Password to Larkspur Lane, By Carolyn Keene, Danica Reese, Narrator

Password to Larkspur Lane

Nancy Drew Mystery Book 10

By Carolyn Keene

Narrator: Danica Reese
Audio book
Phoenix Audio Books
Length: 3 hrs and 39 mins

Narrator Review of Danica Reese

image of people holding hands to ears narratorreviews.blogspot.com
Ear Busting Narrator

Narrator Rating 0/10

Not easy doing an Audio Book Review for Danica Reese. Cannot even imagine why Phoenix Books, hired her, unless it was because she is just slightly less awful than Jessie Birschbach. Ms. Reese reads like she's going comatose, it's flat and monotone. Conversations are stilted and unnatural sounding.

The men are shockingly bad and can chill the ears. Hannah, the loving and sweet housekeeper and stand in Mom, sounds harsh, even a little dimwitted. Mr. Drew is beyond awful, from the tone of voice, the inflection and even too not maintaining a masculine voice.

Reese did do a decent pigeon coo and she does a decent evil persons voice.
Everything is read pretty much in a drone and what isn't, is so godawful that it's difficult to follow the story. Everything about the dialogue is off, there's no appropriate intonation, no lilt. Save your credits or money and get it from a library if you absolutely must listen to The Password to Larkspur Lane. 

Audio Book Review for Password to Larkspur Lane

A Nancy Drew Mystery by Carolyn Keene.

An Injured Carrier Pigeon falls into Nancy Drew's Garden.

Carrier or Homing pigeon eyeing Nancy Drew's garden narratorreviews.org
Pigeon eyeing Nancy's garden

Nancy and Hannah are cutting flowers when a plane passes over and a pigeon falls from it. The poor thing falls right into Nancy's garden. It's wing is injured and Nancy retrieves the number off the birds leg band, 2-21-12-12 and wires the association the number. There's also a message that makes no sense to Nancy.

Many seemingly unrelated things keep attracting Nancy's attention with the words larkspur and bluebells. Nancy Takes her flower arrangement to the garden show to enter in the contest but leaves early to hurry home to see if the National association of Carrier Pigeons wired back the name of the pigeons owner.

Nancy Takes a short cut home and passes a sedan parked on the side of the road. In her rear view mirror she notices the license plate is 2-21-1, the same numbers as the pigeons leg band. She can't help but wonder if there's a connection.

Things get even stranger when Dr. Spire passes her from the opposite direction, she slows down and pulls over when she sees him stop at the dark car on the side of the road. and to her surprise, he is pulled into the car.

A mysterious phone call
Hannah slips on the cellar steps and strains her back and Nancy drives her to Dr. Spires office. Dr. Spires is not back yet, and Mrs. Spires asks Nancy to answer the phone while she starts dinner. The phone rings and a muffled voice tells her to write down a message for Dr. Spires. "If you say bluebells, you will get in trouble, for they are no longer used here."  Nancy is mystified as she ponders the words.

Dr. Spires needs Nancy and Carson Drews' help.
Dr. Spires asks Nancy and her father to help him as he's concerned about the woman he was taken to tend to. He was told not to speak to her and she frantically tried to show her fear and stress via her eyes. She slips Dr. Spires a bracelet with a small coat of arms.

Nancy has enough clues to take aggressive steps to finding the old woman. She takes the bracelet to the jewelers to see if he has any way to research the coat of arms. He does know someone who is knowledgeable about such things and tells Nancy to give him a week or so.

Nancy Drew girl detective runs into her old friend Helen Corning, who invites her to solve yet another mystery. Helen's mystery has links to the mystery that Nancy is working on. It's a race to the finish line for the young detective if she has any hopes of rescuing the old woman.

This 1932 original movie differs in many details from this version of the Password to Larkspur Lane. I found this movie to be charming and well worth watching. "Bonita Granville plays the cute and inquisitive teen turned amateur sleuth"

Other Nancy Drew Books I've reviewed.


The Secret of Red Gate Farm. Carolyn Keene, Narrator: Laura Linney

The Secret of Red Gate Farm
Carolyn Keene
Narrator: Laura Linney
Listening LibraryAudio Book

2 hrs. 58 mins.

The Secret of Red Gate Farm, image, narratorreviews.org
The Secret of Red Gate Farm
Carolyn Keene

Narrator Review: Laura Linney

Laura Linney, Narrator, Nancy Drew. narratorreviews.org
Laura Linney Narrator

I enjoyed listening to Laura Linney narrate The Secret of Red Gate Farm. Ms. Linney's lovely voice brings the entire book to thrilling life, creating a robust and intense visualization throughout. Ms. Linney is very sensitive to developing the personalities of each individual. Where other narrators fail Ms. Linney excels in every category.

