Sleuthing with sass
Goldie Vance is a cheerful, big-hearted book that will appeal to wannabe sleuths of all ages.
GET a clue, Nancy Drew. Get real far, Veronica Mars. There’s a new teenage girl detective in town, and she’s got sass, sensibility, and sick sleuthing skills.
Meet 16-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance, full time (officially) car jockey and part-time (unofficially) assistant to Walter, the in-house detective at the Crossed Palms Resort in St Pascal, Florida. Goldie’s father is the resort’s manager, and her mum (who divorced her dad years ago) is a “mermaid” in a club. Her best friend Cheryl is a front desk clerk who wants to become an astronaut, her closest rival Sugar is the daughter of the resort’s owner, and her crush Diane works in a record store.
And that, in a nutshell, is all you need to know about Goldie. Oh, and that she’s a ball of boundless energy and insatiable curiosity. And that pretty much sums up Goldie Vance, an ongoing series by Boom! Box that is currently available in two collected editions (which collect issues #1 to #8).
The first volume is the perfect introduction to Goldie and her supporting cast members. Her first case involves looking for a guest’s missing necklace, which snowballs into a major affair involving kidnapping, conspiracies, gunfights, disguises, and even a high-speed car chase. Hey, who says teen sleuths can’t be action heroes too, eh?
Volume 2’s story involves a mysterious girl in an astronaut suit who is found lying on Crossed Palms’ private beach. Nope, nothing suspicious there. But when Cheryl gets involved as well and runs off with the mysterious girl, Goldie gets help from Walter (and her mum) to track down the two girls. In the process, she discovers that there is a whole other side to Cheryl she never knew ....
Best known for original graphic novel Salamander Dreams and being the current writer of DC Comics’ Batgirl series, Hope Larson’s career has been an eclectic one. But one thing she is really good at is writing comics for a younger audience. Her graphic novel adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s classic A Wrinkle In Time was widely praised, and her original teen-oriented graphic novels Mercury and Chiggers were equally well-received.
Here, the fast-paced quirkiness of Larson’s story and dialogue go well with Brittney Williams’ bright, cheery illustrations, which perfectly encapsulate the youthful exuberance of the premise. It also helps that Goldie is such a fun character to read about, bouncing energetically from panel to panel, seemingly unfazed by whatever obstacles the case throws her way.
If you like Boom! Box’s other young adult comics like Lumberjanes and Giant Days ,as well as teenage detective stories, then you’ll like Goldie Vance too. Like those two titles, it’s a cheerful, big-hearted book that will appeal to all ages, and make the perfect gift for someone who dreams of becoming a teenage detective.
Nancy Drew never got into any car chases, did she?