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What Disappears in Vegas . . .

Book #25 of Nancy Drew Diaries

LIST PRICE ₹456.00


About The Book

A missing bride leads Nancy on a chase through Las Vegas in the twenty-fifth Nancy Drew Diaries, a fresh approach to a classic series.

Bess and George’s cousin Veronica is getting married to extreme sports enthusiast Xavier Redd, and as a close friend of the family, Nancy has been invited to the wedding. Given the groom’s big personality and love for the extreme, the wedding will take place in Vegas, and the couple plan to take advantage of local sporting opportunities in the week leading up to the big event.

Not everyone in the family approves of Veronica’s fiancé, though, especially because of the risk-taking behavior Xavier has introduced her to. And when one of the couple’s sporting stunts almost ends in a serious accident, it’s not clear whether it’s an unfortunate coincidence or whether someone really wants to stop the wedding from happening.

Still, the day of the wedding arrives. But when it comes time to exchange vows, the bride is nowhere to be seen. Is this just a case of cold feet? Or has one of the wedding guests created a cold-hearted plot? One thing’s for sure—Nancy won’t rest until she finds out.


Chapter One: Extreme Engagement CHAPTER ONE Extreme Engagement
“OMIGOSH, NANCY,” MY FRIEND BESS said, peering over the guardrail of a pedestrian bridge. It was a long drop: roughly fifteen stories down a rocky fissure to a rushing river. “Remind me why I agreed to this.”

I turned and shared a significant look with George, Bess’s cousin and my other good friend. I couldn’t imagine why Bess had decided to bungee jump off this bridge, and I was guessing that George couldn’t either. Bungee jumping off this bridge was something that might appear in one of my nightmares. I like my feet firmly planted on the ground, thanks. But Bess has always been a little different: she likes to drive fast, take risks, and ride every roller coaster in a hundred-mile radius. Plus, we were at a barbecue thrown by Bess and George’s cousin Veronica, and Veronica’s boyfriend owned the largest extreme-sports complex in Chicago: Redd Zone. As a surprise to the guests, Xavier had his team set up a bungee jump just steps away from the park where we’d been enjoying our hot dogs and hamburgers. All of us guests were welcome to try it—after signing a huge stack of waivers and legal documents.

Bess had already signed on the dotted lines and was all suited up.

“Well, better you than me,” George said, and I swatted her on the arm.

“George! I think Bess is looking for comfort.”

Bess’s eyes cut from George (irritated) to me (grateful). “This is fine, isn’t it, Nancy?” she asked hopefully, shifting in the heavy safety gear. “I mean, I’ll be fine. Everything will be…”

“Everything’s going to be fantastic.” Xavier suddenly stepped up behind Bess, tugging on her harness, tightening a few places, and then smiling. He had short, dark hair, deep-set brown eyes, and a million-dollar smile. His face adorned all the Redd Zone’s advertising, and Veronica had told us that he was super active on social media. He’d been filming the barbecue and the bungee jumps on and off, promising that we’d see them on Redd Zone’s social media—if we didn’t mind “being famous.”

“This is the best decision you ever made,” he went on, looking Bess right in the eye. “Look at this scenery! It’s going to be amazing. This is why I got into this business: this is going to make you feel so alive.”

When he nodded at Bess, I could see some of the tension leave her body. “I want that,” she said, nodding back at him. “I definitely want to feel alive!”

George nudged me. As opposed to…? she mouthed. I smirked but shook my head. I was with George: just breathing was enough for me to feel alive. But then, I wasn’t Redd Zone’s target customer.

“This has to be really expensive,” George whispered so only I could hear. She gestured around at the bridge, the equipment, the waiver forms. “Bungee jumping is pricey because of all the equipment and the insurance you have to have. And they’re letting all the guests do it?”

I nodded. “I guess Redd Zone is doing well,” I whispered back. Maybe a lot of people in Chicago wanted to feel “alive.”

Bess was only the third person to bungee jump. Everyone crowded around to watch as Xavier encouraged her to step up on a small flight of stairs that put her level with the guardrail, onto a rubber mat. Bess stepped up, a little shakily, and I could see her taking a deep breath.

