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The Secret of the Old Clock

(Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #1)

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  61,213 ratings  ·  3,147 reviews
Nancy, unaided, seeks to find a missing will. To the surprise of many, the Topham family will inherit wealthy Josiah Crowley's fortune, instead of deserving relatives and friends who were promised inheritances. Nancy determines that a clue to a second will might be found in an old clock Mr. Crowley had owned and she seeks to find the timepiece. Her search not only tests he ...more
Hardcover, 210 pages
Published September 1st 1991 by Applewood Books (first published 1930)
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Danielle K I had to read the original for a graduate class I am in. I was able to purchase it through the college bookstore. Maybe if you try a local library you…moreI had to read the original for a graduate class I am in. I was able to purchase it through the college bookstore. Maybe if you try a local library you would be able to get an original copy?(less)

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Michael Finocchiaro
"I love Nancy Drew! She is so cool," said my 7 year old daughter. I had"ve read the first 10 Hardy Boys books to my son ("one more chapter before going to bed PLEEEEASE papa!!") and figured I needed to let my daughter get in on the fun. Of course, my son said, "The Hardy Boys are better!" but who was on the couch listening in while pretending to ignore my daughter and I? Yep.
The first book of the Nancy Drew series is the story of a lost will that Nancy is helping the disowned and impoverished fr
My February month of reading mysteries is finally ending. I am excited for March as I have previously mentioned, a little too excited. To end an otherwise dreary and depressing month on a positive note, I decided to squeeze in one more mystery, this one a buddy read. This was no ordinary buddy read in a group, but one with my seven year old daughter. She is in first grade and is reading with ease. Lately she has enjoyed the newer, and probably easy for her, Nancy Drew Notebooks Mysteries. I deci ...more
Aug 19, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: detective, novel
The Girl Detective begins!

This is the very first book, introducing the popular character of Nancy Drew. This edition is the revised one, changing the age of Nancy Drew from 16 to 18 years old. (But since in later series, her age is changed back to 16, that’s an irrelevant modification.


Nancy Drew is the only daughter of Carson Drew, prestigious lawyer of the town of River Heights (a fictional town, by the way). Her mother died when Nancy was 3 years old (original edition stated
Mar 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A solid start to the series that got me started on not only mysteries, but also series reads. Nancy Drew embodies everything a girl hopes to be: smart, athletic, ingenious, brave, friendly, fun, pretty, adventurous ... well, I could go on and on, but you get the picture! I love trying to solve the mystery along with Nancy, although it is easier now as an adult and after I have already read it before! Recommended to children as a suspenseful, action-packed mystery that they can work to solve alon ...more
Mary Beth
Aug 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This was a reread for me and goes back to my childhood. I use to love this series and have decided to reread this series. It reminds me so much of my Grandma who always came over to visit me with a new Nancy Drew book and I was always so excited to read it. I had to give it 5 stars because this is the mystery series that actually gave me the love of reading. If I never of picked this book up I might not of ever of got into reading, which would of been very sad, because reading is just so much fu ...more
Nov 10, 2007 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
3.5 stars

This was fun to revisit! I read the whole Nancy Drew series as a kid and reading this again brought lots of great memories back.

The Secret of the Old Clock is the definition of a cozy mystery and likely started the trend in the first place. It was really enjoyable to read again!

I hope to continue reading this series off and on over the next few years. It's nostalgic to revisit books that you've read as a child.
Although Trixie Belden was my favorite teen sleuth, I also enjoyed Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys mysteries growing up. I think I liked Trixie better as she was closer to my age and more of a tom boy/country girl like I was. I devoured books from all three series as fast as I could get my hands on them, so the differences in characters didn't hamper my enjoyment of the mysteries.

I am making an effort to re-visit favorite series and authors. I've been re-reading the Trixie Belden final
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Jan 26, 2013 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.
Adita ✨The Slumbering Insomniac✨
What if goodreads doesn't adhere to half-stars rating system? We have always the option of providing us with one ourselves, don't we?

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️- roughly the equivalent of 4.5 stars, but still remains higher than 5? Serves my propensity for loose rating very well!

