Sunday, August 19, 2007

Fancy Nancy Grows Up

Any children's writer who can dabble in adult literature and joke about genitalia sounds ok to me. Jane O'Connor is the author of the "Fancy Nancy" books; I've never read them, but hopefully in about four or five years, I will. Her first adult novel, Dangerous Admissions, is in paperback and the New York Times' review says it's not too bad. Actually, Chelsea Cain said it started awkwardly but eventually gets rolling into a nice little murder mystery. But perhaps Cain is unable to resist a murder mystery in which grammar features as a clue to the killer's identity.

"Grammarians, rejoice. You finally have your own sleuth," she writes.

O'Connor's protagonist is a freelance copy editor named Rannie, who lost her job at Simon and Schuster because she omitted the "L" from the title of a Nancy Drew mystery: The Secret of the Old Clock. As an editor who has been mortified to discover the same omission from the word "public" (spell check doesn't save you from that embarassment, folks -- not that real editors use spell check), I can relate to the character immediately.

Cain's review, however, leaves the reader wondering what happens in the book. Apparently the SWAK killer is terrorizing the Upper West Side, but I have no clue why we should believe a copy-editor who volunteers as a tour guide at her son's private school is an able gumshoe. I like the idea of the character, but I'll need a bit more to go on than that to plunk down $14 for a paperback. I'll wait for the garage sale.

No comments: