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Nancy Drew Vol 9: Ghost In The Machinery

Posted: Saturday, April 7, 2007
By: Ray Tate



Writer: Stefan Petrucha
Artists: Sho Murase, Carlos Jose Guzman(CGI and color)
Publisher: Papercutz

Honestly, I really, really loathe manga, yet I doubt I'm going to accept Nancy Drew, Bess and George in any other style. Such is the mastery of Sho Murase. Once again, she makes these distinctive characters shine and energizes the mystery with a smart sense of staging, action and intrigue.

Stefan Petrucha's story gives Murase extraordinary opportunity to flex her artistic muscles. Mysterious lights in the River Heights woodland area attract Nancy Drew like a moth to a flame. The girl just cannot resist a mystery.

Petrucha always has Nancy narrate her adventures, and its her narrative voice which displays her affection for cousins Bess and George as well as her self-depreciative sense of humor that makes Nancy's obsession palatable. Petrucha counters her narrative with ironic, pithy commentary from the cousins, and you may wonder why they follow Nancy into the dark, into the creepiness, into the enigma. They don't share her thirst. To quote Sala from The Phantom, "It must be love."

George and Bess care what happens to Nancy. They'd hate themselves if something bad happened to Nancy, even if her behavior would make this inevitable were she not so good at solving crime. I think this is the secret to Nancy's success. At the core of the mysteries, it's Nancy, George and Bess inseparable. Petrucha easily replicates and advances their camaraderie to create a snappy dialogue rhythm that propels the detective story to its satisfying conclusion.



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