Nancy Drew #67

The Sinister Omen

Basic Plot:  Nancy visits Ft Lauderdale on Spring Break and helps out a lady whose home has been repeatedly broken into, while nothing ever appears to be stolen.  Eventually some stamps are found missing. Posing as a legitimate dealer, Otto Stroessner plans to counterfeit very rare stamps.    


Ft. Lauderdale, FL (Spring Break)

Recurring Characters

Bess Marvin, George Fayne, Carson Drew, Ned Nickerson, Chief McGinnis, Burt Eddleton, Dave Evans, Mrs Marvin

Characters and Suspects

  • Señor Ricardo Segovia - government investigator
  • Eleanor Palmer - age 93 - feisty old lady who was a friend of Carson’s grandparents
  • Susan McAfee - personal secretary & companion to Mrs. Palmer
  • Fred Blaine - TV newsman (wife Linda, 2 sons Robert & Edward)
  • Andre - Segovia’s chauffeur
  • Consuelo - Segovia’s housekeeper
  • Edward - Mrs. Palmer’s gardener (Odette - maid)
  • Albert - bodyguard and former stuntman
  • Detectives Gomez and Maniello


The Brotherhood of the Vulture
  •     Otto Stroessner - head of crime syndicate, stamp dealer, bald and wears a monocle
  •     Errol Bigley - Mrs. Palmer’s butler
  •     Angus Campbell - Segovia’s neighbor on the canal; owns yacht The Flying Scot
  •     Brian “Mac” McConnell - second in command who once saved Otto’s life
  •     “Tuxedo” - restaurant owner, and his friend
  •     thin cadaver man (burglar?)
  •     swarthy man “Pedro” (burglar?)
  •     2 French sailors
  •     3 kidnappers

Motivation:  Trying to find love letters from Mrs. Palmer’s grandfather to her grandmother which he write when he was in South America.  Bad guys are trying to get the rare stamps on the envelopes.


Nancy helps Mrs. Palmer find the letters; getaway plane falls into sinkhole


Nancy falls out of her bed while having a nightmare
lands seaplane on an empty tank of gas
walks through a nest of rats
    climbs on roof to escape attacking burglars

Nancy's talents

quotes Churchill
flies seaplane knowledge of rodent behavior

Key clues

Nancy's outfits

pale blue pajamas
peach-colored bathing suit

items of interest

Ned’s father owns a Land Rover
Carson’s grandparents died before Nancy was born
Nancy has her great-grandmother had the titian hair
River Heights airport is on the Muskoka River
reference on pg 44 - Cape Canaveral - previous adventure w/ alligator (reference to RT Moss Covered Mansion?)
Nancy not able to communicate in Spanish with maid
letter D with lines extended a bit is a special mark between N&Carson

Meaning of the title

pg 47 - symbol of vulture on decal:  brooding black vulture, wings half spread, crouching - turns up on the seaplane, in limo, on Nan’s shirt, on dock



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

Wanderer "Arch" cover by Ruth Sanderson: page 166 - through night binoculars Nancy is witnessing a meeting between small boat and hydrofoil, involving the transfer of small suitcase

Wanderer "Checkerboard" cover by Hector Garrido: page 34 - after crashing seaplane; however, they land in water and the plane does not burst into flame, her clothes are not torn and she does not discover the decal of the vulture until later

Minstrel cover by Aleta Jenks: pages 7-12 - Nancy has a nightmare about being attacked by a black vulture

Wahlströms (Sweden) cover: recycles Ruth Sanderson's artwork

Armada (UK) Format "C" cover by unknown artist: composition of elements from the story:vulture, seaplane, and the bald, monocled Otto Stroessner

Armada (UK) Format "D" by Mike Adams

Forlagshuset (Norwegian) cover by unknown artist: similar scene to Sanderson above

Tammi (Finnish) cover by Pentti Ajanto: finding the vulture decal
Tammi (Finnish) cover by Pentti Kareinen: investigating the cellar?
Hachette (France) covers by Philippe Daure: similar scene to Ruth Sanderson's above, with inclusion of menacing vulture on Format "F" cover
Fargoes (Malay) cover by unattributed artist - examining a stamp (unconfirmed title)


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).

Sanderson/W1/light blue on dove/2.75,44552-9,+
bl/pwt/bl/tp+/cp/tc/bl//Fan ad (wb)/ND#57-68, LC#1-6/bl

1st (General Publishing Ltd.)
light blue on dove/2.75,44552-9,GPC,+
bl/pwt/bl/tp+/cp/tc/bl//Fan ad (wb)/ND#57-68, LC#1-6/bl

light blue on dove/3.50,44552-9,+
bl/pwt/bl/tp+/cp/tc/bl//Fan ad (wb)/ND#57-75 ao of/bl/bl

Sanderson/W1/light blue on dove/3.50,44552-9,+
bl/pwt/bl/tp+/cp/tc/bl//ND#57-78ao of/HB#59-85 ao of/bl

Garrido/W2/two-toned ochre/3.50,+,
bl/pwt/bl/tp+/cp/tc/bl//bl/ND#57-78 ao of/NDCF#1 ad/bl

1st Minstrel
Garrido/M1/two-toned ochre/+,62471-7
pwt/ND#57-83/tp+/cp/tc/bl/pwt/bl//ND#57-83 ao of/HB#59-90 ao of/LCA (2) of/Min (14)/Min (14) of/Min (17) of/bl/bl UPC

2nd Minstrel
Jenks/M1/bright blue, 350/pic, 73938-7
BF#1-13/exc/ND#57-100/tp/cp/tc/bl/pwt/bl//ND#57-100, g1 of/HB#59-107, g of/NewBT#1-23/SGr (4) of/BF#1-13 of/Min (21)/Min (20) of/NewBT ad



Foreign Title

Title's translation


Kitty och den svarta gamen

Nancy and the black vulture


Neiti etsivä ja paha enne

Nancy and the sinister omen


Detektiv Nancy Drew og det onde varsel

Nancy and the evil omen


Alice et le mauvais présage

Nancy and the bad omen

Malay Misteri setem nona manis (unconfirmed)
Mystery of the sweet lady's stamp

The Sinister Omen
, artwork by Ruth Sanderson © 1982 by Simon & Schuster, New York.
The Sinister Omen,, artwork by Hector Garrido © by Simon & Schuster, New York.
The Sinister Omen,, artwork by Aleta Jenks © by Simon & Schuster, New York.
The Sinister Omen,, artwork unattributed © 1984 by Fontana Paperbacks, London.
The Sinister Omen,, artwork by Mike Adams © by Fontana Paperbacks, London.
Alice et le mauvais présage, artwork by Philippe Daure © 1986 by Hachette, Paris.
Kitty och den svarta gamen, artwork by Ruth Sanderson © 1982 by Simon & Schuster, New York
Neiti etsivä ja paha enne, artwork by Pentti Ajanto © 1984 by Tammi, Helsinki.
Neiti etsivä ja paha enne
, artwork by Pentti Kareinen © 1994 by Tammi, Helsinki.
Detektiv Nancy Drew og det onde varsel, artwork unattributed © Forlagshuset A/S, Oslo.


© 2002, 2016 Lea Shangraw Fox