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The Nancys

R.W.R. McDonald



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Allen & Unwin
30 March 2021
Series: Nancys

ABBEY'S BOOKSELLER PICK ----- Eleven-year-old New Zealander Tippy Chan just loves her uncle's old Nancy Drew books, but what she would really love is a mystery to solve. When her Uncle Pike comes from Sydney to stay for a fortnight - duty-free alcohol, big red suitcase and sparkly boyfriend in tow - ostensibly to look after her while her Mum gets away on a much-needed break, her dreams come true.

A teacher disappears and turns up murdered, and that's all Tippy, Pike and Devon need to form The Nancys, an amateur detecting club. Of course, things get a bit more complicated, and a lot more dangerous… A book that combines small town shenanigans and murder, with a great big catty dose of gay-fabulousity (much of which goes over Tippy's head!) Entertaining and funny, but also, because it's told through Tippy's eyes, a rather sweet read. Lindy

WINNER of the Ngaio Marsh Award for Best First Novel

'Funny, dark and above all, heart-warming, The Nancys is a celebration of what's important in life - which is family, friendship and also: makeovers. R.W.R. McDonald's novel is face-paced, clever and full of wit and repartee. McDonald pays homage to the novel's namesake Nancy Drew, but adds elements of RuPaul and Shirley Barrett's The Bus on Thursday. The result is a work of fiction that is smart, darkly comic and, in the very best of ways, completely bizarre.' - Katherine Collette, The Helpline

'A delight - moving and hilarious. I loved every minute I spent with these characters.' - Paddy O'Reilly, The Wonders

'How does The Nancys manage to be both sharp and blackly funny, but also uplifting and sweet?' - Toni Jordan, Our Tiny, Useless Hearts

Tippy Chan is eleven and lives in a small town in a very quiet part of the world - the place her Uncle Pike escaped from the first chance he got as a teenager. Now Pike is back with his new boyfriend Devon to look after Tippy while her mum's on a cruise.

Tippy is in love with her uncle's old Nancy Drew books, especially the early ones where Nancy was sixteen and did whatever she wanted. She wants to be Nancy and is desperate to solve a real mystery. When her teacher's body is found beside Riverstone's only traffic light, Tippy's moment has arrived. She and her minders form The Nancys, a secret amateur detective club.

But what starts as a bonding and sightseeing adventure quickly morphs into something far more dangerous. A wrongful arrest, a close call with the murderer, and an intervention from Tippy's mum all conspire against The Nancys. But regardless of their own safety, and despite the constant distraction of questionable fashion choices in the town that style forgot, The Nancys know only they can stop the killer from striking again.

The Nancys is gripping and glorious, a heart-warming novel for anyone who's ever felt they were on the outside looking in. At its heart it is about the family we make and how we must summon the courage to face the truth, no matter what the cost may be.
By:   R.W.R. McDonald
Imprint:   Allen & Unwin
Country of Publication:   Australia
Dimensions:   Height: 198mm,  Width: 128mm, 
Weight:   362g
ISBN:   9781760879624
ISBN 10:   1760879622
Series:   Nancys
Pages:   400
Publication Date:   30 March 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

Rob McDonald is a Kiwi living in Melbourne with his two daughters and an extended rainbow family including HarryCat and Stevie Nicks the chicken. Rob attended Faber Academy's Writing a Novel Stage 1 and Stage 2 and an excerpt of The Nancys was published in the Faber Writing Academy 'Writing a Novel' Anthology, Allen & Unwin (2016). Rob realised while studying journalism that writing fiction, rather than reporting facts, was his true bent. The Nancys was Highly Commended for an Unpublished Manuscript in the 2017 Victorian Premier's Literary Awards.

  • Commended for Unpublished Manuscript 2017 (Australia)
  • Short-listed for Best Designed Commercial Fiction Cover 2020 (New Zealand)
  • Short-listed for Best Novel 2020 (Australia)
  • Short-listed for Victorian Premier's Literary Awards 2020 (Australia)
  • Winner of Australian Book Design Awards 2020 (New Zealand)

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