“You’ve got this, Bess!” I yelled, then let out a little whoop. Other people in the crowd started cheering too.

“You’re going to kill it, prima!” Veronica’s sister, Deanna, yelled.

“Yeah!” Veronica stepped up beside her. “Kicking butt runs in the family!”

A few relatives whooped and clapped. George chuckled.

On top of the steps, Bess seemed to relax a little bit. She shook out her arms and let out a huff, nodding as she looked back at the crowd and smiled.

“Go show that river who’s boss, cuz!” George shouted.

Bess looked at her and laughed, then glanced at Xavier. His brother, Max, his partner in the Redd Zone, had stepped up and started checking all the safety equipment. He gave the thumbs-up to Xavier, who turned to Bess with a grin and nodded.

“Shall we count down?” he asked. When Bess said okay, he began, “Ten… nine… eight… seven…”

The crowd joined in. “Six… five…”

When we got to “three,” Bess jumped. George and I let out little gasps of surprise, and the crowd whooped appreciatively. Bess did always like to defy expectations.

George and I leaned over to watch her fall.

“Yiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiikes!” she screamed as she plummeted down toward the water.

My heart was in my throat just watching. Okay, stop now, reach the end of the cord, start bouncing…. I’d seen it happen for the other two jumpers, but still, it was terrifying to watch my friend free-fall down this rocky gorge. There was no way she would survive that fall. There was no way anyone could….

“Ahhhhhh—Oh!” Bess’s scream cut off as she was startled by being jerked back up. She’d finally reached the end of the bungee cord, just yards from the river. Now she began bouncing up and down, laughing hysterically.

“That was amazing!” she shouted.

Relief flooded my body. “You did it, Bess!” I yelled.

“You survived!” George added.

But Bess was laughing too hard to respond. “That was the best thing I’ve ever doooooone!” she shouted after a few seconds.

“I told you!” Xavier yelled back.

As Bess continued to laugh and whoop, and Xavier and Max worked on hauling her back up, I stepped away from the guardrail and ran my hand through my hair. I had that weird numb feeling I got sometimes after a stressful standoff, or a near miss with a bad guy. Nothing had happened, I knew, and Bess had always been safe. Still, I felt like I needed a minute to walk it off.

I felt a hand on my arm and turned to see George. She gave me a gentle squeeze. “So she’s okay,” she said quietly. Her dark eyes were warm with relief.

I nodded. “She’s okay,” I repeated, putting my hand over hers and squeezing back. I knew we were feeling the same way.

Sometimes it’s hard, loving a daredevil.

We headed back to the park to celebrate Bess’s survival with guava and cheese empanadas. “Mmmmm,” Bess moaned, flicking a bit of guava paste from her cheek into her mouth, “I love Auntie Elena’s empanadas. Mine never come out as good, even when I make her recipes.”

George grinned. “My dad says Uncle Rick won the lottery when he married Elena, because he can’t even boil rice,” she said.

Bess chuckled. “He makes up for it in other ways,” she said. “Remember, he drove Veronica and Deanna to all their soccer and swim meets.”

As we ate, a bunch of other guests stepped up to make the jump. Bess had the flushed, giddy look of someone who just passed her driving test for the first time, or aced her last final exam. As for me, I focused on my pie and stopped watching the jumpers. I was glad Bess had had fun, but this wasn’t for me.

“It was amazing,” Bess told us between bites. “I could feel, like, the adrenaline rushing through my body and then when I stopped, it was this massive relief. And suddenly I felt like all my senses were on overdrive, you know? I could see more clearly, I could hear you guys talking up above and my own heartbeat. I swear I could smell the plants in the river and the flowers on the shore. I just felt, like, super alive.”

“It sounds great,” I said honestly. “But I’m not sure extreme sports will ever be my thing. I like feeling alive right here, with my two feet on the ground, not falling or hurtling in any one direction.”

Bess chuckled.

“You’re a pragmatist, Nancy,” George said with a smile. “And I think I’m the same. In real life, anyway. I like to take my risks behind the safety of a computer screen.”

