Hello hello and welcome or welcome back to my little bookish corner of the internet. Today I’m sharing my review of Secrets Can Kill, the first book in the Nancy Drew Files. I read this as book one of a more recent collection of the books, Nancy Drew Files Vol. One, which has the first three stories in one book.
In Secrets Can Kill, Nancy goes undercover to investigate the elusive thief stalking the nighttime halls of Bedford High. With her inside contact, gorgeous senior Daryl Gray, Nancy attempts to uncover the dangerous secrets that run deep at Bedford, but soon it’s a whole new game—a game called murder. And Nancy is the killer’s next target.
I have to begin by saying that I didn’t read the Nancy Drew books the first time around. They came out slightly before my time, and although I read almost all of The Babysitters Club / The Babysitters Mysteries, and of course knew the name Nancy Drew, I never read the books. From reading other reviews, I gather these are somewhat updated versions of the original tales, but they didn’t feel too modern, if that makes sense, such as there being no mobile phones etc.
This first book in the collection sends Nancy back to high school to do some investigations at the request of the headmaster. With the support of her best friends, George and Bess, Nancy is ready to dive in. Derailed slightly by the attractive assistant she’s been assigned, she quickly discovers that the mystery at hand is so much bigger than a bit of breaking and entering in a school office.
Nancy is a really likable character, bright and thoughtful, with empathy shown even for those who are responsible for the problems at the school. The dynamics with Bess and George are brilliant, and it’s obvious how strong their relationships are. With the added help of Bess’s new boyfriend, Alan, and Nancy’s long-term flame Ned, the final pieces are drawn together and they get everything smoothed out.
The mystery itself had all the twists and turns you would expect and want from a YA mystery, and even if parts of it did feel slightly predictable, it was hugely enjoyable. I really didn’t expect the big motivational factor coming as the layers were peeled back.
It counts as YA for various factors, but I would say that as well as being a generally easy, fun to read book for any age group, it would also be a great introduction to the YA bracket for those at the younger end of things. There’s no swearing, no sex, and miminal on page violence, and personally I enjoyed it for these things too, as I could be sure it would be a relaxing read.
Thanks for stopping by for this review today. If you’re looking for some middle grade, easy to relax into mysteries that will still manage to keep you guessing, I really recommend the following too: