When Lily and I created our book club, LiNo’s Libros, I immediately started a list of all the books I’d love to read with her. I wanted to share all my favorite characters, like Ramona, Harry Potter and Matilda. Also up on the list was Nancy Drew, who was the star of some of my very favorite reading experiences growing up.
Serendipitously, Memaw gave Lily the first four Nancy Drew books for her birthday last year (Memaw loved Nancy Drew, too!) and I’ve been itching to share the sleuth world with her. So we picked Book 4: The Mystery at Lilac Inn.
Because I have all my old books (and some from when my mom was a child), the first order of business for any LiNo’s session is to compare covers. Here’s mine in all its vintage glory:
And here’s Lily posing with her cover and magnifying glass, haha.
Love, love, love reading with her.
Of course, it’s also hilarious to read together this way. Typically, I can’t see her that much on the screen or I might have a bare foot dangling in my face the entire time.
I snapped this one while she was listening to me read, but happened to capture the character’s name I loved hearing her say the most because she’d pronounce it Chief McGiggins. So precious.
Overall, it was an interesting read. It definitely shows its age, but we still enjoyed it. Here is our final round of questions (Spoiler Alert!):
1. In the book, blue lilacs are called Blue Pipes. Let’s make up some nicknames for other flowers.
L: Spring Flowers
N: Petal Crowns
L: <exhales> Ruby Flowers
N: Sweet Swirls
L: Daffy or Taffy, or Daffy Taffy
N: Sunshine Bells
2. Nancy has help from her friends Helen and Emily. Who would you depend on for sleuth backup?
L: My friends Ashlyn and Lakshmi. Did you know I have friends from all over the world? And I’m British, Texan, Wyomian. Oh, I’m Scottish and Virginian. I’m just around the United States. Oh, I’m also Oklahoman.
N: I’d choose your mom (because she’s smart), Joe (for protection) and you (because you’re sneaky).
L: Yeah, I could fit into cracks you can’t really fit in and I’m a better actress because I’m a kid. I can walk into a room and make excuses. (HA!)
3. This story was written a long time ago and things have changed. How would the story be different if written today?
L: Instead of a convertible, Nancy would drive a Tesla or a Nissan or a Ford. And instead of rowing a boat, they’d have motorboats.
N: What about cell phones? Those would’ve helped. And what would they call skin diving now?
L: Scuba, or scuba diving.
4. My favorite creative question for any pick: What would you have called the book?
L: The Letter, or The Impersonator, or maybe The Blue Pipes. That’s not giving anything away, but it’s also not hiding it.
N: I’d pick The Two Nancys
5. Nancy was very brave and persisted to uncover the mystery, even when people were repeatedly trying to hurt her. How do you think you would have reacted? Would you have stayed at the inn, or gone home?
L: I would have stayed at the inn for like seven weeks and if it kept going I would have gone home.
N: Seven, huh?
L: I just like seven. Seven days of the week and seven parts of the brain. I just like it.
N: Totally logical. I think I would’ve been too scared if someone tried to bomb my bedroom, so I would’ve gone home pretty quickly.
1. What would you have the cover look like?
L: I would want it set back with lilac trees all over with a convertible holding Nancy.
N: When we started reading, I couldn’t remember what lilacs looked like, so I’d want it covered with blooms as a pretty reminder.
2. Do you think all covers should be the same?
N: That’s a very good question. I love when old classics are re-imagined with a new cover, but I also hate it when books have covers that reflect their movie versions.
L: I think all covers should be the same so people know what to look at. They shouldn’t have to question; they just should all be the same.
3. Do you think Nancy should say “awfully <something>” so much? Like “awfully tired” or “awfully scared” or “awfully excited.” It’s so weird.
N: Interesting observation, Lil! It’s British sounding to me.
L: Yeah! Do you think River Heights is British?
N: I’ll have to look it up.
L: They still say “awfully …..” in England, so that may be it.
4. How would you feel if you were mobbed? (mugged + robbed?)
N: violated, scared, angry
L: I’d feel depressed, nervous, angry, tearful and sarcastic.
N: Why sarcastic?
L: Because she says she’s tired of being blonde. (…?)
5. Do you think you could change a part of the story?
N: I would have made Maud bad, because there was so much valid suspicion around her.
L: I’d have capsized the boat sooner, rather than have that long conversation.
N: How would you have the background of the story then?
L: It’s kinda long, so I’d make it brief. <fakes quick conversation to replace final scene>
N: You’d make a good book editor.
Next up: …..my absolute #1 favorite…..Matilda!
Past LiNo’s Libros reads: The Indian in the Cupboard and The BFG