2018 A to Z: M… All About Nancy Drew
In 2016 I learned of the first annual April A to Z… it immediately intrigued me and I began racking my brain for a theme. After much reading, and thinking… I finally came up with the theme of Southern Foods and Memories… it said to write what you know! When April of 2017 rolled around, I decided to share Conversations with Mama to the world… the best of my on-going blog post that has generated from nightly talks to my mother. It’s now 2018 and as Nancy Drew has been on my mind… since I began re-building my collection back… well, I hope you will join me in celebrating All about Nancy Drew during the April A to Z Blog Hop!
M is for Movies, Memories, Mentions, Merchandising, Mama, and My Little Nancy Drew
There four early Nancy Drew black and white classic movies from 1938 – 1939; Nancy played by Bonita Granville.
- 1938-11-19 Nancy Drew, Detective
- 1939-02-18 Nancy Drew, Reporter
- 1939-06-17 Nancy Drew, Trouble Shooter
- 1939-09-09 Nancy Drew and the Hidden Staircase
After these four movies, there were no more Nancy Drew movies for almost 40 years… but they never had any impact on the always popular Nancy Drew books.
Nancy’s boyfriend, Ted Nickerson, was introduced in the movie, Nancy Drew – Reporter! Somehow they thought it necessary to change his name from Ned to Ted in the movies…. don’t you just hate when they do that! (I did watch this movie but had such a hard time with the character they chose for Ted (Ned) and hated hearing his name said. He is so unlike the Ned character in the books and definitely not as I imagined him.)
The 3rd movie, Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase introduced a new angle from how the books were written. They introduced a possible romance for Nancy’s father, Carson Drew…. a Miss Edna Gregory in the movie strongly suggested a relationship. It was left unsettled at the end of the movie as to whether or not Nancy Drew might soon have a step-mother! Another first in this movie was when Nancy received a kiss from Ted Nickerson.
The 1930 movies had all the vintage Nancy Drew mysteries as her books… her famous roadster, mysterious noises in the middle of the night, lost wealth, but always found hidden under newly discovered staircases, also found through the discovery of secret panels, missing wills, kidnappings, lost treasures, fake ghosts (but aren’t they fake?), fancy frilly frocks, car chases, (Nancy is an experienced driver at age 16), outlandish escapes (nothing can hold Nancy for too long), and how many times has Nancy Drew been knocked unconscious? (Be sure and read Letter U for that one)
While the movies were mostly based on the Nancy Drew stories by Carolyn Keene, they often changed a few events and names. Haven’t they heard the old tale… “if it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”
2005: Nancy Drew… Get a Clue (love the title) was released starring Emma Roberts as Nancy Drew. I laughed at the credits listed… Written By: Carolyn Keene, Andrew Fleming, Tiffany Paulsen. I’m assuming they had to list the name of Carolyn Keene as it was listed on the book cover… but it was funny to see the fictitious name written on the credits.
Nancy Drew starred as a junior detective, accompanying her father, Carson Drew, on a business trip to Los Angeles. Being the somewhat “nosey” Nancy, and doing what she naturally does… she stumbled into an unsolicited crime and felt compelled to unleash her sleuthing skills to solve the mysterious death of a movie star.
My memories of reading Nancy Drew was when I was a young girl, footloose and fancy-free… often laying on one of Grandmama’s quilts when I read… under the summer blue sky filled with clouds. Somehow I don’t seem to have many memories, but Nancy Drew is most definitely one of them… now if only I could remember what happened to my books!
What are your memories? I’d love to read them in the comments below!
Helen Corning is first mentioned in The Hidden Staircase (Bk 2) as she calls upon Nancy to help solve many mysteries at her aunts home.
In The Secret of Shadow Ranch (Bk 5), Nancy’s friends Bess and George are introduced. Nancy’s best friends quickly become sleuthing buddies throughout most of the mysteries; Bess and George are cousins!
Ned Nickerson is first mentioned in The Secret of Shadow Ranch (Bk. 5, pg. 111) as being in Europe, but Nancy hadn’t even met him yet… she meets him in Book 7. Oops!
