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Happy 75th Nancy Drew – you don’t look a day over 18!~

June 23, 2010

I love a good mystery!  Although these days I look out for mysteries like People of the Book or anything by Elizabeth George, my love for this genre has humbler beginnings.  I’ll admit it publicly here and now that I used to read Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden and other girl detective stories (while I’m confessing, I’ll also admit to re-reading a copy of the Secret of the Clock I bought for my daughter a few months ago, much to my husband’s amusement).  After cutting my teeth on these classics, I went on to devour the sleuthing of Poirot, Miss Marple and Sherlock Holmes among others, and would plow right through a series from start to finish.  I just cannot stand to not know how the book will end, and I’ve been known to jot notes down in a notebook trying to figure out “whodunnit”.  Did I mention I love mysteries?

A recent headline in an ALA e-newsletter caught my eye – the link took me to a blog entry on Book Tryst – “A Nest for Book Lovers”, where the author discusses an award-winning online exhibit celebrating the 75th year of publishing Nancy Drew – Girls’ Series Books Rediscovered – Nancy Drew and Friends.  Fans of this genre – check out both the blog entry and the exhibit.  There’s good information that is bound to bring back memories, and some really cool vintage book images.

Since I didn’t read these books until the 70’s, I was completely unaware of the early controversy surrounding them.  If you’ve ever read a Nancy Drew book, or one from one of her fellow gal sleuths, Book Tryst’s post will be of interest.  I’m happy to say that I survived reading these books without suffering “mental laziness, intellectual torpor, or fatal slugishness”.  (And if I do suffer from any of these, it can be attributed to sheer exhaustion rather than sub-standard reading.) 

image from flickr user carla216

4 Comments leave one →
  1. June 24, 2010 3:30 am

    I loved Nancy Drew also. As a matter of fact I have a little Nancy Drew notepad that I keep my to-do lists in – so archaic! Have you read, Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her by Melanie Rehak? It was excellent. Another author's series that I really enjoy is Susan Kandel's Cece Caruso books. They are mysteries that involve famous mystery writers in some form or another. Thanks for the great blog and the link to the Book Tryst blog.

  2. June 24, 2010 5:33 pm

    Carolyn – thanks for the book suggestions, I've just placed a hold for Rehak's book! Thanks also for the comment – I think you and I had very similar reading tastes in our youth!

  3. July 5, 2010 6:24 pm

    Carolyn: I was checking out profiles on people who were following my blog, and ran across this. You mentioned three of my faves: Nancy Drew, Geraldine Brooks and Elizabeth George! And you're about the only other person I've run into who also read Trixie Belden! Everyone else gives me blank stares. I actually liked her better than Nancy Drew.

    Have you read Iain Pears' Instance of the Fingerpost? Interesting!

    I see that you started your blog for the same reason I did–as part of a class for library school. You will be amazing how it gets under your skin–I'm still blogging, and I've been out of school for 3 years!

    Keep it up!


  4. July 6, 2010 5:43 pm

    Maureen, I loved Nancy Drew too, and about a year ago, I ordered several original Nancy Drew books from the 1930's (before they were rewritten in the 1950's) through Interlibrary Loan. They are really fabulous, absolutely classic. Unfortunately, they are marred by pretty nasty bits of racism. The versions we read may have lacked the panache of the earlier editions, but at least they were improved in one aspect!

    And I loved People of the Book! I tried to read another Brooks' novel, March, but didn't like it nearly as much.


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