We ate and chatted a little more. Bess and George’s cousin Deanna came over with her three-year-old daughter, Miranda, and soon we were all asking her questions, giggling at her funny responses, and watching her observe the bungee jumping.

“Do you want to jump?” George asked her with a big smile.

Miranda looked at her as though she’d asked whether Miranda wanted to fly to the moon. “I’m too little!”

Bess chuckled. “But if you were old enough, would you want to do it? Be a risk-taker like your big cousin Bess?”

Miranda gave Bess a hard look with her wide brown eyes, her guava-stained lower lip pushed out in concentration.

“No,” she said finally. “I think that’s silly. But Tía Veronica is doing it.”

She pointed toward the bridge, and we all turned to look. Sure enough, Veronica seemed to be getting suited up—along with Xavier.

“Are they jumping together?” George asked with a smirk. “How romantic!”

Bess nudged her with her elbow. “The couple that plummets together, summits together.”

George and I both groaned and rolled our eyes. “You had to work for that one,” George remarked.

“It was a stretch,” Deanna agreed with a chuckle.

Bess widened her eyes in mock hurt. “Really, you guys? I thought it was pretty—”

“Hey, everyone!”

Max’s voice rose over the crowd, and we could see him walking toward the park and gesturing for everyone to come back to the bridge. “Our hosts are about to make a tandem jump, and they would love your support! Come on over to the bridge and try to act as excited as you were the first time!”

Deanna, George, Bess, and I all exchanged glances, then got to our feet, Deanna swinging Miranda onto her hip.

“Let’s go see Tía Veronica make this silly jump, huh?” she said, squeezing Miranda close.

Soon we were all assembled back on the bridge. It was crowded enough to make me a little nervous, so I packed myself in tight next to Bess and George and secretly hung on to a railing behind us. Fifteen stories is a lot!

All suited up now, Xavier turned to address the crowd as Veronica wound her long, dark hair into a knot at the top of her head and secured it with an elastic. “Thank you so much for coming,” he said, taking in the crowd with his warm brown eyes. “You guys all mean so much to us, family and friends, some old, some new. We love all of you and really wanted you to all be here to witness… this.” He waved behind him, at Veronica and the guardrail where they were about to jump from. But then, suddenly, Xavier swiveled around and crouched down, landing on one knee. As he reached into his sweatshirt pocket and brought out a small box, Veronica brought both hands up to her face and shrieked.

“What are you doing!” she cried, shaking her head. “You aren’t… omigosh!”

Xavier just beamed at her. “Veronica,” he said, “mi amor. I love you more than anything, and I want to create a future with you, a family with you, so many more adventures with you!”

He flipped open the box, revealing a brilliant square diamond set in a simple gold band. As Veronica gasped, Xavier chuckled. “Don’t worry, mi amor, it’s lab grown. Only the most ethical jewelry for my love!”

Veronica shook her head, and Xavier went on. “Amor, will you take the jump with me and be my wife?” He looked up hopefully, and Veronica took her hands away from her face and smiled.

“Xavier—my rock! I…”

Xavier suddenly jumped to his feet and gestured for her to stop. “Wait!” he said, taking her hand and leading her up the steps to the guardrail. “Tell me on the way down! I want this to be a moment we never forget.”

Veronica laughed, glancing back at the crowd. “Okay. Only you, Xavier! I knew if you ever proposed, it would be unique, but…”

Xavier squeezed her hand. Max stepped up and quickly checked all the safety restraints, then gave the thumbs-up. Xavier encouraged us all to count down.

“Ten… nine… eight…”

At “one,” they jumped, still holding hands. We heard Veronica scream as they fell, and Xavier’s excited whoop. Finally, they hit the end of the cord and bounced back, and both began laughing and whooping hysterically.

“She said yes!” Xavier yelled as they bounced up and down. All of us on the bridge began clapping and cheering as Xavier added, “Hope you’re all ready for the most thrilling wedding of all time… because you’re all invited!”

About The Author

Carolyn Keene is the author of the ever-popular Nancy Drew books.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Aladdin (January 23, 2024)
  • Length: 272 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781665939478
  • Ages: 8 - 12

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