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The Secret of the Old Clock

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This is a facsimile reprint of the first ever Nancy Drew book, published 1930. Nancy Drew's keen mind is tested when she searches for Mr. Crowley's missing will.


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This is a facsimile reprint of the first ever Nancy Drew book, published 1930. Nancy Drew's keen mind is tested when she searches for Mr. Crowley's missing will.

30 review for The Secret of the Old Clock

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michael Finocchiaro

    "I love Nancy Drew! She is so cool," said my 7 year old daughter. I had"ve read the first 10 Hardy Boys books to my son ("one more chapter before going to bed PLEEEEASE papa!!") and figured I needed to let my daughter get in on the fun. Of course, my son said, "The Hardy Boys are better!" but who was on the couch listening in while pretending to ignore my daughter and I? Yep. The first book of the Nancy Drew series is the story of a lost will that Nancy is helping the disowned and impoverished fr "I love Nancy Drew! She is so cool," said my 7 year old daughter. I had"ve read the first 10 Hardy Boys books to my son ("one more chapter before going to bed PLEEEEASE papa!!") and figured I needed to let my daughter get in on the fun. Of course, my son said, "The Hardy Boys are better!" but who was on the couch listening in while pretending to ignore my daughter and I? Yep. The first book of the Nancy Drew series is the story of a lost will that Nancy is helping the disowned and impoverished friends ("Allison sings so beautifully and little Judy is so cute," again my daughter) and family of now-dead Josiah find before the rich and spoiled Topham's (including the condescending Ada and Isabel both of Nancy's age) recuperate the whole massive estate of -gasp!- $100000 (boy, the times have changed since the 50s!!). It is very girl-positive and Nancy is a great role model in being brilliant and beautiful (ok, another blonde but that too helps undermine the stereotype of the "dumb blonde" doesn't it?) A pure delight!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Brina

    My February month of reading mysteries is finally ending. I am excited for March as I have previously mentioned, a little too excited. To end an otherwise dreary and depressing month on a positive note, I decided to squeeze in one more mystery, this one a buddy read. This was no ordinary buddy read in a group, but one with my seven year old daughter. She is in first grade and is reading with ease. Lately she has enjoyed the newer, and probably easy for her, Nancy Drew Notebooks Mysteries. I deci My February month of reading mysteries is finally ending. I am excited for March as I have previously mentioned, a little too excited. To end an otherwise dreary and depressing month on a positive note, I decided to squeeze in one more mystery, this one a buddy read. This was no ordinary buddy read in a group, but one with my seven year old daughter. She is in first grade and is reading with ease. Lately she has enjoyed the newer, and probably easy for her, Nancy Drew Notebooks Mysteries. I decided to both challenge her and expose her to the original series, and offered to read the original mysteries with her. We happen to own a copy of The Secret of the Old Clock, and I checked out a second copy of this classic from the library so we could read Nancy Drew's debut case together. Did you know that Nancy Drew has solved over 500 cases in her career? That is a lot of mysteries. Secret of the Old Clock takes readers back over eighty years ago to where it all began for Nancy in River Heights, a fictional town that is supposed to resemble Iowa City, Iowa. Nancy has finished with high school and still lives in the home of her widower father Carson Drew, a prominent River Heights lawyer. It is summer vacation, and while Nancy is ready to begin the next chapter of her life, a mystery happens to fall into her lap. Josiah Crowley has passed away and unless a recent will turns up, his entire estate will fall into the hands of the greedy Topham family of River Heights. Not only are the Tophams well to do, but they are also snobby and view Nancy Drew and her kind as a pest. Yet, word is that Josiah Crowley wrote a second will, and Nancy is determined to find it. She has been solving mysteries with her father in his office for her entire life, and now she is ready to solve a case on her own. Along the way, Nancy meets the Turners, the Hoovers, the Mathews, and Mrs Rowen, all of whom stand to benefit if Crowley's second will turns up. One notes immediately that these relations of Mr. Crowley's deserve the money more so than the Crowleys, and hope beyond hope that Nancy pieces together enough clues to uncover the missing document. Other than the Tophams and a band of robbers, the rest of the characters all assisted Nancy in her quest or were otherwise sympathetic. Unlike mysteries and thrillers geared toward adult audiences, there was little intrigue for me as I knew that in the end, Nancy Drew would come out on top. The prose was dated, yet refreshing to read, and I enjoyed turning back the clock to this wholesome book that is still a guessing game for children as to whodunit. My daughter enjoyed reading about Nancy as well, and she has already checked out her next few cases from the library. February is over, woohoo! Where to now? March is Women's History Month and I have a diverse lineup plan, including two historical mysteries and one buddy read. I enjoy reading about women and cultures from around the world so this isn't much of a stretch for me, but exciting nonetheless. In the meantime, my daughter is getting hooked on mysteries herself and wants to continue with the Nancy Drew series. I am glad that I used my February month of reading mysteries to expose her to this classic series. We both enjoyed the bonding time reading it, and I am sure there will be more Nancy Drew buddy reads in both of our future. 4 bright stars

