Writer: Mildred Wirt (1943)
Revised By: Priscilla Baker-Carr (1972)
Nancy is waiting for Bess and George to have their lunch together. An elderly woman occupies the chair beside her, looking very ill. The woman hands her a card with the name "Marie Alexandra" and an address and asks Nancy to take her home. At Mrs Alexandra's place, Nancy finds out that Madame Alexandra is a former queen. She fled her country during the revolution and now prefers to settle in a quiet life.
After sending Madame Alexandra home, the girls go for lunch and bump into a pickpocket who is fleeing from the scene. The police fail to chase the pickpocket but regain the wallet for Francis Baum. During the chase, Nancy sees something dropped from the wallet and finds out it's a photo similar to the one possessed by Madame Alexandra.
When Nancy shows the photo to the antique dealer recommended by Madame Alexandra, he tells her that the boy in the picture is Madame Alexandra's long-lost grandson. Nancy suspects that Francis Baum probably is the long-lost prince, and she determines to look for Francis. However, when Francis claims that he is the one they are looking for, can Nancy trust him?
Meanwhile, Madame Alexandra has a beautiful gold-encrusted Easter egg. When she presses the tiny spring, a nightingale will sing its strange little song. Nancy's new friend Katherine comes from the same country as Madame Alexandra. When Nancy asks her opinion about the bird, Katherine feels the little bird saying 'clue in jewel box' in her native tongue.
This is probably the most favourable story in this series so far. I enjoyed reading it because the story reveals the human side of Nancy and the non-perfect world. For the first time, Nancy feels that her solved case has turned into a mistake and ruined someone's life. She misunderstood someone as a villain and treated a villain as a good person. Nancy couldn't stop the prank when the boys decided to teach Francis a lesson due to his impolite behaviour. Nancy's father is slightly stern and warns Nancy not to be too obsessed with Mrs Alexandra. Mr Drew is usually very supportive and rarely strict with Nancy. Nancy has to avoid Michael every time she visits Mrs Alexandra. This is different from her personality, which usually ignores any threats and not being realistic about the possible dangers. This story shows the other side of everyone and not trying to build perfect characters without any mischiefs and flaws in Nancy's world.
|Number of Pages