Aloha, readers! A blast from the past! This Nancy Drew mystery, “The Secret of the Golden Pavilion,” is set in Hawaii, and the illustrations of tropical landscapes throughout (even including an outrigger canoe) just adds to the authenticity of this Hawaiian adventure!
The mystery plot? Nancy Drew, along with Bess and George, travel to Hawaii (the newly-admitted Aloha State, as the story was published in 1959) to solve a puzzle involving an old golden pavilion. In addition to coming across a trio of art thieves and helping a man find his missing treasure, the sleuth team is asked by Mr. Sakamaki to solve the secret mystery of the estate, named Kaluakua, which he inherited from his grandfather who warned him never to sell the estate until he learns its secret.
To make the matter more intriguing, this golden pavilion on the Kaluakua estate shows evidence that someone has been hacking into its floor … just one of many exciting clues they follow!
A really neat factoid about the “Nancy Drew” series is that it was created by Adam Stratemeyer of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, which had a “stable” of authors that worked under pseudonyms, such as Carolyn Keene (“Nancy Drew” series), Frank Dixon (“Hardy Boys” series), Arthur M. Winfield (“Rover Boys” series) and Laura Lee Hope (“Bobbsey Twins” series), which he oversaw until his death when his heirs continued his vision for these types of series.
At the time, these kinds of book series for young people were a new idea! As with all new things, there usually follows controversy. Unbelievable to us now, but these types of syndicated fiction books were banned at one time and even considered poisonous to childrens’ brains! It’s a good thing times change! They have had a long-lasting positive impact and continue to be best-sellers today!
Ed and Cynthia Justus are owners of The Bookstore in Hanapepe.