Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Haunted Carousel

"A newspaper reporter challenges Nancy to solve a weird mystery involving an amusement park merry go round. Why does the carousel light up in the middle of the night and begin revolving and playing music when no one's around?"

So reads the inside flap of the library discard hardcover edition of the 72nd volume of the Nancy Drew series that I currently own. The copy had the misfortune of meeting my dog's teeth when he was a puppy, and the lower portion of the spine is severely chewed. From time to time I have tried to find a replacement copy, but to date the search has proven fruitless.

Most copies of this book are paperback copies, originally published by Simon and Schuster as a Wanderer paperback. Hardback copies with dust jackets were available as well. These were mostly sold to libraries. It was published in 1983, then reprinted in 1987 and 1988 as Minstrel editions, each with different cover art. This was one of the last Nancy Drew stories to come from the Stratemeyer Syndicate, the original creator of the series. It is edited by Nancy Axelrad, a long time employee of the Syndicate, and ghostwritten by James Lawrence. Mr. Lawrence also wrote The Silver Cobweb and The Mysterious Image in addition to a few more.

The story is well written and fast paced. Ned assists Nancy on the case that takes place in Riverwood Amusement Park. In addition, a dying man's words regarding a flower riddle is also challenging Nancy's abilities to solve a mystery. Another great amusement park mystery with shades of Robert Arthur's Three Investigator story The Secret of Skeleton Island, the story fuels my own love for the "mystery set in an amusement park" genre. I will pose the same question I did a few days ago: Are there any other such series books that take place in a amusement park? I'd love to read some more!!!

1 comment:

  1. It seems to me like there ought to be other series books that are set in amusement parks, but I can't think of one right now! All that I can think of are books in which the young people briefly visit amusement parks. I know there are some set in circuses, like Ringmaster's Secret.

    There could be a Nancy Drew Files set in an amusement park, but then I'm probably thinking of the one that was a ripoff of Ringmaster's Secret. It's so hard to remember the different Nancy Drew Files stories, since all of the titles are similar and blend together.