I just read an article last week about Donald J. Sobol, the author of Encyclopedia Brown, and it got me in the mood for young sleuths… The next day I was scrolling through my Hoopla app and came upon this Nancy Drew graphic novel.
The Palace of Wisdom is an updated version of the classic Drew stories. Called back to Bayport by a mysterious note, she reunites with some of her old friends. After arguing with each other for a bit about who didn’t keep in contact with whom, they return to site of their last case, so many years before. They meet up with the Hardy Boys and look for clues.
A diverse crew (a lesbian couple and several POC) and Nancy’s own smarts are quick to pick up the trail of a killer, and obviously the local police are no help. Grown ups, Pah!
I liked this comic for the simple reason that it is heavy (murder and drugs) and light (witty lines and playful flirting) at the same time. The case isn’t too complex, but the back-and-forth between the friends is good, especially getting Nancy to open up and let others help. There’s a funny running joke about Nancy answering her phone… for once.
The art is dynamic: several different settings and a variety of characters are drawn in good color and the facial expressions (one of my pet peeves) are exaggerated, in a good way.
Pick this one up if you’re looking for good YA graphic-novel mystery!