, he was giving a tour before being attacked by a lioness. But his body was never recovered so his sister is holding on to hope that he is alive somewhere. You know, this is another Nancy Drew book that has not aged well. A lot of cultural insensitivity and low-key racism by today’s standards. Big pile of yikes.  The story was interesting though. In an unforeseen twist, Ned is kidnapped by the jewel thieves in an attempt to stop Nancy from going on her trip. He’s actually missing for a couple of days before Nancy comes to his rescue. Yeah, she finds him Once he’s safe, everyone of course acts like it’s no big deal and off they go to Africa. The thieves attempt to stop Nancy from uncovering the truth multiple times. They put acid on her suitcase handle, burn her clothes and possessions (along with Bess and George’s), and attempt to suffocate her. But Nancy is undeterred. Love this headstrong girl.  Anyway, the mystery has a decent conclusion. Nancy’s hunches always pan out. And the sightseeing! Favorite parts, by far. 

  15. 4 out of 5

    Angela

    Skip this one. All Nancy Drew books have an element of fat-shaming, as pretty Nancy and athletic George constantly chide the "pudgy, full-figured" Bess for loving food as she does. But this book is the worst in the series that I've reread so far with regard to discrimination. Not only does it feature the body image taunts, which will subconsciously influence young readers of all genders, but it's extremely racist. In this book, Nancy and crew head to Africa to go on safari and solve a (very inte Skip this one. All Nancy Drew books have an element of fat-shaming, as pretty Nancy and athletic George constantly chide the "pudgy, full-figured" Bess for loving food as she does. But this book is the worst in the series that I've reread so far with regard to discrimination. Not only does it feature the body image taunts, which will subconsciously influence young readers of all genders, but it's extremely racist. In this book, Nancy and crew head to Africa to go on safari and solve a (very interesting) mystery, and while they are in Nairobi, they encounter "coloreds, blacks, and Indians" (both from the Subcontinent and indigenous tribespeople). Of course, this terminology is "of the time," but the insulting and condescending essentializing of native and urban Africans (e.g., mocking their speech and traditional clothing) is - like with the fat-shaming - not something you want to expose young readers to.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Findley

    A better than average entry in the series. This time, Nancy and her friends travel from River Heights to Africa, with much of the action happening in the city of Mombasa. What started as an accusation of theft eventually collects a missing persons case, as well as a number of assaults on Nancy and several of her cohorts. What happens to the title gem is interesting, but by the ending did feel a bit anti-climactic. This, despite a scene at the end where Ned, especially, is in danger of serious ha A better than average entry in the series. This time, Nancy and her friends travel from River Heights to Africa, with much of the action happening in the city of Mombasa. What started as an accusation of theft eventually collects a missing persons case, as well as a number of assaults on Nancy and several of her cohorts. What happens to the title gem is interesting, but by the ending did feel a bit anti-climactic. This, despite a scene at the end where Ned, especially, is in danger of serious harm. Before we get there, the journey is pretty interesting. George and Bess get a few interesting pages, and the rest of the group gets to shine as well. Good for kids, teens, and parents of either that want to experience a little nostalgia. Find it. Buy it. Read it!

  17. 5 out of 5

    Robin

    I loved Nancy Drew novels as a kid and will occasionally go back and re-read for fun. Many times I find that I must remind myself that these stories were written in a different time, but this mystery was particularly...well, gross. The racial and cultural stereotypes are rampant and the fat shaming of poor Bess is a bummer. I also found the story itself to be unbelievable—an 18 year old on a college safari in Africa with unlimited funds to replace an entire wardrobe? A man dressed as a baboon? A I loved Nancy Drew novels as a kid and will occasionally go back and re-read for fun. Many times I find that I must remind myself that these stories were written in a different time, but this mystery was particularly...well, gross. The racial and cultural stereotypes are rampant and the fat shaming of poor Bess is a bummer. I also found the story itself to be unbelievable—an 18 year old on a college safari in Africa with unlimited funds to replace an entire wardrobe? A man dressed as a baboon? A mean girl made nice by...a makeover?? The writing was particularly bad in this novel, the most descriptive word used (over and over again) was attractive. This one just does not stand the test of time.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ella

    This was the first "long" book I ever read. So it's kinda special. I loved this book as a kid so I thought I could reread it. Of course it wasn't that amazing like 6 years later. Things happened very fast which is good bcs I'm not a big fan of unnecessary things. The story was a bit messy. I got the names confused at times. But the most annoying thing was when someone said "Africa is an amazing country!". I don't know if the mistake was made while translating or writing it. I found it very annoy This was the first "long" book I ever read. So it's kinda special. I loved this book as a kid so I thought I could reread it. Of course it wasn't that amazing like 6 years later. Things happened very fast which is good bcs I'm not a big fan of unnecessary things. The story was a bit messy. I got the names confused at times. But the most annoying thing was when someone said "Africa is an amazing country!". I don't know if the mistake was made while translating or writing it. I found it very annoying.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nicole Jacobs

    As other reviewers have stated, there is definitely some outdated cultural descriptions in this one. Nancy Drew is generally fun to read (even as an adult), but keeping in mind the book was published in 1967, it still seemed odd to have some of those depictions in there. I won't mention them at the risk of spoiling the book for those who would like to read it, just be aware that they are in there. There is a pretty comical part involving a spoiled girl, a wig, and a baboon though.

  20. 4 out of 5

    IrishFan

    I thought this one was a good one. It didn't seem too easy for her, where all the pieces fell together easily. Although, she always seems to have an unlimited amount of $ for a girl her age, and so do her friends. When all of their clothes were ruined? No big deal, lets just run out and buy brand new wardrobes!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Emma Gallacher

    If you are going to read a Nancy Drew book as an adult you’ve got to expect what they are. That is, far-fetched plots and outdated scenarios but that’s why we read them. I’m not looking for an award winning literary star just a bit of good old fashioned fun, which this is , thanks “Carolyn Keene”

  22. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Boomer

    I am happily back enjoying the Nancy Drew mystery series again. I appreciate the clean, nonviolent, non sexual or evil emphasis but good simple adventure and mystery-solving.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Christine Arvinth

    Nancy helps solve the mystery of the missing spider sapphire jewel with the help of her friends Bess,George,Ned, Burt ,and Dave in Africa.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jocelin

    I just re-read this book because I found an article about the original Carolyn Keene (Mildred Wirt Benson), that said this book was her favorite. It was fun, and interesting to read as an adult.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    This was my favorite Nancy Drew book when I was younger. Rereading it now isn't quite the same, you notice the flaws when your older. But it is still a enjoyable read.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    I liked this because it was interesting to see her go out on a safari. I liked the new character Gwen once she changed her attitude!🧐

  27. 5 out of 5

    CAREY TOWNE CHRISTENSON

    Awesome book!!! I have to admit even though that the series is way under my reading level I can always turn to nancy drew for an adventurous quick read!!!

  28. 4 out of 5

    Tarz

    I love Nancy drew, I found this book in a second hand book store and I fell in love with the mystery

  29. 4 out of 5

    Carole

    Nancy Drew is at it again, this time in far off Africa, sleuthing with her friends to find a stolen rare spider sapphire.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Joilyn Magayon

    It's kind of a bit dragging for me. But thanks to the many out of town adventures that saved it. After all, it was good.

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