Thursday, April 23, 2020

Goldie Vance

Rivera, Lilliam. Goldie Vance: The Hotel Whodunit 
March 17th 2020 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
E ARC provided by Edelweiss Plus

The Crossed Palms Resort in Florida is a happening place in the 1960s, and teenager Goldie has a job parking cars, thanks to her father's job there. What she really wants to be, however, is the house detective, so she is always looking for mysteries to solve, even if they are as simple as locating former actress Miss Dupart's ring in her car. When a contingent arrives to film a picture with Delphine "the Temptress of the Ocean" Lucerne, Goldie wants in on the action. Lucerne shies away from publicity, so the hotel employees are told to keep away, but Goldie manages to work her way into the actress's good graces despite the director, Mr. Deavneport, and her hotel manager, Mr. Maple. When a million dollar prop piece for the film, The Bejeweled Aqua Chapeau, goes missing, Goldie sees her chance at making a name for herself and throws herself into the investigation. Since her mother, who works at a mermaid themed restaurant, is working on the film as one of the swimming experts, Goldie has even more reason to find the real culprit so that the suspicion is removed from her mother. Can Goldie manage to solve the mystery, impress her parents, and make a name for herself as a detective?
Strengths: I'm a big fan of books set in Florida during this time period (I'm blaming this on my mother's copy of Marion Holland's 1957 No Children, No Pets), and I loved the fact that Goldie has a Black father and a white mother, but that it wasn't the focus of the story; it was just who she was. She also is most likely gay-- there's a brief flirtation with a character named Diane, and this has an LGBTQIA+ tag, but there's not much more information than that. Her desire to be a detective is admirable, and she works very hard at her job at the hotel. The mystery is fine; this was reminiscent of Beach Party Surf Monkey, but less frenetic.
Weaknesses: Goldie was sometimes unlikable, getting herself in trouble after not following the rules but still being irritated by them, and the mystery was a bit hokey. Perhaps this is because it is a take off of Nancy Drew titles, which makes sense if readers are familiar with that classic series.
What I really think: I need more mystery books for my library, but students either want murder mysteries or mysteries with evil, murderous ghosts. I might buy this one for our decades project, since it's set in the 1960s, but despite the terrific cover, I'm not sure it will circulate well.

I thought that it might help to understand the character more if I read the graphic novel on which this is based.

Larson, Hope, and Williams, Brittany. Goldie Vance, Vol. 1
October 11th 2016 by BOOM! Box (first published April 13th 2016)
E Book from the Ohio E Book Project

The mystery in this story involved a German scientist being kidnapped in a sort of Scooby-Doo fashion, but I liked Goldie a LOT more in this one. The illustrations were fun, but the details of life in the 1960s were still a bit lacking. I have to admit I'm half tempted to buy some of the series for my graphic novel readers, but I feel like I am missing something about the back story of the character. If the movie of this series ends up being produced, I may buy a couple of volumes.

"Sixteen-year-old Marigold "Goldie" Vance has an insatiable curiosity. She lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place, and it's her dream to one day be the hotel's in-house detective. When Walter, the current detective, encounters a case he can't crack, together they utilize her smarts, skills, and connections to solve the mystery...even if it means getting into a drag race, solving puzzles, or chasing a helicopter to do it!"

Ms. Yingling

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