Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Secret of the Old Clock

This is a vintage re-issue of the the original. First published in 1930, it's quite different from the re-written, trimmed and expurgated version I read in the 1970s. Applewood Books re-printed the first twenty one Nancy Drew books. The Secret of the Old Clock was the first book. Nancy sleuths alone in this one. Bess and George (and boyfriend Ned) are introduced later in the series. This edition features racial stereotypes typical of the 1930s. It was interesting to compare it with my later edition. The inebriated African-American caretaker of 1930 was replaced with an older, cranky Caucasian caretaker in the later edition.

Frankly, the book itself was a bit dull, but not as dull as the updated version of The Mystery of the Hollow Oak, which I read to my daughter when she was seven. At that time I wondered how I could have read so many of these when I was younger. They are facile and obvious, but in many ways a good introduction to independent reading.

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