Book name: The Clue of the Tapping Heels
Author: Carolyn Keene
Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap
Format: Print, ebook
Genre: Mystery, children’s fiction
Publication Date: 1939
Star Rating: 5/5
I just love the Nancy Drew books, perhaps especially the traditional, early ones. The Clue of the Tapping Heels is the seventeenth Nancy Drew mystery.
The Drews’ housekeeper Hannah Gruen is almost a mother figure to Nancy, so it’s no surprise that she has kind friends of her own. Hannah’s friend Mrs Bealing is a nurse taking care of Miss Carter, a frail, elderly lady.
Miss Carter breeds Persian cats to help makes ends meet, but several have been stolen. She is also plagued by a mysterious tapping sound inside her home.
Nancy is intrigued, partly because she’s currently rehearsing for an amateur production that involves some tap dancing on her part. She agrees to help solve the mysteries for Miss Carter.
Beth and George go with Nancy to Miss Carter’s home. Looking after the old lady and her cats to give Mrs Bealing a bit of a break keeps them busy, and there’s the two mysteries to solve as well.
Nancy’s regular date Ned comes along, too, and is on hand to save Nancy from danger. As always, he’s never afraid to put himself into harm’s way and is attacked trying to apprehend a suspect.
Nancy is initially at a loss to understand how the tapping noise is being created. A thorough search of the house indicates a hidden room. However, even after Nancy blocks up the exit the intruder still gains access to the house.
More of Miss Carter’s cats are stolen even though the locks have all been changed, leaving everyone on edge. The thief is clearly dangerous and full of ingenuity.
As always with Nancy Drew mysteries, The Clue of the Tapping Heels is full of physical danger to our sleuth and her associates.
There’s even a bomb left at the Drews’ home. Nancy is always at the thick of it, regardless of whether it puts her in peril, and of course she gets her man in the end.
One of the things I admire most about Nancy, George and Bess is that they are always ready to muck in and help. The Clue of the Tapping Heels sees the trio caring for Miss Carter and looking after her cats.
The three of them even go to a cat show on her behalf to sell her remaining cats.
It was lovely to see more of Hannah Gruen as well. The housekeeper is a staple of the Nancy Drew mysteries but in The Clue of the Tapping Heels we see her staying at Miss Carter’s home with her friend and also going out to eat with Nancy and her pals.
The Clue of the Tapping Heels is distinctive for its focus on inter-generational female teamwork. Nancy is very fond of the housekeeper who has looked after her since she was a small child, but Hannah isn’t typically involved directly in solving a mystery.
The presence of other older female characters was nicely balanced against the usual younger trio. The supported and empowered each other, and I really appreciated that part of the story.
Thank you for reading my review.
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If you’ve enjoyed this review, you might be interested in reading my review of The Nancy Drew Mysteries by Carolyn Keene.
Or you might like to take a look at my review of The Crooked Bannister by Carolyn Keene.
If you fancy something different, you might like to take a chance on my review of Bag of Bones by Stephen King.