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A rare and valuable Chinese vase is stolen from a pottery shop and Dick Milton, the owner, asks Nancy for help. The young sleuth is tasked to find the thief, the missing ornament and to locate a leaning chimney. This chimney marks a discovery that will solve Dick’s financial problems. During her investigations, Nancy finds the leaning chimney, but it only leads her into mo A rare and valuable Chinese vase is stolen from a pottery shop and Dick Milton, the owner, asks Nancy for help. The young sleuth is tasked to find the thief, the missing ornament and to locate a leaning chimney. This chimney marks a discovery that will solve Dick’s financial problems. During her investigations, Nancy finds the leaning chimney, but it only leads her into more puzzles. Are there connections between the theft of the rare vase, a number of similar crimes and the strange disappearance of a Chinese pottery expert and his daughter? This book is the revised text. The plot of the original story (©1949) is similar with minor revisions.


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A rare and valuable Chinese vase is stolen from a pottery shop and Dick Milton, the owner, asks Nancy for help. The young sleuth is tasked to find the thief, the missing ornament and to locate a leaning chimney. This chimney marks a discovery that will solve Dick’s financial problems. During her investigations, Nancy finds the leaning chimney, but it only leads her into mo A rare and valuable Chinese vase is stolen from a pottery shop and Dick Milton, the owner, asks Nancy for help. The young sleuth is tasked to find the thief, the missing ornament and to locate a leaning chimney. This chimney marks a discovery that will solve Dick’s financial problems. During her investigations, Nancy finds the leaning chimney, but it only leads her into more puzzles. Are there connections between the theft of the rare vase, a number of similar crimes and the strange disappearance of a Chinese pottery expert and his daughter? This book is the revised text. The plot of the original story (©1949) is similar with minor revisions.

30 review for The Clue of the Leaning Chimney

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jessaka

    Nancy and her chums solve another mystery. This time expensive Chinese vases and other Chinese items are being stolen, so the first part of the book is spen have been stolen, and then picking up clues. The first clue comes when Nancy and her friends are driving down a country road and Nancy accidently hit a man. When they go to check him out, he gets up off the ground and asks them to leave him alone, but not before Nancy has picked up his bag and notices a Chinese vase in it, one like that she Nancy and her chums solve another mystery. This time expensive Chinese vases and other Chinese items are being stolen, so the first part of the book is spen have been stolen, and then picking up clues. The first clue comes when Nancy and her friends are driving down a country road and Nancy accidently hit a man. When they go to check him out, he gets up off the ground and asks them to leave him alone, but not before Nancy has picked up his bag and notices a Chinese vase in it, one like that she had seen in a store window downtown. She then learns that it was stolen. Next, they are driving to another town to find a clue, a leaning chimney. The book picks up when they find a leaning chimney in the country and go to investigate it. Eventually, this leads to arrests, and the book ends on a warm note.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Moonkiszt

    Nancy's #26 has missing Chinese nationals that may or may not still be alive, and a kaolin pit (best clay for pottery, so say the authors/publishers that are Carolyn Keene) may or may not be on land which has shown up on Carson Drew's lawyerly case radar. And we are OFF! [NOTE. I GO A LITTLE NUTS HERE.] Pretty good tale as NDs go. More and more I notice the indicators of "otherness" that are intentionally rolled out for the reader to know who is who, and why this character should be regarded in th Nancy's #26 has missing Chinese nationals that may or may not still be alive, and a kaolin pit (best clay for pottery, so say the authors/publishers that are Carolyn Keene) may or may not be on land which has shown up on Carson Drew's lawyerly case radar. And we are OFF! [NOTE. I GO A LITTLE NUTS HERE.] Pretty good tale as NDs go. More and more I notice the indicators of "otherness" that are intentionally rolled out for the reader to know who is who, and why this character should be regarded in that assumed category. For instance, there is Poor Bess, ever the girl who will run to fat as she ages, but she's rich so that's ok. And then George, athletic and spunky, in the last few books given to ejaculating "Hypers!" every few pages. (Yeah, you read that right. . . .a hint there, too, I think - a vote leaning toward Character Most Likely To Be Later Discovered Gay.) So far, most male and older female villains are slovenly, dirty, fat, foreign, clever but stupid and are usually dark-haired, dark-eyed, and dark-skinned. Young female villains are brassy, wearing cheap fur, satin, silk or fake jewels, bold eye contact, and if they are blonde, it is usually a wig. Most victims are female - various ages, but most meek, whiny, untethered by family, friends and community support. Usually they are pale, wan, sickly, on the edge of sanity. There is a 50/50 mix of economic status - they are either rich by means of inheritance or some unexpected source (not their own effort) or they are penniless and at the mercy of the Drews' generosity. Exceptions to this victim rule are the cases brought to the Drews by regular characters' family members (of which there are a number.) Teenage males are all cute and able to exactly match the number of available girls on the page, and anyone of them sniffing around Nancy will be gently rebuffed, and good old Ned will take the high road. Each of them will do whatever Nancy says, no questions, no better ideas presented. Most supporting grownups are white, older, wealthy, have a car, own a business, have a meal on the table or food ready to hand out at the moment they are story-featured, and are more than willing to let the teenagers go away to strange towns, dances, parties with strangers for days and overnighters without further checking. Her dad and mom-sub Hannah Gruen, well. Nancy had them by the . . .anyway. . Ok, let's go with wrapped around her little finger. (Surely they were having a little something-something on the side? A spring-autumn, summer-winter thing? Just a thought.) Bottomline, Carson Drew is a character that needs review. He's never around enough. He needs rescue every few books. What the hell is he doing?? I've worked in law firms. Lawyers get to choose where they are way more than they'd like you know about. As for "work" - yeah. They have people for that. So what was he doing and with who????? And getting your kid to do your leg work. . . well, that is not just an indulgent way to have a daddy-daughter moment day at work - unless that kid is in law school and can be counted as a law clerk, it will get you crosswise with the bar. When I read these as a young girl, I never questioned anything in these books, and just accepted this was how life was when you got past 13 and looked forward to this absolute version of heaven. Of course it was not that way in my life, nor yours. Nor anyone's. Wow. Sorry for the rant. Not really a rant, just a strong observation that I never ever had when I first read these, so it just needs to get out. You may quietly judge me and scroll on by. I get it. S'ok. I continue on with ND #27. Take care and be safe.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Katja

