"Everybody was kung foo fighting.... Those cats were fast as lightning. In fact, it was a little bit frightening." ~Carl Douglas
This is the Deadly Intent kung foo remix: "Nancy was kung foo fighting... Those books were fast as lightning. Max Sheffield was a little bit frightening." Seriously, look at her eyes. Nancy's got major "don't come near me I will kill you with my fists" vibes going on. And I have no idea why Max Sheffield is on the cover. All the covers "feature" a dude who's presumably the main guy Nancy's involved with, he should be the lead singer of Bent Fender, Barton Novak. But Max here, looks nothing like the description of our disappearing rock star, he looks more like an accountant than rock star. Oooh, maybe he's Ned, since Ned gets to come to New York to hang out and try to make amends. Oops, I'm giving away way too many details about the plot here, so we're going to go ahead and hash this one out. New York, New York here we come. (One last cover detail, notice the World Trade Center in the background.)
So, where were we? Oh right, to add to Nancy's problems, Carson Drew is now dating Ann Nordquist, Bent Fender's agent, who also happens to be a suspect (she's been to CHINA recently). Ann tells Nan that things are cool with the record deal, but if you must, go see Harold Marshall at the record company. Harold blows Nancy off, says the whole disappearance is for publicity, besides Barton's disappeared before, now stop asking questions, ps: Alan sucks. Five minutes later, Alan has seen Barton and now he's got a record deal. Bess:1 Nancy:0, unless you're counting suspicions 'cause then Nancy wins. Ha.
But then, Barton's super special bandanna which he would never leave voluntarily without is found at the venue. Alan therefore is a liar! Nancy goes to confront him at the recording studio, but instead she sees Vivian (Harold Marshall's nasty assistant) replacing a master copy of a record. Yes, it's the eighties, so all the music's on records and Vivian is pirating them. This is what Barton stumbled upon!! and why he's gone. Copyright laws are bad in CHINA so of course the pirated records are going there, but who is taking them? Ann? Harold? Nope try again, it's Ned's friend Dave, who has just gotten a lot of money and has the bad fortune to conveniently run into Ned and Nancy at a club in NY. Ned's in NY now, btw. Dave's a bad kid- seriously, Ned calls his mommy and she doesn't even know where he lives. Everyone knows if your mommy doesn't know where you are, you're bad. Dave leaves the club in a limo with a dragon on the side and then Ned and Nancy are attacked by goons in the limo. (I think the writer was getting tired of making kinda complicated connections at this point, and instead just started going for the extremely obvious).
Bess is still sore at Nancy- Nancy also had time to call Alan a liar at the club. Then, poor Bess gets kidnapped at the concert that night, showing that Nancy is right. Nancy: 1, Bess: 0. Finally Alan fesses up, Vivian's behind it all, Harold's her puppet, and they're shipping out a whole bunch of records to CHINA that very night, with a body. Luckily Nancy figures out that Barton and Bess are being held at the Duck House, owned by James Li, Dave's gangster boss' restaurant. (see? see? Dragons=CHINA) Using her kung foo girl skills, Nancy knocks out the guard and they get inside, but they're all captured and the cops get captured (I still don't really understand exactly what happened to the cops, but somehow they get captured too). Things are looking grim until Alan saves the day and everybody in China Town throws a huge buffet. (No joke about the buffet, that's in the book, 'cause ya know if you're a gangster you don't just limit yourself to record piracy- you make life miserable for everybody in the vicinity of your restaurant too.)
There you have it- Deadly Intent. For such a thorough setup the ending was pretty bizarre.
I don't know which book I'm going to go to next. I don't have #3 so we might start skipping around a bit! Stay tuned!