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The Mystery at Lilac Inn

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Teenage detective Nancy Drew finds herself in danger when she sets out to track a jewel thief.


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Teenage detective Nancy Drew finds herself in danger when she sets out to track a jewel thief.

30 review for The Mystery at Lilac Inn

  1. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    There was certainly a lot of action and danger for Nancy in The Mystery at Lilac Inn. As usual, multi talented Nancy has no problem solving the case all while conveniently and artfully dodging danger. It certainly helps that luck and fate sure seem to be on her side. She always seems to have the right tools, props, money, fatherly advice, and police assistance at her disposal. A more complex mystery than the others in the series so far, and more challenging for young readers, but an exciting and There was certainly a lot of action and danger for Nancy in The Mystery at Lilac Inn. As usual, multi talented Nancy has no problem solving the case all while conveniently and artfully dodging danger. It certainly helps that luck and fate sure seem to be on her side. She always seems to have the right tools, props, money, fatherly advice, and police assistance at her disposal. A more complex mystery than the others in the series so far, and more challenging for young readers, but an exciting and unique mystery for young fans of the genre.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Mostephl

    i don't know what it is, but these are like candy. they crack me up (so quaint and implausible!), but i keep on reading and as soon as one is over, i pick up the next!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Brittany

    I'm just saying, if I were Carson Drew, Nancy would never leave her room. She'd be locked in there for life.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jaksen

    Another so-so in a series I loved as a girl ... There is just too much going on here. I needed a stack of cue cards with character names, what they did, how old they are, what color hair they have, all the important stuff. Here's the problem. TOO MUCH is happening ALL AT ONCE! (I hate using caps, btw.) This is a breathless read for sure. Nancy has to deal with - almost being run off the road, having a bomb go off in a cabin she's staying in, being shot at by a spear-gun while skin-diving, having a Another so-so in a series I loved as a girl ... There is just too much going on here. I needed a stack of cue cards with character names, what they did, how old they are, what color hair they have, all the important stuff. Here's the problem. TOO MUCH is happening ALL AT ONCE! (I hate using caps, btw.) This is a breathless read for sure. Nancy has to deal with - almost being run off the road, having a bomb go off in a cabin she's staying in, being shot at by a spear-gun while skin-diving, having a rock thrown at her, being witness to a power failure which results in a pile of valuable diamonds being stolen (at least that one wasn't life-threatening!), being kidnapped, grabbed, and to top it all off, someone is impersonating her and using her credit card all over town! Gosh and gee willikers! And her Dad, prominent lawyer Carson Drew, what's he got to say about all this? That he's 'concerned for her.' Well if this were my Dad, I'd have been locked in the house with a 24-hour guard around me. No kidding! Well, realism isn't the Nancy Drew series' strong suit, and we do have Hannah, the warm and caring housekeeper to say things like, 'Oh, Nancy, should you really be doing that?' So we've got that covered, young readers. We know Nancy's in danger, but she's Nancy and she's an amateur detective, so like, you gotta accept some uber-unrealism. Nancy is trying to help a friend, Emily, newly engaged, who's purchased a rambling old inn, the Lilac Inn, which she hopes to 'make a go' of. We meet Emily's lovely, elderly aunt; an arrogant activities director who sneers a lot and makes unkind comments about our Nancy; some inn employees who are grumpy and overall nasty; and assorted 'others' who I had a hard time keeping track of. The main idea here is that someone is trying to prevent Emily from opening the inn. So Nancy moves into a cabin on the inn's property to figure out 'what's going on,' along with her trusty sidekick, Helen. (Helen gets clobbered on the head, btw, and no one checks her for a concussion. What is WRONG with these people?) Of course Nancy discovers a hidden room, lots of clues in the form of lilac blossoms, an underwater 'shark' that scares her to bejesus, and finds herself attracted to some guy named John who goes around acting all mysterious. Suffice to say there are about eighty threads to untangle, which the author(s) do in the final pages. If I were ten or twelve, this would be a great read and I'd be thinking OMGoodness, but Nancy is an intrepid, daring, and sometimes sort-of-stupid girl! She just goes running into one dangerous situation after another while the adults (dad, housekeeper, police and other adults) say, there she goes! Our Nancy! Girl detective to the rescue, isn't she great! :D

