Thursday, February 16, 2012

N is for Nancy Drew

Before my love afair with romance began, my series of choice was the Nancy Drew mysteries. These were the first books I remember not being able to get enough of. I can still picture the shelf at the library where they were housed. I made a bee-line for that section every time we walked into the library. These books were the reason I went to the library. I had my checklist and would mark off the ones I'd read. Choosing a new four or five on each visit was nothing less than thrilling.

I wanted to be Nancy Drew. I was completely emersed in her world.

Now, even as an adult, I'll still pick up one to read every once in a while. I've collected some of the series, but not all. I'm always on the lookout to complete my collection. I love looking at those yellow spines on my personal library shelf.

Carolyn Keene is the offical author of the series, but this is a pseudonym used to cover a wide variety of writers who have actually written the stories. The first was Mildred Wirt Benson who penned twenty-three Nancy Drew stories. Some of the original stories have been updated throughout the years, and Nancy has gone through many changes herself.

But the overall feel of the cozy whodunnits has remained for countless generations to discover and enjoy.

I can honestly say my love of reading, and especially that craving of never having enough, stemmed from Nancy Drew. It was this love of reading that eventually led to my desire to be a writer. Nancy will always hold a special place in my heart.

(If you'd like a fun and nostalgic peek 'behind the scenes' of Nancy Drew, I highly recommend The Mysterious Case of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys by Carole Kismaric ande Marvin Heiferman.)

Until next time,

Happy Reading!



  1. You hit a soft spot of mine this morning...thank you so much! I, too, loved the Nancy books growing up, so much in fact, my husband hunted down a boxed set of them for me for Christmas a couple years ago. Another love of mine was Laura Ingalls Wilder and the Encyclopedia Brown books. Great post!

  2. I loved the Nancy Drew books when I was growing up. My mom had the whole collection of Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books and I read every single one of them. Talk about a blast from the past! They have tried to update Nancy, but I will always love the originals that I grew up with. Great post!!


  3. Hi Lila,

    We are difinitely peas in a pod. The Little House books were another favorite of mine. A couple of years ago I visited her house in Missouri and saw Pa's fiddle! Encyclopedia Brown was fabulous, too.


    There is definitely something cozy about the original stories...although I think by the time I read them in the 70s, my 'originals' were updates from the very first ones.

  4. I, too, loved Nancy Drew. The Hardy Boys not so much.
    I loved Ramona Quimbly. I also loved the Oz books. As a child, I was reading one on an airplane. A gentleman said his daugher had loved L. Frank Baum's books and shipped to me a huge painting of Oz. My mom recently sent my collection of hardcover Oz books. I'd like my granddaughters to enjoy them.

  5. Beverly Cleary was another favorite of mine as well. I think I read all of her books over one summer.

    My third graders read "Ramana Quimby Age 8" as one of our novel studies at school every year.

  6. To my knowledge, Nancy Drew books weren't available in the UK when I was a child. I grew up on Enid Blyton books, especially her school stories. Those were the ones which first got me writing my own stories (using her characters!).

  7. I loved Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Bobbsey Twins and Trixie Belden. They were some of my favorites! I had to make space and got rid of a bunch of them, but they'll always hold a special place in my heart.

  8. Paula, I guess I never thought of Nancy as a cultural thing, but I guess that would make sense.

    Jennifer, I totally forgot about the Bobbsey Twins. Those were fun reads, too!

  9. I tried to get my girls to read them, but the originals don't translate well to modern times and the newer versions aren't nearly as good.

  10. One of my first favourite books by Enid Blyton was called 'The Magic Faraway Tree' with four children having lots of adventures. When my girls were little, I used to read them a chapter every night (from my original hardback copy which I'd kept), and one of them really loved it. I think she was about 5 or 6 at the time. Years later i.e when she was in her 20's, I found a modern paperback copy of the book and gave it to her one Christmas. She was over the moon, and read it again from cover to cover!

  11. When I was a kid, I remember getting really into a Nancy Drew book and enjoying it. My mom went to a parent teacher conference, and the teacher from you-know-where told my mom I was not allowed to read it because it was, "Too hard for me." Looking back, if it were too hard, I wouldn't be reading it. Anyway, I ended up putting it down and never picking up another Nancy Drew book. That stupid lady ruined what could have been a joy of reading as a kid, rather than as an adult. It's okay. As a writer, I've used her as a model for all of my mean teachers. Thank you Miss Ringwald!


  12. Joyce, Oh I'm so sad your teacher did that to you. But that's so fun you've used her 'character' in your writing!