WITHOUT A TRACE: Nancy Drew (All New) Girl Detective #1
Release date: 02/01/2004
Seventy-four years after solving her first mystery in The Secret of the Old Clock , super-sleuth Nancy Drew (daughter of handsome, renowned attorney Carson Drew) is still searching for clues with the help of her loyal chums: tomboy George, dimple-cheeked Bess and Nancy's oh-so-tolerant beau, Ned Nickerson (who still stands politely on the sidelines). In this first book of the updated series, Nancy has squash and eggs on her mind. More specifically, she is trying to find out who vandalized Mr. Geffington's zucchini patch and who stole a priceless Fabergé egg from under the nose of Simone Valinkofsky, Nancy's exotic new French neighbor. Following a series of conspicuously dropped clues, readers will have little trouble uncovering the answer to the first riddle, but the egg mystery proves a bit harder to crack. Nancy suffers a nasty fall and is hospitalized for a concussion before she nabs the culprit. Modern inventions (computers, Web sites and cell phones) and fashions (such as Bess's white capri pants) now exist in Nancy's world; she drives a blue hybrid car rather than her blue Mustang convertible; and she has a nemesis, Deirdre Shannon, whose father is also a "very successful local attorney." But the teenage detective remains the same wholesome Midwestern girl. Her new, relatively tame, formulaic adventures may draw a smaller audience than they did three-quarters of a century ago but, unblemished by time, Nancy remains an attractive role model for young wannabe detectives. Ages 9-12. (Mar.)
FYI : Books 2, 3, and 4, also being released in March, will be priced at $4.99 and feature mystery bookmarks; if readers solve the mystery, they will be entered in a sweepstakes to win a trip to New York City.