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The Ghost of Blackwood Hall

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When Mrs. Putney seeks Nancy's help in recovering her stolen jewelry, the search for the thieves takes the girl detective and her friends, Bess and George, to an abandoned mansion in the River Heights vicinity known as Blackwood Hall and to the colorful French Quarter of New Orleans. When the quest is hampered by the strange behavior of Mrs. Putney and two young women who When Mrs. Putney seeks Nancy's help in recovering her stolen jewelry, the search for the thieves takes the girl detective and her friends, Bess and George, to an abandoned mansion in the River Heights vicinity known as Blackwood Hall and to the colorful French Quarter of New Orleans. When the quest is hampered by the strange behavior of Mrs. Putney and two young women who are being victimized by so-called spirits, Nancy must fight these unseen perpetrators of a cruel hoax! The resourceful young sleuth wants to help, but is hindered. The ghostly spirits have warned these gullible victims to not to have anything to do with Nancy Drew! This book is the original text. The plot of the revised story (©1967) is similar with minor revisions.


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When Mrs. Putney seeks Nancy's help in recovering her stolen jewelry, the search for the thieves takes the girl detective and her friends, Bess and George, to an abandoned mansion in the River Heights vicinity known as Blackwood Hall and to the colorful French Quarter of New Orleans. When the quest is hampered by the strange behavior of Mrs. Putney and two young women who When Mrs. Putney seeks Nancy's help in recovering her stolen jewelry, the search for the thieves takes the girl detective and her friends, Bess and George, to an abandoned mansion in the River Heights vicinity known as Blackwood Hall and to the colorful French Quarter of New Orleans. When the quest is hampered by the strange behavior of Mrs. Putney and two young women who are being victimized by so-called spirits, Nancy must fight these unseen perpetrators of a cruel hoax! The resourceful young sleuth wants to help, but is hindered. The ghostly spirits have warned these gullible victims to not to have anything to do with Nancy Drew! This book is the original text. The plot of the revised story (©1967) is similar with minor revisions.

