The first book to start off the novellas of the Nancy Drew Diaries, titled “Curse of the Arctic Star” is one to truly set a non-detective’s mind spinning, but so did Nancy’s brain when someone pushed her off a raised walkway, sending her tumbling twenty feet down into icy water.
(Image from Simon & Schuster)
Yes, this actually happened to our young heroine as the mystery begins even before she and her best friends, aka loyal sidekicks, Bess and Georgia, arrived at a cruise where suspicious things have been going on. Oops, I mean George. Sorry George!
Nancy’s friend for several years, Becca Wright, is the assistant director of the boat, gaining this position with no help whatsoever from her close-to-the-CEO grandfather. Sike! However, Becca
is extremely dedicated to her job, though, I’ll give her that, but her personality barely shines as throughout the book, she barely has two seconds to spare to talk to Nancy, which caused a ton of dead ends and frustrating chapters.
It’s not Becca’s fault that a chain of unfortunate events keep her busy, though, as these keep happening on the cruise (over three-fourths of which are targeted at yours truly, our girl Nancy. Including a threatening note, and it’s concerning how used to death threats Drew is.)
Just like the expectations loyal readers have placed in the beloved detective series, “Curse of the Arctic Star” indeed lives up to the well thought-out plot. Nancy’s thoughts, including a slight internal conflict in the halfway mark, are presented clearly, which is something about the diary books that I love, compared to the ones written in third person.
However, the suspect list in this book was particularly unsatisfying. I don’t think this is because of unclever writing, but rather because it is setting up the premise of the continued plot in book two, “Strangers on a Train” which means the concluded mystery at the end of this book wasn’t exactly over yet. Overall, this wasn’t my favorite out of every Nancy Drew book in the world, but it certainly gave me enough interest to pick up the continuation. I’ll write a review for “Strangers on a Train” very soon.
Cailey Tarriane (she/her) is an avid reader, poet, and writer of everything that stills the shaking of her miserable heart. She has poetry published in Your Fire Magazine, Gypsophila zine, and Fairfield Scribes, among others. She has written over four novels to share with the world once they've reached peak misery.