The Secret of the Old Clock- Caroline Keene

Written By: Kellie - Sep• 05•12

Synopsis: In the first book of the classic series, Nancy Drew uses her wit and deductive skills to search for a missing will that could help a lot of people. 

Review: Going into my reread of ‘The Secret of the Old Clock’, the first book in the Nancy Drew series, I didn’t realize just how long these books had been around. The character of Nancy Drew was actually created in 1930, although I believe I read a version of the story that had been edited from the original in the 60s to eliminate racial stereotypes and make Nancy more agreeable to male authority figures! Granted, I’m getting my information from wikipedia but common, way to kill my childhood hero for me. Bah! Anyways, I think I may cover a history of Nancy Drew in a later post but for now, lets dive into the story.

This is the first book in the series and so Nancy hasn’t established herself yet as a deductive wonder. In fact, she gets involved with this mystery basically by happy accident (of which there are many in this book). From there she goes on to befriend pretty much everyone involved in the story (hunting for a last will and testament), she’s pretty much the darling of everyone in town who doesn’t happen to be a villain of this story.

This book definitely came off as having been written in a simpler time, even though that isn’t necessarily the case. In 1930, things were not hunky-dorey in America but you would never be able to tell based on the Stepford setting of Nancy Drew’s world. In fact, I doubt many of these mysteries would hold up in modern times as the invention of the cellphone would have done a lot for Nancy.

I don’t use quotes very often but this one made me laugh out loud and perfectly depicts both the setting and the too sweet persona of the girl detective. The scene is Nancy is chasing a band of thieves driving a van in her convertible and this is her big moment to save the day, so what does she do but, “drive as rapidly as the law permitted”, oo boy. No one will be accusing her of being too hardcore any time soon.

The Nancy Drew series will always hold a special place with me as one of the series that helped me fall in love with books, but compared to the genuinely admirable heroines of today’s YA, Nancy Drew has a lot to learn. I haven’t read any of the new series ‘Girl Detective’ which is supposed to be a modernized version of the series, but if it’s been done right I’m sure future generations will enjoy this classic character.

Buy the book @Amazon (US) @Amazon (CAN)

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One Comment

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