30 review for The Ghost of Blackwood Hall

  1. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    A bunch of local young women are entangled in a mail fraud scam that at first appeals to their better natures. The scam begs them for their hard-earned money to support a privately owned orphanage, even though the organization offers no proof of existing. Yet the girls donate through the recommended outlets: the girls are instructed to put their money into hollow trees in strategic locations in the local forest. Seems completely legit, right? Oh, and also, these generous girls somehow also to get A bunch of local young women are entangled in a mail fraud scam that at first appeals to their better natures. The scam begs them for their hard-earned money to support a privately owned orphanage, even though the organization offers no proof of existing. Yet the girls donate through the recommended outlets: the girls are instructed to put their money into hollow trees in strategic locations in the local forest. Seems completely legit, right? Oh, and also, these generous girls somehow also to get themselves BOTH brainwashed and blackmailed, so they will continue to donate their money into the trees, which, remember, is supposed to then be delivered to an orphanage. Nancy Drew knows this scheme is ridiculous, yet she has a difficult time finding the culprits. The group uses several aliases, among them one "Floyd Pepper," who I am fairly positive is one of Jim Henson's Muppets, but whatever. I'm sure it's just a coincidence. Eventually, of course Nancy solves the case, and thus the "flimflamming" is put to a stop! Never doubt Nancy Drew! She has massive amounts of confidence in herself, but unfortunately, maybe a touch too much pride. An odd exchange occurs between Nancy and her friend Bess, who learns some alarming news and exclaims, "Lola White has been talking wildly about you in her sleep!" Whereupon Nancy replies, "What's so serious about that?" Is it like she's so famous, she expects people to be dreaming about her?! Don't make me start worrying about hubris here, Nancy. A little humility please!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    COUNTDOWN: Mid-20th Century North American Crime BOOK 99 (of 250) And, of course, many of us read Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew! In a compilation entitled "Books to Die For" (edited by John Connolly), this Nancy/Keene novel is highly recommended. I had to find the reason. Hook=3 stars: "If I ever try to solve a mystery [having a ghost] I'll use a smart cat to help me...cats aren't afraid of ghosts..." Nancy says to her fox terrier on page 1. Nancy, a dog, a ghost, cats! This is no cliched opening abou COUNTDOWN: Mid-20th Century North American Crime BOOK 99 (of 250) And, of course, many of us read Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew! In a compilation entitled "Books to Die For" (edited by John Connolly), this Nancy/Keene novel is highly recommended. I had to find the reason. Hook=3 stars: "If I ever try to solve a mystery [having a ghost] I'll use a smart cat to help me...cats aren't afraid of ghosts..." Nancy says to her fox terrier on page 1. Nancy, a dog, a ghost, cats! This is no cliched opening about the weather, or rather in detective crime when the lovely lady walks into the P.I.'s office. Nice start! Pace=3: This particular author offers an odd assortment of issues as Nancy investigates: for me, the red herrings kept the pages turning. Plot=4: Surprisingly adult-oriented, Nancy investigates the possibility of a group of thieves involved in scamming the elderly and needy. Here in 2018 the same types of scams continue since the publication of this 1948 book: after 70 years thieves are using similar tactics brought back from the past. This author, using the Keene name, ups the quality from previous books in this rather uneven series. Characters=3: Nancy has passed her 18th birthday. Lafitee, a pirate of old, enters the story. A gullible elderly lady, lonely, falls for a scam. And there is a nasty team of villains. Atmosphere=4: The last Nancy/Keene novel I read took us to Florida, and no one noticed any humidity, the architecture seemed impossible, and I felt the author had never visited Florida and lazy on atmosphere. Here, readers visit NOLA, Louisiana, and architectural details consists of ornate iron fences, "delicately tinted plaster" interiors, old courtyards, cemetery tombs above ground, and more. Nancy and her friends hear "the soft-spoken dialect...a blend of French, Cajun..." Then there is the very creepy "Church of Eternal Harmony." This author takes us on a nice visit to the French Quarter of NOLA. Summary: This entry does stand out from a number of other Keene books: the atmosphere is nicely done and, as previously noted, the plot is on the adult side for an overall rating of 3.4. If you've never read a book in this series, I'd recommend this one. And, yes, this book does indeed belong in "Books to Die For."

  3. 5 out of 5

    C.E.

    Ghosts, suspense, an intriguing mystery...this is my favorite Nancy Drew book! The setting of the mansion is also great, and only enhances the spookiness.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Elisa

    My absolute FAVORITE book for many years as a child! This book shaped my existence!

  5. 4 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    Yet another great Nancy Drew mystery with a hint of New Orleans seasoning.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    Nancy's #25 adventure had a real criminal crew throwing seances, prancing around as ghosts, using chemicals, and swindling gullible persons yearning to hear from their beloved dead. Nancy's client fired her a number of times for not hitting the bullseye (but she really had!), and I can't recall that having ever previously happening. . . clients have wanted to stop pursuit of whatever their mystery was, but this was a client continuing on, just not wanting Nancy involved because of performance is Nancy's #25 adventure had a real criminal crew throwing seances, prancing around as ghosts, using chemicals, and swindling gullible persons yearning to hear from their beloved dead. Nancy's client fired her a number of times for not hitting the bullseye (but she really had!), and I can't recall that having ever previously happening. . . clients have wanted to stop pursuit of whatever their mystery was, but this was a client continuing on, just not wanting Nancy involved because of performance issues. That surprised me. Meanwhile, Ned stepped up and behaved more like a law enforcement intern rather than a frat boy. My project to go through all of Nancy's first adventures is beginning to wear on me. As it relates to this series of books I'm feeling the difference between my youthful excitement (and all I missed????), and myself as an older reader (and of all the MANY disconcerting hiccups which now seem so very apparent). Oh, well. I will carry on. Off to #26. 3 stars. Mr. Drew showed up a lot more, too, in this one.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Katie Randolph

    I’ll say it. Not Nancy’s best. Probably time to get a new ghostwriter.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jessaka

