The Secret of the Old Clock
(Synopsis from Goodreads)
Nancy, unaided, seeks to find a missing will. To the surprise of many, the Topham family will inherit wealthy Josiah Crowley’s fortune, instead of deserving relatives and friends who were promised inheritances. Nancy determines that a clue to a second will might be found in an old clock Mr. Crowley had owned and she seeks to find the timepiece. Her search not only tests her keen mind, but also leads her into a thrilling adventure.
I have wanted to read a “Nancy Drew” mystery book since I was fairly young, but never got the chance to do so. I saw that the first book in the series was available through the OverDrive app, which is made possible from libraries that curate their own digital collections through the app. Mine just happened to have this in their collection. I went in thinking that I would be upset by the book honestly. This is because I knew the book was written in the 30s. My mentality was that this is probably going to be some racist diatribe or something of that nature, but it wasn’t. This is probably why it is still able to be published. It is very general, even if it is very obvious that everyone in the story is a white person. When I say that it is obvious, I mean it is almost painfully obvious. The illustrations to everything within the descriptions of characters makes it pretty obvious you are not reading a diverse book here, but it also never utilized a POC in any harmful or derogatory way, which felt important for me to note. Nancy and her father did have a maid, but she is not described within the story as a POC. A POC maid was my primary concern with this book going into it and was glad that it was not utilized.
When I got past my shock, I found myself enjoying the book. I was drawn into Nancy Drew’s world of wanting to solve the case and discovering if there truly was an updated will that would change many people’s lives for the better. She was a do-gooder, in the positive sense of that word, and wanted to help others. This was an admirable quality to the character and made me identify with her strongly, as a social work student. The entire premise of this book felt very cartoonish, which normally would have gotten on my nerves. It didn’t bother me here because it just felt like a fun little mystery romp. It almost reminded me of a “Hallmark” movie type of feel to it, if I am completely honest. It was a very wholesome mystery story, which was nice since I have been known to read some much heavier type of materials from time to time. I would definitely consider this a nice palette cleanser, which is probably what I would use any future parts of the series that I read for. Now since I have said this is a wholesome read, I want you to know that it still has some intense moments. Moments were you are worried for Nancy and her safety. It still has suspenseful elements and those moments will drag you forward, but they still feel very “Mickey Mouse Club” in their execution.
It will be interesting to see if the family that is utilized as the “villain” within this story is utilized in any of the subsequent stories as well. It felt like they were created for that purpose to be a foil in the future, so I will see if and when I read more of the series. I do not see many of the side characters being utilized again with the series, but one never knows. I know Nancy’s father and the maid will be used again. Those characters were the obvious ones. The other characters that she is helping though, they seem a bit throwaway, if I am being honest. This is why I will be interested to see if any of them appear again because I am seriously doubting it.
I will definitely be continuing on with this series and I could see myself collecting it for my own shelves, instead of reading them digitally. I am finding that I love a good mystery book and this has helped me to realize that love is for almost anything mystery related.
This is only part of a much larger series. The original series ended up being 56 books! Nancy Drew has also had numerous other series and is still being published to this very day.