I wanted to be Nancy Drew when I was younger.
She had it all; good looks, excellent sleuthing capabilities, two fun best friends and a cute boyfriend, and she SOLVED MYSTERIES and had ADVENTURES! I desperately wanted her strawberry-blonde hair and blue eyes and was envious of her independence. I gobbled up the entire 50-something book series over a short time period and have had a fond place in my heart for her ever since.
Recently, I decided to pick up one of the Nancy Drew books from my local Half-Price Bookstore, to see what they were like now, reading them as an adult. I started with the first one, The Secret of the Old Clock.
I read it in a few hours. It was a quick, easy read … and fun! I can tell that it was written way before I was born. Nancy wears a lot of matching sweater sets and doesn’t have a cell phone. But, she’s curious, has a great relationship with her dad, attorney Carson Drew, has a good heart that has her helping others, and she can change a flat tire on her blue convertible and fix a broken boat motor. What more could you ask for in a teenage girl detective?
What I didn’t know as a child is that Carolyn Keene was a pseudonym for a number of ghost writers, who received a one-time payment of $125 in the early years. The series began in 1930, then experience a major re-write in the late 1950s (her age changed from 16 to 18, she became a little more feminine, etc). There were newer, more hip versions of the Nancy Drew character in the ’80s and ’90s also. But the concept has remained the same. She’s solvin’ crimes, yo.
Do young girls still read Nancy Drew books? I don’t know, but I may read a few more … for old time’s sake.