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The Clue of the Tapping Heels: 04/02/10

The Clue of the Tapping Heels is only the second Nancy Drew I've read. My copy was published in 1969 so it went through the massive hatchet job. The book was originally published in 1939.

This late in the series, Nancy's fairly well established as an amateur sleuth. She is in the middle of telling her school friends about a case when she's trust into the middle of a new one involving the theft of some Persian cats and a mysterious tapping noise.

The mystery itself has some creepy elements to it worthy of an episode of CSI. There is a man with a history of mental health problems stemming from abuse, a house with hidden passageways, fraud and identity theft. Unfortunately the plot is hacked to bits, lacking coherent segues as the old text and new text lie side by side with piss poor editing.

I would like to find an original copy or perhaps a reprint that has the unaltered text because I know in a few years my daughter will love this mystery. She'll enjoy the odd ball combination of missing cats, tap dancing and Morse code.

Comments (6)

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Comment #1: Saturday, April, 3, 2010 at 01:39:21


I loved Nancy Drew growing up, but I read the Nancy Drew Files which was out in the 90s rather than the originals. {I know shame on me!} I hope you're able to find a copy that has not been hacked to bits.

Comment #2: Monday, April 5, 2010 at 23:05:13


You were reading and enjoying books. That's important. The originals have been republished; I just need to set aside money and figure out which books from the series I want to read in the original form.

Comment #3: Saturday, April, 10, 2010 at 05:28:57


I read all my mother's Nancy Drew books from the 1960s and a few Nancy Drew Files books in the 90s. This is one original title I don't recall at all, but the combination of elements do sound interesting. Tap dancing and Morse code, aye?

What do you suspect was in the original but was taken out of this reissue? My understanding was that it was mostly two-dimensional racial stereotypes that were taken out or muted, but I never looked more deeply into the matter.

Comment #4: Monday, April 12, 2010 at 13:27:32


The Wikipedia article outlines just how drastic the changes were in The Clue of the Tapping Heels. It's not just whitewashing but creation of new characters, rearranging of the plot and in some cases completely new scenes and chapters hacked together.

Comment #5: Sunday, April, 11, 2010 at 23:12:31

Little Willow

Thanks for linking to Bildungsroman. I hope your daughter loves this volume!

Comment #6: Monday, April 12, 2010 at 13:32:31


I think she will when she's a little older. She's just starting to get interested in listening to me read chapter books to her. She has a ways to go before she can sit through something as long as a Nancy Drew mystery.

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