Nancy Drew

The opening of the new Nancy Drew movie got me thinking about the Nancy Drew books I read as a child. I didn’t own many of the books from the Nancy Drew series, but I did have almost all the volumes from the Trixie Belden series. I was such a bookworm that I would have read anything that crossed my path, but these stories written for young girls were a special treat for me.

Thinking about my long lost copies of all those books made me very nostalgic. I decided to see if any of them were still being sold. I shouldn’t have worried. Amazon has new editions of the whole Nancy Drew series which consists of 56 books. Of course they look nothing like the old editions I remembered. I went looking on Ebay to see if some old books were available and discovered a thriving commerce in the business of buying and selling old and new Nancy Drew books. For now I’m just looking, but in the meanwhile I found this biographical work which I received today.

It chronicles how the Nancy Drew series of books were created and who the real authors were. It’s a regular detective story in itself.

Since 1930, millions of girls have spent countless hours buried in the Nancy Drew mysteries, accompanying their heroine to haunted mansions, spooky farms and foreboding caves in hopes of solving the latest mystery. Yet readers have been mostly clueless about the mystery lurking behind the stories: Who was Carolyn Keene, the author of the long-running series? In her new book, “Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her,” Melanie Rehak skillfully answers that question.

The book is meticulously researched and provides intimate details on how Nancy Drew grew from a fictional character to cultural icon. Along the way, both Harriet Adams and Mildred Wirt, the editor and original author, contributed to the great success of the series.

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