  3. 5 out of 5

    Alejandro

    The Girl Detective begins! This is the very first book, introducing the popular character of Nancy Drew. This edition is the revised one, changing the age of Nancy Drew from 16 to 18 years old. (But since in later series, her age is changed back to 16, that’s an irrelevant modification. THE HEROINE Nancy Drew is the only daughter of Carson Drew, prestigious lawyer of the town of River Heights (a fictional town, by the way). Her mother died when Nancy was 3 years old (original edition stated tha The Girl Detective begins! This is the very first book, introducing the popular character of Nancy Drew. This edition is the revised one, changing the age of Nancy Drew from 16 to 18 years old. (But since in later series, her age is changed back to 16, that’s an irrelevant modification. THE HEROINE Nancy Drew is the only daughter of Carson Drew, prestigious lawyer of the town of River Heights (a fictional town, by the way). Her mother died when Nancy was 3 years old (original edition stated that she was 10 years old) (and no, it wasn’t a bloody mugging in a dark alley where Nancy was witness of the killing and swore revenge against criminals, nope, nothing of the sort that dramatic, but due an illness). She’s not exactly rich, but it’s obvious that she isn’t in need of a steady day job, since she only do some minor errands for her dad’s legal office. She has her own car (that definitely it’s essential to be able to travel fast during the cases). She is a kind person, trying to help anybody in need, willing to do anything even risking her physical safety. She is a social person who is liked by everybody (and if not, it’s pretty obvious that those are some varmints, up to something not good). She is clever, tireless and daring. Beware villains! Here comes Nancy Drew! NOT THE TITLE I’D CHOOSE This first book in the series has the title of The Secret of the Old Clock. It’s not a misleading title, quite the opposite, it’s a too spoiling one. Since the case is about finding a will that nobody know where it could be, sooooo… …you don’t have to be goshdang Batman to figure out since quite early in the reading, that in the very moment that a clock would appear in scene, hey, hey, hey, you’ll be hot! In my humble opinion, I’d think that a better title could be “Nancy Drew and the Missing Will” (yes, I know, Harry Potter is my veins, I can’t help it!) so in that way, you’d be as clueless as Nancy when the mystery is just beginning. BY ASKING YOU’LL GET TO… SOLVE THE CASE While the reading style is quite engaging and the rhythm of the story is really good. Well, I was kinda disappointed that Nancy Drew didn’t face a challenge to show her deductive skills or needing to solve a riddle. I won’t spoil you (don’t worry the book’s title already do that), since I won’t get into details… …I’ll just say that asking the same question to all available characters in the novel… …you eventually will solve the case. Geez. However, still Nancy will need to face some villains (things couldn’t be that easy, fellows!). And what I liked was that she isn’t suddenly “Kung-Fu Nancy” handing out Kapows all around, but she deals with the menaces according to her status quo of a young girl, in her very first amateur detective case, which never has dealt with real criminals, so far, in her previous easy life. So, while I can’t deny that I’d enjoy a more challenging mystery, still it was a fine reading experience and I plan to read more Nancy Drew’s mysteries in the future. The chase for clues is just beginning!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Mary Beth *Traveling Sister*

    This was a reread for me and goes back to my childhood. I use to love this series and have decided to reread this series. It reminds me so much of my Grandma who always came over to visit me with a new Nancy Drew book and I was always so excited to read it. I had to give it 5 stars because this is the mystery series that actually gave me the love of reading. If I never of picked this book up I might not of ever of got into reading, which would of been very sad, because reading is just so much fu This was a reread for me and goes back to my childhood. I use to love this series and have decided to reread this series. It reminds me so much of my Grandma who always came over to visit me with a new Nancy Drew book and I was always so excited to read it. I had to give it 5 stars because this is the mystery series that actually gave me the love of reading. If I never of picked this book up I might not of ever of got into reading, which would of been very sad, because reading is just so much fun for me. In this book you have Nancy Drew who follows into her Dads footsteps and becomes a sleuth into a mystery of a Will that happened to be a mystery and Nancy has to find the new will before it is too late. I never have reread this series but I am happy that I finally plunged into them because all of the childhood memories came back to me. I even remembered in one part of the story what happened because it meant so much as a child to me and remembered my first reading experience. Overall I think this is an excellent book and starts out the series very well! I can't wait to read the next one to remind me more of my childhood memories!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    I see this edition is actually a postcard book, but I wanted to review The Secret of the Old Clock with its proper cover. This was the first chapter book I ever read. I have a very clear memory of my mom giving it to me in the car on the way back from Palo Alto, which can't possibly be correct because she wouldn't have handed me a book while driving on the freeway. Maybe she gave it to me before we started driving, and I was reading it in the car? It's kind of a mystery. Anyway, these books taught I see this edition is actually a postcard book, but I wanted to review The Secret of the Old Clock with its proper cover. This was the first chapter book I ever read. I have a very clear memory of my mom giving it to me in the car on the way back from Palo Alto, which can't possibly be correct because she wouldn't have handed me a book while driving on the freeway. Maybe she gave it to me before we started driving, and I was reading it in the car? It's kind of a mystery. Anyway, these books taught me how to read. Up until that point, I remember my mom being a bit pushy (or so it seemed to me) giving me books all the time, but as soon as I read this, the first tale of intrepid, strawberry-blonde sleuth Nancy and her friends Stupid Bess and George the Lesbian, I basically became a little drug addict. My substance of choice was these glorious yellow-spined anachronisms, which I sat around my basement bedroom devouring, to the detriment of socialization, math homework, and other important developmental activitives. I have a personal theory about learning to read, based only in my own experience and nothing else, which is that formulaic, redundant series books play a huge role in mastering this skill. Really little kids love to "read" books they're memorized from hearing them, and I think there's a similar process in slightly older kids who've learned to read words but not to enjoy them. Series like the Nancy Drew books are great, because they all begin exactly the same, and skimming through that familiar formula makes the kid feel smart, safe, on top of things, and eager to push forward through a plot which seems both highly suspenseful and completely predictable. I was lucky enough to read some really fabulous children's literature in my day, but honestly, it wasn't the Newberry Award winners that taught me the habit: it was books written on assembly lines, in committee, by ghosts, or however it is that they produced these things (see Sweet Valley High). That said, I'm not trying to take away any glory from Nancy Drew, girl detective. She was always so clever and brave and determined! I hope girls still read these books, and I hope one day to hand my own daughter The Secret of the Old Clock, though probably not on the freeway.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Sheri

