Lights, Camera…is the fifth book in the Nancy Drew: Girl Detective series, by Carolyn Keene.
Quick Review (read on for full review)
Not as good as I remember, unfortunately, but worth a read just to see how the character and style has changed for a modern audience. 2.5 / 5
Summary (from Goodreads)
I’m a detective, not an actor, so who would think I’d be involved in a crime both offscreen and on? A producer has come to River Heights to film a re-enactment of the heist that gave our town it’s name, and he thinks I’m perfect for the part of Esther, the sister of the thieving Rackham boys. So I figure, why not give it a try?
But once the cameras start rolling, the trouble begins. Food poisoning. Broken generators. And worse! If I don’t sniff out some suspects soon, this might be my final act.
I was really fired up, because hanging out on a movie set was a far better escape from shoe shopping than I could have thought up.
(From Lights, Camera…by Carolyn Keene, page 5)
I used to read the Nancy Drew books when I was younger, and when I found a copy of Lights, Camera… in a bag of books given to me by a family member, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to return to a childhood favourite.
However, my fond memories of the books I grew up reading were not to be reinforced by my reading of this newer take on the series. In fact, they ensured I saw what was lacking in this more modern story. First, let me explain what I remember of the Nancy Drew books: there was a depth to the storytelling that drew a young reader in, you wanted to know about the characters as well as the plots. And the story felt believable.
This modern Nancy Drew felt very light; there was little depth to the characters and the story moved too quickly and without the necessary fluidity to pull the pace off, making it clunky. There was plenty of action though, and I did read it to the end. What I did find quite annoying was that almost every time an adult said to Nancy the filming has to stop because of (fill in the blank), Nancy would respond with, “but I have a friend who can do that” and save the day. I couldn’t help but wonder if this is one of those books that works better if you’re part of the audience it is intended for…
So ultimately, I didn’t think this was as a good as I remembered, unfortunately, but it was worth a read just to see how the character and style has changed for a modern audience. I don’t think I would be interested in reading any more, only revisiting the earlier series of the books.