    5 stars & 5/10 hearts. I love Mr. Soong! I wish he'd show up again! Lei & Moy were so sweet too. But C. was such a disappointment...!! This mystery was intriguing and rather sad. The villains were simply horrid. I liked Mark, though; he was a nice addition, even if a small one. So was Dick. I wish some of those nice characters would come back! (And am I the only one who thinks Chief D. is awesome?? Also, Nancy has the coolest policemen show up. Or, state troopers... I wonder why troopers figure 5 stars & 5/10 hearts. I love Mr. Soong! I wish he'd show up again! Lei & Moy were so sweet too. But C. was such a disappointment...!! This mystery was intriguing and rather sad. The villains were simply horrid. I liked Mark, though; he was a nice addition, even if a small one. So was Dick. I wish some of those nice characters would come back! (And am I the only one who thinks Chief D. is awesome?? Also, Nancy has the coolest policemen show up. Or, state troopers... I wonder why troopers figure so prominently in the Nancy books...) An exciting and interesting mystery, all told.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Ellen

    3.5 stars Fun Nancy Drew. I was a little confused why Nancy didn't notify the police before going in (trying not to spoil anything), which she usually does. But still a good mystery. 2020 challenge: a book from a series with more than 20 books 3.5 stars Fun Nancy Drew. I was a little confused why Nancy didn't notify the police before going in (trying not to spoil anything), which she usually does. But still a good mystery. 2020 challenge: a book from a series with more than 20 books

  5. 4 out of 5

    Whitney

    Happily, my six year-old borrowed this from her school library because she knows I'm currently reading the series. Generously, she's letting me read it, so now she won't have to (which is possibly her motive all along). Most of the common words in elementary chapter books she can understand now, which impresses me, but a lot of Nancy Drew's outdated phrasing would elude even advanced readers! Examples: ~"Say, you big so-and-so!" ~her plump friend ~"Hypers!" ~Federal dicks ~Chinaman It would be a total Happily, my six year-old borrowed this from her school library because she knows I'm currently reading the series. Generously, she's letting me read it, so now she won't have to (which is possibly her motive all along). Most of the common words in elementary chapter books she can understand now, which impresses me, but a lot of Nancy Drew's outdated phrasing would elude even advanced readers! Examples: ~"Say, you big so-and-so!" ~her plump friend ~"Hypers!" ~Federal dicks ~Chinaman It would be a total waste of time reading this outloud with her and explaining what all this crap used to mean. The overly complicated plot here revolves around Ming pottery, thefts of the aforementioned pottery, and resulting fakes that appear on the market. Surprisingly, the racist elements are only slightly embarrassing in this book, as opposed to ridiculous and rage-inducing. The Chinese culture is referenced respectfully. The character Mr. Soong is intelligent and appreciated in his town. He educates Nancy about handwritten Chinese characters, and translates for her. The bottoms of vases are etched with maker's marks such as Made in the studio of deep peace; and Made for the hall of fragrant virtue. Those phrases intrigue me. They're actually beautiful (even though when I really think about it, "fragrant virtue" might smell a little gross.) An action-packed chase through New York City is a great highlight. Nancy has traveled there to catch a crook, and she enlists the help of a policeman, her awesome aunt, and someone named Mr. Tallow who totally screws everything up. It is up to Nancy alone to pursue the suspect! Readers see a hint of true realism as Nancy yells at nearby New Yorkers to "Stop that man!" and the locals ignore her. Random observations: ~During a wedding reception, Nancy purposely avoids catching the bouquet. ~Was it a common practice at the time to leave babies/children outside in their carriages/strollers? Again at this reception, Nancy chats with one of her married acquaintances, and it is expressly mentioned that instead of bringing the 15 month-old inside to the party, the parents left the child and stroller out on the porch. Also, when Nancy is babysitting this kid, she puts the toddler outside during naptime, again in the carriage on the porch. (Did the author of this book know anything about children, or is that honestly what people did back then?) ~Nancy and her friends stumble upon a super-weird compound in the woods. A bunker-like group of buildings is surrounded by a tall wooden fence, and when the girls finally gain entrance, they meet a possible cult named "The Lavender Sisters." The ladies wear purple monk-like robes, and they are guarded by a sole lazy mastiff. I couldn't help thinking to myself: This must be where they put all the lesbians during the McCarthy years.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    I don't know why George started saying "Hypers!" every third word, but I'd like it to stop. Also, I love that Nancy just jumps on a plane to New York to question someone rather than just, you know, USING A PHONE. All in all, this was a weird one. I don't know why George started saying "Hypers!" every third word, but I'd like it to stop. Also, I love that Nancy just jumps on a plane to New York to question someone rather than just, you know, USING A PHONE. All in all, this was a weird one.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Olivia

