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The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, #1)
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The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew #1)

3.95 of 5 stars 3.95  ·  rating details  ·  33,746 ratings  ·  1,454 reviews
Nancy Drew's keen mind is tested when she searches for a missing will.
Hardcover, 210 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by Applewood Books (first published January 1st 1930)
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Jul 03, 2008 Jessica rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: girl sleuths who've recently learned to read
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...more
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...


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.
Sep 09, 2007 Cheryl rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teens
Shelves: ya
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...more
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...more
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.
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,...more
Oct 06, 2013 Alex rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 8 - 10--year-olds?
Shelves: 2013
I almost didn't give this a star rating. Tough to know how to judge a book like this.

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 sta...more
Andy Deemer
Oh, Nancy, how damned earnest you are! What infuriated me the most about this book -- and infuriated I was -- was the two-dimensional nonsense that spewed from each flat character's mouth. "I wish we could travel," say the two brothers, "if only we'd been left money in the old man's will!" Every time we meet them, which is not a few times, they'll speak that same one damned line. Alison constantly harping on about her desire for voice lessons, Judy's minders dreaming they could send the promisin...more
Somehow with my huge reading appetite as a child, I never picked up a Nancy Drew Book. I managed to read a few Bobsey Twin books, Box Car Children, Laura Ingalls, The Littles, Betsy-Tacy, and Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle, Anne of Greene Gables, but never Nancy Drew. I guess I missed out! Anyway, I got to enjoy my first book with my daughter who after seeing the Nancy Drew movie a few months ago has become a huge fan.

Because these books were written in the 50s (30s? - my book says 30s but would a girl have...more
Jul 14, 2012 Victoria rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Girls who love a good mystery who are ready to read
Recommended to Victoria by: Raven (Thanks for recommending me this series!)
Nancy Drew books have always been my favorite series growing up. When I was in 4th grade, I didn't discover this series until my best friend, Raven, urge me to read it. I was a bit skeptical since I didn't read a lot of mystery books when I was little. After a lot of nagging and her begging me to read this, I decide to read it! And I must say--I LOVE IT! I thanked Raven a lot and I was so happy that she recommended me this series. Without her, I would probably not have found out this series and...more
How can you work on a girls' mystery series project and *not* read Nancy Drew? I don't think you can, so my inaugural Nancy is the 1938 printing of ND #1. How did I not read this book as a child?


Hmmm...I wish I had read Nancy for the first time as a kid, because I think I would have loved her then: she's spunky, independent, and ready to right the world's injustices. As an adult, though, I couldn't quite get past the fact that the injustices Nancy set out to resolve hinged upon putting tha...more
Kristina Lenarczyk
Reading this book again made me feel so nostalgic! I used to read this countless times as a kid so I'm glad I picked it up again.
Jeremy Preacher
I found these reprints of the 1930 versions of the Nancy Drew series, and read them side-by-side with the 1950s versions. What a fascinating exercise!

The standout difference, aside from the really appalling portrayal of the one black person in the early edition, was the addition in the 50s of a number of incidents that seem to be intended to heighten the tension, including an orphan child and her elderly caretakers who desperately need a chunk of the inheritance and a dog attack that consists of...more
When a young girl, Judy, is almost hit by a large moving van and falls off a bridge in her attempt to avoid being hit, eighteen-year-old Nancy Drew quickly rescue the girl and brings her back to Judy’s home, which she shares with her Great Aunts Mary Edna Turner. The two elderly ladies share with Nancy that they don’t have a lot of money, especially since their promised inheritance from Josiah Crowley fell through. Mr. Crowley’s fortune was willed to the snobby, rude, and already rich Topham fam...more
When I was younger, there was a book store in a small mall in a town near where I lived that carried these Nancy Drew books. Actually, it wasn't really just a book store, it was more of a book, toy and hobby shop, as they also stocked Breyer horses, model car kits and the like. The reason I remember these books is that they were right across the aisle from the Breyer horses, which were my PASSION at the time. Anyone else who was ever a pre-teen horse loving girl will know what I am talking about...more
Okay -- yes I am about 25 years too old to be reading this book ... but I tried to read it when I was the appropriate age and couldn't get past the gloves and convertible running errands for Daddy.

I finally got past all that and decided, you know, it wasn't half bad. I am not a t-shirt wearing convert but at least I successfully read it and may try to read another at some point.

As previously mentioned, Nancy runs errands for her father the handsome widower Carson Drew, attorney at law. She has a...more
After delivering some papers to her father, Nancy Drew is driving on a country road and spots a young girl almost getting hit by a van. She goes to the girl's rescue when she falls into the water.
Nancy takes the young girl into her aunt's house and after some talking, Nancy learns that the family doesn't have very much money and that they were supposed to get an inheritance from Josiah Crowley. Nancy decides to take the mystery into her own hands.

This is my first time ever reading a Nancy Drew b...more
Jul 14, 2012 Simon rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Simon by: Samantha Pellegrino
I love this book despite how old it is or how it seems very juvenile, even though Nancy is my age.
I read it for the first time back in Grade 7 and I fell in Love with the series, I have made it a mission to own all of them (including the Hardy Boys) i have only managed to read up to the 9th book however, so now with the help of this website and my own determination, I will read all of them.

