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The Nancys

(The Nancy’s #1)

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  1,446 ratings  ·  263 reviews
Tippy Chan is eleven and lives in a small town in a very quiet part of the world - the place her Uncle Pike escaped from the first chance he got as a teenager. Now Pike is back with his new boyfriend Devon to look after Tippy while her mum's on a cruise.

Tippy is in love with her uncle's old Nancy Drew books, especially the early ones where Nancy was sixteen and did whateve
Paperback, 396 pages
Published June 3rd 2019 by Allen & Unwin
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Sarah According to Amazon, it's due for release on Kindle on 30th March 2021. The sequel, "Nancy Business" is due for AUS / NZ release in June 2021, so hope…moreAccording to Amazon, it's due for release on Kindle on 30th March 2021. The sequel, "Nancy Business" is due for AUS / NZ release in June 2021, so hopefully soon after in the US. Alternatively, it's already available worldwide in paperback format from BookDepository.com.(less)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
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Kylie D
Well, that was an amusing, different kind of murder mystery. It is seen through the eyes of eleven year old Tippy, who is being babysat by her Uncle Pike and his boyfriend Devon while her mum is away on a cruise. When her teacher is found dead by the side of the road Tippy, Pike and Devon form The Nancys, a crime solving club based on Nancy Drew. What they don't count on is getting closer to solve the mystery than the police are, and that could be dangerous!

I am a bit torn though, for the most p
Jul 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
I really did not expect to like this as much as I did! From the blurb I thought here we go again, yet another book full of 'quirky' characters we are expected to fall in love with.

And that is exactly what I got. Tippy Chan, eleven years old, traumatised by the death of her father, naïve but smart. Uncle Pike and his boyfriend, Devon, totally incorrect in attitude, language, behaviour and everything else to be in charge of an eleven year old but just what that eleven year old needed at this time.
Nov 09, 2021 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A light, fun read with a spirited eleven year girl, her gay uncle and his boyfriend forming an investigative team based on Nancy Drew to track down the murder of a local teacher.

Tippy Chan, who lives in a small NZ town, has been left in the charge of her gay Uncle Pike, who fled town as soon as he could for the brighter lights of Sydney, while her mother goes on a two week cruise that she won. Tippy who is still grieving the death of her father last year, is shaken when her teacher is murdered.
“I texted back: ‘Has 2 b now — ghosts nite etc’ then sent a follow up: ‘Plse?????’

Sam sneaking out was a long shot but I'd hoped he would, just in case anything happened. I waited.
My phone buzzed.
‘DON'T GO!!!! BE CAREFUL!!!!!!!’

Of course she goes. Alone. . . and it is definitely scary!

LANGUAGE WARNING: Be aware that there are F-bombs, C-bombs and sexual innuendos. More about that at the end of the review. *. I found it fun and funny.

Eleven-year-old Tippy Chan is telling the story, which take
Gloria Arthur (Ms. G's Bookshelf)
⭐️4 Stars⭐️
The Nancys by R.W.R. Mcdonald is a camp, cozy murder mystery/family drama with a difference, it’s hilariously funny and there’s rather a lot of naughty banter between Uncle Pike and Devon. It’s also a story of grief and coming to terms with loss. There’s bad interior design, decapitation and drama.

Tippy Chan is an eleven year old girl that loves Nancy Drew books, she lives with her mother in Riverstone, a small rural town In New Zealand.

When Tippy’s mother sets off for a holiday crui
Nov 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: zread-in-2020
This was such a fun read! Great characters and dialogue anchored by an intriguing small-town murder plot.
11-year-old Tippy Chan lives in (fictional) Riverstone in South Otago, New Zealand with her mum, her Dad having died suddenly some months earlier. When her mum wins a South Pacific cruise, Tippy's Uncle Pike and his boyfriend Devon fly in from Sydney to look after her.
And then the fun begins!

The bridge at Balclutha, South Otago, which bears a remarkable resemblance to fictional Riverstone's
Mandy White (mandylovestoread)
First of all, a huge apology to R.W.R McDonald for taking so long to read this! I bought this book when it came out and have finally read it. Why did I wait so long!! The Nancys is so much fun to read! I cannot wait for Nancy Business to come out later this year and I promise I will read it immediately.

Set in NZ, The Nancys is the story of 11 year old Pippy Chan, her gay uncle Pike and his partner Devon from Sydney. Pippy's mother has won a cruise so Pike and Devon have arrived in town to look a
Amanda - Mrs B's Book Reviews
Highly commended for an Unpublished Manuscript in the 2017 Victorian Premier Literary Awards, The Nancys is the debut novel by New Zealand author R.W.R. McDonald. Snappy and snazzy, with the perfect blend of humour and mystery, The Nancys was a rollicking read from start to finish.

Taking charge of events in this affecting debut novel by R.W.R. McDonald, is the ever delightful Tippy Chan. A compelling eleven year old narrator, Tippy’s life changes when her fl
Jun 18, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Nancys is the first novel by New Zealand-born Australian author, R W R McDonald. While her mother is away on a two-week cruise, eleven-year-old Tippy Chan’s Uncle Pike is in Riverstone with his boyfriend, Devon, to keep an eye on her. Pike is expecting a boring time in South Otago, but mere days into his stay, one of Tippy’s friends, Todd Landers falls off the bridge over the River Clutha. Making their own entertainment is meant to include fun things like making-over for neighbour Melanie Br ...more
Kylie Westaway
May 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book threw me completely. I picked it up because I loved the Nancy Drew books and I love a small town murder mystery, but within the first three chapters I was thinking that this book wasn’t really for me. I wouldn’t think of myself as a prude, but there is a lot of crudity here. And the plot jumps around at the start, and it’s sometimes hard to work out what’s happening as we keep getting snippets of scenes rather than whole scenes. But despite this, I couldn’t put it down. I was up until ...more
Jun 13, 2021 rated it really liked it
I had heard a lot of good things about this book and decided I should read it and I was not sorry, although it took a bit for me to get over the language that is used a lot throughout, but once that happened I got into it quick smart and thoroughly enjoyed the witty banter and my trip to New Zealand sleuthing Nancy Drew style with eleven year old Tippy Chan, her uncle and his boyfriend.

Tippy lives with her mother Helen in a small town on New Zealand’s south island, it is nine months since she lo
Make no mistake - despite having an adorable 11yo main character, this genre-bending murder mystery debut is for ADULTS ONLY!

In the small town of Riverstone on New Zealand's South Island, young Tippy Chan lives with her recently-widowed mother. To help with her grief, Helen is about to head off on a 9-day cruise in the lead up to Christmas. Uncle Pike flies over from Sydney with his new boyfriend, Devon, to look after Tippy while Helen's away. Although she doesn't see him in person very often, T
Jul 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-bookshelves
I went to the launch of this book because it sounded like such a fun read and I was interested in meeting the author, also wine and cheese in a lovely bookshop on a cold Friday night and a fun book launch to boot! Why not! I couldn't wait to get stuck into this shocking pink book the cover of which is quite a statement. This is the tale of what happens in a small town over the course of a few weeks at Christmas time. Tippy Chan's mum has won a trip away on a cruise and while she is away her flam ...more
May 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: most-loved
I can't remember the last time I read a book where I laughed so frequently, so this a welcome change of pace!

Eleven-year-old Tippy Chan is being looked after by her Uncle Pike and his new boyfriend Devon while her mum is on a cruise. The small town of Riverstone doesn't really have much of interest, and Uncle Pike fled years ago. There's not much to do, nowhere really to go, though the trip to the fabric store provides a moment of excitement for Devon, who is a fashion designer. Within a short
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
I've said it before and I'll say it again. I adore books written from the point of view of a child narrator. I mean, it doesn't always work... the author has to nail their all-knowing childish innocence and their voice has to be authentic, but when that happens; it can be amazing.

Which is the case with this new release, The Nancys by RWR McDonald, set on New Zealand's south island.

Read my review here: https://www.debbish.com/books-literat...
Shelleyrae at Book'd Out
I’ll be honest, as a preteen I much preferred Trixie Belden to Nancy Drew but I would leap at the chance to join The Nancy’s who feature in this delightful debut from New Zealand-born Australian author R.W.R McDonald.

Eleven year old Tippy Chan lives in a tiny town in South Otago. Her mother, Helen, a nurse at a local hospital, has won a two week cruise and so Tippy’s Uncle Pike, and his boyfriend Devon, have flown in from Sydney to look after her. It’s been a difficult year for Tippy after the d
Sep 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
An absolute delight from the very start, The Nancys took me back to my days of obsessively devouring crime fiction. Not only is it a good old fashioned murder mystery of the exact kind I have always loved, but it possesses a genuine warmth and laugh-out-loud humour not often associated with the genre. I'll avoid any plot description so I don't stumble into spoiler territory but, gotta say, I loved it. ...more
Jun 17, 2019 rated it really liked it
Hands up those of us who thought we'd grow up to be Nancy Drew, although I will confess I was more in the Trixie Belden camp. But those books, The Secret Seven, The Famous Five and the Three Investigators series probably had a lot to do with anybody around our age addicted to mysteries, thrillers and crime fiction. Although I doubt anybody quite expected the homage that is THE NANCYS by Kiwi-Australian writer R.W.R. McDonald. And potential readers should be warned - this is not a book you'd be g ...more
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I eagerly read this birthday present from my friend, Kerri and thank her! I cherish mail. Long-distance family & friends are with me as I open their parcels. We relate our reactions by e-mail.

