Nancy's Mysterious Letter is full of near misses and minor accidents:
THRILL as Nancy ALMOST gets punched!
CHILL as Nancy ALMOST falls down the stairs!
SWELL with PRIDE as Nancy tells a Postal Inspector WHERE TO GET OFF. (And to contact her lawyer!)
WEEP when she RIPS her DRESS!
GASP as a boy on a sled hits her and BRUISES her LEG!
GNAW your fingernails when she is LOCKED IN! TO A DARK! GYMNASIUM!
FLINCH when Nancy ALMOST gets hit by a rock!
SHRIEK in TERROR when she and Ned are ALMOST run over! (This time, by a car!)
BREATHE a sigh of relief when Nancy escapes DEATH by STAGE CURTAIN!
AND SOB when Nancy is CHLOROFORMED in the bathroom -- sorry, powder room -- of the River Heights airport*!
Okay, I admit it. This volume isn't particularly action-packed.
Nancy never learns -- her do-gooder ways always cause trouble! She invites the poor old mail carrier in for a nice cup of cocoa, and when he leaves, he discovers that his mailbags have been robbed! Not only is Nancy's Mysterious Letter From England missing, but so is a cash-filled letter addressed to her father!
It doesn't take long for Nancy to deduce that the thief is none other than Edgar Nixon, the mailman's brother! She is aided by some friendly busybodies and by young, tricycle-riding Tommy Johnson, who does more in this book towards solving the mystery than Chief McGinnis EVER has.
When Nancy finally sees a picture of her suspect:
As Ira had said, Edgar was handsome, but his eyes were cold as steel and she instantly felt that he was not a person to be trusted.
Yes, very impressive. If you ignore the fact that she's already aware that the man stole the mail. AND that he's a litterbug. AND that he's been harassing his poor old mailman brother.
The Car Chase Scene: How many rickety wooden bridges are there in the River Heights area, anyway? This is the third time (at least) Nancy has been foiled by one.
Nancy's methods: Continue to be fascinating. She has a photograph of the guy and his license plate number, but ultimately, she identifies him by his tacky-ass cuff links.
Nancy's knowledge base: She is very familiar with nautical terms and excellent at interpreting Shakespeare. She also has excellent parallel parking skills.
The Land of Coincidence Unchained: Not a whole lot of detecting is necessary when it comes to tracking down The Other Nancy Drew** -- it turns out that she just happens to be directing a play at Ned's college. And Nancy, Bess and George just happen to be there that same weekend! Hurrah!
Later, when it seems that The Other Nancy Drew has disappeared, our Nancy just happens to run into a girl who was once nannied by TOND. Hurrah!
A collision with a boy on a sled just happens to allow Nancy to read the suspect's mail without opening it -- so she's able to catch him for mail fraud without breaking any laws! Hurrah!
Always keep rewards on hand for young tipsters:
Nancy went to get two small jars of hard candy. She called them her emergency treats for just such occasions.
Dave Evans was blond, green-eyed, and of rangy build. He gazed at Bess fondly. "You look stunning in that new suit," he remarked. "I like that fur collar. What is it--squirrel?"
George spoke up. "Yep. She shot it on the way up here."
Yet another wholesome weekend with the Omega Chi Epsilon boys -- after the play and the Big Game and the dance, everyone goes to the chapel service specially arranged for the boys and their dates.
FOOTBALL. I do not read Nancy Drew Mystery Stories to get play-by-play descriptions of college football games. That is all.
Nancy is almost RUN OVER at Emerson College. Deliberately run over. Yet Carson sees no issue with Nancy, Bess & George gallivanting off to NYC to see the "mystery to its conclusion". He doesn't even offer a lame excuse for not accompanying them. He and Nancy continue their icky flirting.
Sign of the Twisted Candles.
*Yes, OF COURSE they have an airport. Duh.
**You know, the girl for whom the Mysterious Letter From England was actually meant.