"But the girl who captured my heart completely was -- and always will be -- Donna Parker. Anytime I see one of those brightly painted cardboard covers at yard sales or Salvation Army book collections, I snatch it immediately. Remember good ol' Donna? She never had to face the kind of death-defying mysteries that Nancy or even Trixie confronted, but she had her share of adventures. Pretty, sweet and good-hearted, she nevertheless had killer nerves and lots of courage -- hot stuff for a girl like me, growing up in a single-mom household in the poor part of town. As Jessica Zafra recently wrote in her book Tw7sted, We can never be truly safe; we can only be brave. Donna Parker took that to heart and was among the bravest girl heroines.
I thought of her as I read through Cara Black's latest Aimee Leduc mystery, Murder in the Rue de Paradis. The stylish, hip, and I-eat-nails-for-breakfast Aimee is basically Donna Parker all grown up -- self-assured, witty, smart and a smart ass, a risk-taker (sometimes a reckless one), but with that streak of vulnerability that's both endearing and endlessly frustrating. Yeah, that's my girl."