Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Book Review: The Secret of Shadow Ranch

1965 Revision

Title: The Secret of Shadow Ranch

Author: Carolyn Keene

Date Released: 1931, Revised in 1965

Type of Book: Fiction

Age Group: Everyone


After getting invited to a ranch in Phoenix, Arizona owned by Bess and George's aunt and uncle, Nancy yet again stumbles upon another mystery when she learns about the terrible and mysterious accidents that have been happening at the ranch. Each event happened right after a mystical, phantom horse appears at night. Not only that, but Bess and George's fourteen-year-old cousin, Alice, who is visiting as well, has a missing father, whom she hopes will be found by Nancy. 

Nancy suspects that the both incidents have to do with Dirk Valentine, a romantic outlaw that was in love with the sheriff's daughter Frances Humber, and his treasure. Now, Nancy must figure out who or what is behind the phantom scheme and the disasters, along with the disappearance of Alice’s father.

Main Characters

Nancy Drew: Nancy Drew is a smart and clever 18-year-old amateur detective. She is fearless and constantly getting herself (and sometimes others around her) into a pickle.

Elizabeth "Bess" Marvin: The funny, smart, and food-loving friend of Nancy. She and her cousin George often apprentice for Nancy with her mysteries.

Georgina "George" Fayne: Bess's clever and smart cousin, Nancy's friend. She, just like Bess, sometimes help Nancy with her cases.

Alice Regor: Bess and George's fourteen-year-old cousin whose father went into a bank for some papers and never came back out. She asks Nancy to look for her father who loves to draw pastels for a hobby.

Bet Rawley: Bess and George's worried aunt, the wife of Ed Rawley.

Ed Rawley: Bess and George's uncle whose ranch is failing from damage. He is Bet Rawley's husband.

Dave Gregory: A cowboy working at the ranch. He is snotty to Nancy.

Shorty: A ranch cowboy. He seems to appear right after an accident occurs.

"Minor" Important Characters

Apache Chief: The black German Shepard ranch dog who followed the phantom horse and didn't come back until Nancy and her friends found him alive in the mountains.

Mrs. Thurmond: The ranch's cook. At the time she is scared silly, and threatens to leave unless Nancy can prove the phantom horse is a real horse.

Bud: A ranch cowboy who can play the guitar.

Tex: A nice ranch cowboy.

Mary: The young Native-American shop owner of an antique store in Tumbleweed, a little town near the ranch. 

Phantom Horse: A ghostly horse that appears before something bad happens. The creature was said to be Dirk Valentine's horse, which came to a strange whistle.


The Secret of Shadow Ranch was a fast-moving and short novel. I liked the western theme. Okay for all ages. I give it 5/5 stars.


  1. what was the outcome?

    1. You should read the book to find out! I wouldn't want to spoil the ending for you!

    2. it is a great book