The Secret of the Old Clock

The Secret of the Old Clock - Carolyn Keene

I'm sorely tempted to revisit other 'Hardy Boys' and 'Nancy Drew' titles now, but I'll probably let the impulse pass. Nancy Drew, a bright girl with convertible from dad, witnesses a toddler nearly get run down by a motorist and befriends the elderly sisters who allowed the girl to run in the street. It comes out that they have financial troubles and were disappointed when the will of a family member left everything to their wealthy, snobby cousins. It happens that there may have been another will, but its impossible to know where it is. Nancy is determined to find out and interviews others associated with the will. She wants to help them and spite the spoiled girls who stand to inherit.

I read the more commonly available revised version of 'The Secret of the Old Clock', but I read up on the changes that had been made in the late 1950s to make the story more accessible to young readers and to mollify those parents who might object to a healthy dose of 1920s racism. This series, along with 'The Hardy Boys', underwent some radical changes to bring their characters in line with the principles, for better or for worse, of the day.

Frankly, the history of the changes made to the series and the contractually anonymous writers who made it happen, were more interesting than the story itself. There is some clever sleuthing and red herrings along the way, but its hard to read these stories with the same enthusiasm I did as a kid.

I read the first Hardy Boys mystery, 'The Tower Treasure', at the same time and had similar feelings.