  5. 4 out of 5

    Diana

    This was the Nancy Drew book that got me hooked on the series when I was 10. I remember being sick with the flu and home from school. My mom brought home several of the Nancy Drew books that a friend had given her for me that her daughter had outgrown. This was the first one I read. I so LOVED Nancy that it inspired me to write my first real story - a mystery modeled on the Nancy Drew concept. My mom and I added to my collection over the years, and I still have them all - about 25 of them - I'm This was the Nancy Drew book that got me hooked on the series when I was 10. I remember being sick with the flu and home from school. My mom brought home several of the Nancy Drew books that a friend had given her for me that her daughter had outgrown. This was the first one I read. I so LOVED Nancy that it inspired me to write my first real story - a mystery modeled on the Nancy Drew concept. My mom and I added to my collection over the years, and I still have them all - about 25 of them - I'm hoping to collect them all at some point. They are my special treasures. I've leant them to the daughters of friends and my mom's friends, but I've never given them away - because, unlike the daughter of that initial friend of my mom's, I've NEVER outgrown them, and I don't think I ever will. I'm hoping to get time in this next year to begin re-reading them all again. I've started to collect all the original 1930s editions when I can find them (the Applewood editions). I've got this one and the first one (The Secret in the Old Clock) in the original editions.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Skye

    I love the Nancy Drew mysteries, the style and time they were written in intrigues me. The mysteries are quite good too, meaning I wasn't able to solve this one. I was fooled by a red herring. The food descriptions are especially mouthwatering. A nice afternoon read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Raja99

    This is the fourth in the series of original (1930) Nancy Drew books. This book includes four nicely-scanned full-page grayscale images and "The Nancy I Knew", an introduction by Mildred Wirt Benson, who wrote this book (to an outline provided by the publisher) under the Carolyn Keene pseudonym. The introduction is in some ways the best part of this book; Benson notes that the first three books sold well, but when original publisher Edward Stratemeyer died, his inexperienced daughters took over: This is the fourth in the series of original (1930) Nancy Drew books. This book includes four nicely-scanned full-page grayscale images and "The Nancy I Knew", an introduction by Mildred Wirt Benson, who wrote this book (to an outline provided by the publisher) under the Carolyn Keene pseudonym. The introduction is in some ways the best part of this book; Benson notes that the first three books sold well, but when original publisher Edward Stratemeyer died, his inexperienced daughters took over: "Overnight, Nancy become more of a home-type person, in early chapters focusing on household responsibilities." Also, "The syndicate's new owner asked that I make the sleuth less bold and that abrupt sentence endings be avoided. In editing, a simple 'Nancy said' became 'Nancy said sweetly,' 'she said kindly,' and the like, all designed to produce a less abrasive, more caring type of character." I didn't like this as much as the earlier books, partly because I'm less interested in household management, partly because there's some transitional clumsiness. Benson notes a problem with the narration of Chapters Five and Six, but it didn't bother me, and I suspect I wouldn't have noticed it ;-). My biggest problem, though, is that there doesn't seem to be much of figuring out clues in this one; the solution is visible from a mile away, apart from small bits withheld from the reader. (Finished 2009-12-16 23:45 EST.)