One of the last main characters to be brought into the books was Ned Nickerson, a somewhat boyfriend in The Clue in the Diary (Bk 7). I guess they never wanted to commit Nancy to him in the books, but they seemed to have kept him around to help out on several mysteries.
In Nancy’s Mysterious Letter (Bk 8), our Nancy meets Ned’s parents for the first time, although she had unexpectedly seen his father while in town going to the bank a few days before. Ned invited Nancy to a football game at Emerson and dance afterward… she was to ride up with his parents and meet up with Ned at school. I laughed when Nancy stepped into the back seat and his mother pulled the lap blanket over her… really… she reminded me of a “Driving Miss Daisy” character sitting there? Her mother was mentioned in the Scarlet Slipper Mystery when Nancy was helping the Fontaine’s and helping to run the ballet school. Ned’s mother also helped Nancy at the school… I had pictured her completely different… but now she’s more left me with the impression of a snooty rich woman. You could tell right away that the father enjoyed Nancy’s company and when Nancy recruited him on a sleuthing detail… he was eager to go… no matter the weather!
Nancy’s dog Togo, a small terrier… but vicious when the need arrives… came onto the scene in The Password to Larkspur Lane (Bk 10). I’ve yet to see Nancy take him for rides or even a walk around the block… I guess he more or less guards the house against unwanted criminals and protects Hannah.
The Mystery of the Ivory Charm (Bk 13) is one of the first Nancy Drew books to acknowledge that Mildred W. Benson wrote the Nancy Drew books under the pseudonym, Carolyn Keene. The acknowledgment page from the 1974 edition was written as… “Acknowledgement is made to Mildred Wirt Benson, who under the pen name Carolyn Keene, wrote the original NANCY DREW books.”
The Mystery of the Fire Dragon: I laughed at the mention of New Haven, CT. on the letter addressed to Mr. Soong. Why, because it’s where I live!
The Mystery of the Fire Dragon: Nancy just happened to have a tube of lipstick in her skirt pocket, and with hands tied, she still managed to remove the cap off and write SOS on the plane window – and backward… so it’s legible from the outside. Only our Nancy could accomplish this!
Television, Movie, and Craft “Mentions”
In my searching of Nancy Drew crafts, I found a painted alphabet mural using Nancy Drew for the letter “N”. It was painted by Ken Jennings in remembering the stories he read as a young boy. Do you watch Jeopardy? If so, you’ll remember the name Ken Jennings… as he spent over six months on that game show by taking advantage of a ruling which allowed returning champions to remain on the show indefinitely. It was on Nov. 30, 2004, when he finally had to say goodbye… setting records of winning 74 games and $2.52 million dollars.
Once Upon a Time TV series (2017 – Season 7, Episode 2 – A Pirate’s Life): In Henry Mills apartment, a group of Nancy Drew books are shown on Henry’s bookcase (In the beginning) behind Officer Rogers. Later, when Henry and Weaver return to Henry’s apartment, and Weaver (18.58) pulls The Secret of the Golden Pavilion out of Henry’s bookcase (Bk. 36) in reference to a missing clue. There seemed to be more in the bookcase from which it was pulled… such a teaser in not letting us peruse that entire bookcase!!!
I’m so wanting to know what Nancy Drew books are on his bookcase!
Weaver finds a clue in The Secret of the Golden Pavilion!
I can’t believe I missed this when I first watched!!! Shame on Me!
Someone must have been a fan of Nancy Drew, as in the show, Miss Congeniality (2000), it opens with a young girl sitting in the playground reading The Invisible Intruder (Bk.46). It was the very book I was reading at the time when I learned of it, so of course, I had to search it out… I’ve watched this before but somehow didn’t remember this scene.
In the Hallmark movie “Every Christmas has a Story” (2016) Jack says to Kate, “what’s with the Nancy Drew routine?”. Kate, a TV reporter, had been overheard on TV uttering an anti-Christmas remark and sent to Hollyvale, N.D. to find her holiday spirit. And like all Hallmark movies, she found her holiday spirit… along with love! This Hallmark writer must have been a Nancy Drew fan!
