Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Nancy Drew, Girl Detective: The Haunted Dollhouse

Nancy Drew, Girl Detective: The Haunted Dollhouse, graphic novel based on series by Carolyn Keene, by Stefan Petrucha & Sho Murase

The Plot: Nancy Drew's home town is celebrating "Nostalgia Week," so they 're going to dress and party as if it were 1930. When crime scenes mysteriously appear in an antique dollhouse, and then come true, Nancy has a mystery to solve. Of course, a doll Nancy soon appears in peril in the haunted dollhouse.

The Good: Hey, I wonder if the writers of CSI read this.

This is the first in the Nancy Drew graphic novels series that I've read; and it's a bit amazing to think of the many incarnations our gal Nancy has had. The series is in full color, and is very attractive.

The Haunted Dollhouse is a good place for an adult like myself to start, because it's a celebration of Original Nancy. Since it's Nostalgia Week, GN Nancy is decked out like Original Nancy, with roadster and vintage clothes.

The book is also full of in-jokes and references that would only be known by someone who knows about Nancy; for example, there is a Stratemeyer Foundation. I loved it; and these types of references struck me as very typical of graphic novels. And it's not just Nancy Drew History; there's also references to prior female detectives such as Anne Rodway.

Of course, there is a villain who spills it all (and I, at least, had figured out much of the mystery by page one.) But hey; in order to become familiar with mystery conventions you need to read mysteries; and there always has to be a first time for some of this, right?. It's not entirely fair to judge what may well be an introduction to a genre by the yardstick that involves having read in this genre for many years.

All in all, a solid read with likable characters. I'm not sure how many mystery graphic novels there are, particularly ones that don't have a fantasy/ ghost element, and particulary ones aimed at this age group;* so this is a nice addition to the GN format for younger readers and a good complement to the existing Nancy Drew books.

1 comment:

Adrienne said...

I was a HUGE Nancy Drew fan as a kid and, even though I love comics, I sort of cringed when I heard they were starting the graphic novel series. The books are so much fun, though, that they've completely won me over. The creators really seem to know their Nancy, and I love how they throw in those little wink-wink, nudge-nudge moments. And while they honor the original series, I like the way they've also updated Nancy to make her less of a goody-goody and more of a real human. I've been recommending them to kids left and right....

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