The Goldie Vance Mysteries | Review
One of the great marketing ploys for publishers is including previews and a selection of titles in the back of a book. I love it. I love it when young readers come to the library and ask for the book they saw in the back of the book, and ultimately, that was why I purchased the Goldie Vance series for my library. But I still hadn’t read them. So, due to Pandemic Boredom, I decided to borrow all the books from the Brooklyn Public Library.
Goldie Vance (volumes 1-4)
By Hope Larson, Jackie Ball, & Britney Williams
Grades 7 and up
Goldie Vance is a biracial teen living in Florida in the 1960s. Her mother is a mermaid at a resort, and her father manages a hotel, where Goldie stays and works. What she really wants to do is be a detective, though, and she helps the resident in-house detective to solve all the mysteries.
In the first volume, a collection of issues 1-4, there is a theft in the hotel. While the victim claims his jewels are priceless, they seem to be worthless. As soon as Goldie finds them, the hotel guest goes missing. In volume 2, Goldie and Cheryl find someone in an astronaut suit washed up on the beach. While the girls uncover who the girl is and where she came from, they are put in unexpected danger. In volume 3, unknown saboteurs threaten the big music festival that the hotel is hosting. In volume 4, Sugar, Goldie’s arch nemesis hires her to find out who is sabotaging her racing car.
Much like Nancy Draw, Goldie Vance leans heavily on her friends, Cheryl and Diane (who is also a romantic interest). Goldie is a bit self-indulgent and into herself. For a teen who wants to solve mysteries, she isn’t all that keenly aware of how her actions affect the people around her. Yet her wonderfully supportive friends and family tend to forgive her easily.
All the characters, like Goldie’s parents, Walter the in-house detective, and Agent Ladner from the FBI, are well drawn and consistent throughout the series. The whole cast of characters gel together to create a mystery that’s not spooky but full of intrigue, with some fantastical elements as well.
The vibrant artwork is full of energy. Rich colors are used throughout, helping the artwork pop. The style has a retro feel, as the stories are set in the 1960s, but it’s modern enough that kids won’t groan and say: history.
Put the titles face out on the shelf and the cover art will sell the titles immediately. This will be a hit with readers looking for intrigue and mystery.
Check out our preview of Goldie Vance: Larceny in La-La Land.
About Esther Keller
Esther Keller is the librarian at JHS 278, Marine Park in Brooklyn, NY. There she started the library's first graphic novel collection and strongly advocated for using comics in the classroom. She also curates the Graphic Novel collection for the NYC DOE Citywide Digital Library. She started her career at the Brooklyn Public Library and later jumped ship to the school system so she could have summer vacation and a job that would align with a growing family's schedule. On the side, she is a mother of 4 and regularly reviews for SLJ and School Library Connection (formerly LMC). In her past life, she served on the Great Graphic Novels for Teens Committee where she solidified her love and dedication to comics.
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