We now know what 18 year old girls of yore, who didn't live their lives at the rate of 20 texts per minute, 50 cuss words per hour, 30 books per month, were doing when they had nothing important to do- driving around the town in
Sep 09, 2007 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
Nov 06, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, children
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
Charles  van Buren
Sep 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
Review by Catherine, grade 5. Try to find the original 1930 edition instead of the1959 one. I don't like the 1959 Nancy as much as the original. But the mystery was still good. The bad girls were really nasty.
The Celtic Rebel (Richard)
As a kid I loved the Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys books and read every one of them I could get my hands on. I have reread several of them over the years. This book started the Nancy Drew series and is a wonderful start to the long-running series. Absolutely loved it.
Jason Koivu
Dec 28, 2019 rated it it was ok
Clearly this book was not written for me, a 47-year-old grump, but I read it anyway, because Nancy Drew is iconic. I read a few Hardy Boys books as a kid and it dawned on me that I'd never read a Nancy Drew, so I figured I ought to rectify that just so I know what the frick I'm talking about.

The Secret of the Old Clock was not particularly exciting. Everything came very easily for our Mary Sue heroine. Characters were painted with broad strokes and the color gray was entirely missing. Luck play
Primrose Peasemarch
Nov 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm slowly making my way through reading the original text Nancy Drew books. My childhood was filled with the yellow, matte revised texts. I'm discovering a different accounting of the stories that so entertained me and filled me with curiosity. When I review these, I will just jot down my surprises or thoughts.


-She's sixteen in this book and blonde bobbed. (not the titian haired sleuth in the later books!)
-Nancy's conversation with Jeff Tucker. Not at all politically correct and als
Jul 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: children, usa
This is Nancy's very first mystery in which she searches for a missing will. Joshua Crowley has been dead for a few months and when Nancy comes across several people telling her that he had promised to remember them in his will, but didn't, she gets curious. Determined to find the will, especially because it benefited a rich local family that Nancy didn't like, she sets out on her first adventure.

There is a bit of class discrimination in this book towards the nouveau riche family, who annoyed Na
Lady Clementina ffinch-ffarowmore
The very first Nancy Drew—this one has Nancy investigating and uncovering the secret of a lost will and in the process helping a number of deserving people. I love how sweet and charming the original series of books is (something I seem to always say—and which the newer series seem to lack). And this one has Nancy solving pretty much the entire mystery on her own (with a bit of her father’s help)—Bess, George, and Ned hadn’t appeared on the scene yet, there was only her friend Helen Corning who ...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.
Jun 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

Journalist, Mildred Wirt had been hired to write this series that Edward Stratemeyer had created. He sent her an outline of the story, and in 4 weeks she had it finished and sent back to him. He accepted it as it was written even though he felt that it had taken too much time for her to get to the action in the story. He was so correct, as I was bored myself until more than half way into the book. (This information on Edward’s displeasure with the story can be
Jun 29, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, mystery
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 ridiculous,
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
Ah Nancy Drew, an oldie but a goodie! I remember reading these as a young girl and it was one of the only happy moments from my childhood, when I got lost in books such as this series. Wanted to reread them and see if they were as good as I remembered them to be. I was not disappointed! A little cheesy, but it is a juvenile book after all. Gotta love me some Nancy Drew. 🙌🏽
Jun 15, 2015 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!
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a beloved childhood book of mine and I have so many fond memories of reading these books when I was younger. My friends and I would read and talk about them like Nancy was real and to us she was. It was my first mystery books and I grew up still reading and loving mystery/thriller books.
I know the writing isn't the best but I gave this book 4 stars for nostalgia and the fact that without these books in my life I may never have known the pure joy of losing myself in a book.

Nancy Drew is
Feb 23, 2012 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
Ooh! Got this for Christmas in third grade. It was a bit too advanced for me, but I remember reading it in fourth grade and wishing Nancy could be my babysitter.
I remember being shocked at how boring this was. So little plot or mystery and really little happens. It is very innocent. I can't believe this became so popular. Maybe it's better as a kid; I read it as an adult. I read a few more to give it more of a chance.
Nov 04, 2015 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
I was just as shocked as anyone when I started to read "The Secret of the Old Clock" and found Nancy to be annoying. She and the other characters are sketched so thin and the whole story in this one was just off-putting. I also didn't think that Nancy was some great detective. She went snooping (those meddling kids) in order to find a missing will and also because she disliked the relatives who stood to inherit.

"The Secret of the Old Clock" has Nancy Drew in her first stand alone mystery. Nancy
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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

Other books in the series

Nancy Drew Mystery Stories (1 - 10 of 175 books)
  • The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #2)
  • The Bungalow Mystery (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #3)
  • The Mystery at Lilac Inn (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #4)
  • The Secret of Shadow Ranch (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #5)
  • The Secret of Red Gate Farm (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #6)
  • The Clue in the Diary (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #7)
  • Nancy's Mysterious Letter (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #8)
  • The Sign of the Twisted Candles (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #9)
  • Password to Larkspur Lane (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #10)
  • The Clue of the Broken Locket (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, #11)

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