Review: Goldie Vance

Sixteen-year-old Marigold “Goldie” Vance has an insatiable curiosity. She lives at a Florida resort with her dad, who manages the place, and it’s her dream to one day become the hotel’s in-house detective. When Walter, the current detective, encounters a case he can’t crack, together they utilize her smarts, skills and connections to solve the mystery…even if it means getting into a drag race, solving puzzles or chasing a helicopter to do it!

New York Times bestselling and Eisner Award-winning writer Hope Larson and artist Brittney Williams present the newest gal sleuth on the block with Goldie Vance, an exciting whodunnit adventure that mixes the fun of Eloise with the charm of Lumberjanes.

Clamoring for more female-led graphic novels (especially ones that don’t involve superheroes)? Missing Veronica Mars and her crime-solving crew? Finished the Lumberjanes series and feeling the withdrawal kicking in? Longing for some Florida sunshine? Then get your hands on a copy of Goldie Vance, stat! This fun,  colourful, exciting mystery romp has a bit of everything – humour, adventure, danger, friendship, romance, betrayal, and a spunky young heroine with both brains and bravery (and killer fashion sense).

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Goldie is a heroine readers just can’t help falling in love with – she’s smart and sassy, but also down-to-Earth and extremely likeable. Goldie knows what she wants out of life (to be a detective), and she’s willing to put in the hard work to make that happen. She has great relationships with her friends and both of her divorced parents, and readers will thrill along with Goldie as she grows closer to her beautiful crush, Diane.

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Goldie Vance is such an important book because it presents a lesbian relationship in a refreshingly no-nonsense way. Goldie feels no angst or anguish over her feelings for Diane, and the relationship is handled with the same sweetness as any of the other relationships in the book. It’s so refreshing for young people to be able to see a strong, confident lesbian (Goldie’s sexuality isn’t the primary focus of the text, so she could also be bisexual) protagonist being the star of her own show, and having her own sweet, romantic plot-line, complete with hand-holding and adorable blushes. It also fights against lesbian stereotypes in popular culture by arguing that you can be attracted to other women and still dress and act in a manner that would be considered conventionally feminine. There’s no one way to “be a lesbian”. In other words, you can be attracted to whomever you want, fall in love with whomever you want, and still dress and act however you want, because we’re all complex individuals who should be able to express ourselves and our identities in our own wonderful ways!

Goldie is also a biracial character, which adds another welcome layer of diversity, as LGBTQ+ characters in popular culture are unfortunately predominantly white.

The retro setting here is a lot of fun, with vibrant pops of colour, cute clothes, and gorgeous cars making this feel like a sort of modernized interpretation of Grease, but this time with a clever biracial lesbian girl detective as our lead character!

The female characters in Goldei Vance are AWESOME – they’re given so much agency, and are allowed to be tough and to kick-ass just as male characters conventionally would. There are even cool Grease-esque street racing girl gangs, complete with beautiful 1960s clothes!

Lots of fun for tween/teen/adult readers, Goldie Vance is a hero for the modern age, with vintage style but refreshingly modern sensibilities. Did I mention it’s a series? It’s a series!!

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