    A solid start to the series that got me started on not only mysteries, but also series reads. Nancy Drew embodies everything a girl hopes to be: smart, athletic, ingenious, brave, friendly, fun, pretty, adventurous ... well, I could go on and on, but you get the picture! I love trying to solve the mystery along with Nancy, although it is easier now as an adult and after I have already read it before! Recommended to children as a suspenseful, action-packed mystery that they can work to solve alon A solid start to the series that got me started on not only mysteries, but also series reads. Nancy Drew embodies everything a girl hopes to be: smart, athletic, ingenious, brave, friendly, fun, pretty, adventurous ... well, I could go on and on, but you get the picture! I love trying to solve the mystery along with Nancy, although it is easier now as an adult and after I have already read it before! Recommended to children as a suspenseful, action-packed mystery that they can work to solve alongside Nancy. Recommended to adults for an easy, nostalgic mystery read.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Stacia (the 2010 club)

    So I was watching the BDSM episode of Our America, and this one chick said that she first discovered her fascination with being tied up when Nancy was being tied up by the bad guys... I TOTALLY DIDN'T GET THE MEMO THAT I SHOULD HAVE BEEN GETTING EXCITED. Anyway, I loved this series as a child. I intend to revisit it someday. Nancy was my girl...and apparently these books are a gateway drug to a kinkier life.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Adita ✨The Slumbering Insomniac✨

    What if goodreads doesn't adhere to half-stars rating system? We have always the option of providing us with one ourselves, don't we? ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐- roughly the equivalent of 4.5 stars, but still remains higher than 5? Serves my propensity for loose rating very well! We now know what 18 year old girls of yore, who didn't live their lives at the rate of 20 texts per minute, 50 cuss words per hour, 30 books per month, were doing when they had nothing important to do- driving around the town in their co What if goodreads doesn't adhere to half-stars rating system? We have always the option of providing us with one ourselves, don't we? ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- roughly the equivalent of 4.5 stars, but still remains higher than 5? Serves my propensity for loose rating very well! We now know what 18 year old girls of yore, who didn't live their lives at the rate of 20 texts per minute, 50 cuss words per hour, 30 books per month, were doing when they had nothing important to do- driving around the town in their convertibles solving mysteries and helping people in dire straits! NANCY DREW , for example! Why, you stole my pencil! Why, you ate my share of the pumpkin-pie! Why, you are home early! If that was the popular cry of surprise you grew up hearing everyday, then you probably lived in a household where Nancy Drew was a permanent occupant- either you were the one smitten by the young sleuth or you spent several hours of the day wondering how your sister could be so engrossed in a girl who didn't have half the fan base that Sherlock Holmes commended. Either way, you know 'Why' was the most preferred way of beginning a sentence, if someone sneaked up on you or appropriated some thingummy that was rightfully yours, thanks to Carolyn Keene! OVERVIEW: Nancy Drew's is a family of three- ▶️ Carson Drew, Nancy's lawyer-father, without whose help, Nancy's endeavours will go up in smoke and her detective dreams will remain plain will o' the wisp. ▶️ Hannah Gruen, the affable housekeeper, who has come to take the place of Nancy's second mother(her own mother passed away when she was still young) and always pays attention to the littlest of things that Nancy has to say. The Secret Of The Old Clock is Nancy's debut detective work and it has Nancy chasing the will made by the rich old man, Josiah Crowley, whose possessions were forcibly bequeathed to the churlish Tophams. In a bid to help the deserving Hoovers and Turners and Williams, Nancy tries to recover the elusive later will from the Tophams, which might benefit the abovesaid families immensely. And, in the process, she runs into a couple of burly thieves and comes close to a life-threatening situation. ANALYSIS: ⏩ CONS OF THE NANCY DREW EXPERIENCE: ❎ You will find the insipid monologues very off-putting. You'll never see the end of “I was almost certain I’d find the notebook,” she murmured in disappointment. But a moment later she took heart again. “It must be here somewhere,” she told herself.” kind of sentences and I will attribute it to the lack of a sidekick. Nancy could certainly have afforded to have a lackey or a lover boy in her tow wouldn't have been bad either. I am sure that we will get to see Nancy's partner-in-uncrime in the subsequent books. ❎ Carolyn Keene is the executor who plays Nancy like a fiddle. And, in the game, when Nancy hits a stumbling block, the author comes up with an ironical clue which is the answer itself- imagine the scenario in which you play 'seek the object' with a kid and tell him to look behind the door and leave the object itself in that place instead of the clue. (Stop complaining, this book is intended for kids.) ⏩ PROS: ✅ Nancy Drew. ✅ Nancy Drew. ✅ Nancy Drew. Don't give me that look. That girl is the height of awesomeness, you know? VERDICT: ✔️ Nancy Drew is the kind of book that tells you "get off your ass and make yourself useful" rather than "stick your ass on the couch and read all day". It sends your adrenal rather than amygdala into overdrive. (You are locked up in a cupboard and left to suffocate, your launch goes kaput in the middle of the lake and you are left to starve and you survive all of this- enough derring-do for people to call you an adrenaline junky!) ✔️ Nancy Drew is what you are looking for when you want respite from the saturnine, cynical and sardonic Holmes or Poirot and want a breezy, lighthearted and lilliputian alternative to the blood and gore that comes with the high profile sleuthing typical of Arthur Conan Doyle and Agatha Christie and the like! Ergo, if you are looking to re-live your childhood well spent or make amends for all the time lost in everything but Nancy Drew, now is the time! Get in the backseat of Nancy's blue convertible and set out for an adventure-filled ride!