    "As a result of an encounter with a sinister stranger on a lonely country road, Nancy Drew and her friend Bess Marvin discover that a rare and valuable Chinese vase has been stolen from the pottery shop of Dick Milton, a cousin of Bess. — Dick had borrowed the vase from his Chinese friend, elderly Mr. Soong. He is determined to repay Mr. Soong for the loss and tells Nancy that if he can find "the leaning chimney," he feels he will be on the track of a discovery which will solve his financial pro "As a result of an encounter with a sinister stranger on a lonely country road, Nancy Drew and her friend Bess Marvin discover that a rare and valuable Chinese vase has been stolen from the pottery shop of Dick Milton, a cousin of Bess. — Dick had borrowed the vase from his Chinese friend, elderly Mr. Soong. He is determined to repay Mr. Soong for the loss and tells Nancy that if he can find "the leaning chimney," he feels he will be on the track of a discovery which will solve his financial problems. Nancy finds the leaning chimney, but it only leads her into more puzzles. Can there be any connection between the vase theft -- one of a number of similar crimes -- and the strange disappearance of the pottery expert Eng Moy and his daughter Lei? Join Nancy and her friends in their exciting adventures as they unravel all the twisted strands of this intriguing mystery. " This is my first time ever reading this book! Its one of only three Nancy Drew books I haven't read before and I'm very excited to read it. - The book summary mentions that there is a character named Mr. Soong. There is also a Mr. Soong (Grandfather Soong) in Mystery of the Fire Dragon. I guess Harriet Stratemeyer didn't know any other Chinese names, eh? - It's nice to see Masonville mentioned again. - The way Nancy asked to be told about how pottery is made was so awkward. - I thought Mrs. Wendell was going to be difficult with Nancy. I was pleasantly surprised when she turned out to be an old family friend of Hannah's. - I found it hilarious that Nancy hacks down the secret panel door instead of trying to figure out how to open it. Maybe its because I just finished reading The Hidden Staircase wherein Nancy takes forever to find a secret panel but I just loved that she got straight to business with it. I also liked that the villain had put in the secret passage instead of it just happening to be there. - Nancy gives Helen a kitten for her birthday and Helen says "you remembered I've been meaning to get one". I thought "meaning to get one" was such a weird way to describe getting a pet. Also I love that Bess' present to Helen is a figurine she made in her pottery class. - Nancy take on 4 cases I'm this book; the theft of Mr. Soong's vase, finding the location of the China clay pit, finding the Engs, and Helen's parents missing vase. Nancy's lucky these all intertwined. - The Hotel Royalton that Carr is staying at is an actual hotel however it appears The Oregon, the restaurant Nancy chases Carr through, either does not exist or no longer exists. You can read the rest of this review at VintageGirlsBooks.blogspot.com You can see all the illustrations from this book at www.pinterest.com/Nancydrewart

  8. 4 out of 5

    John Yelverton

    One of the first Nancy Drew books that I had ever read, and therefore, one of my favorites.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Suziey

    Nancy comes across this mystery when Bess’ cousin, Dick Milton, has antique Chinese pottery stolen from his store. Nancy offers her assistance in helping track down the thief and stumbles across another mystery. This one, involving the disappearance of two Chinese nationals. Through many obstacles, Nancy and her friends manage to solve the cases. The main mystery was actually interesting. Nancy works alongside a detective in New York for a hot second. And there is a plot twist at the end that man Nancy comes across this mystery when Bess’ cousin, Dick Milton, has antique Chinese pottery stolen from his store. Nancy offers her assistance in helping track down the thief and stumbles across another mystery. This one, involving the disappearance of two Chinese nationals. Through many obstacles, Nancy and her friends manage to solve the cases. The main mystery was actually interesting. Nancy works alongside a detective in New York for a hot second. And there is a plot twist at the end that managed to surprise me. Also, Togo reappears again. (Yay!) Also, while Nancy is in New York, she visits her Aunt Eloise. The book then mentions how after Nancy’s mom passed away, Aunt Eloise considered moving to River Heights to help Mr. Drew raise her. But Hannah was doing such a wonderful job and Aunt Eloise had work engagements, so she decided to stay in New York. This is a detail that hadn’t been revealed before which I thought was interesting. But boy, what bothered me about this story was how they kept referring to Mr. Soong, the owner of the missing artifacts, as “the Chinese“. And it wasn’t the characters that referred to him in this way. It was the narration. The Chinese sat down. The Chinese said this. The Chinese said that. It happened so many times, it frustrated me. How difficult is it to refer to him by his damn name?! A sign of the times, I guess.  Anyway I got a nice pottery lesson. I now know more about the history of clay than I have ever wanted to know.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Carol Ann Beadles

    I know, these are juvenile books but I absolutely love Nancy Drew. I read them all when I was young (at least everything in my school library) and I still continue to read them again. These Nancy Drew books belong to my daughter and I decided to read them all over again. They are good, simple reads that is clean and interesting. A good book is always a good book no matter what your age happens to be!!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Jerry

