For this Friday Firsts post, I’d like to talk about my first mystery book. I learned about mysteries from my mom, who introduced me to a young woman named…
My mom read Nancy Drew books growing up. She loved them! So of course she decided to share these books with me when I was growing up. I think I was around ten or eleven when I started reading Nancy Drew books. Up to that point, books had been pretty straightforward stories for me. There was usually a “good guy,” a “bad guy,” a lesson to be learned, and it was pretty clear who was who. I had never read a story in which I had to figure out who was who and what was really going on. The idea of a mystery was something new and exciting.
My first of many Nancy Drew books was none other than The Secret of the Old Clock. It was book one in the original series. The title alone was intriguing to me. What could the secret be? How would Nancy find out? How would she solve the mystery? I loved the feeling of intrigue that picking up a Nancy Drew book provided and I loved uncovering clues with her. I also discovered and fell in love with the “ah-ha!” moment. I still relish that moment in mysteries and thrillers today!
Nancy Drew was a game changer not just for me but for an entire generation of young girls. Nancy Drew was smart. She was a quick thinker. She was independent – heck she even had her own car! She had a handsome boyfriend. And she was kind. Who wouldn’t want to be Nancy Drew? It wasn’t until I studied children’s literature in college that I began to understand what a cultural impact Nancy Drew had just by being a strong, independent, intelligent female character.
Nancy Drew sparked an interest in mysteries for me, and I am grateful for that. Some people don’t like mysteries. They don’t like the feelings of uncertainty, of questioning whether or not they can trust the narrator, and if things are really as they seem. But I love it!
Do you enjoy reading mysteries? What was your first mystery book?