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christopher Hicks

    As a child I read tons of Nancy Drew, recently I found out that in the 1950's and 60's the earlier books had all been rewritten. This book is the actual 1930 edition. I must say I didn't like this Nancy Drew very much, she was spoiled, elitist and racist. If I had read an earlier copy as a child i'm afraid I would have stopped at that one. The Mystery of Lilac Inn 1961 edition. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ this is the Nancy Drew that I know and love. It's the same characters but an entirely different storyline. This i As a child I read tons of Nancy Drew, recently I found out that in the 1950's and 60's the earlier books had all been rewritten. This book is the actual 1930 edition. I must say I didn't like this Nancy Drew very much, she was spoiled, elitist and racist. If I had read an earlier copy as a child i'm afraid I would have stopped at that one. The Mystery of Lilac Inn 1961 edition. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ this is the Nancy Drew that I know and love. It's the same characters but an entirely different storyline. This is the book I read as a child and still enjoyed reading again. It was fun reading both books and realizing the differences in the eras.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    When I was in 4th grade, the table I sat at in the school library was adjacent to the shelf where I could eye those inviting spines labeled: Carolyn Keene. I read at least one a month that year. Returning to her as an adult, I'm delighted to find Nancy Drew as awesome as I remember her. The writing is quaint, but strong enough to stand the test of time. This particular volume was chock-full of Nancy-in-peril scenes, but also pretty convoluted in the plot department and some bits of the conclusion When I was in 4th grade, the table I sat at in the school library was adjacent to the shelf where I could eye those inviting spines labeled: Carolyn Keene. I read at least one a month that year. Returning to her as an adult, I'm delighted to find Nancy Drew as awesome as I remember her. The writing is quaint, but strong enough to stand the test of time. This particular volume was chock-full of Nancy-in-peril scenes, but also pretty convoluted in the plot department and some bits of the conclusion seemed to come out of left field.

  10. 3 out of 5

    Reading.Between.Wines

    So far, this is my favorite Nancy Drew case. It really had me wondering what was going to happen. Even though it's a juvenile book, it still had me fooled!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mark Baker

    Nancy Drew and her friend Helen are traveling to Lilac Inn, which their friend Emily just bought. Before they can even arrive, the canoe they were traveling in capsized. Things get even more mysterious at the inn, where unexplained things have started happening. And back in River Heights, someone is impersonating Nancy. What is going on? The mystery only gets more complex from there, and that’s my biggest complaint with the book. So many different elements are introduced that it becomes overly co Nancy Drew and her friend Helen are traveling to Lilac Inn, which their friend Emily just bought. Before they can even arrive, the canoe they were traveling in capsized. Things get even more mysterious at the inn, where unexplained things have started happening. And back in River Heights, someone is impersonating Nancy. What is going on? The mystery only gets more complex from there, and that’s my biggest complaint with the book. So many different elements are introduced that it becomes overly convoluted and takes the villain explaining everything for the better part of a chapter in the end. Still, all the action does keep the reader glued to the page. The characters are sympathetic enough to make us care about the outcome but are their usual thin selves. Most of the dated elements will be okay, although kids might be thrown by Nancy’s charge plate. I know I was. Read my full review at Carstairs Considers.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Tarissa

    I do believe this is one of my more favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. The story truly had me baffled until the final strings were pulled. After Nancy's friend, Emily Willoughby, has revealed that odd events have been taking place around the inn, Nancy Drew is on the job. But that is not her only problem, because someone in River Heights is actually impersonating Nancy... and getting away with it! How will Nancy cope with all the mysterious occurrences? Better yet, how can she capture her own double I do believe this is one of my more favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. The story truly had me baffled until the final strings were pulled. After Nancy's friend, Emily Willoughby, has revealed that odd events have been taking place around the inn, Nancy Drew is on the job. But that is not her only problem, because someone in River Heights is actually impersonating Nancy... and getting away with it! How will Nancy cope with all the mysterious occurrences? Better yet, how can she capture her own double?

  13. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    A trip down memory lane! This book should have been called The Mysteries at Lilac Inn as the stolen diamonds was just one of the many perplexing things going on in and around Lilac Inn. Who is impersonating Nancy? Who stole the lilac bush? Who or what almost capsized Nancy and Helen's canoe? What's not to love about a Nancy Drew mystery? Great characters, action on every page, and the best titian blond sleuth ever! Writers of adult novels should take a page from Carolyn Keene's book and fill the A trip down memory lane! This book should have been called The Mysteries at Lilac Inn as the stolen diamonds was just one of the many perplexing things going on in and around Lilac Inn. Who is impersonating Nancy? Who stole the lilac bush? Who or what almost capsized Nancy and Helen's canoe? What's not to love about a Nancy Drew mystery? Great characters, action on every page, and the best titian blond sleuth ever! Writers of adult novels should take a page from Carolyn Keene's book and fill the pages with action instead of "filler".