    Another great installment in this series.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ashley

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. In which NANCY AND NED ATTEND A WEDDING. Nancy and Bess are heading home after running a charity rummage sale in a neighboring town, transporting the funds, when Nancy takes a lonely shortcut in the dark. (Side note: Who in their right mind would allow/ask Nancy to run such a thing? Criminals follow her places. ALL THE TIME.) Nancy sees a strange man in the road! She almost hits him, then gets out to help, but he yells at her to go away. She glimpses that he's carrying a vase with an unusual Chin In which NANCY AND NED ATTEND A WEDDING. Nancy and Bess are heading home after running a charity rummage sale in a neighboring town, transporting the funds, when Nancy takes a lonely shortcut in the dark. (Side note: Who in their right mind would allow/ask Nancy to run such a thing? Criminals follow her places. ALL THE TIME.) Nancy sees a strange man in the road! She almost hits him, then gets out to help, but he yells at her to go away. She glimpses that he's carrying a vase with an unusual Chinese design, but he gets away. Bess recognizes Nancy's description of the vase as being similar to one in Dick Morrison's pottery shop window. Bess is taking pottery classes there. Nancy drives by and - the vase is gone!!! It was stolen! Nancy probably saw the thief! Dick is, predictably, totally heartbroken by the robbery, since he isn't making great money, and the vase was on loan from Mr. Soong. Mr. Soong had also let him borrow a couple of jade elephants, and those are gone too, so fuck everything. Nancy offers to try to track down the thief. (I still don't know what the living fuck the thieves were doing just loitering in the damn road in the middle of the night.) Dick mentions that if he can find a leaning chimney, he's heard that might help him locate a pit of China clay, which would be great for him - he could use it to make fantastic porcelain, and to pay Mr. Soong back for the stolen pieces. Dick is married, btw, and has a baby daughter. Nancy talks to Mr. Soong, a super-nice Chinese guy, who mentions to her that his friend Eng and Eng's daughter were supposed to come visit him like FIVE YEARS AGO and haven't shown up yet. Girl. It is well past time to report them missing. Anyway, Soong just assumed they went back to China without visiting. (As all ND readers know, NANCY'S GONNA FIND THEM 'CAUSE SHE'S LIKE THAT.) Nancy talks to a local geologist, Miles Monroe, to find out if he can give her clues about the China clay, but he can't. The Notorious NBG head out to where the China clay might be, which is near the Mysterious Bridge of China Smugglers, and find another asshole smuggler! He drops the china he's carrying and runs off, and Nancy can't tell much about it. Ahh well. The girls find a walled enclosure, and there's the damn leaning chimney! Nancy can't tell if there's a pit of China clay nearby, though. She also tracks a lead on a possible smuggler to a nearby town, and when she goes up to the room he's renting, she sees someone disappearing into the back of the closet! Sadly, he's not heading into Narnia. There's a hidden false back leading to the next house, which is attached. Nancy finds a bunch of listings for china pieces and is like "awesome, smuggler clues!" Nancy picks Ned up from Emerson from the wedding; he's an usher. Why is this the best? 1) Nancy thinks Ned looks "even more handsome than usual" in his wedding formalwear. HELL YEAH GIRL. 2) George is disdainful of the bride's elaborate outfit and is like "bitch I'm gettin married in a pantsuit. If I get married." And I'm like "...I mean yeah that remark could be interpreted a certain way. No judgement." Nancy starts finding counterfeit porcelain pieces, and when NBG return to the strange enclosure, they find not a village set in Revolutionary War times, but a shack and a strange lady who identifies herself as a "Lavender Sister" and says the girls will be cursed if they come inside the walls. Nancy figures out she's looking for an asshole named David Carr, who has a half(?)-brother who looks quite Chinese. She sneaks into the enclosure and a big ol' mastiff is placed at the gate, so she throws a rock (not AT the dog, near the dog) to distract him and escape. Also, after the wedding, N&N headed out to go dancing and, because that was not enough for those two lovebirds, Nancy asked Ned to drive by the Bridge of Smuggling Adventures. Nancy found a jade elephant... but someone stole her fucking car! When she escaped from the mastiff at the enclosure, she found her abandoned car there and re-stole it. Eventually Nancy and Mr. Soong find the pit of China clay and then, in the house with the leaning chimney, find his missing friend and friend's daughter! They can't speak English and David Carr basically kidnapped them and forced them to work for him! They also imported some additional Chinese laborers who also can't speak English, and they have to work for David Carr (and his wife, the "lavender sister") too! Since they're illegal, they would be even less likely to go to the cops. Nancy and Mr. Soong are discovered and locked in the old smelter so Carr can kill them, but Nancy manages to climb out through the chimney and go get help. She comes back with a bunch of cops, and the bad guys (and the Chinese laborers) are arrested. Then the laborers are freed. Mr. Soong and his friend and friend's daughter make Nancy a super awesome vase depicting her in armor slaying a dragon! It's a metaphor for what she did for them! Nancy is super touched and says that she absolutely loves it. And Ned's like "girl why did you hang back at the end of that wedding 'cause if you had caught that bouquet, WE WOULD BE PLANNING A WEDDING RIGHT NOW." He doesn't actually say that but I like to think he would have.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Saralyn Richard

    I read this book years ago, and remembered parts of it as I re-read. This time I had the added enjoyment of viewing the mystery as a period piece, as well as a sociological study of the women's movement. So much has changed in the world since this book was written, and still, it is a well-planned mystery with lots of tension. I read this book years ago, and remembered parts of it as I re-read. This time I had the added enjoyment of viewing the mystery as a period piece, as well as a sociological study of the women's movement. So much has changed in the world since this book was written, and still, it is a well-planned mystery with lots of tension.

  14. 5 out of 5

    MysteryReaderLee

    This one was pretty good. It was kinda boring to me, but aside from that it was an another great edition to Nancy Drew!

  15. 5 out of 5

    Charles

    Charles Wood INFO 683 w/ Professor Morris Resource Review #3 May 17, 2009 Keene, Carolyn. The Clue of the Leaning Chimney: Nancy Drew Mystery Stories # 26, New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1949, 88 pages. Hardcover. ISBN: 0-448-09526-2. Recommended for ages 9-12. This exciting story is the 26th adventure of the famous young detective, Nancy Drew. There is no need to start with the first book; the fast moving plot will quickly capture young readers’ attention. Readers will enjoy following the adventures of Charles Wood INFO 683 w/ Professor Morris Resource Review #3 May 17, 2009 Keene, Carolyn. The Clue of the Leaning Chimney: Nancy Drew Mystery Stories # 26, New York: Grosset & Dunlap, 1949, 88 pages. Hardcover. ISBN: 0-448-09526-2. Recommended for ages 9-12. This exciting story is the 26th adventure of the famous young detective, Nancy Drew. There is no need to start with the first book; the fast moving plot will quickly capture young readers’ attention. Readers will enjoy following the adventures of this daring and attractive teenager, as she fights crime while keeping all of her social engagements. This installment of the classic children’s mystery series involves stolen Chinese antique pottery, dangerous criminals, a strange religious cult, and missing persons. The story unfolds quickly in a chronological manner, with many seemingly disparate clues that one can guess might be significant later on in the story. Readers will enjoy the foreshadowing of danger and the author provokes, when she describes the lonely back roads Nancy and her friends drive on one rainy night, coming across mysterious strangers. Adult readers might worry about Nancy as she seems to make bad choices about chasing bad guys without letting her parents or the police know what is going on, but kids will see her as an action hero, setting wrongs right where ever she goes. The story provides challenges for Nancy that she struggles with until the end. The story focuses much of its attention on the protagonist. When she is not on an adventure, she is doing things that younger kids might think teenagers do to have fun, like going to birthday parties, driving a convertible, and babysitting. She even travels to bustling New York City by airplane to hunt for clues. Though series fiction is often based on an exciting plot, Nancy’s character is well-rounded as many of her interests are described. On the other hand, she doesn’t have many flaws, but that might be because this is an action story. There is some concern over outdated language, as the book written 60 years ago. Nancy’s friend Bess is described as “her plump friend”. Also, the book consistently referred to a Chinese man as “the Chinese”. If one reads further, they would find that Mr. Soong was not portrayed as a flat character, but as a well loved, multi-faceted old man. Furthermore, the story described Chinese porcelain art in great detail, exposing young minds to the nobility of other cultures. Most importantly, Nancy Drew is an extremely capable person that helps people in trouble; the definition of a strong, modern female hero that has inspired generations of young people to emulate her integrity. Though some language might be dated, young reader will enjoy Nancy Drew books and this story in particular. Some children might be interested reading a book that their parents read long ago, and parents will appreciate having something to bond over with their child. Some readers might enjoy that it is light on romance, and has high contrast between right and wrong. The excitement of the book will propel young readers along, as they pick up on notions of morality while developing their powers of deduction. It is clear why this series has stood the test of time.

  16. 5 out of 5

    thewestchestarian

    Carolyn Keene's ghost writer goes exotic in this one with Chinese porcelain, religious cults, non-English speakers and slave labor. First, what happened to Keene's ghost writer involving a mastiff? The damned dog breed makes another appearance to menace Nancy and her chums or cousins or whatever relationship Bess and George have to her. Note to Carolyn, other dog breeds frighten people as well. Second, beyond the mastiff, the book certainly shows its age and cultural white-ness" by referring ind Carolyn Keene's ghost writer goes exotic in this one with Chinese porcelain, religious cults, non-English speakers and slave labor. First, what happened to Keene's ghost writer involving a mastiff? The damned dog breed makes another appearance to menace Nancy and her chums or cousins or whatever relationship Bess and George have to her. Note to Carolyn, other dog breeds frighten people as well. Second, beyond the mastiff, the book certainly shows its age and cultural white-ness" by referring individually to its Asian characters as "The Chinese". Oddly, Nancy seems more culturally sensitive than the author somehow. Beyond these peccadilloes the proceedings follow the formula with intrepid Nancy leading her pals against the violent human traffickers eventually outsmarting them as well as the police. Like other books in the series, the rules of society, particularly trespassing, don't apply to the girl-sleuth. She stumbles on the slavery ring after deciding she is within her rights to climb a wooden fence clearly designed to keep out intruders and to protect the valuable clay inside. Luckily in her world, the ends justify the means.In short, other than emphasizing to your daughter that we don't refer to people by their ethnicity, this episode makes for good bedtime reading and an exemplar (if overly enthusiastic) of female empowerment.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Jayant Saket

    The Clue Of The Leaning Chimney is not that good an addition to the series.It was merely okay.Nancy Drew books are always good but some get to be dull.As always,it was an easy read but it felt boring at times.The story was pretty straightforward and predictable.Nancy moves on easily and quickly and never does she get a serious threat from the crooks — who are extremely bland and uninteresting.The villains are the worst thing that ever has happened to this book.They never felt serious and are as The Clue Of The Leaning Chimney is not that good an addition to the series.It was merely okay.Nancy Drew books are always good but some get to be dull.As always,it was an easy read but it felt boring at times.The story was pretty straightforward and predictable.Nancy moves on easily and quickly and never does she get a serious threat from the crooks — who are extremely bland and uninteresting.The villains are the worst thing that ever has happened to this book.They never felt serious and are as boring as the protagonists.Lavender Sisters and Miles Monroe leave a mark though.The action on the other hand was okay especially during the scenes involving the mastiff or the scenes in New York. For me,the feats involving the Hunter’s Bridge and Creek were the highlights.The atmosphere was enjoyable as always.This book was admittedly great in parts but gets to be executed averagely.This book particularly starts out fine and gets to be dull as we move on.A 2.5 star-rating would do good.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Melanie

    One thing that bugs me after reading about 22 of these books, more or less in sequential order, is that Nancy never seems to remember anything from her past cases. This one is obviously going to deal with forgery from the beginning. Chinese stereotypes out the wazoo. I keep picturing Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's or maybe Pat Morita (who isn't Chinese, but details details). A major significant character ends up being a double-crosser, which isn't a new trope but not one I recall in this One thing that bugs me after reading about 22 of these books, more or less in sequential order, is that Nancy never seems to remember anything from her past cases. This one is obviously going to deal with forgery from the beginning. Chinese stereotypes out the wazoo. I keep picturing Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany's or maybe Pat Morita (who isn't Chinese, but details details). A major significant character ends up being a double-crosser, which isn't a new trope but not one I recall in this series. Also, in this book, a character uses the phrase "Federal Dicks" to refer to government agents. I'm not sure if that's a mistranslation or if that is what actually appears in print copy. Nancy is knocked unconscious by an unknown assailant.

  19. 5 out of 5

    MC

    I really like the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, the original books, a lot. This one was a tad different from others in that the bad guys are some of the most evil of any villains in the series. It was a fun thing to see a resourceful character stop such horrific people. Good stuff.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Andrea Turner

    This book wasn't bad, but I am becoming more aware of the utterly 2-dimensional depiction of people of color in these stories. It makes me sad. This book wasn't bad, but I am becoming more aware of the utterly 2-dimensional depiction of people of color in these stories. It makes me sad.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Darinda

    Nancy Drew helps a local shop owner with a mystery. A charming mystery.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Bargain Sleuth Book Reviews

    For this and other book reviews, visit www.bargain-sleuth.com My Nancy Drew fatigue continues, although the reading of this week’s book didn’t take long at all. To save my sanity, I decided that I am only going to read the Original Text (OT) and skip over the Revised Texts (RT) until I get to a volume where the story is completely different. I read the RTs repeatedly growing up, and about 5 years ago I read the first 70 of the books again, so reading them again just seems like such a chore after For this and other book reviews, visit www.bargain-sleuth.com My Nancy Drew fatigue continues, although the reading of this week’s book didn’t take long at all. To save my sanity, I decided that I am only going to read the Original Text (OT) and skip over the Revised Texts (RT) until I get to a volume where the story is completely different. I read the RTs repeatedly growing up, and about 5 years ago I read the first 70 of the books again, so reading them again just seems like such a chore after reading the OTs. I’ve never read the OTs before, so to me, that’s the more important version to read right now. “A rare and valuable Chinese vase is stolen from a pottery shop which leads Nancy, Bess, and George on the trail of thieves. Along the way they search for a leaning chimney and missing pottery experts.” In The Clue of the Leaning Chimney (OT) Bess’s cousin Dick Milton, who runs a pottery shop, has a borrowed valuable Chinese vase to display in the shop’s window. Nancy, of course, has literally run into a man crossing the road at night during a storm. When she gets out to help him, she notices a package he has and it’s ripped open slightly. It turns out that what’s in that package is that same vase Bess was telling Nancy about. Cousin Dick of course asks Nancy to help find the missing vase, as well as a kaolin clay pit that is reportedly in the area. It’s reportedly the best type of clay to make pottery. In order to find it, Nancy needs to find a leaning chimney. And we’re off on another mystery. There appears to be a number of similar thefts of Chinese pottery that may or may not be connected (of course they are! This is a Nancy Drew book, after all). There’s also the mysterious disappearance of a Chinese pottery expert and his daughter that Nancy has been tasked to find. Considering the OTs usually have issues with racial insensitivity, the utmost respect of the Chinese culture is given by Nancy and her friends, with some lessons on written characters and ceramics. That doesn’t mean there aren’t some cringe-worthy moments, like on page 163 when Nancy is interviewing a post office clerk: “The clerk shook his head decisively. ‘The man I talked to,’ he said, ‘was Chinese.’ ‘Chinese!’ she exclaimed. ‘Are you sure?’ ‘Sure I’m sure!’ the clerk retorted. ‘I guess I can tell a Chinese when I see one!’ ‘What did he look like?’ Nancy persisted. The clerk stared at her helplessly. ‘Why, uh–like a Chinaman!’ he replied.” I did double check and this passage is still in the RT, which was updated in 1967. Something I also noticed in this book is that unlike the Nancy Drew Diaries, where Nancy seems to be constantly full of self-doubt and fearful, “Nancy felt a wave of panic, but she swiftly steeled her nerves. Now was the time for cool, analytical reasoning, she told herself firmly; not a surrender to sudden fears.” That is the Nancy Drew I remember. Overall, the mysteries are good, and the solutions aren’t as convoluted as some Nancy Drew books. This is a solid entry in the series. Once again, with the original cover art, Bess is depicted as having brown hair. This happened with the last book, The Ghost of Blackwood Hall as well. And Bess and George are in dresses, when it is clearly stated in the book that they were doing yard work and wearing jeans when Nancy picked them up to go investigate the leaning chimney. Also, Nancy’s long locks have been cut, and her hair is no longer golden blonde, but closer to the titian color that was later adopted. On the RT’s cover of The Clue of the Leaning Chimney, Nancy’s hair looks like it’s dark blonde, not strawberry-blonde. No wonder there’s been confusion over the years about Nancy’s hair!