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cheryl

    I think Nancy drew was the beginning of the end for me. Her adventures and the mysteries that she solved made me yearn to solve my own. This made me inquisitive, leading to a job as a journalist at 14. It also made me want to write. And here I am...just a few years later (Ok, more than a few), and I'm a writer of suspense, mysteries and thrillers! :) Go figure. I recommend this book for pre-teens and young teens. It's a great escape. And for women who want to remember a piece of their youth, pick I think Nancy drew was the beginning of the end for me. Her adventures and the mysteries that she solved made me yearn to solve my own. This made me inquisitive, leading to a job as a journalist at 14. It also made me want to write. And here I am...just a few years later (Ok, more than a few), and I'm a writer of suspense, mysteries and thrillers! :) Go figure. I recommend this book for pre-teens and young teens. It's a great escape. And for women who want to remember a piece of their youth, pick it up and read it now. :) Cheryl Kaye Tardif

  10. 5 out of 5

    Brad

    I broke with our usual pattern around these parts and decided to read some Nancy Drew before Brontë took it on. She had three books she was trying to choose from at the beginning of the month: The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, Stardust and The Secret of the Old Clock. She said she needed "a break" from longer books after having read Murder on the Orient Express and Poison Study, so she picked the Farley Mowat. She tossed Nancy Drew aside, and I decided to pick it up. I am so glad I did because I love a g I broke with our usual pattern around these parts and decided to read some Nancy Drew before Brontë took it on. She had three books she was trying to choose from at the beginning of the month: The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, Stardust and The Secret of the Old Clock. She said she needed "a break" from longer books after having read Murder on the Orient Express and Poison Study, so she picked the Farley Mowat. She tossed Nancy Drew aside, and I decided to pick it up. I am so glad I did because I love a good surprise. I expected it to be okay. I expected Nancy Drew to be about as good as an old Hardy Boys but no better. I expected it to be annoyingly sexist by way of its period, boringly simplistic, and a great way to fall asleep. All of my expectations were wrong. It was better than the Hardy Boys, by a long shot. Carolyn Keene is a solid writer. She's no Charlotte or Emily or Virginia or Jane or Margaret, but she is solid, and she has a gift for simplicity that is both clean and concise. Reading her prose was a pleasure, and there was nothing boring. Instead of falling asleep, I found myself staying up later than I had planned to get to the finish. My most pleasant surprise, however, was what an excellent woman (girl, I suppose) Nancy Drew is. Capable, whip smart, brave without being foolhardy, strong -- both ethically and physically, loyal, caring, attractive -- mentally and physically, and driven, Nancy Drew is someone I can see countless woman aspiring to be like. Better yet, she is recognized as all of these things by nearly everyone (but her enemies) who she comes in contact with over the course of the book, and there isn't a hint of anyone patronizing her: not her father, not the cops, not the people she saves with her investigation. People respect her, and that is that. I hope that Brontë picks this up next time she needs a break from long books. I can't wait to talk to her about Nancy Drew. I hope she likes her as much as I did. p.s. Please keep in mind that I have only ever read this one, first book. If she changes later, or the way she is portrayed changes later, I haven't been in contact with that yet. But I sure dig her this first time out.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Daniel

    Sta reci sem... naivno? Zastarelo? Mada opet ima neki svoj sarm, narocito oko glavnog lika koji predstavlja, za ono vreme nesto dosta originalno, mladu damu koja se bavi poslom koji nije tolko pozeljan za mlade dame. Prica kao prica je dosta jednostavna, likovi su ili crni ili beli bez neke posebne dubine ali sve je nekako pisano dosta nevinim glasom sto me onemogucava da budem suvise kritican ka ovoj knjizi. Jeina stvarno svetla tacka jeste sama Nancy koja je prikazana kao vrlo pozitivna osoba sa Sta reci sem... naivno? Zastarelo? Mada opet ima neki svoj sarm, narocito oko glavnog lika koji predstavlja, za ono vreme nesto dosta originalno, mladu damu koja se bavi poslom koji nije tolko pozeljan za mlade dame. Prica kao prica je dosta jednostavna, likovi su ili crni ili beli bez neke posebne dubine ali sve je nekako pisano dosta nevinim glasom sto me onemogucava da budem suvise kritican ka ovoj knjizi. Jeina stvarno svetla tacka jeste sama Nancy koja je prikazana kao vrlo pozitivna osoba sa jakim osecajem za pravdom, odredjenom dozom hrabrosti i zeljom da se pomogne onima koji su slabiji ili u losoj situaciji i to sve bez neke zelje za nagradom ili posebnim statusom. Probacu jos i sledecu pa ce mo videti.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    I'm slowly making my way through reading the original text Nancy Drew books. My childhood was filled with the yellow, matte revised texts. I'm discovering a different accounting of the stories that so entertained me and filled me with curiosity. When I review these, I will just jot down my surprises or thoughts. Surprises: -She's sixteen in this book and blonde bobbed. (not the titian haired sleuth in the later books!) -Nancy's conversation with Jeff Tucker. Not at all politically correct and als I'm slowly making my way through reading the original text Nancy Drew books. My childhood was filled with the yellow, matte revised texts. I'm discovering a different accounting of the stories that so entertained me and filled me with curiosity. When I review these, I will just jot down my surprises or thoughts. Surprises: -She's sixteen in this book and blonde bobbed. (not the titian haired sleuth in the later books!) -Nancy's conversation with Jeff Tucker. Not at all politically correct and also surprising that it is included he is drunk as they are conversing. I was struck by his likening his automobile ride to being like a chariot wafting towards heaven. Not a sentence I expected to read in a Nancy Drew book. -pg. 26 has a lovely quote about Nancy driving and having "Middle West" pride. Again, so whimsical and unexpected in the book. -how the book flows and the description of every day occurrences in the 1930's, made me feel like I was in that time period. I loved every minute of it. -I want to research the make of the Crowley clock... I want one now.