Audio Book Review: The Secret of Red Gate Farm, Nancy Drew

Nancy and her bff's Bess and George had a day of shopping and Bess bought a bottle of Blue Jade Perfume. At twenty dollars an ounce it was very expensive. Twenty dollars in 1931 is according to the Department of Labor Statistics is now equal to about three hundred and five dollars. So that bottle of Blue Jade bought today would cost around $300.

This bottle of Blue Jade is the central figure which the story revolves around. First the girls chide Bess for spending so much on it, a sudden jolt of the train causes the bottle to drop to the floor but not before splashing half of it on Nancy. Nancy has a sinister looking man mistakes her identity because she smells strongly of Blue Jade. Lastly they all wonder why the salesgirl did not want to sell it to them at all and priced it high to discourage them.

On the train ride home they meet Joan and become friends with her. Joan is going to town to answer an ad for office help. Her grandmother is facing foreclosure and Joan thinks if she finds a job it will help them pay the back payments and save the farm. Nancy and her friends try to help her and end up spending some time at the farm, and solve the mystery of the Black Snake Cult that rents a back portion of Red Gate.

This is no less an intriguing story than all of Nancy Drew books. With such skillful writing that is tight and not a wasted word anywhere it is amazing that it's only two hours and fifty-eight minutes long. Listening or reading Nancy Drew should not be dismissed as old fashioned, or dated. The stories are good to excellent, and they give a peek into another era. Whether you're a history buff or a mystery buff or both, Nancy will keep you bewitched.

Other Nancy Drew Books:


The Sign of The Twisted Candle, Carolyn Keene, Narrator, Danica Reese

The Sign of The Twisted Candle
Nancy Drew, Book 9
By Carolyn Keene
Narrated By Danica Reese

Length: 3 hrs and 35 mins
Phoenix Books
The Sign of the Twisted Candle, book image Nancy Drew, narratorreviews.org
The Sign of the Twisted Candle
By Carolyn Keene
Nancy Drew Book 9.

Narrator Review: Danica ReeseAudiobook

Listening to Danica Reese is not quite as hard on the ears as was the equally terrible narration by Jessie Birschbach, reading Nancy's Mysterious Letter, Book # 8. There are a few parts that Reese did reasonably well, predominately in the first half of the book. Her voice is not bad and could be rather nice but she consistently over enunciates words, making it sound artificial and choppy. Most of the male characters are very bad as is Joan the sixteen year old adopted girl.

I confess there are so few well done parts that I recommend getting it from the library and not spending money or Audible Credits on it. Danica Reese's exaggerated acting out of the characters is terrible. This recording is from Phoenix Books which as I stated in my review of Book 8. has no Carolyn Keene books listed. I find no information for Danica Reese, no photos, nada.

Audio Book Review: Nancy Drew, The Sign of the Twisted Candle

Nancy Drew and her best friends Bess Marvin and George Fayne, venture off to The Twisted Candle to see if there is any truth in the gossip that Asa Sidney is practically a prisoner in a tower room of his mansion. Beth and George are related to the wealthy and very old Asa. It happens that it's his one hundredth birthday when they reach the mansion.

While the girls are combing their hair in the ladies room they hear a confrontation between Carol Wipple the sixteen year old waitress at the Inn and  Frank Jemitt. Carol wants to take a nice tray of food to Asa and Jemitt forbids her to do it. Nancy seizes this opportunity to gain access to Asa and judge what is going on.

We know Nancy loves a mystery and this one turns out to be a huge one. With old Asa turning one hundred, relatives are converging on him to make sure he remembers them in his will. So we have the nasty relatives, the really mean Jemitts and an old rift between families that sends Nancy's friendship with Bess and George into oblivion. With just Carol to help her find all the hidden treasures that Asa hid around the mansion and time is running out for them.

Asa outwits them all by having Nancy's father the well known attorney, draw up a new will for him and making him executor of his estate. The will is solid but everyone left short changed in it are out to break it. I loved it when Mr. Drew kicks the Jemitt's out of the mansion. Even Ned, Nancy's illusive boyfriend has a small part in the story. As always with Nancy Drew, it's an excellent story that moves fast and is tightly written.

Other Nancy Drew Books:

The Secret of the Old Clock

The Hidden Staircase

The Bungalow Mystery

The Mystery at Lilac Inn 

The Secret at Shadow Ranch 


Nancy's Mysterious Letter Book 8, Carolyn Keene, Narrator: Jessie Birschbach

Nancy's Mysterious Letter Book 8,
Carolyn Keene
Narrator: Jessie Birschbach
Audio Book 3 hours 17 mins

Phoenix Books, Inc.

Nancy's Mysterious Letter BK. 8 Carolyn Keene, photo narratorreviews.org
Nancy's Mysterious Letter
Carolyn Keene

Narrator Review: Jessie Birschbach

Sadly, this has to be one of the worst narrations I've ever heard. The only thing I can say good is that Jessie Birschbach has a pleasant enough voice when not trying to do characterizations.

