This game is dedicated to Mildred Wirt Benson, the author of the original Nancy Drew series. She had died during production of the game.
Hunt for clues on the trail of a pack of phantom hounds!
You, as Nancy Drew, must pick up the cold trail left by a notorious gangster who once lived in the lakeside cabin recently purchased by your friend, Sally McDonald. The cabin was formerly owned by Mickey Malone, a Prohibition-era gangster, on Moon Lake, Pennsylvania. However, Sally soon becomes very frightened and asks you for help. When you arrive, a tree falls and blocks you in, and Sally is nowhere to be found. Sally soon calls you and tells you why she left - Malone's dogs have apparently returned as ghost dogs, and they viciously attack the cabin each night! Are the ghostly legends true, or is there a flesh and blood answer to the dogs' haunting howls? Decipher cryptic puzzles, search through shadowy wood, creepy old houses, interview suspicious characters, and dodge danger to sniff out the truth behind local legends to solve the mystery.
- Explore a cemetery and speakeasy
- Take photos of birds and collect bugs
- Find your way out of the maze in the forest
Sally is a photographer and the owner of the cabin. Although she stayed for approximately a month there, she eventually had to leave because of the ghost dogs.
Red is a birdwatcher who has an observation platform near the cabin. Devoted to birding, he finds the company of humans annoying and doesn't have much patience with them.
Emily runs the nearby junk/bait shop Em's Emporium. She sells Prohibition-era antiques there and insists that they were obtained legally and not by dragging the bottom of Moon Lake.
Jeff is the local park ranger. He's a stickler for rules and wants the local area to remain pristine and orderly.
The phone is located in Sally's house.
Bess and George are cousins and are good friends of Nancy who can give her advice.
Frank and Joe are detective brothers Nancy knows. Bess will give Nancy their number after she mentions Jeff Akers. They can give her advice.
Vivian was Mickey Malone's girlfriend and can give Nancy important information about him. After Nancy's first time speaking to her, she's joined by Eustacia Andropov, who was also a phone friend in The Final Scene.
- This is the first game to have had a teaser trailer (seen in Secret of the Scarlet Hand).
- Alena Saunders was uncredited for reprising her role of Eustacia Andropov.
- This is the only game in the Adventure Series in which Nancy has a PDA.
- In the culprit's lair, there is a familiar Chinese take-out carton and a pizza box. (Message in a Haunted Mansion and The Final Scene)
- The purple ski boots in Sally's shed are the same brand as the ones Professor Hotchkiss has. (Treasure in the Royal Tower)
- Emily is selling the movie Neo, which was a poster seen at The Royal Palladium. (The Final Scene)
- The magazine referencing scarlet handprints in seen in the culprit's lair. (The Final Scene)
- Nancy briefly mentions the events of The Final Scene when first talking with Eustacia.
Main/recurring character revelations
- Bess has a birthday in the Spring, and got a digital camera as a present.
- Bess now has Caller ID.
- The old aviation poster in Emily's store is a tribute to the first ghostwriter to use the Carolyn Keene pseudonym, Mildred Wirt Benson. In real life, Benson was an avid flyer and had a pilot's license. She died in May 2002, shortly before the release of Secret of the Scarlet Hand, and during the production of Ghost Dogs of Moon Lake.