Words and pictures from the author of the Elizabeth Goodweather Appalachian Mysteries
Monday, June 23, 2008
My Nancy Drew
They weren't particularly well-written. And the ones I first got hooked on -- from the library and from the 1930s -- were at least twenty years out of date when I began reading them. Cloche hats -- what were they? But, oh! that plucky girl detective with her conveniently permissive and well-to-do widower father (no mother, another plus for a girl who wants to pursue adventure); the kindly housekeeper, Hannah Gruen; her loyal (and easily-led) friends, Bess and George; her attractive but never demanding boyfriend, Ned Nickerson, and oh! oh! oh! that blue roadster!!!
When I attended my first Malice Domestic convention, I saw this book and, though it wasn't a title that had been a particular favorite (the bookseller didn't have The Clue in the Crumbling Wall or The Mystery of the Tolling Bell), I somehow felt that I had to have it, in a nod to my first encounter with mystery.
I wonder how many other female mystery readers and writers got their start with Nancy Drew? I would bet something like -- most. And Nancy's still going strong -- a bit on NPR this morning talked about how that blue roadster has morphed over the years into a convertible and now a hybrid. (I tried reading one of the seventies versions and it just wasn't the same. I guess that every generation has their own Nancy Drew.)
Here's a link to a site that explains just who this prolific and astonishingly long-lived Carolyn Keene is.
And here's Nancy, within arm's reach of my writing chair, just in case I need backup from a plucky girl detective.
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