Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Book Review: Nancy Drew #52

The Secret of the Forgotten City

by Carolyn Keene


This is one Xyra and I picked up at the local library's used book sale. Let's take a look at what everyone thinks. 


I did like this mystery, but it didn't have as much detail as the other mysteries we have read. I was glad about the end.


This one was okay. The action drew me in and kept me reading. Overall something was lacking. Not sure why the others insisted I read this one.


Ancient cultures, artifacts, and a trip to the southwest...not bad. The canyon setting made me think of pictures I've seen in other books and on calendars. It was an interesting story.


Okay, The Secret of the Forgotten City is...well, it's like when someone smells a food and wants everyone else to smell it too to confirm if it is bad or not. So I pushed Kirsten to read it so all of us could put this in our logs as read. Otherwise it is very easy to forget the Forgotten City.


Honestly, this was not one of my favorites. Having Mrs. Wabash continually referred to as "The Indian" got annoying. Geez, she has a name. 

Xyra's Review

The Secret of the Forgotten City (Nancy Drew, #52)The Secret of the Forgotten City by Carolyn Keene
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
I really was not fond of this Nancy Drew mystery. It was missing the depth i am used to seeing. The copyright notes 1975...I believe that means the original "Carolyn Keene" was retired and her first replacement wrote this. (of course, if you look further into the author situation there was more than one person using this pseudonym.)

Like other Nancy Drew mysteries there are two problems to solve--getting Mrs. Wabash's property returned, deciphering what is written on the tablets she has, and what can be found when the tablets are properly read. In this case, the bad guy wasn't nearly as bad as other thugs Nancy and her friends had encountered previously and his actions were strangely reminiscent of previous evil doers.

Besides the lack of depth and wimpy thug, one of the other issues I had revolves around Mrs. Wabash. From what I gather the Forgotten City is in the southwest and she is descended from one of the First Nation tribes that lived there. The author would sometimes refer to Mrs. Wabash as "the Indian" instead of using her name. While I kind of understand the purpose as an identifier it would then follow that Nancy should be referred to as "the Scot" and she is not.

As a modern reader, I noticed Bess got picked on more in this one than she has in others. The "body shaming" got annoying.

Overall, I was disappointed in this installment. Everything from characters to action just skimmed along the top superficially touching on points to get the mysteries solved.

If your "to read" bucket list includes reading all of the original yellow hard cover Nancy Drew mysteries, then know you can get through this one in a couple of hours. Otherwise you can easily skip this installment and not miss anything.

Additional Note from Kaya
If you're keeping a tally, that's 1 like, 3 okays, and 1 dislike (2 if you include Xyra). We don't always agree 100% on books. :-)

Kid Lit Blog Hop

We are continuing to post to the Kid Lit Blog Hop. It's a great resource for finding new reads you may like and new blogs to read. This month is #64! That's a lot of great posts and reviews!

Happy Reading!


  1. It's a long time since I read a Nancy Drew book. It would be interesting to know what your favourite Nancy Drew books are.

    Hopping over from the #kidlitbloghop

    1. Hi! Thank you for stopping.

      The Old Clock and the Spiral Staircase are two favorites. Lilac Inn is also. In fact, I think it must be my favorite of the series as somehow I have acquired 3 copies of it. :-D

      Honestly, most of these I am reading for the first time...I mostly read The Hardy Boys. My first fictional character crush was Joe.

  2. Love the doll pictures and the various points of view on the book. Yes, Carolyn Keene was more than one person. I don't recall if there is a list of books she (original) wrote or not.

    1. Thank you, and thank you for stopping. :)

      I don't think there is a list. There might be, but I didn't dig that far. I do remember reading that the original (group?) retired around 1969. So perhaps this next crew had studied their notes thoroughly enough yet.

  3. Have any of your girls read "Betrayal at Cross Creek" Kathleen Ernst? Loved this very early AG mystery!

    1. No, we haven't. Looks pretty good! I'll have to look for it. Thank you for the suggestion.

  4. Nancy Drew didn't make it across the Atlantic when I was a kid, and probably is not 'popular' even now. So it's great to read reviews that give me a real flavour of them. Thanks for posting it on the Kid Lit Blog Hop :)

    1. Yes, I've heard that even though she traveled a lot in her stories the stories didn't go nearly as far. :)

      On my first trip to England I found the Mallory Tower series by Enid Blyton. Picked up a couple more on my second trip, but am still missing a couple, but really liked them. :)

      Thank you for stopping.