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Nancy Drew Mystery Stories: The Hidden Staircase

Friday, October 20, 2017

Happy Literary Friday, My Lovelies!  Today is the third installment of Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, and I hope y'all are enjoying these posts as much as I've enjoyed writing them.

It was fun re-reading this as an adult because I know why the child version of me loved it: This book has the trifecta of creepy ghosts, costumes in the attic, and several secret passageways and hidden staircases. 

Basically this story is about Nancy's friend, Helen Corning, and a mysterious haunting of Helen's great-grandmother's estate, Twin Elms.  I've never lived in a house with a name, and it seems as if many of the houses in Nancy Drew Mystery Stories have names!  Helen and her Aunt Rosemary ask Nancy to visit Twin Elms for a few days and solve the mystery of the ghost.  Furniture moves, music plays, and the ghost has sticky fingers because he's stealing jewelry and silver.  Nancy is torn about whether or not to take on the case because Nancy's father Carson could be in danger.  One of the landowners selling to the railroad didn't get his signature notarized, so a conman convinced him to "disappear for a bit" in order to extort more money from the railroad.  The conman's name is Nathan Gomber, and he's the one who "warns" Nancy about impending danger to Drew due to his legal services to the railroad.  According to Gomber, the landowners feel cheated by the railroad and their counsel, Carson Drew.  Gomber is a busy, nasty criminal, and he's been harassing Helen's great-grandmother Miss Flora to sell Twin Elms!

Some of the details I loved about this book are the masks the ghost wears (I can remember I was particularly scared by the gorilla in the window).  Nancy has a date with Dirk the tennis player to a play and then a dance. (Where did this guy come from and where's Ned?)  I also enjoyed the old fashioned food and ways meals were served.  So delightfully formal!  I should take out my sherbet glasses and serve grapefruit slices in them like Helen Gruen serves fruit to the Drews....why the heck not?  One of the desserts served in the book is "floating islands" which is a French dessert made popular by Julia Child.  You can see one and read the recipe HERE.

Next week is the last Friday in October (where has October gone?), and it will also be the last Friday of my Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series.  I'm saving the scariest one for last, so I hope you won't miss it!

Until next time...

Happy reading!
Ricki Jill


  1. I have really loved this series, Ricki! I have such fond memories of reading these books when I was a girl and then again when I was in my 40s and going through a hard time. Maybe I'll print out some cute images and make an altered book with Nancy Drew as the star! Enjoy your weekend! Hugs, Diane

  2. Loads of fun and yes, greatly enjoying it!

  3. That's so neat about the desert! It would be fun to read them again someday. xoxo Su

  4. This has been so fun and brought back so many memories.
    xx oo

  5. I love to read stories from the past where people lived a totally different lifestyle that we do now...can you imagine dressing for dinner every night?? I am reading #6 in the Country Club Murders right now, it takes place in the 70s, before cell phones and laptops and all the technology we so heavily rely on now...I am enjoying Nancy Drew through your eyes! Can't wait for the scary one next week!

  6. Ricki, I found my Nancy Drew books. The Hidden Staircase has a paper cover and was published in 1959. The Scarlet Slipper Mystery does not have a paper cover but a picture on the outside and it was published in 1954!
    I haven't found the time to read them because I've been out of the country but I do want to.
    I have some other old Cherry Ames books, also. I'm glad I saved them.


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I'm Ricki Jill. Welcome! I'm honored that you're reading my blog. I enjoy sharing my creative lifestyle @ The Bookish Dilettante. For more information about my blog, please read the Start Here page. Thank-you for stopping by, and I hope you'll consider following me via email.

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