  13. 4 out of 5

    ☆Brittany☆

    Honestly reading this book as an adult was almost brutal. Nancy's whole demeanor/thoughts/words used etc were just so cheesy. BUT, I read quite a few Nancy Drew books during my preteen years & I absolutely LOVED them. I loved them enough to never part with the books & if I find the "old style" edition of a Nancy Drew book that I don't have I buy it, still. So, I am giving the book 5 stars because when I was a kid I really did think these books were amazing. Now, as an adult, they are ridi Honestly reading this book as an adult was almost brutal. Nancy's whole demeanor/thoughts/words used etc were just so cheesy. BUT, I read quite a few Nancy Drew books during my preteen years & I absolutely LOVED them. I loved them enough to never part with the books & if I find the "old style" edition of a Nancy Drew book that I don't have I buy it, still. So, I am giving the book 5 stars because when I was a kid I really did think these books were amazing. Now, as an adult, they are ridiculous, lol but I know they aren't geared for adults. Another thing I never noticed before (when I was a kid) is how the title of the book ruins the whole point of the "mystery" of the story, lol! Anyways, I will always love Nancy Drew & I used to envy her when I was a kid. :D

  14. 4 out of 5

    Reading.Between.Wines

    Ah Nancy Drew, an oldie but a goodie! I remember reading these as a young girl and it was one of the only happy moments from my childhood, when I got lost in books such as this series. Wanted to reread them and see if they were as good as I remembered them to be. I was not disappointed! A little cheesy, but it is a juvenile book after all. Gotta love me some Nancy Drew. 🙌🏽

  15. 4 out of 5

    Katie

    This is the first time I've read Nancy Drew since I was about seven, and imagine my delight when she turned out to be absolutely out of her mind bonkers. She's always mulling over fresh tire tracks and sparkling her eyes at her own father while wearing an attractive linen suit. I love her. The only things missing for me were Bess and her extra five pounds.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Summer

    I want to give this a five because of the enormous impact it's had on the popular imagination, and because it's the first book in a series that features a female main character who is smart and brave and rescues her boyfriend instead of the other way around, and because I read it about 100000 times when I was a kid, but the writing is just so bad. One thing that never struck me before: why are there so many pairs of siblings in this book? Two aging sisters, two aging brothers, two young sisters, I want to give this a five because of the enormous impact it's had on the popular imagination, and because it's the first book in a series that features a female main character who is smart and brave and rescues her boyfriend instead of the other way around, and because I read it about 100000 times when I was a kid, but the writing is just so bad. One thing that never struck me before: why are there so many pairs of siblings in this book? Two aging sisters, two aging brothers, two young sisters, two snobby sisters - what's the point? Is there one? Anyway, Nancy Drew rocks, kudos to her for lasting this long.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Kay

    I won't knock this too much as this was the series that made me a reader but dang, it's like a book version of Scooby Doo!

  18. 4 out of 5

    Kavita

    This is Nancy's very first mystery in which she searches for a missing will. Joshua Crowley has been dead for a few months and when Nancy comes across several people telling her that he had promised to remember them in his will, but didn't, she gets curious. Determined to find the will, especially because it benefited a rich local family that Nancy didn't like, she sets out on her first adventure. There is a bit of class discrimination in this book towards the rich family, who annoyed Nancy by tr This is Nancy's very first mystery in which she searches for a missing will. Joshua Crowley has been dead for a few months and when Nancy comes across several people telling her that he had promised to remember them in his will, but didn't, she gets curious. Determined to find the will, especially because it benefited a rich local family that Nancy didn't like, she sets out on her first adventure. There is a bit of class discrimination in this book towards the rich family, who annoyed Nancy by trying too hard to fit into the rich and snobby lifestyle. Nancy's character is set right away, though Bess and George don't make an appearance. Helen Corning does, even though she disappears for most of the series and only pops up occasionally, like in The Bungalow Mystery as a married woman. Originally, the Stratemeyer Syndicate only produced the Hardy Boys. When suggested that they do something similar for girls, there was a lot of scepticism. But eventually, they did come out with The Secret of the Old Clock, which became a huge hit, and Nancy Drew was born, thrilling generations of young girls and giving them the idea that a woman can do anything she wants. And of course, for those not in the know, Carolyn Keene doesn't exist. The series has been written by different authors over the years. I think this was quite a good beginning to the series.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Cassy

    My first impression of this book, AKA the first sentence completely and totally put me off. I don't know what kind of person Carolyn Keene was, but i would not like to be her friend. Firstly, she writes like a snob. For example "Nancy Drew, a good-looking girl..." Ooookaaay...is that important to the story? Then another part..."she goes shopping in River Heights finest store"....oooookaaaay..."She pulls up in her blue convertible to her big mansion with two garages"...fine! ^_^ We get the point. My first impression of this book, AKA the first sentence completely and totally put me off. I don't know what kind of person Carolyn Keene was, but i would not like to be her friend. Firstly, she writes like a snob. For example "Nancy Drew, a good-looking girl..." Ooookaaay...is that important to the story? Then another part..."she goes shopping in River Heights finest store"....oooookaaaay..."She pulls up in her blue convertible to her big mansion with two garages"...fine! ^_^ We get the point. She's rich and popular, blonde and beautiful. This was completely irrelevant to the whole mystery which was predictable, and you pretty much knew exactly what would happen at the end from reading the first 3 chapters. I am NEVER reading another Carolyn Keene again!!! Never have I been more revolted or appalled from the writing in this book...I actually HATED it...and i never hate books...but this is the first exception...

