RE: The Ringmaster's Secret by Carolyn Keene (published 1953)
I've been reading this book in the evening. It's not one of my favorite Nancy Drew stories. I think it's because the ringmaster is cruel and abusive towards his wife and 18-year-old stepdaughter, Lolita. He is the same way towards his circus employees. That kind of behavior really bothers me.
In this story Nancy is asked to help Lolita find her real parents. They supposedly died in a circus accident several years earlier and the Kroons adopted Lolita. But whenever she asks about her parents, they offer very little information. Naturally Nancy is suspicious of them.
Nancy also wonders if someone has it out for her. While she is watching a performance, she is almost choked to death by a whip and a note is put in her pocket to stay away from the circus. Then a day later a young girl bare-back horse rider is thrown from her horse when someone tosses a whip into the ring and it hits the horse. Nancy thinks it is the same whip and then wonders if someone has it in for the circus too.
Nancy has been asked to substitute for the bare-back rider as she has been doing some stunt riding on her own. She is not sure at first but is convinced when she's told that she will have a chance to do more sleuthing. That is a prospect she can't turn down!
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