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The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, Book 1) Hardcover – May 1, 1930


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Frequently Bought Together

The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew, Book 1) + The Hidden Staircase (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories #2) + The Bungalow Mystery (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, Bk 3)
Price for all three: $20.37

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 9
  • Lexile Measure: 760L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Grosset & Dunlap (May 1, 1930)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0448095017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0448095011
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.1 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (237 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,990 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Summer 2005 (Volume XLVIII, Number 2, pp 248-250) Cover Story Septuagenarian Nancy Drew Still Solving Mysteries (Photo of The Hidden Staircase) "Since 1991, Applewood Books has been publishing exact replicas of the Original Nancy Drew Mystery Series from the 1930s--twenty to date. The originals feature a sixteen-year-old Nancy who was a bit more independent than her 1950s "revised version" who was eighteen and much more demure."
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Read by Laura Linney
3 hours, 14 minutes
2 cassettes

Nance Drew's keen mind is tested when she searches for a missing will. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


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Customer Reviews

Loved these books as a child and purchased this one for my 8 year old granddaughter.
Jackie
The books do an excellent job of displaying suspense, include a love story, and feature a great heroine.
GAL
I love these stories I like to try to figure out what happens before the end of the story.
Joan Wallrich

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Gary F. Taylor HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 12, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Written by Mildred Wirt Benson from an outline by Edward Stratemeyer, THE SECRET OF THE OLD CLOCK was first published in 1930. It was the first book in the Nancy Drew series, and it and those that followed presented its heroine as a rich, headstrong, and distinctly reckless teenager who sometimes carried a pistol and who wasn't above breaking the law when it suited her purposes.

As the series progressed and other writers began to generate Nancy Drew novels, the character changed and Nancy was "toned down;" instead of flatly rich, she became reasonably affluent; recklessness was replaced by commonsense caution; and while she might be willing to bend the law a bit she would never knowingly break it. In the 1950s and 1960s the earlier novels were re-written to reflect this change in character.

THE SECRET OF THE OLD CLOCK was significantly rewritten in 1959, and the 1959 version is the only version currently in print. Given its era, you will find nothing in the way of cell phones, computers, or the like; Nancy's fashion sense includes gloves; and she always seems find time to whip up a credible meal from scratch for friends. This particular story finds Nancy involved in a search for a missing will. She is assisted in this by her father, who is a noted attorney, and by her older friend Helen Corning. (The re-occuring characters of George, Bess, and Ned do not appear in the earliest books.) As her investigation progresses she not only finds herself at odds with unworthy heirs, but confronting furniture thieves as well.
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 3, 2001
Format: Hardcover
the first time i read this book, i couldn't put it down. it was so interesting. now i have the book and have read it a couple times now. i'm trying to collect the nancy drew hardbacks, and so far, i have #'s 1-15. but out of all the nancy drews that i've read, i think this one was one of the best. it's about nancy trying to find a missing will in a clock that will help nancy's friends receive money. there's so many suspenseful occurences in the book, and this is one of the best parts about it. if you love mysteries and nancy drew, then surely, you'll love this book.....also, if you're trying to collect the nancy drew hardbacks, then you should probably start out with this one, the very first one in the whole series. hope you like the book!
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Allison M. Worthington on June 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover
This particular edition of The Secret of the Old Clock is a reprint of the original, 1930 text and is NOT THE 1959 REVISION. An easy way to tell is by the cover art. If Nancy Drew is walking through the woods while holding a clock, it is the 1930 text. If she is kneeling down, it is the rewrite.
With this in mind, it is important to understand that there is an extensive section involving racial stereotypes concerning an African American character that some may find offensive. For this reason, this book, in my opinion, is not really suitable for younger children. However, adults and older children who are familar with the Nancy Drew series and have read the 1959 version of this book will certainly enjoy reading this original text.
Having read both the 1930 and the 1959 version, my personal opinion is that the 1930 version is the better book. Unlike in the rewrite, we gain more insight into why Nancy and the Topham sisters do not get along, for example. There is also better character development and these characters seem more authentic. The rewrite suffers somewhat in these respects and should have simply been rewritten to remove the offensive material while leaving the remaining text mostly intact.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful By J. Thiel on April 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
This review concerns both the original 1930 edition as well as the revised 1959 edition. Josiah Crowley has died and his will states that all of his money is to be left to the rich, snobby Topham family, who only took the old man into their home so that they could get his fortune. However, there are rumors of a second will which would leave the money to people that actually liked and cared for Josiah and who are really in need of it. Desperatley wanting to help these people, Nancy is determined to locate the second will if it exists. The original and revised editions have some differences (aside from the revised being shorter), but basically they tell the same story. Personally, I prefer the original edition. The writing is so much better in the original and the scenes are so well described that you can almost picture yourself there. The revised editions are all stripped of the rich language that characterized the early original editions. The story isn't bad and the mystery isn't very complex, which is understanable given that this is Nancy's first case. This isn't the most exciting book, but it does manage to keep you entertained while you're reading it.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By KatCool on June 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
If you are going to publish an 80th anniversary edition then why oh why choose to use the revised text edition? Fans of the series will NOT be happy as this is the REVISED TEXT edition and is readily available elsewhere. So just slap a pretty picture on the cover, make it a hardback edition and call it the anniversary edition? What do the publishers think the average reader is - a fool?! I am not impressed with this and it truly is a disservice to the entire series. It could have been so much more and yet it seems to have been put together on the cheap side to save money. Not worthy of a special anniversary edition. It should have been done using the original text with glossy pictures and perhaps a nice intro and retrospect on the Nancy Drew series. Avid readers of the series will be left frustrated at the lack of care by the publishers. Then again, haven't we all been disappointed with how the series has progressed?!
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