The Bungalow Mystery
|The Bungalow Mystery|
|Original title||Nancy Drew Mystery Series #3|
|Series||Nancy Drew Mystery Stories|
|Publisher||Grosset & Dunlap|
|Publication date||April 29, 1930|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Preceded by||The Hidden Staircase|
|Followed by||The Mystery at Lilac Inn|
The Bungalow Mystery is the third volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series written under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. It was the last of three books in the "breeder set" trilogy, released in 1930, to test-market the series. It was the final volume edited by Edward Stratemeyer before his death.
Plot summaries 
1930 edition 
In the beginning, Laura Pendleton rescues Nancy Drew and her friend Helen from a boat wreck by during a sudden, severe storm. The girls from River Heights befriend the orphaned Laura, who has come to the area to meet her new guardian, Jacob Aborn.
1960 revision 
The plot is similar, but the mystery takes longer to develop; normally the revised versions of Nancy Drew reduce detail and speed up the action. Nancy and Helen meet Laura after she rescues them on the lake; the girls are vacation while Helen and her aunt plan her upcoming wedding. The girls meet Laura's guardians, Mr. and Mrs. Jacob Aborn, more dramatically: bleached-haired Mrs. Aborn arrives at the hotel in disarray. Nancy finds the Aborns gauche but friendly. Nancy is called home to aid injured Hannah Gruen; as in the original, she encounters a tree on the road, but this time a brother/sister team helps her.
Upon returning home, Nancy looks after Hannah and takes over the housekeeping chores. Carson Drew assigns her to investigate a long list of individuals suspected of involvement in investment-securities fraud. Nancy tackles this by dressing more maturely (the first time she implements an appearance-change to sleuth) and going door-to-door for charity as a ruse to meet the suspects. This subplot adds time and depth to the story.
As in the original, Laura contacts Nancy suspiciously, then escapes from her locked room at the Aborn residence to seek refuge at the Drews'. Mrs. Aborn had ordered Laura to hand over valuable jewels, but then carried them to Nancy's house.
The rest of the mystery passes similarly to the 1930 edition, although Nancy fixes Laura up on a date with her friend Don Cameron, and she goes to investigate under the ruse of being on vacation. A feature fixture that appears vaguely in other volumes is introduced here: Nancy carries a suitcase in her trunk that contains sleuthing costumes appropriate for outdoor wear, an evening dress with accessories, and swimwear, plus cosmetics, etc. The main difference in the new edition's final chapters is that the Aborns are impostoring together as a couple; Jacob Aborn's wife was on vacation and Stumpy closely resembled Jacob Aborn, allowing for the substitution. They are the couple Nancy couldn't locate in River Heights, who committed the banking crimes her father was reviewing. Laura discovers that the real Aborns are wonderful people who would be caring guardians. To reward Nancy for helping her and rescuing her securities, Laura presents the sleuth with her mother's favorite ring: an aquamarine, a reminder that their friendship began on water.
The original 1930 artwork—Nancy peeking into the abandoned bungalow—was created by Russell H. Tandy, who also designed the frontispiece and three internals for the original version. In 1937, the three internals were omitted. In 1943, Tandy executed a completely new pen-and-ink drawing for the frontispiece instead of updating earlier illustrations. In 1950, Bill Gillies created new cover artwork, showing Nancy spying on Stumpy Dowd. This artwork was retained for the 1960 revision, which also added a frontispiece and five pen-and-ink internal illustrations. In 1966, the cover was updated by Rudy Nappi to show Nancy dressed severely, contrasting with the current "mod" look, and spying on the bungalow in the woods. These illustrations are all in print today.