  14. 5 out of 5

    Linda Rawlins

    A small trip to the past! This book originally published in 1930. Terms like blue pipes, skin diving and charge plates in leather cases are charming. Yet, the Nancy Drew Series as well as the Hardy Boys has always been a fun place to start with mysteries! Young kids may like the current series better!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. My least favourite Nancy Drew so far. Why the hell was everybody so sanguine about a time bomb being planted and almost killing two young girls? It was like, a bomb? The whole cottage was destroyed? You were almost murdered? Crazy! What clues did you find, Nancy?

  16. 5 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    Nancy Drew returns in another thrilling mystery that just keeps making this series better and better.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Chaya & Cinnamon

    I like the mystery - it was pretty cool and interesting. This is for the revised edition since that's the one I've read so far. :P

  18. 3 out of 5

    Sarah

    3.5 Stars

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    I have always been a fan of Nancy Drew novels and so it was a delight to be able to return to these stories and engage once more with Nancy. I read these as a child and I was surprised this time around to see how... simplistic these novels are. As a kid I was totally blown away by her deductive skills and how she could make connections other characters missed. I was inspired by her courage and intelligence. I still find her all of these things, but reading now I find that the stories are a lot m I have always been a fan of Nancy Drew novels and so it was a delight to be able to return to these stories and engage once more with Nancy. I read these as a child and I was surprised this time around to see how... simplistic these novels are. As a kid I was totally blown away by her deductive skills and how she could make connections other characters missed. I was inspired by her courage and intelligence. I still find her all of these things, but reading now I find that the stories are a lot more simplistic and the mysteries a little unrealistic. There are clues which would probably never happen in real life in these stories. Still, following Nancy's progress through the novel is engaging and entertaining. Nancy as a character is fascinating to me. She's somehow perfect at everything she does and basically has zero flaws. I don't think she ever does something as a character that we despise or disagree with. She may make mistakes or wrong deductions, but she never threatens her moral goodness by choosing to do something wrong. She also can do anything the story requires. Of course she can dive and go swimming! Not only that, but in other novels she can horseback ride, rock climb, paint, knit, and all manner of talents which are both unnecessary and needed for the storyline. She's a moral character which we admire and she's talented and accomplished which we want to be. Nancy becomes a bit more complicated when looked at through a feminist perspective. She's empowered and intelligent but she's also beautiful and feminine. She wears beautiful dresses and takes the time to get ready for events. She's domestic and fulfills her role as gentle and delicate. Nevertheless, she stands up for herself and she doesn't exhibit much fear when she's attempting to confront the bad guys. Something interesting in this novel is how she's proactive and independent the entire novel, yet in the last few pages she has to be rescued by a man. Sure she ultimately solves the mystery and even (spoiler) recovers the diamonds, but she does so only after a man has rescued her from drowning. She is helpless to save herself. It's a strange blend to face. Is she empowering to females or does she reestablish practices and mindsets which we try to discourage? I also think it's quite interesting that Carolyn Keene is a pseudonym for authors who have written Nancy Drew mysteries. The first thirty or so were written by Mildred Benson - who gave Nancy her spunky attitude and social skills, but the stories themselves were handed to her from Stratmeyer Syndicate - an organization headed by a man. This further complicates how Nancy is presented and the stories which she engages in.

