“One of my ancestors,” Miss Armitage began, “was an aristocrat in old Czarist Russia. She was very wealthy and owned beautiful things. Much to her family’s dismay, she fell in love with an American and came to this country to marry him. They settled in Cooperstown in a large house with attractive grounds. Later the place burned down.”
And so begins the legend that is at the heart of the Nancy Drew Mystery The Secret of Mirror Bay.
“But long before the fire, the woman had one child — a beautiful little girl. She brought her daughter up as if she were a princess and even imported a child’s royal coach from Russia. Her own little pony pulled it.…The lovely little girl died very suddenly. Her mother was heartbroken and almost went out of her mind…
“The particular object which reminded the mother of her beloved daughter was the royal coach. It was painted in gold and white and had birds and flowers carved on it. Madame felt that no one else should use it yet she didn’t want it to be destroyed. Finally she requested that it be put into a waterproof box and lowered into the bay.”
Russia? Maybe there’s a clue to the missing coach there! Now, normally, Nancy would hop on a plane and go. But since she doesn’t even consider that option in this book, I decided to take the family and go myself.
Maybe there’s a clue at one of the imperial palaces.
Or at the Kremlin.
Or in an onion dome.
Or a canal. Or a river. Or even the Gulf of Finland.
Nope, no clues there. Apparently Nancy was right. The coach was at the bottom of the bay, just where she thought it would be.
Oh well, I enjoyed my vacation to Russia last week anyway.