  20. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    I remember being shocked at how boring this was. So little plot or mystery and really little happens. It is very innocent. I can't believe this became so popular. Maybe it's better as a kid; I read it as an adult. I read a few more to give it more of a chance.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jaksen

    Wow, I hadn't read this since 1964 or so ... Over-the-top stereotypes, including: the villains who are dark and snarly; the snobbish girls/former classmates of Nancy who look down on her; the stalwart, wise and earnest father; the kindly housekeeper; the caretaker with a weird accent. (New England? Rhode Island? Middle-Earth?) hehe Contrived situations. Life-or-death struggles. Stuck in a closet. Almost discovered going through a van of old furniture. Thieves and miscreants and little old ladies l Wow, I hadn't read this since 1964 or so ... Over-the-top stereotypes, including: the villains who are dark and snarly; the snobbish girls/former classmates of Nancy who look down on her; the stalwart, wise and earnest father; the kindly housekeeper; the caretaker with a weird accent. (New England? Rhode Island? Middle-Earth?) hehe Contrived situations. Life-or-death struggles. Stuck in a closet. Almost discovered going through a van of old furniture. Thieves and miscreants and little old ladies living alone in poverty. This first book of Nancy Drew had it all. And clues! Well I do recall, as a girl, reading a Nancy Drew book and then telling my friends we had to go 'look for clues.' About what and where and why we were doing so, I had, literally, no clue. :D The whole story revolves around a lost will, which may or may not have been hidden in an old clock, or maybe the clock holds a clue to the location of the will. Nancy is honest, pretty, sharp-as-a-tack (as my own grandmother would put it) and page after page she's on the ball, hoping to help out a host of well-meaning, honest, down-to-Earth folk who badly need the funds promised to them by an elderly gentleman. Problem is there's a second will which leaves all his money to the hated Tophams. (Of course today we'd tell all those honest folk looking for a hand-out to just 'get a job!') But no, Nancy's on the trail of the villains who forced the old man to write this second will and leave all these worthy folks in the dust. There's no boyfriend Ned in this book, no girlfriends. I guess they'll show up in later books. But Nancy's driving around in her blue convertible, which by the way seems to have a lot of problems. Flat tire, convertible roof that won't go up just as a driving rain starts. But ahah, that's for the best as Nancy drives into an open barn for cover and almost runs over a girl who'll later become one of her good friends. (It's nice that no matter what Nancy does, things always turn out right.) I read these books in the 60's. I remember trying to find some at my local library and the librarian telling me (snobbishly, really) that the library didn't 'carry those books' and to try the local department store. (The same librarian tried to throw me out of the adult section when I was fifteen; she said I wasn't old enough to use that section and that the children's books were downstairs. Umm, sorry I looked twelve until I was into my twenties.) Anyhow, that was my home town library, too good to stock Nancy Drew! The horror! So my mother faithfully bought me a book every time we hit King's, the local department store, and for my birthday and Christmas I'd get three or four. Hurray! I loved these books back then and today I still enjoy them. But on a whole different level. Go Nancy!

  22. 5 out of 5

    Obsidian

    I was just as shocked as anyone when I started to read "The Secret of the Old Clock" and found Nancy to be annoying. She and the other characters are sketched so thin and the whole story in this one was just off-putting. I also didn't think that Nancy was some great detective. She went snooping (those meddling kids) in order to find a missing will and also because she disliked the relatives who stood to inherit. "The Secret of the Old Clock" has Nancy Drew in her first stand alone mystery. Nancy I was just as shocked as anyone when I started to read "The Secret of the Old Clock" and found Nancy to be annoying. She and the other characters are sketched so thin and the whole story in this one was just off-putting. I also didn't think that Nancy was some great detective. She went snooping (those meddling kids) in order to find a missing will and also because she disliked the relatives who stood to inherit. "The Secret of the Old Clock" has Nancy Drew in her first stand alone mystery. Nancy is 16 in this one I think. She ends up driving along and almost hits a kid and ends up stopping to see to her. Doing that, she ends up meeting two sisters, (the Turners) who are poor and struggling to raise the kid (sorry about not remembering her name she was so unimportant though). The Turners not knowing Nancy at all tell her about the fact that they were counting on inheriting money when their rich older relative, Josiah Crowley passed away. They tell Nancy he promised to provide for them so they are confused now that he has passed, he left everything to the family he was staying with, the Topham's. There is very little development in any character in this book. We hear how attractive Nancy is, we know that Hannah is the housekeeper/mother figure who is always making Nancy her meals. Nancy's father, Carson Drew, is an attorney and is all yes my dear you must investigate, but do be careful. I also thought it was kind of gross that you had three separate groups of people aside from the Turners who were all pretty upfront about saying that Josiah was going to leave them money. It didn't seem as if anyone even cared that the old guy had passed away to me. And the shaming of the Tophams for wanting expensive things and Nancy and her father acting as if they were low-class for having expensive things was surprising to me. I read later on that this book was a slam on the noveau-riche class and I can definitely understand that. Apparently if you don't have old money, you just don't belong. This book also takes place in the 1930s so there is some definite language that is old-fashioned. And I maybe laughed at the idea of anyone talking about how expensive it was for singing and dancing lessons. The way the book is written, the aunts were going to need thousands upon thousands of dollars for that. The ending was okay, we have Nancy realizing pretty quickly were the will ended up and then it was her somehow dealing with a gang of thieves (as one does) in order to obtain the will. Everyone lives happily ever after, except for the Tophams.

