Book Review | Death by Design

Title: Death by Design by Carolyn Keene

Pages: 180

Genres: Mystery, YA, Children’s

Published by: Turtleback Books (December 1st, 1988)


Nancy Drew and her friend Bess Marvin travel into a world of fashion. Behind all the clothes though, there is someone determained to see the death of Kim Daley a fashion designer. A poison that was meant for Kim was given to Nancy. Know Nancy has only 72 hours to live. Can Nancy find the poisoner and the antidote before it’s to late?

What I Thought

For Nancy Drew, this book was dark!  There were times when I was reading it and was like, “This is Nancy Drew?!”  It was also very emotional and intense for an ND book.  Although that may be the reason why I enjoyed it so much.  I wasn’t expecting this book the be the way it, but I liked it. It was just different.  Nancy is literally dying throughout pretty much the entire book, and as the story progresses Nancy starts to deteriorate more and more.  There’s a lot of crying and intensity between Nancy, Ned, and Bess.

The actual storyline was very good too. There were a lot of different suspects with different motives, and I really love how the story played out!  Even though the intensity was extreme for a Nancy Drew book, I really enjoyed it.  There were a lot of special moments between Ned and Nancy too that I really thought went nicely with the story.  You could really feel the gravity of the situation.  The possibility that Nancy really could die was very prominent and realistic (even if I knew Nancy wasn’t really going to die!).

Just a head’s up, if you haven’t already thought this, I wouldn’t recommend this book to a young ND fan.  It’s really too mature for the younger fans.  I want to keep this review spoiler free, but I really want to add the poisoner attempts to kill him/her self at the end of the book! Like I said, there were times when I wondered what I was reading!

FUN FACT: The Nancy Drew computer game, Danger by Design, was inspired by this book (even if there aren’t that many similarities between the two, and the game is much less intense haha).

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, even if it wasn’t your typical Nancy Drew.


Review originally written July 2013.

2 Comments on “Book Review | Death by Design

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