    A woman's husband dies, and she thinks that his ghost has come to visit her, and upon his request she buries her jewelry in the woods, just to have it replaced by fakes. We get get a splash of New Orleans, séances, money scams, people walking around under hypnosis, and ab almost drowning in the river. The book becomes much more entertaining when Nancy Drew and her friends hear chanting at an old abandoned house, Blackwood Hall, and begin investigating. Now they have ghosts to deal with along wit A woman's husband dies, and she thinks that his ghost has come to visit her, and upon his request she buries her jewelry in the woods, just to have it replaced by fakes. We get get a splash of New Orleans, séances, money scams, people walking around under hypnosis, and ab almost drowning in the river. The book becomes much more entertaining when Nancy Drew and her friends hear chanting at an old abandoned house, Blackwood Hall, and begin investigating. Now they have ghosts to deal with along with anything else bad that could happen to them. Note: I see that there are certain myths about hypnosis that are presented in this book. 1. You will not do anything that is against your morals when you are hypnotized, 2. No one can hypnotize you for hours on end. If the hypnotist is no longer talking to you, you will come out of that state on your own or fall to sleep and when you wake up you will be out of that state, and 3. Hypnosis is not of the devil, nor is it of the occult. Note: 1948 edition

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lyssa

    This story seemed extra flimsy, with hypnotizing people and performing fake seances. The majority of people were almost stubbornly gullible. And I'm surprised that after 25 books, Nancy does not carry any kind of protection on her. Did they not have pepper spray back then? I know they had swiss army knives. I'm glad the stories aren't overtly violent, but they could be smarter, our heroine more savvy and better prepared. On a side note, it's interesting to catch a glimpse of how things used to be. This story seemed extra flimsy, with hypnotizing people and performing fake seances. The majority of people were almost stubbornly gullible. And I'm surprised that after 25 books, Nancy does not carry any kind of protection on her. Did they not have pepper spray back then? I know they had swiss army knives. I'm glad the stories aren't overtly violent, but they could be smarter, our heroine more savvy and better prepared. On a side note, it's interesting to catch a glimpse of how things used to be. No ID necessary- assuming a fake identity is as easy as making one up on the fly. And speaking of flying, it seemed as straightforward as hailing a cab, as open ended as riding a bus- being able to get off at one stop or another. That's one of my favorite things about these books- getting a snapshot of life back then, and being able to appreciate anew how things have changed.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Jen

    Enjoyable mystery, nice creepy bits. I also really love any time Nancy and Neds wacky relationship is shown. There is a problem with how interactions with a POC went. Fairly.....racist, perhaps? This was written in 1948, so it is unfortunately a sign of the times. But it did bring down the rating considerably because this is no longer 1948.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mel (ReadUntilTheLastPage)

    “Cats aren’t afraid of ghosts. Did you know that, Togo?” This is definitely one of the better Nancy Drew books! I like the ghost story & mystery as well as the New Orleans setting! “Cats aren’t afraid of ghosts. Did you know that, Togo?” This is definitely one of the better Nancy Drew books! I like the ghost story & mystery as well as the New Orleans setting!

  12. 5 out of 5

    Hillary

    This one was a really great mystery! The story held together extremely well from characterization to motive to plot, even rereading as an adult.

  13. 4 out of 5

    E

    My all-time favorite ND. I can remember many a late-1960s Louisiana-childhood afternoon—too scorched with heat and humidity to climb the huge, ancient live oak in our yard—squandered inside by my 10/11-year-old self lying on my belly, Nancy Drew close to my nose, on a twin-bed “couch” covered by a clean but cheap ribbed, olive-green bedspread in my father’s small study, surrounded by books. Nancy confirmed the lessons of my parents: that it was not only acceptable, but encouraged for girls to be My all-time favorite ND. I can remember many a late-1960s Louisiana-childhood afternoon—too scorched with heat and humidity to climb the huge, ancient live oak in our yard—squandered inside by my 10/11-year-old self lying on my belly, Nancy Drew close to my nose, on a twin-bed “couch” covered by a clean but cheap ribbed, olive-green bedspread in my father’s small study, surrounded by books. Nancy confirmed the lessons of my parents: that it was not only acceptable, but encouraged for girls to be smart, independent, analytical, and intellectually helpful, as well as respectful to adults without automatically accepting their authority or “good intentions.” Thanks, Nancy!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    The Ghost Of Blackwood Hall was interesting and creepy at times. Great book! I just felt like it dragged on at some parts thats why I give it 4 stars not 5.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Joanna