  23. 4 out of 5

    LH Johnson

    It's interesting to consider just how old this series is now. The Secret of the Old Clock, the first in the mythic Nancy Drew series, was originally published in 1930 with a substantial revision in 1959. That's a fair while, even for me who quite enjoys the more ancient side of children's literature. Yet this edition of The Secret of The Old Clock is fresh, breezy and reads rather as if it could have been written yesterday. There's still a space for this ferociously girl-positive novel, even whe It's interesting to consider just how old this series is now. The Secret of the Old Clock, the first in the mythic Nancy Drew series, was originally published in 1930 with a substantial revision in 1959. That's a fair while, even for me who quite enjoys the more ancient side of children's literature. Yet this edition of The Secret of The Old Clock is fresh, breezy and reads rather as if it could have been written yesterday. There's still a space for this ferociously girl-positive novel, even when you pause to consider and dissect its Blytonian morals and broad paintbrush approach to society's morals. Nancy Drew herself is a delightfully persistent girl with nothing better to do than wander around and solve mysteries, and occasionally deliver papers to her father's clients. She's one of those characters that makes a thousand points of sense within a book and yet, outside of it, is so rampantly confusing that you can't quite figure out where to begin. But you believe her, and this book takes you with her, every step along the way. Yes, The Secret of The Old Clock blithely trots from crisis to crisis and Nancy skips from problem to resolution without barely messing up her hair, but you do not stop reading. It's kind of fascinating to realise how purely, vividly readable this book still is. As I said earlier, there's a space for Nancy Drew in the contemporary world of children's literature and that space is this: alongside Robin Stevens, Clementine Beauvais, Katherine Woodfine, because Nancy is still awesome. Horrendous, too, in a myriad of ways, but underneath it all, still pretty fabulous.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    When I was a kid I blasted through all of these books one summer, and came away with a lifelong automatic crush on any woman who has strawberry blonde hair. Which, btw, she doesn't even have in this first book, it's just blonde. I looked it up and apparently her hair color evolved. Two stars for blonde hair. This is a children's book, written at a very basic level. I don't know, eight-year-olds? Whatever the stage is where kids start reading chapter books. It'll have some unusual words - I think When I was a kid I blasted through all of these books one summer, and came away with a lifelong automatic crush on any woman who has strawberry blonde hair. Which, btw, she doesn't even have in this first book, it's just blonde. I looked it up and apparently her hair color evolved. Two stars for blonde hair. This is a children's book, written at a very basic level. I don't know, eight-year-olds? Whatever the stage is where kids start reading chapter books. It'll have some unusual words - I think I remember seeing "demure" - but nothing showy. I feel like anyone seriously reading this review wants to know if it's okay for your kid, so: yes. This is the 1959 rewrite, not the original 1930 version which I couldn't find, so I can't speak to that one, but this rewrite has no objectionable material. (No one has read the original - it's really rare. You read the rewrite when you were a kid.) There are no people of color (at all) to be weird and racist about, and no boys Nancy's age either. Nancy pointedly knows how to change a tire and fix a boat motor, which is cool; she has agency and she's a very nice young lady. She makes an acceptable role model. I liked it. I mean, it's just Nancy Drew ambling about making friends with people and then doing nice things for them, and in the end she fixes everything. The mean girls in her class get it pretty rough - like, now they're poor and they have to get jobs and it's a bummer for them - but they're very unkind people, so whatevs. Look, no, there's no reason to read this as an adult other than nostalgia. If you're, like, into these books, you probably collect old Barbies and whatever weird shit you're into as well, and I definitely feel smugly superior to you, over here with my Steinbeck. But go ahead and give it to your kid. There are worse fetishes to have than strawberry blonde hair.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly

    Talk about taking a step back in time! This is one of the first adult-type books that I remember reading when I was a kid. Well, it felt like I was being very mature by reading it. I reread this book now to fulfill a Pop Sugar Reading Challenge prompt, "a book you loved as a child." I totally understand why I loved this book as a kid: an 18-year-old girl with her own car and no immediate cares in the world embarks on solving a relatively benign mystery, that of finding the will of a man who has r Talk about taking a step back in time! This is one of the first adult-type books that I remember reading when I was a kid. Well, it felt like I was being very mature by reading it. I reread this book now to fulfill a Pop Sugar Reading Challenge prompt, "a book you loved as a child." I totally understand why I loved this book as a kid: an 18-year-old girl with her own car and no immediate cares in the world embarks on solving a relatively benign mystery, that of finding the will of a man who has recently died, so that his true heirs can receive their bequests. And she does this all for the benefit of others with no chance of profiting herself. Very altruistic! Given that my copy was published in 1958, it's surprising how independent Nancy Drew is portrayed. It was published long before I was born, but it really resonated with me as a child. Even though Nancy was privileged, she wasn't smug about it. And I really admired her spunk and positivity. I enjoyed this reread more than I thought I would. It was a great trip down memory lane.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

    Waffling between 3.5 and 4 stars, mostly for the nostalgia factor.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Gary Butler

