Authors: Carolyn Keene
Tags: #Juvenile Fiction, #Mysteries & Detective Stories, #Fiction, #General, #Mystery and Detective Stories, #Girls & Women, #Action & Adventure, #Drew; Nancy (Fictitious Character), #Detective and Mystery Stories, #French, #Children's Stories, #Motion Pictures, #Foreign Language Study, #Accidents
Let me introduce myself. I’m
My friends call me Nancy. My enemies call me a lot of other things, like “that girl who cooked my goose.” They actually sometimes speak like that, but what can you expect from criminals? See, I’m a detective. Well, not really. I mean, I don’t have a license or anything. I don’t carry a badge or a gun, in part because I wouldn’t touch a gun even if I could, and also because I’m just not old enough. But I
old enough to know when something isn’t right, when somebody’s getting an unfair deal, when someone’s done something they shouldn’t do. And I know how to stop them, catch them, and get them into the hands of the law, where they belong. I take those things seriously, and I’m almost never wrong.
My best friends, Bess and George, might not totally agree with me. They tell me I’m wrong a lot, and that they have to cover for me all of the time just to make me look good. Bess would tell you I dress badly. I call it casual. George would tell you I’m not focused. By that she’d mean that once again I forgot to fill my car with gas or bring enough money to buy lunch. But they both know I’m always focused when it comes to crime. Always.
Sleuthing on the Set
I let the script drop onto my lap, put my head back against the couch, and closed my eyes. I tried to imagine how it would feel to be Esther Rackham. What reaction must she have had to finding a badly wounded man out in the middle of nowhere?
Esther’s brothers were infamous criminals, two young men known as the Rackham Gang. I was never sure why they were called a gang, since there was just two of them. And criminals or not, Esther must have loved them. Did she know they were going to pull off the heist at the Mahoney Anvil Company? Was she planning to meet them somewhere out near the cave? Or maybe she’d gone there to try to stop them….
I let out a sigh. It was no use. I was supposed to be trying to think of Esther’s feelings, and instead I was thinking of the mystery!
#1 Without a Trace
#2 A Race Against Time
#3 False Notes
#4 High Risk
#5 Lights, Camera …
Available from Aladdin Paperbacks
This book is a work of fiction. Any references to historical events, real people, or real locales are used fictitiously. Other names, characters, places, and incidents are the product of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
First Aladdin Paperbacks edition July 2004
Copyright © 2004 by Simon & Schuster, Inc.
An imprint of Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing Division
1230 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY 10020
All rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form.
Manufactured in the United States of America
10 9 8
NANCY DREW and colophon are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
NANCY DREW: GIRL DETECTIVE is a trademark of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
Library of Congress Control Number 2004103214
The Reluctant Star
ancy Drew leaving waffles
on her plate?” Hannah Gruen cried. “I don’t believe it!”
I jumped, startled. Hannah was leaning over to take away my breakfast plate, filled with a half-eaten waffle and two strips of bacon. I snatched up my fork to finish eating. “Sorry,” I mumbled. “I must’ve been daydreaming.”
Hannah smiled and headed off to the kitchen to get my father his usual second cup of coffee. I took a bite of the homemade waffles. Hannah is officially our housekeeper, but she’s also a terrific cook, and one of my favorite people in the world. But somehow Hannah’s delicious waffles weren’t holding my interest this morning. I was worried. More than worried. I was downright terrified.
My fork dropped to the plate as I pictured the day ahead—a day that was sure to make me the laughingstock of the city of River Heights!
“… Nancy. Dad paging Nancy,” my father was saying. I glanced up at him in surprise. How long had he been talking to me?
“Sorry,” I said again.
Dad studied me with narrowed eyes. I recognized the expression; it was the famous Carson Drew sizing-up look. My father is one of the most prominent lawyers in town, and part of being a good lawyer is knowing how to read people. He can tell what anyone is thinking just by watching them for a few minutes. I’m good at that too. It comes in handy when I’m solving a mystery, and that means it comes in handy a lot.
But this morning the only case on my mind was the mystery of how to turn myself into an actress.
“Thinking about your scenes for today?” Dad guessed.
I nodded. “I’ve been working on memorizing my lines,” I said. “But I still don’t feel ready.” I had recently taken a part in
a movie being filmed in town. It was a recounting of one of the most famous events in the history of River Heights: the great River Heist, in which a gang led by the Rackham boys stole a fortune from the local manufacturing
baron, an anvil maker named Ethan Mahoney. It has remained a mystery, because no one ever found out what became of the Rackham boys—or the money—after the heist. I was playing Esther Rackham, the sister of the two Rackham boys, and that suited me just fine. Esther was my kind of girl. She’d tried her best to keep her brothers from committing the robbery.
Dad patted my hand. “It’s normal to have a few stage fright jitters,” he told me. “But you’ll do fine.”
“It’s just …” I wasn’t sure how to describe my feelings. Usually I’m very self-confident. But faced with the idea of acting in front of a camera, I felt nauseated. I had done a few scenes the week before when the production first got under way, and I’d found it difficult to act natural while the cameras were rolling. “I’m not an actor,” I finally said.
Dad grinned. “Sure you are,” he told me. “Every time you go undercover on a case or sweet-talk information out of someone, you’re acting.”
“Sort of,” I said. “But it’s not the same. I’m solving a mystery. It’s always about getting answers and finding out the truth. In this movie the whole point is
to tell the truth. I have to pretend to be someone I’m not.”
“Sounds like fun,” Hannah commented, coming back in with Dad’s coffee.
“Maybe that’s the problem,” I replied, trying to lighten up. “I’m not used to doing anything just for fun.”
“Well, you’ve already solved one mystery on this film,” Dad said. “I think you’re due for some relaxation and fun.”
He was talking about a mystery I’d unraveled just a few days before.
had been on the verge of collapse because the continuity chief and one of the lead actors were working together to sabotage the production. I had figured out what was going on just in the nick of time. The actor was fired and replaced with a friend of mine, Harold Safer, and the film was saved. Today was to be the first day back to production after the whole mess.
“I don’t know how relaxing it will be,” I said to Dad. “Morris has already lost a lot of time because of the sabotage. It’s not going to be easy to finish the movie on budget now.”
“I wouldn’t worry about that,” Dad replied. “Morris Dunnowitz is an experienced producer and director. He’ll find a way to cut costs and finish the movie on time.”