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Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew #2 Advance Review

THE CLUE CREW IS BACK!
Papercutz' Second Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew Graphic Novel Hits the Shelves in March!

Reviewed by Todd H. Latoski

Writer: Sarah Kinney& Stefan Petrucha
Art: Stan Goldberg
Published by: Papercutz
Release Date: March 12, 2013
Price: $11.99

One of Papercutz' best-selling series, Nancy Drew, was re-booted back in October with the release of the first graphic novel in the Nancy Drew and the Clue Crew series. This new series follows the adventures of an eight-year old Nancy Drew, who is always ready to help both friends and strangers solve the mysteries that seem to abound in her hometown of River Heights. Nancy's best friends, George Fayne and Bess Marvin, are along for the ride, as well as Nancy's wannabe boyfriend, Ned Nickerson, and her arch-nemesis, Deirdre Shannon.

After solving the mystery of who stole her classmates' science projects in Small Volcanoes, Nancy and her "clue crew" are back in March to solve the latest mystery in Secret Sand Sleuths. Nancy and her friends are on a third-grade field trip to the Modern Art Museum in River Heights, when the Clue Crew overhear a newly-hired cleaning woman being fired for destroying a sand painting, an act for which she claims to be innocent. Always ready to help the wrongfully accused, Nancy, Bess and George set out to prove her innocence and find out who, or what, really destroyed the sand art!

Sarah Kinney, who joined her husband Stefan Petrucha as co-writer during the Nancy Drew, Girl Detective run of graphic novels, now takes over as the sole writer for this new series, and she definitely shines in this first solo run. Her characterization of Nancy and her friends is definitely on-par, and the mystery maintains the level of believability for younger readers that she and Petrucha produced in the first book. While the story and dialogue contain humor that make the story a fun read, there are also some educational facts (concerning the creation of sand art) that hearken back to the days of the original Nancy Drew mysteries, where the stories managed to include real educational facts about something related to the mystery Nancy was solving.

Gold Key Hall of Fame award-winner Stan Goldberg continues as the artist on the book, and, though it seems impossible, his art for Secret Sand Sleuths is even better than that from Small Volcanoes! His expressions are dead on (check out panel 5 on page 10 if you have any doubt), and his ability to create a unique look for each and every one of the children in the story only solidifies his talent as a comic book artist. Mrs. Ramirez (the children's teacher) still brings to mind an older Nancy Drew, and in panel 4 on page 12, even the on-the-verge-of-being-fired maintenance woman strikes an uncanny resemblance to Nancy from the cover of the book, The Secret of the Golden Pavilion. This would certainly be an interesting Easter egg hunt for Nancy Drew fans, if there are hidden nods to the covers of the original series within each graphic novel!

Fans of Nancy Drew and Papercutz' books are sure to enjoy Secret Sand Sleuths, and lest there be any doubt, the Clue Crew's third adventure, Enter the Dragon Mystery, is already in the works. As with the first book, Papercutz offers each book in both paperback and hardcover formats, so fans have their choice. More information about the Nancy Drew graphic novels can be found at the Papercutz website, www.papercutz.com.

Reviewer Bio

Todd H. Latoski/Reviewer, Writer
Todd was born and raised in Louisville, Kentucky, but moved to Florida back in the late 1980s. Todd grew up reading comics and have always been a fanboy. Working in the legal field by day and writing his heart out at night (with three published comic stories to date, and one more in the works),Todd has been doing MegaCon coverage for several years and looks forward to doing so for many years go come.




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