The Clue in the Crossword Cipher

The Clue in the Crossword CipherThe Clue in the Crossword Cipher by Carolyn Keene
Series: Nancy Drew #44
Published by Grosset & Dunlap on January 1st 1967
Genres: Children's, Mystery
Pages: 192
Format: ebook
Buy on Amazon, Buy on Barnes & Noble, Buy at The Book Depository

For cliffhanging suspense and thrilling action read THE NANCY DREW MYSTERY STORIES-the worlds most popular mystery series for young readers! Millions of fans have matched wits with Nancy Drew, helping her solve more than fifty baffling cases.

I adore Nancy Drew books in general, but The Clue in the Crossword Cipher is probably one of my favorites in the mystery series yet. I’ve probably mentioned that I love to learn as I read and with this book, set in South America, namely in Peru and Argentina, I was captivated.

In the story, Nancy and her closest chums, Bess and George, travel with another friend, Carla, to her home in Peru in an attempt to solve a mystery revolving around an ancient artifact, which has been in the possession of Carla’s family for centuries.

Now, me, being a person who rarely reads book synopses in full, as I feel synopses sometimes spoil the book, expected the mystery to involve a literal crossword puzzle, straight out of The New York Times or something. However, I was very wrong!

The crossword is actually a piece of a puzzle engraved on the ancient artifact owned by Carla’s family – which definitely came as a surprise! Full of suspense, snooping snoops, and true to its time, The Clue in the Crossword Cipher kept me entertained and on the proverbial edge of my seat – I did not solve the mystery prior to the book’s conclusion, which always makes me happy.

The story takes Nancy and her comrades from the ruins of Machu Picchu to the Nazca lines, which are archaeological sites of great interest to me. While I did have to suspend disbelief a bit while reading about Nancy and friends’ escapades at the sites, I still very much enjoyed the book and learned a bit about South American Indian culture along the way.

The only thing I could see being problematic regarding all Nancy Drew mysteries is the fact that, like I said, they are true to their time, as in they were written in the 1950s and 1960s – meaning that gender stereotypes and silliness are found in abundance.

For instance, there is a bit too much focus on the fact that Nancy is ‘attractive’ and Bess is ‘overweight.’ However, knowing the time in which these books were written, before women were seen in a more modern light, I can brush off these references.

Nancy Drew mysteries are always light, quick reads that are definitely go-to books when I’m in a reading slump. They were prominent staples in both my and my mother’s childhoods and reading them takes me back to being that young girl who had become intrigued by reading and especially mysteries.

Love, Maggie


  1. The Nancy Drew series is what started my love for reading so these books will always have a special place in my heart! It was nice reading a review of a childhood book, which refreshed my memory of it! I’ve read so many of the spin-off series + all the Hardy Boy books too. My favorites were the Nancy Drew & Hardy Boys SuperMystery series where they teamed up to solve murders (and other more serious crimes) around the country/world. This series was a little more on the mature side than the originals so I loved higher stakes and romance.
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    • Maggie

      OMG! I can’t believe I had no clue about the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew crossovers! I need to find them! I read the first Hardy Boys book earlier this year and didn’t like it as well as the Nancy books, but I still want to read them ALL! LOL! So glad to have found another Nancy Drew lover!!! 😀

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  3. I have always wanted to read a Nancy Drew novel and this makes me want to read one even more. They sound like my type of book. I enjoy a casual mystery, which seems to be the focus of these books. I believe my local bookstore has several of these, may have to pick up a few.

    • Maggie

      Cassie, you’ve got to get some Nancy Drew books – they are so much fun and I’ve been reading them since I was little! A great thing about the series is that you don’t have to read them in order unless you want to! I hope you can get your hands on some soon! 😀

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