Dressed to Steal (Nancy Drew Girl Detective #22)

I’m still behind in the Girl Detective series (this one is from February 2007) and hoping to catch up a little over the summer. Of course this sat on my shelf at school all year, unread until I brought it back home.

In Dressed to Steal, the grand opening of Alicia Adams’ new boutique in River Heights gets quickly out of control when the store is vandalized. Nancy soon finds herself investigating, but which are real clues and which are red herrings?

True to her Girl Detective character Nancy mourns her lack of fashion sense and runs out of gas for her hybrid, a plot device now even more cliche than cut brakes. Later, however, she’s more the sleuth we know, picking locks and sneaking around for evidence.

Some people have commented on the trend of “girly” crimes, especially as this one seems an obvious tie-in to the Danger by Design game. While I prefer haunted houses, this option is a lot more real, and also allows for the clothes-related details we love in the classic books anyway. The small subplot about animal rights fleshes the case out nicely, too, and allows development of Nancy’s character.

In fact, I would almost think that the books might be copying off the games in general, or at least the format. To be fair I’ve read very few of the late classic paperbacks and can’t comment on their style, and maybe it’s just modern detecting trends in general. But most of the sleuthing involves direct questioning during conversations or paper trail clues like the emails and magazine articles. Maybe this is intentional, or maybe I’m only noticing it because I’m playing one of the games right now as well (Danger on Deception Island).

Ned and Nancy’s relationship seems to be a perfect balance in this book. They are affectionate rather than mushy, and while he does his own thing he supports her sleuthing and is always willing to help. In fact, he says he prefers helping her with mysteries to a model shoot!

For the series, I would rate this about a 4.

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Published in: on June 25, 2009 at 11:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
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