I like mixed gender friends and respect same gender lovers. I miss my Mom, as Tippy Chen missed her Dad. Addiction sure does affect families. R.W.R McDonald should have let readers in on that soon enough to be impactful. My principal complaint is errors. If this was Helen Chen’s hometown and Sam’s folks wer
Julia Tutt
Aug 06, 2019 rated it did not like it
This was truly awful, and the more I think about it the more I dislike it. I wouldn't recommend it to anyone and I don't know what Allen & Unwin were thinking. It's not literary fiction, it's not crime fiction, and it's not even good YA. The writing was clunky with too much dialogue and zero character development or depth. To add insult to injury the actual crime solving part of the story is so chock full of holes, that jahlsberg want their cheese back. Don't buy, don't borrow, don't go near thi ...more
The Nancys is a very entertaining light read.
It is probably more of a 3.7, bumped it up to a 4 even though there are many other 4s on my list that I would rate higher than this.
Still, it's unlike anything else I've read before.
Not many novels are set in a small country town in present day NZ, where two gay men sashay in from Sydney to look after their delightful 11 year old niece, while their Mother takes a much needed break on a cruise.
Told from Tippy Chan's POV. She's the 11 year old niece
May 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Tippy Chan is my kind of girl. Slightly damaged, smarter than your average bear, and unflinchingly accepting of "alternative" lifestyles. I, too, had a thing for crime at that age, so I love that Pike and Devon not only participate but encourage her amateur sleuthing.

Speaking of Pike and Devon, I think they were just a tiny bit over the top and didn't quite fit seamlessly with the rest of the novel. They did, however, provide some really sweet moments between them, Tippy and Helen. I think they'
Sep 23, 2019 rated it it was ok
Some of the characters were likeable and some parts were amusing but the whole thing read like a mediocre YA novel. A grown man writing as an eleven year old girl didn’t work for me. It was drawn out and far-fetched, and felt over-explained with some plot holes. The innuendos got pretty tiring. Very predictable with a lacklustre ending.
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: thrillers, reviewed
The Nancy
by R.W.R. Mcdonald
Tippy Chan is eleven and lives in Riverstone a small town in a very quiet part of the world - the place her Uncle Pike escaped from the first chance he got as a teenager. Now Pike is back with his new boyfriend Devon to look after Tippy while her mum's on a cruise.
I recognized instantly that Riverstone was Balcultha a small town south of Dunedin where I went to primary school. That small element drew me into the story as the stories landscape and its citizens and thei
Susan Francis
Jun 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Wow! Just finished McDonald's book this very minute after binge reading all week-end. And the last few pages made me cry. I still have wet eyes. So I had to open the computer and instantly write a review - while the emotion was strong. Because people need to read this beautiful, spirited, generous book. There are so many life lessons to take away. Despite the obvious style difference, there is an innocence and truth that in some ways reminded me of To Kill a Mockingbird.

The idea that loved ones
Aug 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
Thanks to Allen & Unwin for my ARC.

Unfortunately I thought this was really poorly written. I rarely don’t finish books, but I would have been sorely tempted with this one, if it hadn’t been sent to me as an ARC. As it was, I felt compelled to finish it, but by about halfway through, I thought it would be a waste of my time, and I was correct.

It was an interesting premise, and I liked that it was set near Dunedin, NZ. Sadly, however, the writing was clumsy, with things not being fully explained,
Richard Gray
Well, that was an unexpected delight! Not entirely unexpected, to be honest: for full disclosure, I requested this as an ARC from A&U and they graciously sent through an early copy. McDonald achieves a rare thing in The Nancys, combining the youthful inquisitiveness of a Nancy Drew mystery (hence the title) with the conventions of a modern murder mystery and a healthy dose of quick-witted and often self-deprecating Antipodean humour. The result is a group of characters that you enjoy spending ti ...more
Vicki Antipodean Bookclub
Oct 14, 2019 rated it really liked it
Tippy Chan is 11 years old and living in small town New Zealand with her Mum. She’s inherited a love of Nancy Drew from her Uncle Pike who escaped from Riverstone to Sydney as soon as he could leave home. When Tippy’s Mum goes on a cruise, Uncle Pike and his partner Devon come and look after Tippy, bringing laughter, colour and sparkle into Tippy’s life at a time when she’s coming to terms with losing her Dad. They form The Nancys when Tippy’s teacher is found murdered next to Riverstone’s only ...more
I agree with Bridget and Melinda! 4.5 stars.

There are also the themes of race [Tippy having a Chinese father and having endured more than a few racist comments - even if well meaning] and she and her 2 closest friends being outsiders.
The sadness Tippy often feels is very real and raw - tempered by quick recoveries and the warmth , caring and humour of family members.

Good for themes of strong female characters also - not sure what age I'd recommend, around 14 yrs plus to adult.

Having grown up in
Jan 20, 2022 rated it really liked it
Though I really enjoyed this debut novel, it wasn't perfect by any stretch. It was a bit over the top in places (far too much screaming and shrieking) and, while Tippy Chan was utterly adorable and an engaging lead character, I found her closest friends Sam and Todd extremely irritating. Fun mystery though in a great setting (small town, New Zealand), and I'm looking forward to reading more books in the series. ...more
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R.W.R. McDonald (Rob) is an award-winning author, a kiwi living in Melbourne with his two daughters and one HarryCat.

His debut novel, The Nancys, won Best First Novel in 2020 Ngaio Marsh Awards, as well as a finalist in the Best Novel category, and it was shortlisted for Best First Novel in 2020 Ned Kelly Awards.

His second novel, Nancy Business, a sequel to The Nancys was published in June 21, a

Other books in the series

The Nancy’s (2 books)
  • Nancy Business

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