Girl detective Goldie Vance moves from graphic novels to middle-grade prose.
Crossed Palms Resort valet and permanent resident Goldie Vance is a hopeful apprentice detective waiting for a big break. When movie star Delphine “the Temptress of the Ocean” Lucerne comes to Goldie’s decidedly unglamorous Florida town to shoot a film, her arrival is soon followed by a theft—the 10-pound, diamond-laden swim cap made for Delphine’s character in the film. What makes this complicated for Goldie is that clues seem to be pointing toward her mother as the culprit. But that can’t be true. Now Goldie has two tasks, not just one: find the swim cap and clear her mother’s name. Rivera’s novel for teens Dealing in Dreams (2019) was filled with creative, believable, and consistent slang and jargon; here she shows herself to be skilled at combining noir language conventions with contemporary sensibilities in a way that doesn’t feel anachronistic but is just a gas! Like Nancy Drew, brown-skinned Goldie is a teen girl, but her adventure really is entertaining and accessible for all ages—without the wooden characters or racism of the Carolyn Keene classics and with a little insertion of comics courtesy of Power to remind us where she came from.
This biracial, LGBTQ protagonist seamlessly shifts from comics to prose in a winner of a series opener. (Mystery. 10-16)