Nancy Drew #65

Mystery of the Winged Lion

Basic Plot Summary: While on vacation in Venice, Nancy and her entourage help clear her friends of smuggling charges and come to the aid of a local duchess whose nephew has been kidnapped. Click here for chapter by chapter synopsis of the action.

Visit Venice with Nancy! Click here for some shots from Nancy's photo album, and learn some Italian phrases too.


Venice and Murano, Italy

Recurring Characters

Ned Nickerson, Bess Marvin, George Fayne, Carson Drew, Burt Eddleton, Dave Evans, Miss Hanson


  • Duchessa Maria Dandolo - friend of Prof. Begley (see Captive Witness), in her 70s
  • Andreoli/Claudio Dandolo - duchessa's brother, in disguise as her assistant
  • employees at the Gritti Palace Hotel: day clerk, porter, concierge, replacement night clerk
  • Antonio - university student who serves as interpreter for the girls
  • Captain Danatone - Venice polizia
  • Filippo Dandolo - son of Claudio, in his 30s
  • Helga Doleschal and Elke Schneider - 2 Austrian tourists
  • Christine Mott - their British friend
  • Lucia Scarpa - disabled sister of Erminio
  • Giorgio - Carson's client
  • Antonella Scarpa - sister of Erminio
  • employees at St. Mark's Basilica: priest in owl-eyed glasses, workman
  • water taxi driver
  • gondolier
  • glass firer at factory
  • boat driver


  • Erminio Scarpa - night clerk at the Gritti
  • Giuseppe Chiais - showroom manager at Artistico Vetro factory
  • Beppe Alberini - unscrupulous glass magnate
  • Francesco Scarpa - Erminio's brother

Motivation: Alberini's gang planned to push CD's client Giorgio out of his successful business by accusing him of stealing designs that Filippo was forced to create, under threats of harm to the rest of the Dandolos. After showing the designs to Giorgio, the gang gave them to another manufacturer who produced and sold them. They hoped to receive a settlement from Giorgio. Then, with secret formula from Dandolos, they could create a monopoly on glass manufacturing business.


Nancy confronts the culprits at the factory in Murano and stalls long enough for Ned to bring the police. The discover where Filippo is being held captive and he is freed.


nearly pushed off vaporetto into canal

kidnapped and held prisoner at St. Mark's Basilica

Nancy's talents

speaks haltingly in Italian - understands conversation in Italian when eavesdropping

Key clues

  • felt cap
  • picture of Lucia, Erminio, Antonella and Filippo
  • Winged Lion of Venice design

Nancy's outfits

pretty ruffled skirt, matching blouse and low heeled sandals

blouse, skirt and shawl

Meaning of the title

Filippo's "signature" is the symbol of Venice: St. Mark's Winged Lion. He drops a clue as to the location of where he is being held by sending a picture of the winged lion to his aunt (indicating the stone with this image that he had admired when he was a youngster) but the duchessa fails to realize the connection.

working title

The Gondolier's Secret (could be reference to Claudio Dandolo being in disguise as Andreoli?)


glass etching with inscription, created by Filippo


Below is a gallery of all the covers I have found for Mystery of the Winged Lion. Below each picture is the artist's name, and a brief description of the scene depicted.

Wanderer "Arch" cover by Ruth Sanderson: page 131 &endash; Nancy spots Erminio in Lucia's window when whole gang is on a gondola ride to the duchessa's. Erminio has a thick, black, caplike hairstyle. There is a cat with green eyes in the same window, and many other gondolas nearby (part of canal tour).

Wanderer "Checkerboard" cover by Steven Stroud - this scene never takes place during the story.

Minstrel cover and Wahlströms (Sweden) cover by Linda Thomas: pages 61-62 - Nancy and George are conferring in the presbytery (described as a space around the main altar, in an area featuring a block of fine, hammered gold composed of enamels and precious stones) regarding the warning given moments before by a man telling them to stay away from Dandolos. Nancy and George discuss the warning, then follow the man to an empty chapel.

