Nancy Drew is a heroine that crosses generations – my mother (and grandmother) read The Secret of the Old Clock, my room was full of Nancy Drew Files, and kids today and still connecting with the cheeky, sleuthing teen. With yet another film reboot (Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase) finding its way into the world, she’s not likely to slow down any time soon.
If you are a fan or are raising a fan, you’re going to love these 8 mysterious facts about everyone’s favorite teenaged detective.
#8. No one really liked Ned Nickerson.
Not even Nancy, really – Ned pined after a not-too-interested Nancy in the series’ early days, and when Nancy finally made it to college in the 1995 series Nancy Drew on Campus, readers could call in to cast a vote on whether Nancy and Ned remain an item or she moved on to play the field.
They overwhelmingly voted the latter and she ended up with a new boyfriend named Jake. I guess Ned was a little too nice – no one likes a spineless guy!
#7. Nancy Drew wasn’t the first name floated.
You could have fallen in love with Diana Dare, Stella Strong, Nan Nelson, or Helen Hale instead.
#6. The Hidden Staircase is the series’ bestselling title.
The title was first published in 1930 and updated in 1949, and remains the most popular title in the entire series. As of 2001 it had sold 1.8 million copies, putting it at #68 on the list of the top 100 all-time bestselling children’s books – ahead of Eloise, Charlotte’s Web, and Curious George.
#5. Carolyn Keene isn’t a real person.
Creator Edward Stratemeyer wrote the book’s outlines, but ghostwriters collaborated to pen the titles under the name Carolyn Keene. Author Mildred Wirt wrote 23 of the first 25 titles, which means she had the most influence on developing Nancy as a character, and she made no more than $250 per book.
#4. She’s not a modern girl.
Some have been tempted to update Nancy’s operation using modern technology but in the end, she’s not a girl who solves mysteries with technology and gadgets. She uses her mind and her friends and her sticktoitiveness!
She has gotten a new car in Nancy Drew: All New Girl Detective though – she’s swapped her iconic blue roadster (or Mustang) for a blue hybrid.
How responsible of her.
#3. She’s inspired women to do great things.
Powerful, influential, and brilliant women like Sandra Day O’Connor, Sonia Sotomayor, Hillary Clinton, Laura Bush, Barbara Walters, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg all credit Nancy Drew with allowing them to realize they could do and be anything they desired.
#2. The series creator never would have let his wife or daughter solve mysteries – or work outside the home at all.
Edward Stratemeyer was the opposite of a feminist and only chose a girl detective because he was already bringing in bank with The Hardy Boys and wanted to see if he could make more money if he convinced more girls to read his books.
#1. She trots the globe under different names.
In Sweden, she’s Kitty Drew but in Finland, they read about Paula Drew. In Norway the books are called Miss Detective (she’s still Nancy on the page) and Germany, Nancy is a law student known as Susanne Langen.
I totally want to re-read my worn copies now – and I just might!