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The Secret of the Old Clock

de Carolyn Keene

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Sèrie: Nancy Drew (1)

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Nancy Drew's keen mind is tested when she searches for a missing will.
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I devoured these books as a middle-school student. It was always a competition between the Amish boys and myself to see who could read the most Nancy Drew and/or Hardy Boys (depending on what was in at the library) per day.
  libraryofemma | Apr 18, 2024 |
The Mystery of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene is a 1930 publication.

Well, what a lovely reminder of a different time and a nostalgic reminder of how much I enjoyed Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mysteries when I was growing up.

In one the earliest installments in the series, Nancy is on the hunt for a hidden will- one that will provide a great deal of financial relief to relatives who truly deserve the money- but for now it looks as if other, less charitable relatives might be the only legal beneficiaries. Can Nancy find the will in time?

I can’t recall the last time I read a Nancy Drew mystery- but I’m certain I read those published long after this one. I do remember enjoying these books, though, I didn’t read them exclusively as a teen and this series was not my first introduction to mysteries -as my parents still had some old Bobbey Twins books that got passed down to me, which I read before I ever discovered ND. But Nancy was older and a character one could sort of look up to, I think- I know I did.

In the beginning Nancy solves mysteries- but not murder mysteries, but they can still be moderately dangerous. I liked this version of Nancy- she walks that fine line of being sharp, mature for her age, and independent- and pushed an envelope here and there. But she also had values and principles and cared about those who needed a helping hand, making her popular with a broad audience and making it hard to find too much fault with her.

I liked the story, the fast pace, the time and place, the touch of suspense, but mostly I liked the purpose behind Nancy’s involvement and how everything came together in the end. A wonderful YA book – the way one should be presented to the audience it courted.

It’s too bad that young readers today do not have a recent incarnation of Nancy or the Hardy Boys mysteries to read. It’s a shame that the character was allowed to fizzle and fade- not being written in a way that made Nancy a character that young readers could admire and relate to at the same time- while enjoying a good mystery and some clean entertainment.

But at least these books are available in digital format- and can be found in many libraries. It is a relief that they are at least being preserved and who knows- maybe a young person will be curious enough to read one someday- even as the threat of Nancy fading into obscurity looms large- and be inspired to pick up the torch and breathe new life into the character, but with the spirit of the original version of Nancy we see portrayed here…. One can only hope…

Overall, I enjoyed my fun excursion into the past with the first version of Nancy Drew. Though she went through many incarnations over the decades, her mysteries always bring back fond memories and a wistful hope that future generations will someday be able experience the same enjoyment from this series and that Nancy will inspire them the way she inspired me.

4.5 stars ( )
  gpangel | Apr 15, 2024 |
Original Review

The Secret of the Old Clock is the first book in the hardcover Nancy Drew series (flashlight editions). I read the Nancy Drew books as a young girl and through them, fell in love with reading. That they are still in print and parents are still buying them for their children makes my heart so happy.

This year, I’m attempting to reread all of the original 56 books - about one per week, with some weeks doubled up. I’ve started with book one and it was such a delight to read it again. These mysteries carry so much nostalgia for me, and reading them again feels so comforting - like drinking a hot cup of tea, wrapped up in a cozy blanket on a cushioned window seat listening to the rhythm of the rain; a warm hug for my soul.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Secret of the Old Clock again. I love how the story is set in the 1930’s and carries with it that decade’s unique atmosphere, yet is still so timeless.

My sister once told me she didn’t like Nancy Drew much when she was younger because Nancy is too perfect in the books and I think that is a fair criticism (she is unrealistically perfect and very privileged; some of the circumstances are a bit too tidy as well), but I also think that is one of the things I liked about her stories. Reading them allowed for a bit of escapism and stoked my imagination, and that was still true for me as an adult reading this installment again.

There’s a scene in the story that made me want to find a 1930’s recipe similar to Hannah’s cinnamon cake to bake up and serve with hot applesauce. Why is this not a popular pairing anymore? It sounds delicious!

I’d recommend Nancy’s mysteries for anyone who is interested in a fast-paced, lighthearted middle grade book, for reluctant readers, or for anyone who read them when they were younger and is looking for a serving of nostalgia. ( )
  erindarlyn | Jan 25, 2024 |
After reading and comparing the 1930 original with the 1959 revision, it’s clear that much of the original charm was lost in the update. The original version featured a boisterously independent Nancy and a raucous cast of characters and events, but also some horrifyingly racist caricatures. In cleaning up the latter, the revision also cleaned up Nancy and the book’s events and settings to a syrupy sweet Nancy and ruthlessly G-rated mystery that is pretty dull in comparison. 4 Stars for the 1930 original, written by Mildred A Wirt Benson, and 2 Stars for the 1959 revision, written by Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, averaging to 3 stars overall. ( )
  Doodlebug34 | Jan 1, 2024 |
4.25/5 The story that turned me into a fanatic lover of detective fiction. Nancy Drew embodies the kind of girl we all wanted to be: beautiful, beyond clever, adventurous, inquisitive, friendly, I mean she even drives a convertible at 18! The story holds up well, though I found I was quite nostalgic while reading it. The puzzle is easier to solve as an adult (esp. with the title), but it doesn't make it any less fun. ( )
  crabbyabbe | Nov 13, 2023 |
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» Afegeix-hi altres autors (9 possibles)

Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Carolyn Keeneautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Benson, Mildred Wirtautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Paretsky, SaraIntroduccióautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat
Tandy, Russell H.Il·lustradorautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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[1930 edition] "It would be a shame if all that money went to the Tophams!"
[1959 edition] Nancy Drew, an attractive girl of eighteen, was driving home along a country road in her new, dark-blue convertible.
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ISBN 044809570X is for The Hidden Staircase.
ISBN 0448416735 is for the Nancy Drew Starter Set, books 1-6.
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Nancy Drew's keen mind is tested when she searches for a missing will.

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