I miss reading Nancy Drew. I didn't realise how much until I read The 101 Most Influential People Who Never Lived (link leads to review), but I missed this series. And even after a long absence, I find Nancy Drew as gripping as ever.
In this mystery, Nancy gets accused of plagarism and travels to Belgium to solve a hundreds of years old mystery. Or maybe just a hundred. But either way, I was having trouble putting down this book. And of course, in Nancy Drew fashion, she solves the mystery - within a time limit and under threat from the baddies.
To enjoy the book so much despite the fact that Nancy has Mary-Sue like qualities is quite suprising for me. Especially since I've developed a slightly higher intolerance for Mary-Sues (too much exposure to them). For example, being good at whatever she does. I suppose she's just a really likable Mary-Sue. Or you know, I'm suffering from my childhood bias.
Of course, you have to be familiar with the characters to enjoy the books. I didn't really realise it now, but a lot of the characterisation occurs after you've read several books. That's why the villians all seem very thinly drawn.
You know, I really want to read the other Nancy Drew books* now. In fact, I wonder how The Famous Five, Trixie Belden and all my childhood detectives will be like if I re-read them.
* When I say 'Nancy Drew Books', I mean the classics. Not the ones where she goes off to college or the more modern versions.