As a big fan of Nancy Drew books, whenever I start reading one, I can’t stop until the mystery gets solved. I just finished reading another of this author’s interesting mystery, ‘The Clue in the Old Album’. The story starts when Nancy Drew and her father, a renowned lawyer of River Heights, are listening to a famous violinist playing gypsy music in their local Art Museum. People are spell bounded by the gypsy violinist’s excellent performance. Suddenly Nancy witnesses a person from the audience taking away the purse from a sobbing old woman’s lap. She immediately runs after the thief, can’t recover the contents but finds the purse and returns to its owner, Mrs. Struthers, an elderly, well to do woman from River Heights and who’s also a doll collector. Her hobby is to collect rare dolls from all over the world which she mostly collected when she traveled to different places as a part of her interest. As Nancy and her father also notice, Mrs. Struthers admits that the indiscipline and hyper behavior of her twelve years old granddaughter, Rose, might be because of the fact that she’s not under the care of her father.
Enid, Rose’s mom married a Spanish gypsy and a talented violinist against her parents’ wish and later banished by her parents. When Rose was eight years old, her father disappeared and thinking that he deserted them, Enid returned to her parents with her daughter after they pleaded her to come back. But it was too late; she was in a bad health already and died within few months somewhat mysteriously. Mr. Struthers too died after some time leaving her wife alone with her headstrong granddaughter. On her deathbed, worried and concerned about Rose’s future, Enid confided to her mother about some clues in an old album, and about finding the lost bridal source-of-light doll for Rose. Now, Mrs. Struthers want Nancy to find that special doll which her daughter mentioned and also Rose’s father, Romano Pepito. Nancy does find some clues in the form of a note, a picture of Enid with a doll when she was a little girl, and also a picture of Enid as a bride from an old jeweled family album which Mrs. Struthers shows her. Nancy's job is to fit these puzzle pieces together to get the solution.
In her quest of finding the doll and Romano Pepito, Nancy faces a number of challenges dealing with some crooked gypsies like Nitaka, Antonio, and Tony Wassell from the same tribe of Romano, who are behind the theft of Mrs. Struthers purse’s contents, many rare dolls from her home, and also the precious jewels from her family album. They also try to kidnap Rose, and create many hurdles in the path of Nancy so that she gives up her detective work of finding the secrets connected with the gypsy tribe. Not to mention the master mind, the tribe’s leader, Zorus, as everything seems to be under his control.
Will Nancy be able to help the Struthers by finding the lost bridal doll of Enid’s which she desperately wanted her mother to find for Rose for her good fortune? What kind of source of energy substance mentioned in the story it has and who found it first and where? Who stole it later from Enid and for what purpose? Will she be able to reunite the missing gypsy artist Romano Pepito with his family? Read and find out what made him disappear suddenly in the first place?
This mystery is an intriguing read for kids as well as for adults. The main character, Nancy, is portrayed as a very brave, courageous and an intelligent girl of 18. I like her determination and will power to help the Struthers that makes her take so many risks when she was trying to solve the mystery behind the lost doll, Romano, and the gypsy tribe using various clues on her way. I like her caring, supportive friends, Bess, George, and Ned, who are always ready and willing to lend a helping hand. I’m also impressed by the caring and motherly nature of her caregiver, Hannah Gruen who always gives Nancy a timely advice. And her intelligent loving father who’s always there with his advices, suggestions and support!