Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase
“Warner Bros. Home Entertainment provided me with a free copy of the Blu-Ray I reviewed in this post. The opinions I share are my own.”
After the death of his wife, Carson Drew decides to leave Chicago behind and make a fresh start with his daughter in River Heights. But for 16-year-old Nancy Drew, life in a small town is mighty dull. She longs for excitement, adventure, and the chance to make a difference. Nancy gets that opportunity when she is asked to help solve the ghostly activity at the Twin Elms mansion. Can she help explain the creaking footsteps, exploding lightbulbs and the ominous creature? Is it the handiwork of high-school bully Derek Barnes? Or is it possible that the ghost of original owner Malcolm Colfax is back for revenge? Recruiting her best friends George and Bess, along with local “mean girl” Helen, Nancy Drew is on the case!
Nancy Drew is fearless and always up for an adventure. She also has a soft spot for those who can’t stick up for themselves. So, after the fallout of avenging her friend with a school bully, Nancy finds herself in community service. But helping out a sweet old lady with a ghost problem is just the thing she needs to save herself from boredom.
Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase resembles the second book in the Nancy Drew series of the same name. Though, this has obviously been modernized. Nancy, George, and Bess have very different looks and personalities. And this Nancy seems much more immature and brazen than her original character from the books. The story is intriguing and engaging. Though, most of the mystery is very predictable for any adult, children will still enjoy the suspense and silly humor. Despite the exciting suspense, it still remains lighthearted and fun. This family friendly film was a hit with my 9 and 11 year old nieces, who immediately wondered if there would be sequel.
Own it on Blu-Ray and DVD April 2!
– A Sleuth, A Girl and an Inspiration (Featurette)
– Pink Footprints: Touring Twin Elms (Featurette)
– Gag Reel
The Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes: The Haunting of Torre Abbey by Carole Bugge
Sherlock Holmes receives a request for aid from Lord Cary, whose family home, Torre Abbey, is seemingly haunted. While skeptical, Holmes believes that the Carys are in danger, a belief that proves horrifyingly accurate when a household member dies mysteriously. As strange sightings and threatening apparitions become almost commonplace, Holmes and Watson must uncover the secrets of the abbey if they are to have any hope of protecting the living and avenging the dead.
The Haunting of Torre Abbey is a fun and suspenseful mystery with everyone’s favorite detective. This has the feel of the original The Hound of the Baskervilles. Holmes makes astute observations and always seems miles ahead of everyone else. Though Watson is brilliant as well, as we get his point of view. When I thought I had the mystery figured out, I was only partially right. There are several surprises and overall an intriguing mystery that I won’t soon forget. I can’t get enough of Sherlock, so I’m grateful for this Further Adventures of Sherlock Holmes series.
And Then There Were Four by Nancy Werlin
When a building collapses around five teenagers—and they just barely escape—they know something strange is going on. Little by little, the group pieces together a theory: Their parents are working together to kill them all. Is it true? And if so, how did their parents come together—and why? And, most importantly, how can the five of them work together to save themselves? With an unlikely group of heroes, sky-high stakes, and two budding romances, this gripping murder mystery will keep readers guessing until the last page.
Five very different teenagers are drawn together by a traumatic experience with a suspicious cause. They aren’t sure who messaged them all to the meeting where the all could have died. But one of their parents had the means of bringing the building down. As crazy as it sounds, the teens start with a theory; and pieces begin falling into place as they investigate.
And Then There Were Four is a fast-paced thrilling whodunit. The character development was exceptional – especially for the narrators. The narrative itself is a bit strange – with one speaking in first person past tense and another in second person present tense – every other chapter. I’m not sure why that distracting choice was made other than to make the two voices more distinct. Thankfully, I was able to get used to it and enjoy the story that proved to be heart-pounding suspense with several fun twists along the way.
The Blacklist: The Beekeeper No. 159 by Steven Piziks
Raymond Reddington brings Elizabeth Keen a new Blacklister: the Bodysnatcher, an unnamed, unknown man who has turned kidnapping into an art form. But when Lizzie and the team move to intercept the Bodysnatcher, they discover that he is not their real target. Their real target is much more sinister and it will take all their strength and dedication to resist him – and to discover what Reddington is really after.