  20. 3 out of 5

    Christina

    Nancy and Helen Corning are stay at historic Lilac Inn, which are owned by their mutual friend, Emily Crandall, in preparation of Emily’s wedding. But strange happenings and hauntings occur, which threaten to spoil the wedding, not to mention the lives of Emily and her fiance, Dick. In addition, Nancy discovers she has a wicked double, who is stealing items at River Heights stores by using Nancy’s charge cards. Emily’s diamonds are stolen and replaced with fakes during a dramatic evening dinner Nancy and Helen Corning are stay at historic Lilac Inn, which are owned by their mutual friend, Emily Crandall, in preparation of Emily’s wedding. But strange happenings and hauntings occur, which threaten to spoil the wedding, not to mention the lives of Emily and her fiance, Dick. In addition, Nancy discovers she has a wicked double, who is stealing items at River Heights stores by using Nancy’s charge cards. Emily’s diamonds are stolen and replaced with fakes during a dramatic evening dinner party at the Inn, and it is up to Nancy to tie together her mysterious evil twin, the haunting, and the theft. The Mystery at Lilac Inn is a good mystery, and unlike most Nancy Drew books, it kept me guessing. But, for some reason, I started to lose focus on Nancy’s fourth mystery. And while I realize that none of her mysteries are very believable, The Mystery at Lilac Inn is the least believable with submarines in lakes and disappearing government secrets solved by Nancy.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Whitney

    I am captivated by the descriptions of food in these Nancy Drew books. There seems to be at least one major meal per book, meticulously described. The Lilac Inn dining room provides an excellent luncheon. First course is beef broth. Following that is "creamed chicken on toast, peas, salad, and iced tea." Oh, and for dinner is a real treat! Emily had arranged a steak cook-out on the patio, and the social director joined in the lively banter. When they finished eating, she brought out a guitar. 'How I am captivated by the descriptions of food in these Nancy Drew books. There seems to be at least one major meal per book, meticulously described. The Lilac Inn dining room provides an excellent luncheon. First course is beef broth. Following that is "creamed chicken on toast, peas, salad, and iced tea." Oh, and for dinner is a real treat! Emily had arranged a steak cook-out on the patio, and the social director joined in the lively banter. When they finished eating, she brought out a guitar. 'How about some Western tunes?' she suggested gaily. 'Fine. Let's all sing,' Helen answered. Honestly, this little time capsule of a book makes me want to gnaw on my shirt collar, I'm so charmed. Finally, here is a non-sequitur that needs no comment: "My disguise certainly boomeranged," Nancy thought in disgust as she snapped off the flashlights in her sleeves.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Nicole

    I loved this series when I was a kid. I think partly it's because I liked and could relate to Nancy, and it's always a plus to enjoyment when you can see yourself in the shoes of a character you respect. Looking back on it now, I can see that it did have issues, but it's still an amusing story. I remembered some of the mystery from my youth, guessed at other parts, and was surprised by still other parts. Worth a read, but not a must read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sheila

    Another typical Nancy Drew story, where Nancy is smart, independent, and a mystery solving sleuth, though she needs to be a little more careful as she did have to be rescued off of a burning, sinking boat in this one! My daughter loves these stories though, so what can I say, I'm sure we will read more of Nancy's adventures.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Caitlyn Santi

    This was such a fun story! It is my favorite of the four I've read so far. For some reason I never read any Nancy Drew books when I was growing up, but I'm having a blast reading them for the first time as an adult. I definitely recommend this one, I enjoyed every minute of it!

  25. 3 out of 5

    Anne

    I swear this just reeks of absurdity but it's so sugary. I can't believe how impossibly silly the scenes and actions are! And yet, I read on because I'll always love a good Scooby doo hunt. On to the next!

  26. 3 out of 5

    Kate ★

    I love reading this series when I was younger. However, this story seemed absurd just because Nancy Drew was just lucky to stay away from being badly hurt! The mystery part was well thought of, though it did sound a bit ridiculous when things were finally revealed.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Bergren

    This is a really good book you never know what is going to happen it all just suddenly pops up.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jerry

    A Quickie Review You know what to expect from an installment of an established franchise, and that's just what you get here. Not much to say other than that. Score: 4/5

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sydney

    this book is my favorite so far. I haven't read much so far. This one was definetly my favorite

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku

    I enjoyed this mystery just as much as the first. I look forward to reading even more!

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