14 December, 2009

Books 33 and 34 - Double your (mystery-solving) pleasure.

Titles: Shock Waves (1989) and Dangerous Games (1991)
Author: Carolyn Keene

Annnnyway, a while ago I read some Hardy Boys books and mentioned that Nancy Drew was about a million times cooler than they were. But! Having now read two Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys Super Mysteries I can inform you that it's probably only about a hundred times when they're hanging out together. I assume Nancy's coolness rubs off on Frank and Joe.

The first thing to tell you is that both of these books have HORRENDOUS puns as their titles. Shock Waves takes place during a seaside holiday, and Dangerous Games is set (during another holiday) at some kind of international athletic competition. The second important thing is that the characters have "grown up" a bit since their earlier books. By "grown up" I mean that Joe's girlfriend (or his favourite date) Callie... died. In a terrorist bombing. And now Frank and Joe work for some mysterious international organisation where they do undercover work. In other words, you need to suspend your disbelief even further than you had to back in the 70's.

Since Nancy is a girl, her equivalent grown-upness is that she occasionally has fights and/or temporarily breaks up with her boyfriend, Ned. Perhaps the writers went to the Todd Wilkins and Elizabeth Wakefield school of relationship writing. In the course of these two books, Ned proves himself to be jealous of pretty much every guy Nancy spends time with, particularly Frank Hardy. To be fair, Nancy thinks Frank is hot like jalapeƱos, but she loves Ned and would never do anything to hurt him, so Ned kind of comes across as a huge dick. Since in Nancy's own books he's generally really sweet and supportive, I'm going to choose to believe he's been corrupted by the Hardys.

Anyway, in Shock Waves, Joe's dead girlfriend's ring that is the only thing he has to remember her by, (sob), gets stolen. The boys are determined to track the thief down. Nancy, meanwhile, starts to think that someone wants her new friend Buck dead when he first claims to have seen a dead body and is then attacked by poisonous jellyfish. The cases turn out to be related! I did not see that coming. Most of the plot surrounds Buck hitting on Nancy, and Nancy not noticing, and Ned getting jealous. This is actually not what I look for in a mystery, Nancy dear.

Dangerous Games is so much more awesome. Nancy and the boys are both seperately called to investigate when an international sporting star starts getting threatening notes, and everyone, including Nancy's friends Bess and George (yay!) go undercover. George (who's the sporty one) turns out to be so good at swimming that she considers taking it up professionally, and the sporting star's sister is totally hot for her. This is awesome, because usually it's Bess (the pretty, girly one) that all the guys want. Sorry, did I say I don't want to read about relationships in my mysteries? I meant I don't want to read about melodramatic relationships in my mysteries. Meanwhile Nancy and the Hardys realise that the threat has something to do with a drugs scandal that happened five years before, and I totally called who the bad guy was going to be ages before any of them did. Clearly I would make a much better teen detective than the Hardy Boys! But not Nancy. Her and I would just hang out with George and Bess and solve mysteries and be BFFs for ever and ever and ever.

Sometimes I guess we'd let the Hardy Boys join us and, IDK, fight vampires or something.

In conclusion: I need to get my hands on some more of these books.

One last thing - I know I'm late posting again! But here's why:

His name is Frosting. Frosting the Snowman. He took a while to make.


Shannon said...

Hey, thanks for linking to me!

These books sound so bad, but the cover of Shock Waves is so awful it's good.

Sadako said...

I think the cover of Shock Waves looks so vaguely erotic! just me?

And I love Frosting the Snowman. Is he going to be an old family friend or is he for eating?

HelenB said...

Shannon - I want to say the books aren't that bad, but they really are... I enjoyed them, though, so I can't really complain!

Sadako - sadly, Frosting met his demise shortly after his, er, birth. He was delicious, though!