The Bodysnatcher has been stealing away people and handing them over to a cult-like group led by the Beekeeper. When following the Bodysnatcher, Liz and their strike team are ambushed and several of the group are either killed or taken by the Beekeeper. And Liz must use all of her skills to out-think and trick her captor to stay clear-headed enough to escape.
This original Blacklist novel is set sometime last season. Mind-washing cults are already creepy, but adding in a guy with such incredible resources made the suspense even more intense and exciting. Fans of the show will enjoy this thriller where Liz gets to shine. I have enjoyed Liz’s character growth throughout the seasons from a naive and reserved person to the bold and confident woman she has become. The author has done a great job of keeping the characters true and developing an original story that hasn’t been done before. With plenty of fun twists along the way, this story is a great addition to the series.
Courtesy of G.P. Putnam’s Sons, I have a copy of Extreme Prey by John Sandford for one (1) lucky winner!
Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 13. I’ll draw a name on May 14, and notify winner via email.
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Elementary: The Ghost Line by Adam Christopher
Summons to a bullet-riddled body in a Hell’s Kitchen apartment marks the start of a new case for consulting detectives Sherlock Holmes and Joan Watson. The victim is a subway train driver with a hidden stash of money and a strange Colombian connection, but why would someone kill him and leave a fortune behind?
The search for the truth will lead the sleuths deep into the hidden underground tunnels beneath New York City, where answers—and more bodies—may well await them.
Fans of the show Elementary will enjoy this new tie-in series. The characters are spot on, as the eccentric Holmes does is crazy “research” and investigates complex crimes. This latest crime involves a murder that leads to an underground trail to a museum exhibit. But it’s not a straight-forward heist.
The Ghost Line is a solid and intriguing story with colorful characters and plenty of humor. Christopher does a great job of developing vivid characters that are familiar and keeping true to the series. I’m a sucker for a good murder mystery, and you can’t beat Sherlock Holmes in any incarnation.
Courtesy of Putnam, I have a copy of Gathering Prey by John Sandford for one (1) lucky winner!
Contest is open to US residents only. No PO Boxes please. To enter, just fill out the form below. Contest ends May 14. I’ll draw a name on May 15, and notify winner via email.
ENTER DAILY TO INCREASE YOUR CHANCE OF WINNING!
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Personal by Lee Child
You can leave the army, but the army doesn’t leave you. Not always. Not completely, notes Jack Reacher—and sure enough, the retired military cop is soon pulled back into service. This time, for the State Department and the CIA.
Someone has taken a shot at the president of France in the City of Light. The bullet was American. The distance between the gunman and the target was exceptional. How many snipers can shoot from three-quarters of a mile with total confidence? Very few, but John Kott—an American marksman gone bad—is one of them. And after fifteen years in prison, he’s out, unaccounted for, and likely drawing a bead on a G-8 summit packed with enough world leaders to tempt any assassin.
If anyone can stop Kott, it’s the man who beat him before: Reacher. And though he’d rather work alone, Reacher is teamed with Casey Nice, a rookie analyst who keeps her cool with Zoloft. But they’re facing a rough road, full of ruthless mobsters, Serbian thugs, close calls, double-crosses—and no backup if they’re caught. All the while Reacher can’t stop thinking about the woman he once failed to save. But he won’t let that that happen again. Not this time. Not Nice.
Reacher never gets too close. But now a killer is making it personal
Jack is hired to find a recent parolee that he sent to prison years before. A talented sniper and only one of a handful that could have made the shot that hit the president of France. This time he travels to Europe and has to work outside the local law in order to uncover the truth and find those responsible.
This is only the second Jack Reacher novel I have read. But even just reading one novel, I feel like I know the character. Lee Child is incredibly talented at writing vivid characters, a strong mystery, and action-packed scenes. And Personal is no exception. Full of intrigue, suspense, violence, and drama – this thriller is fast-paced excitement from beginning to end.