    In this mystery, I found myself as frustrated as Nancy as she tried to help Ms. Putney and the other girls, despite their continual trust in the thieves who were tricking them. I liked that the bad guys in this mystery actually seemed to be able to upset Nancy's work better than the usual suspects--they often go after her with scare tactics or physical harm, but these thieves turned her own clients against her. I thought things at the Mansion got a little convoluted with the glowing figure and s In this mystery, I found myself as frustrated as Nancy as she tried to help Ms. Putney and the other girls, despite their continual trust in the thieves who were tricking them. I liked that the bad guys in this mystery actually seemed to be able to upset Nancy's work better than the usual suspects--they often go after her with scare tactics or physical harm, but these thieves turned her own clients against her. I thought things at the Mansion got a little convoluted with the glowing figure and sliding door and everything, but overall it was a good mystery.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Lacon

    This was the second Nancy Drew mystery I read and I can see the pattern of how these stories are written already. If you don’t love that pattern then these books could get old and boring real fast. Now this story and mystery did not make much sense to me, even at the end when everything was revealed I was still trying to figure out how this could happen. The villains pull a Scooby Doo villain and act like ghosts, attempting to scam their victims into donating to a fictitious orphanage...?? and t This was the second Nancy Drew mystery I read and I can see the pattern of how these stories are written already. If you don’t love that pattern then these books could get old and boring real fast. Now this story and mystery did not make much sense to me, even at the end when everything was revealed I was still trying to figure out how this could happen. The villains pull a Scooby Doo villain and act like ghosts, attempting to scam their victims into donating to a fictitious orphanage...?? and this all starts with a lady who had her jewels stolen. Still does not make sense to me. Not much really to say about this book. If you enjoy Nancy Drew books then you might enjoy this one but if you haven’t read Nancy Drew I would suggest not starting with this one. It was fine, nothing really more to say about it, didn’t love it or hate it but it was a quick read.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    Damn, how many rich widows *are* there in River Heights? A mysterious woman uses many aliases, one of them being Mrs. Floyd Pepper! Oh, and she follows the girls on a trip to New Orleans. Bess is even more of a basket case than usual. And Nancy has a dog named Togo, but I'm pretty sure he hasn't appeared before. A phony stock scheme, hypnosis and stolen jewelry. Nancy is knocked unconscious by an unknown assailant, and drugged into unconsciousness with a "deadly sleeping potion". Gets kidnapped an Damn, how many rich widows *are* there in River Heights? A mysterious woman uses many aliases, one of them being Mrs. Floyd Pepper! Oh, and she follows the girls on a trip to New Orleans. Bess is even more of a basket case than usual. And Nancy has a dog named Togo, but I'm pretty sure he hasn't appeared before. A phony stock scheme, hypnosis and stolen jewelry. Nancy is knocked unconscious by an unknown assailant, and drugged into unconsciousness with a "deadly sleeping potion". Gets kidnapped and also gets mired in quicksand along with Ned. Apparently you can cure hypnosis with a bottle of phosphorous and oil.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Santomartino

    I read these for relaxation and for nostalgia. They are pleasant reads with interesting characters, perfect for some stress free reading at bedtime. This was one of the better Nancy Drew mysteries over the last few volumes. Nancy finds herself trying to save a widow from herself as she is under the influence of false mediums pretending to give her instructions from her deceased husband to steal her money. Nancy discovers that not only is the widow effected but a number of young women in River He I read these for relaxation and for nostalgia. They are pleasant reads with interesting characters, perfect for some stress free reading at bedtime. This was one of the better Nancy Drew mysteries over the last few volumes. Nancy finds herself trying to save a widow from herself as she is under the influence of false mediums pretending to give her instructions from her deceased husband to steal her money. Nancy discovers that not only is the widow effected but a number of young women in River Heights. It is pretty suspenseful and different than her typical cases in many respects. If you like Nancy Drew Mysteries you should like this as well.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Evelynn