It seems that Ms. Birschbach has no idea where Nancy Drew lives or even in what country. There's so much inconsistency between tempo, accents, and pronunciations, I could fill a book with them.

The greatest misdemeanor is the southern accent she gives Hannah the Drew's housekeeper. Hannah Gruen is not Mammy from Gone with the Wind.

She does a good rendition of Mrs. Skeets although it borders a bit too much into sounding British. The one person Nancy Smith Drew, that is British has such a scant British accent it's barely noticeable. Joey Skeets the old sailor is pretty well done. Nonetheless it is not enough to redeem Birschbach's terrible narration.

The Jeweler, is downright awful, it's hard to find words to describe a man that sounds like he has a mouthful of mush. Even George and Bess, her best friends sound like someone is choking them.

I feel like Phoenix Books Inc just pulled anyone one off the street to narrate for them. Giving no thought to skill or talent or even quality. I can't even link the book to Phoenix Books as they don't have a single Carolyn Keene audio book listed. I got my copy from the library but Audible has it available with the same atrocious narrator. Save your money or Audible credits and if you must listen anyway get it from the library.

If you have noticed there is no link or photo for Jessie Birschbach,  it's because there are none. The only person with that name has no connection with acting, narrating, or voice over work.

Audio Book Review: Nancy's Mysterious Letter, By Carolyn Keene

Nancy Drew offers Ira Nixon her mail carrier to stop in and have a hot cocoa to warm himself up. Nancy always so thoughtful and kind has this particular kindness backfire when someone one steals Ira's mailbag. He does remember that there was a letter for her from England but he can't remember the senders name. Nancy and her best friends George and Bess rush outside too try and catch the thief.

Nancy does get a couple good clues from a neighbor boy that saw the thief. The clues are few but they are important. Ira recognizes the man's description as his half brother Edgar Nixon. But he can't believe that Edgar stole his mailbag.

Ira later remembers part of the senders name on her letter and it's enough for Carson Drew, Nancy's lawyer father too call another law firm in London to ask them if they knew of them. They do know who it is and Carson Drew finds out they are looking for a Nancy Smith Drew, who is in the United States, they want to inform her about an inheritance coming to her. Ah, poor Nancy, no inheritance for her.

By putting all the clues she has together, Nancy has to locate Edgar Nixon and find Nancy Smith Drew. Edgar Nixon wants to find Nancy Smith Drew with the intent to marry her and get hold of her inheritance. Nancy has to find them before Nancy Smith Drew marries him. Edgar wants to whisk Nancy Smith Drew off to London and marry her before Nancy catches up to them to prevent it.

 Other Nancy Drew Books:

The Secret of the Old Clock
Nancy Drew Mystery Series, Book 1
by Carolyn Keene

The Hidden Staircase
Nancy Drew Mystery Series, Book 2
by Carolyn Keene

Nancy Drew Mystery Series, Book 3
by Carolyn Keene

Nancy Drew Mystery Series, Book 4
by Carolyn G. Keene

Nancy Drew Mystery Series, Book 5
by Carolyn Keene

The Secret of Shadow Ranch Nancy Drew Book 5. Carolyn Keene Narrator: Laura Linney

The Secret of Shadow Ranch
Nancy Drew Book 5.
Carolyn Keene
Narrator: Laura Linney

Audio Book 3 hrs 5 mins
Penguin Random House Audio
audio book cover image of The Secret of Shadow Ranch By Carolyn Keene
The Secret of Shadow Ranch By Carolyn Keene

Narrator Review of Laura Linney

Once again Laura Linney excels in bringing Nancy Drew to life. I felt she expressed more emotion in reading the Secret of Shadow Ranch. The pace is excellent without the speed reading we heard in the Mystery at Lilac Inn. There's more cadence and modulation in the tones. I believe this is the very best narration so far. I just admire the way Ms. Linney puts so much development into each character and with the addition of the bits of background music are icing on the cake.

photo image of Laura Linney Narrator for Nancy Drew narratorreviews.org
Narrator Laura Linney

Audiobook Review: The Secret of Shadow Ranch by Carolyn Keene

Nancy Drew is invited to spend the summer with her best friends Bess and George at Shadow Ranch in Arizona. Bess and George are downcast because their Uncle Ed, feels to many strange things are happening on the ranch and it might be dangerous for the girls to be there. He wants them to leave the next day. Mysterious and strange happenings are exactly what Nancy Drew thrives on. The girls tried to persuade Uncle Ed that Nancy was a fantastic detective and no doubt could solve the mystery.

