Today we return to the bookshelf for a look at Nancy Drew.
Why Found-Again? Before I got my hands on The Hardy Boys Detective Handbook or met up with Jupiter Jones and his friends (who I hope will feature in a later Found-Again Friday), this was my favorite mystery book even among my Nancy Drews, competing hotly with The Ghost of Blackwood Hall.
The Premise: With a cache of long-lost jewels at stake, Nancy and her friends travel to Belgium to solve mysteries past and present that involve secret messages, spies, and a cowboy. Yes, in Belgium.
Rereading a childhood classic can have its problems, and The Secret in the Old Lace is no exception: when I think about this book, I remember the European locale, secret messages and lacemaking. I don’t think about the stuff that happens to launch the mystery—Nancy spends time with her dull boyfriend Ned (who kind of beats up a suspect, but somehow still remains boring)! Nancy is waylaid by street toughs! Nancy is menaced by a guy named, I kid you not, Matey Johnson!
However, since there was always a certain class of adult telling child-me that she should stop reading trash, things I learned when I read this book as a kid:
- The existence of Belgium
- How lace is made
- A small amount of European history
- French pronunciation (from asking my mom how on earth you say “François Lefèvre,” anyway)
- And applicable to all Nancy Drew books generally, who the hell Titian was and why he was really attached to red
The Verdict: It was a lot of fun reading this book again, especially once it becomes a treasure hunt with attached love story. On the other hand, I think I’m about 25 years to old to read anything G-rated involving a “Matey Johnson”; I have difficulty viewing that character as anything more than a sailor on the S.S. Innuendo.
Might go well with : Chocolate, Remington Steele reruns.
Next time: The Highlander vs. the cops.