A Ghost in the Closet: A Nancy Clue and Hardly Boys Mystery
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A Ghost in the Closet: A Nancy Clue and Hardly Boys Mystery

3.76 of 5 stars 3.76  ·  rating details  ·  190 ratings  ·  23 reviews
With their fearless crime-fighting, good manners, and manly fashion sense, the Hardly boys are the pride of Feyport, Illinois. In A Ghost in the Closet, dark-haired, muscular Frank and his lovable kid brother Joe return from a gay trip to Europe to find that their parents — world-famous detective Fennel P. Hardly and his wife, Mrs. Hardly — have been kidnapped! Even worse,...more
Paperback, 250 pages
Published November 30th 2005 by Cleis Press (first published 1995)
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Fun book but sometimes irritating what with the frequent exclamation marks and pulp-styled dialogue that sounds like either a commercial or a porno. Everything in this is a sexual metaphor.
This is a parody of the old pulp novels so a lot of this is to be expected, of course.
If you like this sort of thing you will get a kick out of it, certainly. It's not my cup of tea but in terms of accomplishing what it set out to do, it does it perfectly.
Surprising enjoyable queer version of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, in which everyone in 1950s America is gay, Carson Drew is a child abusor, the Hardy Boys' dad is transgender, and Nancy has to work very hard to win the heart of her girlgriend. Despite these radical changes to the premise, the author stays true to the Carolyn Keene style, while adding lots of sex to the plot.
I picked this up at a used book store and couldn't stop laughing at the first few pages, so I had to buy it. This is a hilarious parody of the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys mysteries, which I loved as a kid. If you didn't inhale those as obsessively as I did, this would probably be less funny, but I loved it and would highly recommend it for other former Nancy Drew fans.
Jordan Funke
I love this queer spoof of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys. I got a little tired of the outfit descriptions, but loved the stereotypical characters and somewhat predictable plot. This was a good read aloud with my partner.
This is the third and last of this particular series. Still as fresh as ever. So glad she quit at her peak.
Fun fun fun! If you ever read serial fiction as a kid, you'll enjoy the Mabel Maney books.
Nov 22, 2010 Red rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: queer, funny
fun, silly, sexy, exciting, and utterly immersible. I love the whole series!
My favorite of the Mabel Maney books. Clever and funny.
Max Zumstein
There's a sweetness to the novel that's hard to deny, and you have to give Maney some kind of points for her flawless replication of the tone and prose of the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys novels. That being said, this type of wink after wink after wink humor can be supported for maybe a reasonable 150 pages, not the 300+ that this thing weighs in at. Suffice to say by the end of the novel I had not been converted into a fan. I don't feel too bad about that however, as it's clear that Mabel Maney is ple...more
highly entertaining
Katie M.
A Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys crossover in which everyone is gay. I knew it would be ridiculous, but I was caught off-guard by how awesome it actually was. I mean, ridiculous, but awesome. Having read and reread, as a kid, every single Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys book that your small-town public library stocked isn't necessarily a prerequisite to reading this series, but I feel like these books don't have much to offer you if you haven't. Maney NAILS the tone, the turns of phrase are pitch-perfect, and...more
Center for Sex & Culture Library + Archives
If you started with "Ghost in the Closet," you may want to go back to Maney's 1993 novel, "The Case of the Not-So Nice Nurse" (with amazing frontspiece by Susan Synarsky). At any rate, you'll enjoy "Ghost in the Closet" with high jinxs from the Hardly Boys.

Cover design by Pete Ivey
This First Edition donated by CSC Archivist, Tess McCarthy. Has West Berkeley Women's Book "Signed by the Author" seal on the front, inside inscription: "Things are not what they seem. Mabel Maney."
Aug 20, 2013 Meen rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Meen by: Sarah
I love this series of books, but the language itself is so funny that it almost disrupts the story! Almost every sentence has some wickedly hilarious description or double entendre and is pleasing on its own without relation to the story. I spend the whole time reading these books with a smile on my face and a good portion of the time LOL'ing. I wish she had done more than three!
These books are highly amusing, especially if you were a fan of the Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, or Hardy Boys books. The way they parody those books is exquisite and a lot of fun. They noticed facets of the genre that I never did as a kid, but find highly amusing now. I'd never read Cherry Ames, but after reading a couple of Mabel Maney's books, I actually read several.
Freyja Vanadis
Hated it. This is the most ridiculous of the three Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys parodies I've read. The parody is so relentless, it's impossible to read the (pretty much non-existent) story.

And she got the Hardly Boys' physical descriptions wrong. In the real books, Frank was dark and Joe was blond, but she mixed them up.

Anyway, I'm done with Mabel Maney.
I picked up this book because I read a review somewhere that it was a good take off on the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys mysteries. I absolutely loved Nancy Drew as a pre-teen. While it was true to the original in many ways, it wasn't as funny as I expected. My reaction was a big "ehh". I found it a little precious and overly impressed with its own cleverness.
Cindy Breeding
Mabel Maney turns her keen wit and snappy humor to the Hardy Boys. The brothers are oh-so-gay, and the characters they encounter on their search for truth in an aeronautical operation are a great romp. Enjoy!
What made this a successful parody also made it a tedious read. Plus, I'd like to see queer stories rely a little less heavily on stereotypes.
James Huskins
I adore so many things about this book. The style and language is "spot-on" to the Hardy Boys / Nancy Drew series. This book is hysterical.
A parody of Nancy Drew and the Hardy boys with a HUGE gay twist. Funny and light for those into the old kids books and bitchy one-liners!
A funny mystery. Full of fun and mystery.
Oct 15, 2007 Emily added it
Recommends it for: everyone
pure comedic genius. truly.
Elizabeth marked it as to-read
Jul 08, 2014
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Mabel Maney is an artist and author from San Francisco, California known for her lesbian pulp fiction. She is the author of the Nancy Clue series, a lesbian parody of the Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, and Hardy Boys series. More recently, she is the author of the "Jane Bond" novels, a series of parodies of James Bond. Mabel's short fiction can also be found the humor anthology "May Contain Nuts".

More about Mabel Maney...
The Case of the Not-So-Nice Nurse (Nancy Clue & Cherry Aimless, #1) The Case of the Good-for-Nothing Girlfriend (Nancy Clue & Cherry Aimless, #2) Kiss the Girls and Make Them Spy: An Original Jane Bond Parody The Girl with the Golden Bouffant: An Original Jane Bond Parody

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