Armada (UK) Format "C" cover by unknown artist: composition of elements from the story: Nancy with canal bridge, gondolier and St. Mark's Winged Lion.

Angus & Robertson cover by Peter Archer: page 112? - After priest finds girls in locked room with evidence of their bondage, he is horrified and takes Nancy by hand and brings her to office where he contacts police. George and Bess should be following right behind.

Hachette (France) format "F" cover by Jean-Louis Mercier: generic Venetian scene in background with Nancy in foreground.

Hachette (France) format "N" cover by Philippe Daure: generic Venetian scene in background with Nancy running in foreground.

Hachette (France) format "P" cover by Marguerite Sauvage

Forlagshuset (Norwegian) cover by unknown artist: generic Venetian scene in background with Nancy in foreground

Wahlströms (Swedish) cover by Ruth Sanderson; utilizes a close-up of the first US artwork

Tammi (Finnish) cover - details unknown
Tammi (Finnish) cover by Kaarina Hanström: generic scene of Nancy and Bess (?) cruising in gondola with (unwinged) lion in foreground


This chronological listing of printings mimics the identification system developed by David Farah for his guide on Nancy Drew. He has given me permission to replicate his system for the purpose of categorizing the paperbacks from this series. For those of you not familiar with his methods for identifying a printing, the first line describes the outside of the book (cover/spine/back cover) and the second line describes the internal pages (inside cover/pre-text pages/post-text pages/inside back cover).

Published:  1982
author: Nancy Axelrad
editor: Lilo Wuenn

Sanderson/W1/medium green/2.75, 43271-1,+
bl/pwt/bl/tp+/cp/tc/bl//Fan ad (wb)/ND#57-68, LC#1-6/bl

Sanderson/W1/medium green/3.50, 43271-1
bl/pwt/bl/tp+/cp/tc/bl//ND#57-75 ao of/bl/bl

3rd (details unknown)
Sanderson/W1/medium green/xx, 43271-1

Stroud/W2/two-toned black to grey/3.50,+,62472-5
bl/pwt/bl/tp+/cp (10-4p, 10-1)/tc/bl//ND#57-78 ao of/NDCF#1/bl

1st Minstrel
Thomas/M1/royal blue, 350/pic, 62681-7
bl UPC/exc/ND#57-86/tp/cp+/tc/bl/pwt/bl//blx6/bl




Foreign Title

Title's translation


Alice à Venise

Nancy in Venice


Kitty och fallet i Venedig

Nancy and the case in Venice


Detektiv Nancy Drew og hertuginnens hemmelighet

Nancy and the secret of the duchess


Neiti Etsivä ja siivekäs leijona

Nancy and the winged lion

Mystery of the Winged Lion, artwork by Ruth Sanderson © 1982 by Simon & Schuster, New York.
Mystery of the Winged Lion, artwork by Hector Garrido © 1986 by Simon & Schuster, New York.
Mystery of the Winged Lion, artwork by Linda Thomas © 1989 by Simon & Schuster, New York.
Kitty och fallet i Venedig, artwork by Linda Thomas © 1989 by Simon & Schuster, New York.
Kitty och fallet i Venedig, artwork by Ruth Sanderson © 1982 by Simon & Schuster, New York.
Mystery of the Winged Lion, artwork by Peter Archer © 1983 by Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
The Mystery of the Winged Lion, artwork unattributed © 1983 by Fontana Paperbacks, London.
Alice à Venise artwork by Jean-Louis Mercier © 1985 by Hachette, Paris.
Alice à Venise artwork by Philippe Daure © 1998 by Hachette, Paris.
Alice à Venise artwork by Marguerite Sauvage © 2008 by Hachette, Paris.
Detektiv Nancy Drew og hertuginnens hemmelighet by unattributed artist © A/s Forlagshuset, Oslo.
Neiti Etsivä ja siivekäs leijona, artwork by Kaarina Hanström © 1993 by Painanut Karisto Oy, Hämeenlinna.


© 2001, 2008 Lea Shangraw Fox