The Haunted Dollhouse

Both the Girl Detective and Graphic Novel series gave a nod to the 1930’s at Nancy Drew’s 75th anniversary in 2005, and it’s hard to say which one I prefer. The Haunted Dollhouse might win out slightly because of actually getting to see all the vintage fashions.

All of River Heights is having a Nostalgia Week to celebrate 75 years since the founding of the Stratemeyer Foundation. Everyone has put away their electronic devices (including George), donned period clothing, and brushed up on their 1930’s slang. Nancy has even tracked down a vintage blue roadster to drive.

In honor of the celebration, Mrs. Emma Blavatsky has offered for display the antique dollhouse replica of the estate she recently bought. Inside the glass case, however, Nancy notices a set-up of what looks like a crime in progress—a crime that takes place for real the next day. No one recalls seeing that part of the display previously. When this happens again, it starts to look like the dollhouse is haunted. Nancy doesn’t believe in spirits, but she’s determined to solve this case before someone gets hurt, especially when the latest set-up involves a Nancy doll getting murdered.

I love miniatures as well as pseudo-hauntings, so this book was right up my alley. It reminded me a lot of Betty Ren Wright’s The Dollhouse Murders, though in that case the dolls really were moving by themselves. The ending was a bit weak, because I didn’t completely buy the motive for the crime, but I was willing to forgive it because I liked the premise so much.

As an additional nod to Nancy Drew’s legacy, The Haunted Dollhouse works into the text the titles of the first sixteen original Nancy Drew books, which are all the ones published in the 1930s. It also mentions the steamboat Magnolia Belle from the Girl Detective #11, Riverboat Ruse.

Published in: on January 27, 2012 at 10:50 am  Leave a Comment  
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