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The Secret of the Forgotten City: John C Adams Reviews

Book name: The Secret of the Forgotten City

Author: Carolyn Keene

Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap

Format: ebook, print

Genre: Vintage children’s fiction

Publication Date: 1975

Star Rating: 5/5


Nancy Drew loves to travel, and a mystery seems to follow her wherever she goes. Sometimes, she doesn’t even have to leave home to find one.


When The Secret of the Forgotten City begins, Nancy is surprised by her boyfriend Ned with news of a trip they’ll be taking with their close friends Bess, George, Dave and Burt to search for gold.


Even before Ned has finished telling Nancy about the trip, she hears shouting outside. They rush outside and discover that a woman has had her handbag stolen.


Mrs Wabash was about to consult Nancy about the mystery behind some stone tablets she owns. But now all but one of her tablets has been stolen!


Nancy agrees to help Mrs Wabash get her stolen tablets back. Each has a series of petroglyphs cut into the stone. These are pictures that tell a story, but the meaning of each symbol is elusive.


It appears that the tablets give clues as to the location of a secret forgotten city, where gold may be hidden.


The thief is identified as Fleetfoot Joe, who evades the police and disappears. He immediately tries to bug Nancy’s house to find out more about her investigation.


Nancy’s dog Togo is also stolen and she receives a threat that he will be killed.


When Togo returns there is a note around his neck telling Nancy where to leave the remaining tablet.


Nancy decides to copy it, and pass the copy off as the original tablet when it is left at the designated place for Fleetfoot Joe.


She changes some of the symbols to throw him off the scent of where the gold might be.


The group then head off to Nevada for the archaeological trip Ned had arranged as Nancy’s surprise. The girls pay a visit to the local archaeology museum to learn more about Indian culture and history.


The dig is being conducted by the University of Nevada. The six friends stay in tents out in the desert and help with the excavations while Nancy is also conducting her investigation.


I really loved The Secret of the Forgotten City. So much cultural and archaeological detail was included that I felt like I really learned something.


The desert location and the choice of the dig site as location for much of the story was vivid and unique. It felt very different to many of the Nancy Drew mysteries located on the east coast.


There was plenty of action along the way, and Nancy was placed in danger several times, so the best traditions of the Nancy Drew mysteries were observed throughout.


Nancy’s knowledge and attention to detail in creating the fake tablet were instructive and fascinating. She had really done her homework.


The Secret of the Forgotten City was as much about the search for knowledge as it was about finding gold, and Nancy’s efforts yield unique artifacts that will be used by the academics to further their research.


The Secret of the Forgotten City was a wonderful story full of culture and action. It was lovely to see Togo again, too.


Thank you for reading my review. Please share your thoughts in the comments below.


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