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

3.96  ·  Rating Details  ·  40,696 Ratings  ·  1,780 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 1930)
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Orinoco Womble (tidy bag and all) "Good" is subjective. I enjoyed the series enormously as a kid, and even in my fifties it's still good fun. As for plot info--try finding a copy and…more"Good" is subjective. I enjoyed the series enormously as a kid, and even in my fifties it's still good fun. As for plot info--try finding a copy and reading it. Go to the library, or read some of the reviews here. It's totally "clean" fiction, adventure stories for girls 9-15.(less)
Joyce Kernan I liked the book but saw it differently as an adult than when I read it as a child. It was enjoyable however to revisit a childhood favorite story.
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Jul 03, 2008 Jessica rated it really liked it  ·  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
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Jan 29, 2013 Stacia (the 2010 club) rated it really liked it
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 it was amazing
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
Jan 13, 2015 Brad rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children, mystery
I broke with our usual pattern around these parts and decided to read some Nancy Drew before Brontë took it on. She had three books she was trying to choose from at the beginning of the month: The Dog Who Wouldn't Be, Stardust and The Secret of the Old Clock. She said she needed "a break" from longer books after having read Murder on the Orient Express and Poison Study, so she picked the Farley Mowat. She tossed Nancy Drew aside, and I decided to pick it up.

I am so glad I did because I love a g
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.
Jul 01, 2009 ☆Brittany☆ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, young-adult
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
Nov 12, 2015 Jaksen rated it really liked it
Wow, I hadn't read this since 1964 or so ...

Over-the-top stereotypes, including: the villains who are dark and snarly; the snobbish girls/former classmates of Nancy who look down on her; the stalwart, wise and earnest father; the kindly housekeeper; the caretaker with a weird accent. (New England? Rhode Island? Middle-Earth?) hehe

Contrived situations. Life-or-death struggles. Stuck in a closet. Almost discovered going through a van of old furniture. Thieves and miscreants and little old ladies l
Jun 19, 2015 Alex rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: 8 - 10--year-olds?
Shelves: 2013
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 stage is where kids start reading chapter books. It'll have some unusual words - I think
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
Mar 11, 2015 Jo rated it liked it
What a trip down memory lane... Although I always preferred Trixie Belden over Nancy, I still have a soft spot for the titian haired sleuth.
Richard Ward
Jan 19, 2014 Richard Ward rated it liked it
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
Andy Deemer
Jun 28, 2012 Andy Deemer rated it liked it
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
Mar 20, 2011 Jodi rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
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
Mar 21, 2012 Cassy rated it did not like it
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
C.B. Cook
Oct 27, 2015 C.B. Cook rated it really liked it
I keep finding more books I haven't rated that I've read ages ago! :P
Jun 19, 2015 Kay rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I won't knock this too much as this was the series that made me a reader but dang, it's like a book version of Scooby Doo!
Ryan G
Jul 02, 2011 Ryan G rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 06, 2016 Victoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Teens 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
Mar 15, 2011 Melanie rated it liked it
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
Aug 10, 2015 CFDeeDee rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: never-finished
I'm sorry Nancy Drew .. Your pinky life is too pinky for my mind to handle !
The next thing I thought after turning every page was "and then she went to the store a bought a lottery ticket, and she won a million dollars."
I just didn't realize it was kids book until i read the first page "ooh my daddy bought me a car!"

I just couldn't handle it !
Dec 30, 2015 Ashley rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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?
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
Jeremy Preacher
Jun 08, 2011 Jeremy Preacher rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, children-s
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
Dec 13, 2008 Christina rated it liked it
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
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
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
Jul 26, 2011 Lynn rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Feb 22, 2013 C. rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 titl
Aug 18, 2011 Eden rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 14, 2012 Simon rated it really liked it  ·  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
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hardy boys vs. nancy drew 78 148 Jan 15, 2016 01:15AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Secret of the Old Clock by Carolyn Keene 9 24 Sep 02, 2015 05:50PM  
Mystery 5 19 Mar 30, 2015 05:20PM  
  • Mystery in Arizona (Trixie Belden, #6)
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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 about Carolyn Keene...

Other Books in the Series

Nancy Drew (1 - 10 of 175 books)
  • The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew #2)
  • The Bungalow Mystery (Nancy Drew, #3)
  • The Mystery at Lilac Inn
  • The Secret of Shadow Ranch (Nancy Drew, #5)
  • The Secret of Red Gate Farm (Nancy Drew, #6)
  • The Clue in the Diary (Nancy Drew, #7)
  • Nancy's Mysterious Letter (Nancy Drew, #8)
  • The Sign of the Twisted Candles
  • Password to Larkspur Lane (Nancy Drew, #10)
  • The Clue of the Broken Locket (Nancy Drew, #11)

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“Read, read, read. That's all I can say.” 2066 likes
“Not many girls would have used their wits the way you did," the officer observed.” 30 likes
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