Goldie Vance: Volume 1 by Hope Larson, Brittney Williams and Sarah Stern, 112 pp, RL: MIDDLE GRADE

Goldie Vance: Volume 1 
Created by Hope Larson & Brittany Williams
Written by Hope Larson, illustrated by Brittany Williams
Colors by Sarah Stern, letters by Jim Campbell
Purchased Copy from Books Inc.
Story: Larson (A Wrinkle in Time: The Graphic Novel, Compass South Series, All Summer Long) does a stellar job writing this better-than-Nancy-Drew girl detective series. It's 1962 and sixteen-year-old Marigold (Goldie) Vance is a valet at the Crossed Palms Resort in the seaside town of St. Pascal, Florida, where her father is the general manager. The former Mrs. Vance works as a live mermaid at a nearby club. Goldie and her dad live at the Crossed Palms Resort and it is Goldie's life dream to become the in-house detective for the hotel. Fortunately, Charles, the in-house detective, lets Goldie tag along on (and even help) on cases. In this first volume of what is now a four volume series, Goldie helps Charles recover a stolen necklace, breaking a few rules (and laws) along the way. When Dieter Ludwig reports an elaborate gold necklace stolen, Goldie tracks it down, and has to drag race to win it back. But that's just the start of this mystery that involves secret codes, $2.00 bills, helicopter and car chases and a spectacular ending that takes place at Cape Canaveral and involves a third party initiative to establish a true democracy on another world... 
Illustrations: Williams captures the crisp, tidiness of the era while Stern brings a sunny, seaside palette to the story that also captures the emotions and excitement of this fast-paced mystery. Williams's brings this marvelously cast of characters to life, creating a congruity between the 1960s, Cold War Era setting and the contemporary aspects to the story, like the diversity of the characters, the non-Barbie-doll body shape of Goldie and the fact that Goldie is gay. Goldie's budding love interest Jane, the ultra-cool record store clerk who dabbles in acting and is up for helping Goldie out of a tough spot, is definitely one of my favorite characters in this series after Goldie and I can't wait to see where her - and their - story goes. 

Why Read? Why Buy?: Read AND buy above all else because of the girl power and diversity flawlessly presented on the page. The team behind Goldie Vance has given us the goal, the dream, for the future of kid's books - a fantastic, engaging story with a diverse cast of characters that, despite all the times I have pointed it out here in this review, is remarkable only because it's not the norm in kid's books - yet. That one, tiny point aside, Goldie Vance is just another girl working as a valet at a hotel that her dad manages, hoping to become the in-house hotel detective some day! 
HOW COOL IS THIS????? The rights to the FILM version of Goldie Vance have been bought by the super spectacular Rashida Jones and Kerry Washington!! I can't THINK of a better team to bring this already superb graphic novel series to the screen and I hope that they find a way to make cameo appearances...

Volumes 2 - 4 of the Goldie Vance Series 
& some guest cover art!

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