“Goldie Vance” is a graphic novel series created by Hope Larson and Brittney Williams. The series is published by Boom! Studios. It originally debuted as a four-issue miniseries, but proved successful enough to gain a series of graphic novels. It also saw a young adult prose novel, “The Hotel Whodunit,” released in 2020.
The series centers around Goldie Vance, a teenage amateur detective in the Nancy Drew vein.
The book is mainly set at the Crossed Palms Resort, a resort hotel. It’s located in a fictional resort town in an idealized version of early 1960s Florida. “Idealized” in that the setting is in an alternate past where racism, sexism, and homophobia don’t exist. That makes me wonder how “Earth-Goldie” American history played out to reach this state. It’s certainly better than the various “what if the Confederacy won the Civil War?” takes that various books, movies, and TV shows keep throwing out.
The book features a diverse cast. The star herself is biracial—Goldie has a Black father and a White mother.
The main characters include:
- Goldie: a teenage girl who lives at the hotel with her father, the hotel’s manager. Goldie’s ambition is to be the hotel detective someday. For now, Goldie settles for being the hotel detective’s ambitious and self-appointed assistant, between working part-time as the hotel valet. Goldie’s parents are divorced; her mother lives elsewhere in town, where she works as a costumed “live mermaid” in a nightclub.
- Walt: the hotel detective. While Walt prefers to work cases alone, he ultimately appreciates Goldie’s help.
- Cheryl: Goldie’s best friend, who wants to work for NASA someday.
- Diane: An employee at the local record store, who eventually becomes Goldie’s girlfriend.
- Rob: the hotel’s main valet. He has a crush on Cheryl.
- Sugar Maple: Goldie’s rival, the daughter of the hotel’s owner.
- The period piece elements of the graphic novels’ (alternate) early 1960s setting. Cheryl finds astronaut John Glenn handsome, for instance. Drag racing, early 1960s rock and roll, and Cold War espionage also play major roles.
Image from “Goldie Vance.” Art by Brittney Williams. (Boom! Studios)