Deadly Intent (The Nancy Drew Files #2) by Carolyn Keene
It’s been a couple of years since we reviewed one of this mysteries, so let me do a bit of background information.
So this series began in the ’80s and have some updates from the original series. Nancy Drew originally was a 16 year-old, high schooler, an amateur detective, but in this version she has been aged up to 18, and a high school graduate. She still lives in River Heights, IL and is in a long distance relationship with Ned Nickerson, who is a student at Emerson College.
Her friends are still cousins Bess Marvin and George Fayne; Bess being the beautiful blonde shopaholic who is always eating and George the super athlete in every way. Instead of a blue roadster, in this book she gets a blue mustang convertible.
One of the best things I love in this series are the clothes, the author (as Carolyn Keene is a pseudonym), always gives great detail to what she wears. I’m totally going to add a special section at the end.
One other thing that this series does a little differently is that every book cover has a handsome guy on it, someone who appears in the book. Some people hate that, but I always think of it as a fun guessing game as we try and figure out which of the characters it is.
Another thing this book series does, as it is a “case file”, there is a little information sheet at the very beginning. Sometimes the suspects mentioned turn out to be who did it, while other times the person whodonit is someone Nancy never saw coming.
ASSIGNMENT:Find a missing rock star-Bent Fender’s lead guitarist, Barton Novak, who disappeared suddenly after telling Nancy he had something important to tell her.
CONTACT: Roger Gold, Bent Fender’s drummer, whose father is a friend of Carson Drew’s.
- Ann Nordquist, the group’s agent. She may have decided that ten percent isn’t enough. Maybe she’s going for it all.
- Harold Marshall, the producer of Fender’s hit records. Could he also be producing pirate editions of those same tunes?
- Dave Peck, a friend of Ned Nickerson’s, with a mysterious new job, and lots of cash to flash around.
- Alan Wales, Bess Marvin’s new boyfriend, who’d give anything to be a success in the rock world. How far is he willing to go?
COMPLICATIONS: How do you prove there has been a kidnapping when there’s no ransom note? And how do you investigate a case when all the clues lead straight to your best friend’s boyfriend? But Nancy has to hang in there. Barton’s life is in danger-and before the case is over, so is hers!
Nancy has just finished her last case Secrets Can Kill, and is ready for some fun and relaxation. Her father, Carson Drew, was college roommates with Sy Gold, who’s son is Roger Gold-drummer for Bent Fender. Carson is working on the band’s contract and in return, Nancy: George, Bess, and Alan all get to see the concert for free.
They hang out with the band before the show, talking about music and the like. Alan gets his dream wish as he plays with the group. Barton tells Nancy that he needs to talk to her about something strange he has discovered. They have to go and get ready, but Barton tells her they will talk after the show.
The band bursts back into the room with the shocking news that Barton has disappeared. Was he kidnapped or did he just take off again from the stress of fame?
The rest of the band think he just took off, but Roger is convinced that it is different this time. This concert is a special one, Rock for Relief, for handicapped kids, just like his sister. Roger knows he wouldn’t back out on this one. Not to mention he’s totally been into the music, so focused on the contract as he feels they are losing out on royalties.
Alan goes on stage in Barton’s place while Nancy does a bit on investigating. She discovers that two “roadies” no one knew took off with a large box-a box big enough to hide a person. Nancy also finds a wallet that matches one of the roadies rings, with a big L-shaped dragon. She then gets knocked out.
She wakes up with the concert over and the wallet missing. But even with that that she is on the case.
The next day Bess and Alan go to the label that carries Bent Fender to see if they will pick him up too. Nancy heads over with her father to speak to Ann Nordquist, the group’s agent. She is a very nice woman, just recently returned from China. She reassures the two that there is no cutting or dipping being done on her end. She thinks that Barton just didn’t understand the process it takes for the money to get into a musician’s pocket.
Nancy then goes to see Harold Marshall, the producer, who is an angry bear of a man. He claims that it was all a stunt to sell records Bent Fender, just like Abbey Road and the rumor that Paul McCartney was dead. He also tells Nancy that there is no way they are signing wannabe no talent Alan.
Nancy knows that whoever attacked her was dead serious and there is a lot more to this case than meets the eye. She’s definitely not giving up. Even weirder, Alan does get signed onto the label, and Alan saw Barton in Marshall’s office with his famous paisley scarf made by his sister and he confirmed that he was hiding out.
Nancy is confused at what is going on but then gets a note from Carl Rutland, a security guard, at the music hall. He found Barton’s paisley scarf-which means Alan was lying. But why?
Ned calls Nancy and is very concerned about everything, joining her to help keep her safe.
Nancy and George are worried about Bess, and try to track her down but miss her along the way. They do discover something fishy going on with Marshall’s secretary Vivian, she’s messing around with the masters of the records-the originals.
After this point it is cause for more research and Nancy and George go to Jefferson Market Library.
They find out more about pirating records, China of course being the country that never follows copyright laws. The same country that Ann just returned from.
Another surprising twist, Ann has been dating Carson, could her father be dining a killer?
Later that night at the club. Bess and Nancy get in a fight as Nancy questions Alan. Bess is determined to stand by her man and not Nancy.
After the fight, Nancy and Ned head out and go for a walk. They run into Dave Peck, someone Ned knew from Emerson, but was expelled from stealing from the record store he worked at. He has a Chinese connection and makes a lot of cash, somehow.
The next night they are at the Bent Fender concert, when the lights fizz out and Bess is kidnapped. Now the stakes are higher than ever as Nancy needs to solve this case now! Before Bess and Barton end up dead.
George Fayne’s concert outfit, imagine this in all black:
Thoughts After Reading:
Loved it! From beginning to end.
Nancy’s next case:
Another thing I loved about these mysteries is that they were designed like TV episodes. They always made sure to leave you with a little preview of what will come next:
Nancy’s next case:
Nancy thinks a romantic ski vacation with Ned will solve their problems, but she’s in for a big–maybe fatal–shock! First comes a new case–matching wits with a dangerous killer. Then George falls in love with the chief suspect, a tight-lipped ski instructor with a murky, murderous past. A midnight chase down a stormy, sleet-covered slope may help Nancy put an end to the terror. Or will it become a lethal pursuit that puts an end to Nancy Drew?
Find out in MURDER ON ICE–Case #3 in The Nancy Drew Files,™ available in September.
For more Nancy Drew Files, go to Secrets Can Kill
For more disappearances, go to The Secret Adversary
For more kidnappings, go to Gates of Thread and Stone