Written by, Kelly Thompson
Art by, Jenn St_Onge
Colors by, Triana Farell
Letters by, Ariana Maher
(Spoilers ahead) The author sums up Nancy’s inner conflict with the following statement: The more things change the more they stay the same.
“Change your friends
Change your city
Change your mission
You’re still hanging by a thread”
It’s 7 years after Nancy graduated from H.S. and moved to River Heights. She solves a mystery involving the local high school mascot and gets home late. After relaxing, she opens up the mail to find a threatening letter, which brings her back to her home town of Bayport. The beginning is cleverly written, crisp, the dialogue is sharp and engages the reader.
Once in Bayport, Nancy is confronted with former friends, co-crime-busters, and former best friends, and former almost-paramours. For example, Bess Marvin, former friend and co-crime-solving best friend, greets her upon her arrival. Nancy’s inner monologue admits that she hadn’t contacted Bess since she move to River Heights. One old friend, George, is particularly blunt in his criticism of her lack of contact. Nancy pushes back and retorts that George didn’t contact her either. George stays on point, demanding that she tell them why she’s back. Nancy fesses up to the investigation connected to the threatening letter. The exchange between Nancy and her former best friends and crime-solving partners is honest, blunt, and relatable. It’s this kind of stripped-down dialogue that pulls the reader in and makes this book a great read.
The group goes to The North Cliffs. However, it’s now called Deadman’s Cliff. The cliffs have eroded, creating a steep drop off that require mountain-climbing gear in order to scale. Joe and Frank Hardy, (The Hardy Boys!) her former co-crime-busters join to offer her assistance. Joe is immediately smitten by Nancy and can’t keep his eyes off of her. Frank is all business offering to coordinate the investigation. However, Nancy cautions Frank that this is her case, and she takes the lead. Nancy is let down over the cliff while Frank and George offer support at the top. She is dangling over the cliff when her rope breaks, creating a cliff-hanger for next month’s issue. The more things change the more they stay the same. The story starting with Nancy’s rope breaking is very well-written, the dialogue captures the different personalities of the characters beautifully while pushing the story along. I highly recommend this book. Please pick it up. It is simply impossible to recapture the quality of Kelly Thompson’s character writing in a written review.
Overall = 10/10