Yet another lead is dead. Nancy Drew decides she has to go straight to the boss – Maryanne Bobbsey. What happens when the two meet? Find out in The Death of Nancy Drew #4 from Dynamite entertainment!
NANCY DREW & THE HARDY BOYS: THE DEATH OF NANCY DREW #4
Writer: Anthony Del Col
Artist: Joe Eisma
Letterer: Taylor Esposito
Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 2, 2020
Previously in Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew: Nancy and the Hardy Boys find the mysterious Barber and, in a scuffle, knock him out. They have time to search him only briefly before the police arrive on the scene; the young people climb quickly up to the roof. While they were occupied, the Barber also gets up to the roof and cuts off Frank’s ear before fleeing. The young detectives did find a flip phone with a message about a press conference and a “target.” Mayor Ned Nickerson is holding a press conference about the Chinese company which is building a factory in town. They go there, find the Barber, fight with him – and the police kill him.
BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD
The opening reminiscence in Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew #4 looks back at the Bobbsey’s, specifically Freddie and Flo. They were the rich kids in town, the cool kids, but also brats. Nancy remembers their mom, her current prime suspect, as being so nice. Nancy tails Maryanne Bobbsey to a diner outside of town late at night. She meets with a man, and they both walk out. Nancy follows him but falls asleep on the drive and runs off the road.
When she comes to, Frank and Joe are there. She had borrowed Joe’s car and fortunately for her, he had put a GPS device in it so he could track it. When they found her, she kept mumbling a license plate number, so Joe had someone trace it. They have come up with the name Henry Wang, who runs a vitamin and supplement company and also sells painkillers on the black market.
They track his car to a hardware store but find no trace of him. But late after hours they spot a couple going in dressed up as though out on a date. The hardware store is a cover for something like a speakeasy, one where the patrons are masked. Masks or no, Nancy recognizes her friend Georgie as well as Freddie and Flo. Realizing the opportunity she is missing, she pickpockets Freddie’s keys and goes to the Bobbsey house.
She starts to look around, but the home security system is triggered. Before long, she is face to face with Maryanne and accuses her of trying to kill her. Maryanne confesses to trying to take over her husband’s business, but not being able to. She says she has always liked Nancy and would never try to kill her. Nancy can tell this is the truth, and realizes Maryanne is not the one she’s looking for.
She goes back to Frank and Joe’s to talk to the, but first to fall asleep. It’s been a rough few days. And she awakens, someone she didn’t expect is there.
LONG DAYS AND NIGHTS
The art in Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew #4 captures the drudgery of detective work. We get a strong sense of time passing in the diner where Nancy keeps and eye on Maryanne while trying to be inconspicuous. The diner is nearly empty, so she cannot get too close. I like the way the panels shift to having angled viewpoints as the meeting happens and Maryanne leaves. Suddenly there are actions to be taken, and not much time, and this subtle change communicates that tension.
The masked speakeasy in the hardware store is a novel touch. The simple white face masks seem impractical (especially for drinking), but in this time of COVID-19, they aren’t entirely out of place. If the point of them is to hide identities, they don’t do the best job. Nancy can tell who people are, and so can we. On the other hand, I like that everyone is dressed up, the men in tuxedos and the women in evening gowns that would not be out of place decades ago. It’s a secret club with style.
BOTTOM LINE: MANY A TWIST AND TURN
Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys: The Death of Nancy Drew #4 is still a decent mystery read. The plot has so many pieces that it’s hard to tell if they are all related, or there are several red herrings. I think the atmospheric art does help hold things together and makes it feel more cohesive.
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The Death of Nancy Drew #4
Another day, another lead to track down for Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys.