The Long Way Home

Girl Detective Escapism
May 23, 2010, 7:12 PM
Filed under: Library | Tags: , , , ,

One of my favorite guilty pleasures is reading Nancy Drew mysteries.

"If you tell him I am from Mr. Carson Drew on important business, I am sure he will see me," Nancy replied.


My mother started my girl detective addiction when she gave me a copy of The Haunted Bridge for my 9th birthday. I loved that the 1960s Nancy had ‘titian-colored’ hair, and that she ate tea sandwiches while traveling cross-country to hunt ghosts and track thieves. The predictable plots  were comforting in the chaos of my childhood, like having your hair brushed or being read-to before falling asleep. And best of all, the books are by Carolyn Keene, a woman; I wouldn’t read books written by men (I’m sure there’s a Freudian explanation for this, but this is a nostalgic post). 

"A stolen clue. Hurrah!" exclaimed the girl excitedly.


In college I discovered that Edward Stratemeyer created Nancy (A man. Hmm). The original 13 books were written by journalist Mildred Wirt Benson. Nineteen thirties-Nancy wasn’t as gosh-darn nice as the later Nancy. She tended towards bossiness, vanity, classism and racism. In the late 1950s, editors rewrote Nancy to be more politically correct, a little more startled and wide-eyed. Where the early Nancy didn’t put a bad deed past anybody, the later Nancy  believed in the good of the world.

my first nancy drew


the clue of the black keys


ghostly nancy


the era of abstract, psychedelic nancy covers


6 Comments so far
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Thats so you, lisa!


Comment by Darja

I love the pink robot!


Comment by jeff

The Mystery at Lilac Inn is the only one I remember from the covers you posted, though I am sure I read most of them.
And religiously watched the “Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries” on Sunday nights.


Comment by Sheryl

Look up the Crooked Bannister cover – it is so groovy. It’s fuschia with a crazed robot floating down the stairs. Jeff wishes he had painted it!

And I loved the Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew TV show too. I sometimes watch it on Sunday nights on RTV.


Comment by Lisa

my mom started me on ‘the three investigators’


Comment by Allegheny Eats

I think I will start on the Hardy Boys now that I got over my boy-book-phobia!


Comment by Lisa

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