I think it is safe to say that some of the crimes committed in this book, couldn't happen today due to te...more
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..." 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....more
I never read the Nancy Drew mysteries as a child. I went straight to Sherlock Holmes and more "adult" mysteries. It was fun to read Nancy's first detective adventure, but the material is dated and formulaic. I would be more interested in reading the original versions ... This was clearly an update of the original 1934 story ... I don't think they had convertibles with push button activated tops in those days!
Dec 12, 2009 Elizabeth rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Elizabeth by: my older cousin. (=
I remember the first time I read this series. I was 8 and they were my older cousins so I wanted to read them to. (I wanted to be just like her and do everything she did.). As soon as I started reading it I was OBSESSED. I LOVED this series! it took me about 3 months to read all the books the local library had, and I started requesting them for birthday gifts ETc. I own almost the whole series, and I will never get rid of them. I want to pass them on to my own kids someday.
I wouldn’t say thes...more
I picked up this 1991 reproduction of the first edition of the Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene, a pseudonym of Edward Stratemeyer. Stratemeyer founded the Stratemeyer Syndicate in the early part of the 20th century and produced over 1200 books, including Tom Swift, the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, and the Hardy Boys. In 1929 Stratemeyer sent plot outlines of a new girl's mystery series, following the success of the Hardy Boys, to Mildred Wirt, a young ghost writer from Iowa, who completed...more
A young friend asked me a few weeks ago for a couple of book recommendations--did I mention that she is in 4th grade? After we talked about some of my favorite books that I read when I was her age,and that was decades ago, I suddenly remembered the Nancy Drew series. A quick trip to a used book store and I was the proud owner of the first book in the Nancy Drew series. The four stars are not for the writing or for the plot. Those are not what I remembered. The four stars are for the memories of...more
Just realized I've never added any of the Nancy Drews to Goodreads. My mom has hardcover first editions of all of them (except one little bugger near the end of the run) and they're basically how I learned to read. Oh, man. I should really go back and re-read. I wonder how they hold up?
John Yelverton
The very first Nancy Drew book. It's so good that the series is still being published 80 years later.
Bibek Thapa
It was fun to go on Nancy's first adventure as a young detective, but I truly missed Bess and George.
I remember reading many of my mother's old yellow spined Nancy Drew books as a young child but as an adult I do not recall them at all. Some of the books from my childhood I remember quite well and still have a soft spot for them, but Nancy Drew was never one of them. Perhaps that is why after reading Nancy Drew for the first time as an adult I was left less than impressed, perhaps I wasn't impressed as a child either.

First of all, Nancy Drew may be the first, if not simply the epitome, of a Mar...more
Richard Ward
Very important for its historical value to the genre, the first Nancy Drew book is good, but seriously flawed:
1. The story is Nancy involving herself in something that is, frankly, none of her business. This makes it less fun to cheer for her success. More than that, it starts Nancy Drew's character development off on the wrong foot.
2. The mystery is not much of a mystery, with almost nothing for the reader to guess out. The title of the book serves as a horrible spoiler for what little mystery...more
I listened to this on audiobook in my car. (As an aside, I really loved the way Laura Linney read this story!)

What a fun trip down memory lane. I LOVED Nancy Drew when I was a kid, so much so that my best friend and I had a Nancy Drew Book Club (we were the only two members....) Her and I recently discussed that, which made me really want to re-read these books! I also was searching for new audiobooks for my commute, as I had just finished two long series that took a year and a half to listen to...more
Ryan G
Can I say how excited I was to read my first Nancy Drew book since about the 5th grade. I devoured these book throughout the school year and I really think Nancy gets some of the credit for my lifelong love affair with mysteries.

Underneath that excitement was just a small amount of fear. I haven't read this book in 25 years so I was scared that it wouldn't live up to the memory. It wouldn't be the first time that I reread a book I loved when I was younger only to find out that I really didn't ca...more
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topics  posts  views  last activity   
Mystery 3 8 Sep 26, 2014 01:15AM  
hardy boys vs. nancy drew 69 111 May 27, 2014 10:14PM  
It's an Adventure! 1 16 Sep 01, 2013 10:04PM  
Nancy Drew Readers: The Secret of the Old Clock #1 - discussion topic 14 29 Jul 17, 2013 02:11PM  
Past Present Future 4 67 May 09, 2013 01:42PM  
Quote location 1 15 Mar 09, 2013 07:46AM  
  • The Secret of the Mansion (Trixie Belden #1)
  • The Tower Treasure (Hardy Boys, #1)
  • The Black Jacket Mystery (Trixie Belden, #8)
  • The Bobbsey Twins of Lakeport (Bobbsey Twins, #1)
  • Cherry Ames, Senior Nurse (Cherry Ames, #2)
  • The Lighthouse Mystery (The Boxcar Children, #8)
Carolyn Keene is a writer pen name that was used by many different people- both men and women- over the years. The company that was the creator of the Nancy Drew series, the Stratemeyer Syndicate, hired a variety of writers. For Nancy Drew, the writers used the pseudonym Carolyn Keene to assure anonymity of the creator.

Edna and Harriet Stratemeyer inherited the company from their father Edward Str...more
More about Carolyn Keene...
The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew, #2) Nancy Drew: #1-64 The Bungalow Mystery (Nancy Drew, #3) The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew, #4) The Secret of Shadow Ranch (Nancy Drew, #5)

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