Hidden Pictures : 03/22/23
Hidden Pictures by Carolyn Keene (2020) is the twentieth book in the Nancy Drew Diaries series. Nancy and her besties are in nearby Shady Oaks for a newly open photography show at a museum that has fallen on hard times. Before they are even settled in, they're alerted to a curse. People are being trapped in the dead photographer's photographs!
The premise of this book sounds more like a Hardy Boys mystery than a Nancy Drew case. I credit the paranormal hints at the CW Nancy Drew series where nearly everything is paranormal. That said, the mystery is grounded in reality and the solution is ultimately a mundane one.
The mystery has two parts.
The first is, where are the missing people? If this were one of my many adult cozies, the missing people would probably be dead. As it's not, they are alive and just elsewhere. Nancy early on has a very good idea where but needs to figure out who she can trust to gain access to them.
The second is who and how behind the altered photographs. Again, the how is revealed fairly early in the novel. But there's still the who, and I suppose the why.
Despite the nuts and bolts of this case being pretty obvious it was still a satisfying read. The problem here wasn't one of solving a puzzle, as sometimes these cases are. Instead it centered on Nancy's ability to read people to figure out whom to trust.
The 21st book is The Vanishing Statue (2020).