    91st book read in 2017. Number 340 out of 655 on my all time book list. Just a kind story of people needing help during the depression and someone stepping up to help.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    I remember my mom buying me the huge boxed sets of these books for Christmas and my birthday- we got them from Costco (if you've ever been to Costco you know all about the amazing boxed sets of books they have) and I read and re-read this series over and over. I don't remember much about the books individually, but I know the I loved reading about Nancy, George, and Bess and their adventures. Objectively I know the cover redesign was a good move, but I miss the bright yellow spines and vintage i I remember my mom buying me the huge boxed sets of these books for Christmas and my birthday- we got them from Costco (if you've ever been to Costco you know all about the amazing boxed sets of books they have) and I read and re-read this series over and over. I don't remember much about the books individually, but I know the I loved reading about Nancy, George, and Bess and their adventures. Objectively I know the cover redesign was a good move, but I miss the bright yellow spines and vintage illustrations. (You can still buy the yellow books, of course.) I have only fond memories of these books, which probably means I shouldn't re-read them.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Katherine

    "Nancy Drew, an attractive girl of eighteen, was driving home along a country road in her new, dark blue convertible." And with that fateful first line begins the journeys of Nancy Drew. Little did she realize that these adventures would last for years to come. Nancy Drew was my childhood. Since I was handed a copy of this book when I was 8 years old, the same age my mother was when she first read Nancy Drew, I was hooked. I dabbled in some Trixie Belden and the Boxcar Children (I even named one "Nancy Drew, an attractive girl of eighteen, was driving home along a country road in her new, dark blue convertible." And with that fateful first line begins the journeys of Nancy Drew. Little did she realize that these adventures would last for years to come. Nancy Drew was my childhood. Since I was handed a copy of this book when I was 8 years old, the same age my mother was when she first read Nancy Drew, I was hooked. I dabbled in some Trixie Belden and the Boxcar Children (I even named one of my cats after Trixie), Nancy Drew was always my favorite. I can't even begin to tell you how many of her books I read when I was in elementary and middle school, and how many AR tests she helped me pass. And it's not just me she's influenced. She's been cited by everyone from Supreme Court Justices Sandra Day O'Connor, Ruth Bader Ginsberg and Sonia Sotomoyer, future president Hilary Clinton (see what I did there, eh?), and Queen Oprah as a major influence. If my eight year old self were to give this a rating, she's surely give it five stars. And yet as I'm sitting here as a 21 (almost 22), year old woman, I'm giving it three stars. I know, I know, you're saying; WHAT ARE YOU THINKING??!!! Well, I'm giving it three stars for several reasons. The first reason is that everything seems to come to Nancy so easily. I'm not saying that she didn't work hard for her clues, but it seemed that she had no trouble at all getting to them, either. Two; everyone seems to either love Nancy to the point of goddess worship or hate her to the point of reserving a special place in hell for her. There's no middle ground, and with the exception of four people, most of the characters in this book fall into the former category. They take one look at her and immediately start telling her their life story, offering her food, their left hand (just kidding, but you get the idea). She's just so perfect. A little TOO perfect. And finally, it was extremely predictable. It's not predictable for the little critters that it's targeted for, but for an adult rereading it, the mystery is pretty much one you can solve within the first couple of chapters. But despite my reservations as an adult today, I still have a soft spot in my heart for Nancy Drew. And here's why. 1)She don't need no man. Ned who? He hasn't entered the picture at this point, but Nancy doesn't need no man to take care of her. She can take care of her own damn self, and that's one point that I really liked about her. She does get into an awful lot of distress, but she doesn't just sit around twiddling her thumbs for some hot guy to save her. HALE NO. She saves her own butt without a second thought. Girl power for the win!! 2)Speaking of independent, she does pretty much everything herself. Got a flat tire? Call Nancy Drew. I'm pretty sure there's nothing that she can't do, which can be both mind-boggling and increasingly frustrating at the same time. I have expect her and MacGyver to show up with paper clips and diffuse a bomb or something like that. 3)When it comes to fashion, she slays. Be prepared for the author to describe literally everything Nancy wears in great detail. I'm sure hard-core feminists would argue that it isn't important, she pays too much attention to her looks, she should wear pants, blah, blah, blah. But when it comes to looking fashionable in every situation imaginable, Nancy's got you covered. I'd love to raid her closet one day, as I'm sure it'd be full of marvelous things and killer outfits. 1)She eats like a champ. Despite her slim physique and her petite size, you'd never know it from the many food scenes that author writes. If you didn't know any better, you'd think she was a hobbit. If she ever WERE welcomed to Middle Earth, Bilbo Baggins and his dwarf company would welcome her with open arms... and a feast to boot. All the food scenes in the series will make your mouth water and make you exceedingly hungry, and wonder how in the world she manages to eat all that food, but who cares? FOOD PORN. So thanks for the memories, Nancy. You've served as countless inspiration for many little girls. And when I have a daughter, and she turns eight years old, I'll give her my copy of Secret of the Old Clock and sit with her while we read the first line. Nancy Drew, an attractive girl of eighteen, was driving along a country road in her new, dark blue convertible.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Poonam

    I remember reading lots of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Famous Five, Secret Seven and Malory Towers books while growing up. Came across this book and thought of reading this to revive old memories. I don't think I have read this one before though. 18 yr old Nancy Drew lives with her Father (a well-known lawyer) and a Housekeeper. She is everybody's favorite. By nature she is a busy-body having everybody's good at heart. In this story Nancy is on a quest to find a will that would help people who need the I remember reading lots of Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Famous Five, Secret Seven and Malory Towers books while growing up. Came across this book and thought of reading this to revive old memories. I don't think I have read this one before though. 18 yr old Nancy Drew lives with her Father (a well-known lawyer) and a Housekeeper. She is everybody's favorite. By nature she is a busy-body having everybody's good at heart. In this story Nancy is on a quest to find a will that would help people who need them more instead of the greedy people who seem to have inherited everything. The book started out ok but the pace increased as the story progressed. There were a few nail biting moments where Nancy got stuck in a tight spot but them came out of them fine. So why the name secret of the Old clock? You will have to read the book to find out about it

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