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For detail summary : http://nancybookreviews.blogspot.in/2015/01/nancy-drew-mystery-stories-5-secret-at.html
Review: In this story there was lots of things happening every minute, so much stuff to grasp on. Nancy with her cousins start searching for a treasure in Shadow Ranch as she believes that this Phantom nuisance is just to scare away Rawely's people so that troublemakers can search the treasure easier,. In the same time she also investigates Alice father disappearance. At last they find treasure lying in Dirk Valentine hiding place and also finds Alice Father there. But to come till here , she goes through lots of trouble and narrow escapes in mountain trail and other places. And the story of Frances and Dirk V plays the main part in solving the clues and mystery in this story.
Though solving Phantom mystery doesn't have anything to do with Alice Father disappearance ,as both can be treated as separate problems. But as Alice story was written in the first publication ,I guess they didn't want to get part with her story, so they included in revised edition also. I liked the revised edition story , it has so much to give and the story gets a hold making the reader read till the end. I liked how the story goes beyond the Phantom chase and to Phoenix , Tumbleweed towns and they get some clues from there. The storyline was perfect till the end , they didn't rushed with any clues and everything fall in place and made believable. Description about the place (Shadow Ranch) was also good and imaginative.
But I still wonder , how could Frances kept herself not telling anyone in family about the letter where she has hidden and why she didn't looked for the treasure , some explanation was given but was not satisfactory.
Also in the story they mentioned about Ned , But this is the 5th book in series and Ned has not come in Nancy life till now , Also in Chapter 1 , Nancy mentions she is knitting a sweater for her father and later in the end she mentions that Ned has to wait a bit longer for the sweater to get finish. I know they mixed this stuff , but its fine , nothing related to mystery . so its fine.
it is an really interesting story...loved it..=)in this story they reveal the mystery in the end..which keeps you engrossed in the book. Reading this book was fun and i feel it is a fantastic storybook.
My daughter enjoyed this book and talked about what was happening in it frequently, but I don't think it captured her attention the way some of the others we've read did. It's worth reading, though, if you like Nancy Drew stories.
I realize that the ND stories are meant for "young readers" but, as an older reader, I still love to read them. I've read several and they all have different story lines and are quick reads. It's refreshing to find books written before sex and foul language make up for weak story lines.
I have a large collection of the original "blue" Nancy Drew books, and every so often I go back and read them, despite the fact that I'm well into my forties. Lately I've been amusing myself by reading the old books, then downloading the newer Kindle editions and comparing them. For the most part, the original editions (now published by Applewood, sadly not available on Kindle) are far better. Not only do they have the charm of roadsters and frocks and chums, but they're simply better written. They flow well, and don't have that cut-down, spliced-together feel of the newer editions. Also, the original Nancy has a certain devil-may-care, reckless attitude the newer Nancy is missing.
THE SECRET OF SHADOW RANCH is the one exception I've discovered so far to this rule. As a few reviewers have mentioned, the original edition is hardly a mystery at all. Nancy doesn't spend her time sleuthing; she and her "chums" learn to ride, then repeatedly go up into the mountains, getting lost and facing down bobcats, mountain lions, and rushing rivers. All of which may be exciting, but has little to do with the Nancy Drew most of us know. The book does introduce Bess and George, but otherwise, it's not really worth your time. The mystery is very slight, and is solved at the end through Carson Drew's efforts, not Nancy's. This is the one older edition that's better left on the shelf.
The newer edition, on the other hand, starts with excitement and mystery, and never really lets up. There's a "phantom" horse (of course Nancy figures out what it really is!), bad guys, good guys, a treasure concealed where only our redoubtable heroine can find it... It's a surprisingly good read, and doesn't have that choppy feel (perhaps because it was written from scratch, rather than cut down from the original). Overall, the newer edition is an enjoyable book.