  23. 5 out of 5

    Danielle

    Title: The Clue of the Leaning Chimney Author: Carolyn Keene Series: Nancy Drew, 26 Format: hardcover Length: 176 pages Rating: 3 stars Synopsis: A rare and valuable Chinese vase is stolen from a pottery shop and Dick Milton, the owner, asks Nancy for help. The young sleuth is tasked to find the thief, the missing ornament and to locate a leaning chimney. This chimney marks a discovery that will solve Dick’s financial problems. During her investigations, Nancy finds the leaning chimney, but it only Title: The Clue of the Leaning Chimney Author: Carolyn Keene Series: Nancy Drew, 26 Format: hardcover Length: 176 pages Rating: 3 stars Synopsis: A rare and valuable Chinese vase is stolen from a pottery shop and Dick Milton, the owner, asks Nancy for help. The young sleuth is tasked to find the thief, the missing ornament and to locate a leaning chimney. This chimney marks a discovery that will solve Dick’s financial problems. During her investigations, Nancy finds the leaning chimney, but it only leads her into more puzzles. Are there connections between the theft of the rare vase, a number of similar crimes and the strange disappearance of a Chinese pottery expert and his daughter? Mini-review: Good book. Guessed a plot twist. Took me longer than I wanted to to read. (Dang it Star Wars Celebration) Fan Cast: Nancy Drew - Katherine McNamara Bess Marvin - Abigail Breslin George Fayne - Brianna Hildebrand Ned Nickerson - Ansel Elgort Hannah Gruen - Mary Steenbergen Carson Drew - Paul Rudd Eloise Drew - Elizabeth Banks Chief McGinnis - Vincent D'Onofrio Dick Milton - Chad Michael Murray Mr. Soong - Jackie Chan Miles Monroe - Alan Tudyk Mr. Sen-yung - Benedict Wong Eng Lei - Tiffany Espensen Eng Moy - Jiang Wen David Carr - Daniel Wu Ching - BD Wong

  24. 4 out of 5

    David Allen Hines

    This is a very good classic Nancy Drew story that any fan of the series will enjoy. It is well-written, and focuses on fake Chinese pottery. There is a maze of fascinating yet believable interactions regarding the fake pottery ring, and Nancy is also called to search for a deposit of rare clay that can be used to make pottery, and all the storylines tie together well. Nancy discovers a mysterious fenced in wooded property where an old building with the "leaning chimney" the title of the book com This is a very good classic Nancy Drew story that any fan of the series will enjoy. It is well-written, and focuses on fake Chinese pottery. There is a maze of fascinating yet believable interactions regarding the fake pottery ring, and Nancy is also called to search for a deposit of rare clay that can be used to make pottery, and all the storylines tie together well. Nancy discovers a mysterious fenced in wooded property where an old building with the "leaning chimney" the title of the book comes from, serves as a central part of the mystery. Despite the age of this book, the story remains plausible, interesting and entertaining and has generally aged well, although because the current version of the book was re-written from the much older original story, there are, here and there in the text, some old-fashioned sayings that surely date back to the original story. The cover artwork is also well done. I found this to be a top-quality classic Nancy Drew, one of the better of the classic series.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Yna Paez

    I enjoyed this storyline very much. It was more exciting than most Nancy Drew mystery stories and the last few chapters had me on my toes with all the suspense. I feel that the plot was just perfect and not childishly naive like Nancy's other mysteries but may I just add: I think that I am just at a certain point in my life where I feel old enough to finally be annoyed by Bess's behavior. Rather than helping Nancy solve the mystery, I think (much more here than other times) that her cowardice ke I enjoyed this storyline very much. It was more exciting than most Nancy Drew mystery stories and the last few chapters had me on my toes with all the suspense. I feel that the plot was just perfect and not childishly naive like Nancy's other mysteries but may I just add: I think that I am just at a certain point in my life where I feel old enough to finally be annoyed by Bess's behavior. Rather than helping Nancy solve the mystery, I think (much more here than other times) that her cowardice kept on hindering, or delaying otherwise, her friend's attempt to solve the mystery. I Let's say that I did tolerate her coward and naive nature in the other books but surely I'm allowed to be irked by her constantly getting Nancy and George in trouble. Can we please stop it already with the dim-wittedness and the fat shaming? I know the story is outdated but I can't help it. It's really a good thing that the last few chapters were exciting and scary as hell. I am more than satisfied with the flow of this storyline. I just love it.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Priyadarshni Palanikumar

