Girl detectives, fast cars, secret missions...and just a little scifi? Goldie Vance is a fast, funny all-ages romp that never slows down, and you'll enjoy every second. Goldie, valet by day and detective by night, gets caught up in an international mystery right on her doorstep at the Crossed Palms resort. Best friends Charles, partner in crime solving, and Cheryl, aspiring astronaut, are looped into finding a missing necklace, a missing guest, and possible international spying in their own backyard? All while Goldie and her dad navigate working for an awful father-daughter team who don't appreciate their own beautifully retro hotel or the folks who keep it running.
The beauty of Goldie Vance is how much it packs into a relatively slim volume. Goldie feels like a really fun, very real teenager, who always has an answer, an idea, or a scheme to halt Soviet spies. She doesn't always stop to think, but her ideas always land her on her feet--or behind the wheels of a stolen luxury car--to better the well-drawn, compassionately rendered folks she cares about (and there are a lot.). The art is absolutely stunning, with homages to period-appropriate palettes, spot-on fashion, and gorgeous racing scenes (I haven't seen Speed Racer, but I see a visual homage and enjoy it.) Movement, pacing--all gorgeously done.
And hey--Goldie Vance is an all-ages book where the girl gets the girl. Diane isn't just an aspirational love interest or subtextual canonical tease--the last pages see them solving the mystery (with an unexpected, thematically appropriate twist) and planning a date. Loved it, devoured it, can't wait for volume 2.
Hope Larson: Website
Sarah Stern: Website