Found-Again Friday: Nancy Drew # 59, The Secret in the Old Lace

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.


J. A.

It reads. It writes. It watches. It researches. It overdoes many of those things!

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