    Turns out, I had forgotten a lot of this book! But, this read proved very enlightening to me. So, Nancy stumbles into a sinister man on a lonely road who runs away with a Chinese vase. It looked similar to one her friend Bess had seen in her cousin Dick's pottery store. On a hunch, the girls go to check up on Dick's vase, and discover that it had just been stolen. A series of unrelated events keep linking together as the original owner of the vase also enlists the Drews' help to track down his mi Turns out, I had forgotten a lot of this book! But, this read proved very enlightening to me. So, Nancy stumbles into a sinister man on a lonely road who runs away with a Chinese vase. It looked similar to one her friend Bess had seen in her cousin Dick's pottery store. On a hunch, the girls go to check up on Dick's vase, and discover that it had just been stolen. A series of unrelated events keep linking together as the original owner of the vase also enlists the Drews' help to track down his missing friends. Okay, why the four stars, you ask me? 1. Some characters proved totally useless to the plot. It was a bit too much connect the extra characters to events in the mystery. 2. I did not like the way Ms Keene (or whoever the current ghostwriter is) uses the term Chinese in sentences like, "He was a Chinese." It has the hints of racism. I did not remember these two points when I opened the book this time.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Joanna

    I really noticed some stand out traits of Nancy's in this mystery: she has faults, but they are usually in service of the mystery (she gets lost in thought and ignores people, she gets carried away searching and forgets someone, etc.), and Nancy does get afraid, but she doesn't allow fear to overrun her. Additionally, one of my favorite things about these books is that you always learn something new. It's often presented in a sort of "Well, gee, kids let's learn about ___ today," which doesn't b I really noticed some stand out traits of Nancy's in this mystery: she has faults, but they are usually in service of the mystery (she gets lost in thought and ignores people, she gets carried away searching and forgets someone, etc.), and Nancy does get afraid, but she doesn't allow fear to overrun her. Additionally, one of my favorite things about these books is that you always learn something new. It's often presented in a sort of "Well, gee, kids let's learn about ___ today," which doesn't bother me but might make others roll their eyes. In this mystery we get to learn some about Chinese culture including written characters and ceramics. Unfortunately, as this is a product of it's time, there's quite a few moments that made me cringe: a post office employee says all Chinese people look the same, for example. In general, Nancy and her friends seemed to be as culturally sensitive as one could ask for from a book written in the 60s.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Stacey

    It's interesting how Nancy has changed over the course of the books and this Nancy is more like the original Nancy (from the first few books). Ned's barely there and it's Nancy who does the work and solves the mystery and rescues herself and others. Yay! The mystery is simple and not a tangle of different threads like "Blackwood Hall." There was one twist I did not see coming! The book treats its Chinese characters quite well and I rather liked Mr Soong. Granted the bad guys are are also Chinese It's interesting how Nancy has changed over the course of the books and this Nancy is more like the original Nancy (from the first few books). Ned's barely there and it's Nancy who does the work and solves the mystery and rescues herself and others. Yay! The mystery is simple and not a tangle of different threads like "Blackwood Hall." There was one twist I did not see coming! The book treats its Chinese characters quite well and I rather liked Mr Soong. Granted the bad guys are are also Chinese or half-Chinese, but it's treated differently from "The Clue in the Old Album." And there's a religious order of nuns and a mastiff! Nancy has a dog now...who has come in handy a few times so far. And I'm betting it's poor Hannah who has to walk the dang thing. ;) Nancy should have gotten a cat.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Sara

    well here's the thing, it was an ok book. I could easily tell who David Carr's brother was. For a little bit, I thought Mr.Soong was evil and boy that would have been a plot twist but no, that didn't happen. Nancy was pretty reckless and got her friends in danger. Ned was pretty dumb too. I also find it really hard to believe the adults just readily believe Nancy and take her advice. fine, I get that the police in river heights would believe her because she established her credibility as a relia well here's the thing, it was an ok book. I could easily tell who David Carr's brother was. For a little bit, I thought Mr.Soong was evil and boy that would have been a plot twist but no, that didn't happen. Nancy was pretty reckless and got her friends in danger. Ned was pretty dumb too. I also find it really hard to believe the adults just readily believe Nancy and take her advice. fine, I get that the police in river heights would believe her because she established her credibility as a reliable detective there but what about in new York?? I can't imagine a NYPD officer or captain easily taking Nancy's word and advice on the case. I mean, who is she to them? she has not established reputation in NYC. anyway, it was an ok read...

  30. 5 out of 5

    Vintagebooklvr

    Enjoyable. Nancy isn't just chasing after a thief like normal but is also trying to find a missing Chinese family. Of course, the cases begin to overlap. Some parts are not realistic--not even touching some of the outlandish things she gets involved in--i.e. The Chinese family would not have been able to leave China so easily during this time period or for that matter expect to go back without repercussions. But none of these adventures or facts annoyed me so much that I would lower the rating. Enjoyable. Nancy isn't just chasing after a thief like normal but is also trying to find a missing Chinese family. Of course, the cases begin to overlap. Some parts are not realistic--not even touching some of the outlandish things she gets involved in--i.e. The Chinese family would not have been able to leave China so easily during this time period or for that matter expect to go back without repercussions. But none of these adventures or facts annoyed me so much that I would lower the rating.

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