31 October, 2010

Spooky Halloween Special!!! Part Three.

Thrilling conclusion to our three part mini-series! Hold onto your hats!!!

Frank and Joe drop Nancy off at the hotel, then conveniently forget they agreed that they were all working together so that they can return to the castle. Then! A bat appears! Spooooky! As they walk around in the castle's caverns, a certain pale-handed bachelor begins to follow them around. Then, just as he's about to reach out and grab Joe, Joe... walks away. This dude has to be the world's least committed vampire.

The next morning, Frank, Nancy, Joe and Bess go for a stroll around town to find that people are hanging up wreaths of garlic all over the place. Worst. Christmas decoration. Ever. The four of them decide that Allison Troy is still the best clue they have to the missing paintings, so while he's singing Joe searches the trunk of his car, and Nancy and Frank search his room. Joe finds nothing, but Nancy finds a briefcase stuffed with what I assume is some kind of thieving equipment.

Allison's thieving gear: screwdrivers, wire, syringe.
My make-up bag has the exact same contents.

The Nancy and Frank flirt a little.

Frank: Do you always get like this when you're excited?
Nancy: Oh, you'll know when I'm excited.
Frank: I look forward to that.
The conversation is so deadpan that you can almost feel the UST, if by UST you mean "boredom".

The townspeople form a mob roughly reminiscent of the one their forefathers would have formed to kill the original Dracula, right down to what I assume is traditional Transylvanian dress (which looks suspiciously Bavarian.) Of course, they think they are after the original Dracula, so I suppose they have some excuse. Apparenly Dracs is angry because of the rock concert going on in his castle. One of the mob actually suggests they burn the castle. This is not only hilarious, but also impractical, as the castle is made out of stone, but I guess the point of mobs is that they're angry, violent, and stupid. Spooky!

Stavlin addresses the crowd and points out that there haven't actually been any killings. He's also apparently the community inspector, which - isn't he Romanian? Is Transylvania in Romania? Why does everyone there speak with a German accent, then? These are the questions that keep me awake at night.

A mist starts to rise. I guess a country that has daily thunderstorms can handle a little mist in the evening. The Mayor invites Frank, Nancy, and Stavlin back to his apartments so that they can talk. Turns out he lives in part of an old prison, and the mayoral chambers are built like a fortress! Stavlin says that whoever attacked Fenton and the hotel-owner couldn't possibly attack the Mayor there. When Frank asks why he thinks the Mayor might be attacked, he says it's because it was the Mayor and town council who plotted Dracula's downfall originally. Fenton was just an unfortunate accident, according to Stavlin.

The conversation turns, and Nancy says she thought the burglary tools in Allison Troy's room were a little too conveniently placed. Stavlin thanks them for the information and leaves, after which the Mayor reluctantly agrees that he will stay in his fortressed-up mayoral office for the night, to avoid attack. He locks all the doors and bars the windows and I bet anything there's a secret passage. Back at the hotel, Nancy goes to bed while Frank waits up for Joe. Spooky!

Joe and Bess return from Joe's last gig. I would like to assure my readers that
what you can see is mist from the sky, not dope smoke from the van.

Then, Nancy is attacked by a bat.

She seems to be terrified, which I assume is a ploy because Nancy Goddamn Drew is not scared of any freaking bat. She actually throws a lamp at it. Frank and Joe bust down her door and rescue her, though. Frank points out that her window was barred from the inside, so that someone must have put the bat into her room. The only other explanation being that it was actually a vampire. The other other explanation is that the bat actually tunnelled its way into her room, up through the floor, but for some reason no one mentions that.

Stavlin shows up and tells them that Dracula isn't a myth, he's real! Stavlin is really starting to get on my nerves. Then the mayor's maid rushes in and says that something has happened to him. Spooky! They break into the mayor's apartments and find him slumped onto his desk, two puncture marks on his neck. The phantom bicycle repairer strikes again! Oooh! Or, you know, the vampire. The mayor is still alive, though! And the next day Stavlin arrests of Allison Troy, for the trail of art thefts across Europe.

Turns out that as well as the burglary kit, they found floor plans of the Louvre in Allison Troy's car! Seems like a done deal, right? Wrong! Because when Joe searched Allison's car the night before, there was nothing there. And Bess kept her eyes on Allison and his manager all night, and none of them were acting suspiciously. So someone planted the plans in the car, and the tool kit in his room. Spooky! But why? And more importantly, who?

The Mayor, of course! If no one could possibly have got into his room, then he must have done it to himself! That actually makes sense, but given that this is Stavlin's idea, and not Nancy's or the Hardy Boys', I'm guessing the Mayor's innocent. Well, that and the fact that he couldn't possibly have attacked the hotel owner because it would have meant being in two places at once. And that probably people would have noticed if he kept popping out of the country and returning with priceless artworks.

Anyway, with the mayor now under arrest, the townspeople ask Stavlin if he will be mayor. Spooky!
Stavlin: I? No, I have no political ambitions. [deprecating chuckle]
That is totally something that someone who was all along plotting to become mayor would say! Otherwise he would LOL no them properly, rather than allow himself to be quickly convinced in an entirely rehearsed manner.

Nancy doesn't believe Stavlin either, you can tell.
And, as an aside, Frank is wearing more blusher than Nancy.

Mystery apparently solved, the detectives say their goodbyes. This involves Joe and Bess necking while Frank and Nancy stare at each other saying, "Well. Uh, it's been nice meeting you and all..."

Frank and Joe drive back up to the castle, because Frank feels like there's still some loose ends. He heads down to the caverns, where Dracula's tomb is sealed behind a door with Dracula's crest on it. Except that it's not really sealed, because there's a hidden lever on the crest that opens it! Spooky! And inside the tomb? The stolen art! And also a coffin. Frank opens it to see what's inside. In case you're wondering, a skeleton. Ooooh!

Then! Stavlin turns up! And the boys have worked out that the connection between the attacks and the thefts is Stavlin himself. He was being forced to retire, so he was stealing the paintings in order to retire with a little money. He used the castle as his own private retreat, until Allison Troy rented the venue and Fenton Hardy turned up. The attack on the mayor was staged - Stavlin drugged him and then, when he'd rushed to his rescue, drew the puncture marks on his neck while the Hardys were distracted.

Stavlin traps the Hardys and threatens to push them down a gaping hole that just sort of appears in the floor. I guess the hows and whys of that aren't really important. But Nancy, Bess and a recovered Fenton rush to their rescue, and it is Stavlin who falls down the hole! But the Hardys rescue him. Man, I totally took all the dramatic tension out of that scene.

Stavlin is arrested, and it seems like everything's been wrapped up! Except for that UST between Frank and Nancy.

And... except for the fact that Stavlin doesn't have a reflection...


I hope you have enjoyed this ~Spooky Special~. Expect some Trixie Belden goodness in the near future. And Happy Halloween!


booksploring said...

Thanks for this - had me on the edge of my seat ;-) Looking forward to the Trixie Belden goodness...love those books!

Ela said...

Crikey! I'm so glad you suffered that so that I didn't have to! None of the characters looked like I imagined - where was Nancy's red hair? And wasn't Frank dark-haired? They looked like they were refugees from The Brady Bunch!