- Publisher: G P Putnam's Sons
- Format: Hardback | 180 pages
- Dimensions: 122mm x 188mm x 20mm | 159g
- Publication date: 1 April 2002
- Publication City/Country: New York
- ISBN 10: 0448095017
- ISBN 13: 9780448095011
- Edition: New edition
- Edition statement: New edition
- Sales rank: 49,982
Nancy Drew solves her first mystery when the accidental rescue of a little girl who lives with her two great-aunts leads on an adventurous search for a missing will.
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By Colleen 06 Sep 2013
"...A stark contrast to many other female characters of her time, Nancy Drew does not need a man to save her. HELL no. She puts on her fabulous outfits and gets in her fancy convertible and she gets **** done. I mean, in the first chapter of Secret of the Old Clock alone, Nancy SAVES A CHILD'S LIFE...
...yeah, this book was written originally in 1930, then revamped in 1959, so it is a little tame and predictable, and Nancy has some very Mary Sue-like qualities about her, in that she is basically Perfection Incarnate...Regardless, Nancy Drew is an excellent role model for young girls, because even though she does exhibit all these ideally feminine qualities, she has a brilliant and rational mind and is not afraid to speak her mind when necessary. She has a lot of good sense, and is an overall genuinely nice person...
...This is all made crystal clear in The Secret of the Old Clock; some local New Money jerks, the Topham family, have come into an inheritance from their eccentric relative, Josiah Crowley. The rumor mill is open for business in River Heights about this, because everyone apparently thought Josiah would have left all his money and stuff to his other relatives, who were actually decent people...
So of course Nancy goes home and tells her dad all about it, and since he's the Best Lawyer in the World, and so rich he can just pick up pro bono cases to satisfy his daughter's Do-Good whims, they begin work immediately...
...I don't really want to go into detail, since it's such an easy book to figure out, and such a quick read, but I really enjoyed diving back into Nancy Drew, and can't wait to read the rest of the series, especially the books I never got to read when I was younger (there are a lot of them, okay)."
(For full review, please visit me at Here Be Bookwyrms on Blogger)
By C. Riedel 22 Feb 2013
I find this story written the least well of the Nancy Drew I've read. Nonetheless, it keeps a place of honour as the introduction in 1930, to an everlasting character. Volume 1 is important because manuscript author, Mildred A. Wirt, sketched Nancy's personality and her relationships with family and strangers alike. She is a sharp investigator and morally decent, at age 18.
The title is a spoiler. If an event began with a clock and the journey was about deciphering its contents, the existing title would work. However no clock is mentioned throughout the majority of the pages. It is all about not knowing where important information is. We should be guessing for 180 pages, the location of Josiah Crowley's will. Instead: "The Secret Of The Old Clock" blares across the cover! Hmmm.... where could it be? We spend the book waiting for a clock to appear. Tracking an obvious object is not as enthralling as it being the actual mystery.
Josiah disliked the Topham family, who might inherit his fortune based on an earlier draft. He agreed to live with them in dwindling years, to be polite. However bringing your belongings to a place you dislike is beyond polite. Most of all, how could there have been any draft; not merely including the Tophams but bequeathing 100% to them? One completely omitting the destitute people he loved? He was a shrewd businessman and would ascertain their ulterior motives in asking him to move in.
Later, Nancy visited a lake to explore the Topham's cabin; oddly at her rival's recommendation that their caretaker show her around. Instead of telling Helen she had a mission, she wasted two days acquiescing to camp activities. Also noteworthy, thieves infiltrated two houses with people present. It would make better sense to case empty ones.