06 February, 2011


I've put off reading the new Nancy Drew: Girl Detective series for the longest time. I freely admit that part of the reason was that I don't really want to read about Nancy in a world with cellphones and web 2.0; I was also less than impressed when I read synopses of some of the plots. Oh, and the first person narrative is excruciating.

However, when I found that as well as new Nancy Drew books and new Hardy Boys books, there were also going to be new Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys crossovers books, I... may have wavered a little. Only enough to buy a second-hand copy of their third super mystery, Club Dread, mind you, and I'll write it up properly in my next post. Meanwhile, here are some musings on the more noticeable changes in the series.

  • Frank and Joe aren't just detectives - they work for a nation-wide teen detective agency, founded by their father.
  • Their mother doesn't know that they're detectives any more, which just seems terrible to me. It basically sets up the household as the men having a major secret from the women.
  • Aunt Gertrude now has the more modern moniker, Aunt Trudy. It was difficult to tell if she is still the waspish maiden aunt, though, since she only had one appearance in this book.
  • Frank and Joe's personalities have basically been built on from their 1980's Casefiles series. Joe is the more fun-loving, flirtatious guy; Frank is more serious, even dorky, and really shy around girls.
  • Interestingly, while in the original crossover books had Nancy crushing on Frank and constantly torn between him and Ned, here Frank is the one with the crush. It's nice to have the romantic tension on the boy's side, and it also means Nancy doesn't seem like she's entertaining thoughts of two-timing her boyfriend.
  • ...although Ned didn't seem to get any mention at all in this book. He does appear in the first Super Mystery, Terror on Tour, though, so I guess he's around somewhere.
  • Bess is no longer the chubby comic relief! It would be nice to say that now she's a overweight character who is meant to be taken seriously, but instead she has super-model good looks and is an expert mechanic. She's still very interested in boys and fashion, but I resent that she's had to lose weight to stay in the series.
  • George is still a tomboy, of course, and now she's bascially an expert hacker.
  • Finally, Nancy is clearly meant to be a more rounded character than her previous incarnations, which seems to have been done by making her ocassionally forgetful and unable to run in high heels. OK! She is, however, still very intelligent, and very capable. If it wasn't for the very irritating first person narrative I'd almost be convinced to read her series.

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