    I would have rated this book only two stars had it not been for the fact that it's a Nancy Drew book and the ghosts and such in it are a complete hoax and not portrayed as anything but one. I think this is my least favorite Nancy Drew book so far. The whole idea of seances, fake or not, bothered me a bit. But at least everything was fake, and Nancy, Bess, and George never really believed that the seances were real. Still, it was an interesting mystery, and I wouldn't hesitate to finish the rest of I would have rated this book only two stars had it not been for the fact that it's a Nancy Drew book and the ghosts and such in it are a complete hoax and not portrayed as anything but one. I think this is my least favorite Nancy Drew book so far. The whole idea of seances, fake or not, bothered me a bit. But at least everything was fake, and Nancy, Bess, and George never really believed that the seances were real. Still, it was an interesting mystery, and I wouldn't hesitate to finish the rest of the original 56 mysteries, which is exactly what I plan on doing.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jenny Jest

    To all those hardcore Nancy Drew fans (like me) this one is yet another thrilling adventure on Nancy's list. Bonus, if you're a fan of ghost or horror stories. The story has a dark and mysterious theme going around as Nancy smells something fishy at New Orleans and you can feel the intensity of this page-turner. The spooky aura of the story makes it even more exciting. Keene has done it again and this time,with a ghostly touch that the readers will definitely enjoy!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Hailey Westefer

    This book was ok, but the reason its not my favorite is because I like books that get right to the point and that have something exciting every time I turn the page. This book takes awhile to get to the point but once you get there it is a interesting book. If you like to read or if you like mysteries I would recommend this book but if you're like me I would not recommend it. It was hard for me to keep reading because it took so long to get to the climax of the story.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Ava Spach

    I love Nancy Drew, but this one wasn't the best one I have read. At the beginning, it seemed like there was 3 or 4 different mysteries going on. You have to read a lot until you finally get how they are connected. Also, most of the book wasn't solving the mystery, but finding the troublemakers, and figuring out their names. Overall, not the most exciting NDs I have read.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Mary Lou Hoffman

    When I was about 10 or 11, my mother signed me up for a book of the month club. Every month, I received two Nancy Drew or two Hardy Boys books. Every month, they were both read in a week and I was asking when the next book would be there! I thank my mother for recognizing and encouraging my love of reading.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Analissa Blackwater

    This was the first book I read of the series and my favorite. It had it all-ghosts, secret passageways, New Orleans, séances. It would be a shame if the time setting of these books is so alien to the young readers of today, but if they give it a chance, I think they can fall in love with the series just like I did in my youth. Yes, I admit, I reread a couple of them as an adult.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Dylan

    This was the first Nancy Drew book I ever read as a 9-year-old child. I remember thinking it was very spooky. Now, re-reading it more than 30 years later, I can't say that I still find it to be spooky, but I was captivated by the complicated scam that was being run against many unsuspecting individuals who thought they were speaking to the ghosts of their loved ones!

  26. 5 out of 5

    Keabetswe

    Another Nancy Drew classic! The story is, in every sense of the word, well-written. A seemingly unsolvable mystery, wild adventures, phantoms, conniving villains... there is so much more to love about this book! And who can forget about the classic moment when Nancy gets schooled by the very criminals she is trying to catch? Classic!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    Wholesome with a capital W! Despite the dated language and somewhat outlandish premise of these books, I love the Nancy Drew series that I read and reread as a young girl. Also, this is a girl with smarts, spunk and courage. Think Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz with a convertible.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Day

    The beginning was pretty good, but as the mystery went on it honestly felt kind of solved. I was kind of waiting for the book to be done. It felt done. The end was good too, but the middle was sometimes good and sometimes not.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Kris Kizer

    Obvious case where edits to the original don't work with the plot. Nancy was changed from 16 to 18 and the plot revolves around not telling an adult a story. You'd think they'd have rewritten that bit to have it make sense.

  30. 5 out of 5

    R♥ A♥ I♥ N♥ B♥ O♥ W♥ Z!

    You should never read this before you go to bed! I did and i was too afraid to even go the bathroom! ahhhh...ghosty!

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