Eats, Sleuths, and Leaves

The Secret of the Old Clock (2001 printing) by Carolyn Keene
Grade: B+

The Secret of the Old Clock is the first Nancy Drew book. In this story, Nancy meets several people who thought they’d been named heirs in a man’s will, but after his death, the only will to surface is one that leaves everything to an already-wealthy man and his obnoxious family. Many suspect that a more recent will exists, but no one has any idea of where to start looking for it. Nancy likes her new friends and decides to go will-hunting on their behalves.

One thing that strikes me as odd is how often Nancy eats in this rewrite of the original story. She goes somewhere, she has a meal, she looks around and/or talks to some people, and then she goes somewhere else. To put it more succinctly, she eats, sleuths, and leaves. Here’s an example.

Nancy ate a dish of strawberries, then started on the waffles. “These are yummy,” she stated, pouring maple syrup over a second one.

She had just finished eating when the phone rang. . . .

Nancy┬á went upstairs for her purse, then drove to her father’s office. . . .

The amount of description that goes into some of these meals is odd. Do I need to know that she said the waffles were yummy, or that she had two? But even in this rewrite, there is something endearing about Nancy and her adventures are still exciting. Though I suspect the original is better, I enjoyed this version and gave it a B+ grade.

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2 Responses to Eats, Sleuths, and Leaves

  1. sprite says:

    After reading this and your last Nancy Drew post, I’m tempted to hit the eaves at my folks’ place when I’m up next month and dig into my box of teen sleuth books. I’d be interested to see where the writing in mine falls.

    I also now wonder if they’ve updated the Trixie Belden books.

  2. chick says:

    I haven’t looked too deeply into the issue, but it seems that the books with blue covers (like my old version of “The Hidden Staircase”) are the originals. Ones with yellow spines are either revisions or written after 1959. The mystery for me now is what happened to the rest of the Nancy Drew books that my mother once owned. She says she had a complete (for her time) set. The few originals I have almost certainly came from that set, but where are the rest of them? I might have to do some sleuthing of my own!

    I don’t think I ever read any Trixie Belden books. Are they any good?

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