Monday, May 2, 2016

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #47: The Mysterious Mannequin (1970)


One day, Nancy stops by her dad's law office to see him just as a large package arrives. Inside is a gorgeous Turkish rug. Though there's no label, Carson assumes it's from his old client Farouk. Farouk owned a popular rug store that had a gorgeous mannequin in the front window. Someone accused him of smuggling in antique illegal rugs, and he left town without a word.

While going over the rug, she finds a car and a little boy with his dad, which she realizes is a sign for Carson. They take the rug home and find another mention of the mannequin. Ned stops by to pick her and the girls up. They head to the airport to pick up Bert and Dave, but the two's plane almost crashes. The whole group then goes back to the Drew house to look over the rug some more.

The next morning, Nancy finds a message that says Farouk loved his mannequin. Ned thinks the whole thing is weird but agrees to help her with the case. They head off for a picnic lunch and stop by the man's former store. The current owner barely speaks English and can't communicate with her, but a man outside laughs in her face when he learns she's looking for the mannequin.

Turns out the old man is just a kook, but she does learn the name of the realty company that rented the former store. Instead of checking with the company, she and Ned head to the water for a boat ride. They then stop at a bookstore, and Nancy finds a room on antique foreign rugs. She learns about these antique dishes that feature silver and turquoise and learns about a family who might be related to Farouk.

When they get back, Bess is all excited because she found a new clue in the rug that uses the word carry. She and George then immediately take off. Later that same night, Nancy catches a robber in their house who tries to steal the rug. Togo, her dog, jumps on the man and chases him away. The cops come but are absolutely no help at all.

The girls track down all the locksmiths in town but can't find anyone who knows the guy she saw that night. They also stop for a quick lunch, see a kid fall in the river, and Nancy jumps in and saves him. His parents are so grateful that they pay for their meal. They do find one man who says he saw a guy matching the description of the thief a few days before. The man had an unusual key that could open any lock. The three girls then head to the realty company. The owner is no help and has no idea about the mannequin but some other guy shows up and says he can help.

It's the tailor that has a shop in the former rug store. He shows them a hidden trap door in the store and a pair of slippers. Nancy realizes that it's the same pair the mannequin always wore. He agrees to let them take the slippers home. Mr. Simpson, the father of the son she saved, then calls. It turns out that he's also a travel agent and worked with Farouk in the past. He just so happens to have an upcoming trip to Istanbul with seats available.

Nancy discovers that the rug says for Carson to take the mannequin to Constantinople, which is the former name of Istanbul. While trying to find the mannequin though, she sees a girl getting pushed around by a guy. Bess and George run to find the police, and Nancy sees the girl get away. The cops find a note in the man's pocket that is written in Greek. It says that Farouk is dead. Nancy finds proof that it's a fake note but still wants to check things out at a local Greek restaurant. Nancy also finds out that Farouk would take the mannequin out of the window every night, change its clothes, and put it back.

Out of all the Greek restaurants in River Heights, they somehow pick the right one. The owner talks with them because he recognizes Nancy for her detective work, but before he can tell her too much, another man butts in and interrupts. The man throws a fit that sends the owner back into the kitchen. He arranges for waiters to bring the girls a full meal and slips her a note that has four names of the people she might be looking for.

While on the hunt for those names, someone throws a rock right through her window. Since she has bulletproof glass and had the windows up, it doesn't do much damage. The first two names are a bust, but they manage to find the name of the burglar, Tunay. Two little girls randomly show up and tell them about his girlfriend. Nancy gets the idea of check with the library, and the librarian tells them that Aisha, his girlfriend, lives at a certain address.

Aisha invites them in and tells them the whole story. She and Farouk were in love before he suddenly left town. He sent her one letter before he disappeared. Tunay kept hitting on her and giving her a bunch of gifts and later gave her the letter that said her real love was dead. When they start to leave, Nancy asks her about the mannequin, Aisha gets a panicked look on her face, and slams the doors shut.

Ned and Nancy go to find Tunay and actually stop someone from robbing a store owner of his payroll. They the find Tunay and confront him, but he doesn't tell them much. He just tells them that Farouk is still alive and that he had someone make up the letter for Aisha for reasons he won't explain. When they get back to the house, they find the rug downstairs. Nancy opens it, a tiny knife flies out, and almost hits Ned before embedding itself in the wall.

Aisha comes over to try and help them out with the rug. She finds a tiny image of a shoe stand and wonders why Farouk added it. I'm guessing it has something to do with the slippers. Nancy spends all day trying to put things together before Bess and George come over. That's when she announces that she thinks she finally solved it. Now all she needs to do is go to Istanbul.

Luckily, Mr. Simpson has exactly eight seats left on his upcoming group tour, which is enough room for the girls, their fellas, Carson, and Aisha. Before they leave, Nancy goes back to see the tailor and runs into the kook. He pulls out a knife just like the one from the rug, and Nancy takes him down like a bad ass. When the police arrive, he tells them that he just wanted to show her the knife and says that he often saw Farouk kiss the cheek of the mannequin and treat it like a real person.

Back at home, there's a knock at the door. When she opens it, a big dog attacks Togo. Hannah manages to save the day with a well aimed garden hose. The cops track the dog's tags to a man who made and sold tiny knives like the one from the rug. He up and disappeared, leaving his dog behind. The captain tells her the dog was military trained and that she's lucky it didn't kill her.

The whole group then takes off to Turkey. Aisha's parents meet them at the airport and invite them for dinner. The group manages to track down a shoe shine stand just like the one from the rug, but the owner refuses to talk to her because she's a woman. As they wander around, they suddenly realize that Bess is missing.

We then cut back to Bess as she stops at a perfume shop. The worker has her sample different scents before a young boy rushes in and tells her that her group is looking for her. Bess follows him to a random shop, he convinces her to go inside, and then slams an iron gate behind her and locks it. Another man comes in and forces her to call their hotel and leave Nancy a message. Though she says they never found the mannequin, he still makes her call.

Nancy and the rest of the group actually spot the robber/dog owner from back home and give chase. Though he almost gets away, they flag down the police for help. As the cops arrest him, Bess shows up in a cab with all the guys. They tracked her down and saved her, which sucks since we saw none of that. Aisha then takes them to a mosque and talks about Farouk some. She realizes that there was a cistern in the rug's design and takes them to one he always thought was special. While looking at the design, someone shoves Nancy from behind and knocks her into the water.

Nancy is totally okay, and the guys catch the boy who pushed her, who is the son of the thief. Aisha then sees a figure rushing towards her, which turns out to be Farouk. After the two share a special moment, they all go out to dinner. That's when Nancy reveals that Aisha was the mannequin. She posed as the mannequin to hold onto the cash that some of his customers paid with to keep the money safe. That is seriously bad. Carson tries to give Farouk back some of the money he paid him, but he refuses to take it. Then they learn that Carson saved the day and cleared his name, making it possible for him and Aisha to come back an live in the United States again.

*Hannah makes grilled cheese and ham sandwiches for the group with a tomato and cheese sauce on top. It sounds weird to me, but Bert and Dave love it so much that they plan on making it back at school.

*Ned is so cute! He walks in as Nancy is reading the “I love...” part of the rug and makes a comment about how he knows who she loves. He then tells her that he prefers live girls and gives her a wink. I have a boyfriend, but I need a Ned lol.

*Ned sells insurance? He tells a few not so funny stories and then mentions hoping that he'll make a big sale before heading back to college, weird.

*Seriously, she was the freaking mannequin? That annoys me more than any other ending I've read so far! How could she possibly sit still for so long that people wouldn't realize she was a real person?