After Nancy is picked up at the airport the girls stop to have a bite to eat, when a man sits at a table near them and seems to be eavesdropping and watching them. Nancy notices his unwarranted interest in them. They see him again at their "Ranch Wagon". (Apparently a "Ranch Wagon" is what we now call a Station Wagon.) Nancy's reputation for solving things has preceded her to Shadow Ranch, as the man left a note on their "Ranch Wagon" warning her to stay away from Shadow Ranch.

As Nancy finds out more and more about Shadow Ranch's history she is convinced that all that is going on has to be related to the hidden treasure that a notorious outlaw, Dirk Valentine, hid somewhere on the ranch. He was in love with Frances Humber, daughter of the local Sheriff, and owner of Shadow Ranch. One night when we was going to visit her,the sheriff shot and killed him.

His dying words were to put a curse on Humber property "vowing his horse would haunt Shadow Ranch". George told Nancy about seeing the phantom horse the night before and how it did lead to misfortune the next day when Uncle Ed found his windmill knocked over. Nancy thought someone was trying to scare the Rawley's off their ranch.

We know only too well that the "girl detective" will put all the clues together and everything ends well. That's the charm of Nancy Drew books, there are secret passages, hidden treasures, scary tunnels, and mysteries to be solved. Even when Nancy goes to far and does some risky things, the kind you shout at them to "don't go down to the basement", Nancy, always has an out, or someone comes to her rescue, so all the while we are scared for her we know she will prevail and all her friends marvel at her ability to solve the crime or mystery.

Other Audio Books by Carolyn Keene

The Secret of the Old Clock
Nancy Drew Mystery Series, Book 1

Nancy Drew Mystery Series, Book 5


The Mystery at Lilac Inn, A Nancy Drew Mystery By Carolyn Keene Narrator: Laura Linney

The Mystery at Lilac Inn
Nancy Drew Mystery Stories 4
By Carolyn Keene
Narrator: Laura Linney
Audio Book Length: 3 hrs and 11 mins

Narrator Review: Laura Linney

As much as I enjoy and appreciate Laura Linney's, Nancy Drew narrations, it pains me to say that much of the Mystery of Lilac Inn, was read so fast my ears were spinning. Even with the speed reading, it's still better and more enjoyable than some others who narrate later Nancy Drew's. There were some chapters and sections Ms. Linney did read at a closer to normal pace. I certainly would not let this prevent me from purchasing the book. Aside from this Laura Linney is still a fine narrator with a lovely voice that suits Nancy Drew.

Laura Linney, Narrator of Nancy Drew, photo image. narratorreviews.org
Laura Linney

Audio Book Review: The Mystery of Lilac Inn a Nancy Drew Mystery by Carolyn Keene

I really love the supporting music that Listening Libraries has added to the Nancy Drew books that they produce. Sounds like old time radio. It leads to a lot of excitement and enriches the story.

Nancy and her friend Helen Corning are paddling their canoe up the river to the Lilac Inn, they're staying with Emily Willoughby and her Aunt Hazel, and are to be bridesmaids at Emily and Dick's wedding. Suddenly the girls are dumped out of their canoe and into the water but find nothing to explain their sudden drenching. Sopping wet and bedraggled they rescue the canoe and continue their journey as best they can. 

Emily tells them about the strange things that have been happening at Lilac Inn. Mysterious goings on is all that's needed to get Nancy's interest. Emily and Dick are expanding the Inn and plan to run it full time, but Emily feels like someone is trying to "jinx them" and just is at a loss to know who would be behind it.

We have suspects like Maud Potter, hired by her aunt as a recreation coordinator for the summer but says mean and hurtful things to everyone. There's John McBride who's staying at the Inn to help out while Dick his best friend is in New York on business, and then there's the help, waitresses, cooks, gardeners. Nancy takes a hard look at all of them.

While Nancy is using all her detective skills on Lilac Inn she gets a call from a frantic Hannah telling her someone broke into the house. Nancy rushes home and finds her room has been ransacked when there's yet another call this time from Burk's Department Store telling her about an error made on her earlier purchase. She finds that her charge card is missing, and hurries down to Burk's to sort things out with them.

So now Nancy is a victim of identity theft, to an extreme degree that the person looks like Nancy, sounds like Nancy and signs her name the same as Nancy. Even dresses like Nancy. Nancy knows the woman stole the dress out of her closet along with a photo of her. This is scary stuff, because people are telling her they talked to her in places she's not been.

Meantime, Aunt Hazel has taken a pouch of diamonds 'worth a fortune' out of the bank vault to give Emily on her twenty first birthday. They plan a special private birthday party for her and of course once she has the diamonds laid out too admire the lights go off. When they go on again the diamonds are gone. Now Nancy has to find the diamond thief (we get a secret passage) she has to find her impostor and solve the mystery of who is doing malicious deeds at The Lilac Inn. 

10. The Password to Larkspur Lane