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The Invisible Intruder by Carolyn Keene: John C Adams Reviews

Book name: The Invisible Intruder

Author: Carolyn Keene

Publisher: Grosset and Dunlap

Format: ebook, print

Genre: Detective fiction, vintage children’s fiction

Publication Date: 1969

Star Rating: 5/5

I can’t get enough of a mystery where there may or may not be a supernatural element, so the Nancy Drew mystery The Invisible Intruder by Carolyn Keene was right up my street.

Nancy’s good friend Helen Archer writes to ask the young sleuth to investigate a series of ghostly happenings.

On the grounds that there is security in numbers, not only are Nancy, George, Bess and their regular boyfriends going along to solve the mystery, but a group of young married couples will be joining them.

Every sighting bar one has taken place in motels, lakeside summer camps and guest houses, so the group decide to make a summer holiday of it.

However, before she can join them Nancy is already sure that her conversation about the mystery with her father has been overheard when she receives a telephone call threatening her if she participates in the ghost hunt.

Carolyn Keene gets us off to a dark beginning!

Nancy and her pals soon discover that the owners of the haunted venues have all been receiving low-ball offers to buy their businesses after the ghostly sightings have driven tourists away.

She and Ned soon see ghosts and what looks like a haunted canoe, but when they investigate they soon uncover the practical, robotic mechanisms being used to achieve these supernatural effects.

They track down the likely culprits via the local estate agent and head over to the rented cottage.

They find an elderly man who they are certain is a part of the ruse, but there is no sign of the married couple the real estate agent described as being her tenants.

The Invisible Intruder sees Nancy Drew at her best: she, George and Bess plus Dave, Ned and Burt travel from holiday location to holiday location, narrowing down the likely culprits and learning more about the Prizers’ accomplices.

There is plenty of physical danger, which is an element of Nancy Drew mysteries that I always appreciate. Ned is kidnapped and later one of their assistants is also snatched. A local boy who has made the mistake of falling in with the Prizers is also held against his will.

There were plenty of imaginative uses of technology to create ghostly forms that Nancy and her buddies quickly debunk in The Invisible Intruder and the mystery kept a firm sense of structure even when it moved from location to location due to the common theme of intended fraud and the outlining of the holiday itinerary right at the beginning.

Mysteries fall into different categories, with a number featuring real or pseudo-real supernatural events, however The Invisible Intruder is firmly the kind of mystery where a physical explanation exists for any ghostly appearances, enabling Nancy Drew to use her best sleuthing skills to hone the evidence and analyse it.

The Invisible Intruder was a wholly satisfying story. It was great to see Nancy and her friends spending time around young married couples. This provided them with a greater sense of freedom than some Nancy Drew books, but the presence of some adults and regular help from the police balanced the physical danger of the kidnappings.

I really enjoyed The Invisible Intruder and in particular appreciated the ghostly events taking place both out in the bright of day and at night in some more traditional ‘haunted’ locations. I love Nancy Drew mysteries and this one was especially atmospheric.

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If you’ve enjoyed this review, you might be interested reading in my review of The Clue in the Ancient Disguise by Carolyn Keene.

Or you might like to take a look at my review of Nancy Drew Guest Appearance by Carolyn Keene.

If you fancy something different, you might like to take a chance on my review of A Child’s War by Mike Brown.

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