On season 2, episode 2, of Mike and Molly… Molly says, “so you’re sticking with the cake theory,” and Mike replied, “mind your business, Nancy Drew.” It seems Webster should be adding “Nancy Drew” to the dictionary as I’m finding it more and more as a reference to someone investigating… and used as a verb!
From an episode of Fixer Upper on HGTV… don’t you just love bookcase shots… just so you can scan for Nancy Drew books. Look… I found 4! (I stand corrected by a reader… there are 5!)
Last year (Nov. 22, 2017) while watching a Hallmark Mystery movie, “Love at the Thanksgiving Day Parade“, all of a sudden my ears heard… “I bought my first Nancy Drews here.” The character, Emily Rogers, Chicago historian, made the remark to Henry Baldwin as she showed him around; he was brought there to consult and analyze the annual Chicago Thanksgiving Parade… it was either cut costs or cancel the parade. And what was his answer… “no one goes to a library anymore – they download!” Naturally, after hearing that… well, I had to rewind the movie to hear it again! It can be found on YouTube, and it’s around 7 minutes into the movie.
As she walked him around the parade route, she told him the city history and what things meant to her. Naturally, she saw the city landmark buildings in one way, as a historian… and he saw them… in the way of progress! A girl after my own heart… I hate seeing the old buildings torn down for “progress.” Just look at their architecture… they took pride in their building!
If you’ve ever watched the movie Birdcage (1996) with Robin Williams and Nathan Lane… did you hear the mention of Nancy Drew or see the blue tweeds sitting in the bookcase? Well, I missed it also when I watched years ago! One of the girls in my Nancy Drew Facebook group mentioned it, and naturally, I searched it out on YouTube… she actually sold them that set of blue tweeds to use in the movie! They really wanted first editions… not sure why they wanted first editions, as you wouldn’t be able to tell by just looking at the spines. As the men stood by the bookcase…. the woman said: “look at these lovely old Nancy Drew books, look at the Case of the Burning Candle, you have the whole series.” (stop at 1.04:44 in the movie to find scene) Ironically, there is no Case of the Burning Candle book in the Nancy Drew series… not sure why they didn’t use a real book name unless they weren’t allowed to!
Nancy Drew “blue tweeds” on top of the bookcase
In the TV series Riverdale on the CW channel, another mention of Nancy Drew was heard on Nov. 1, 2017… season 2, episode 4. The Riverdale series showcases the old Archie Comics of Archie, Betty, Veronica, and Jughead… one of my favorite comics!
As Jughead talks to Betty about the Black Hood, he says… “you’re Betty Cooper, like Nancy Drew, the girl with the Dragon Tatoo.” Those words triggered a memory of where she’s seen the Black Hood symbol before, and Betty soon headed to the library to check out the Nancy Drew Code book; using that book she solved the code the bad guy had sent her. She remembered the symbol in the book that she had read as a kid. Betty quickly decoded the message to read, “I will strike next where it all began.”
It was ironic and quite comical how one fictitious comic character quoted a reference to another fictitious character
Aminita clutching Nancy’s Mysterious Letter!
Another mention of Nancy Drew in my Facebook group led me to an original Netflix show called Sense8; Season 1, Episode 7. Characters Nomi and Aminita are big fans of Nancy Drew, and occasionally Aminita even uses the surname “Keene” as an alias for herself… referencing to Carolyn Keene; the name credited as author of the Nancy Drew books.
Aminita runs to the bookshelf when she spotted… Nancy Drew books!
The name of the episode was “W. W. N. Double D?”… which stands for “What Would Nancy Drew Do”. In this Season 1, Episode 7, Nomi and Aminita are sitting in a cafe when Nomi says “what would Nancy Drew do”… as they think about breaking into someone’s apartment. Once they break in… look closely at the bookcase as Aminita squeals and says “Uh Oh, he can’t be all bad“… as she pulls “The Mysterious Letter” Nancy Drew book from the bookcase. There seemed to be about 12 more Nancy Drew books on the shelf… what a teaser… as I wanted to see what the other titles were on that shelf! When the owner came home and found the girls… his back was to another bookcase and it almost looked like more Nancy Drew books on those shelves, but we’ll never know as you can’t zoom in on them.
More books behind the owner… but I couldn’t get a close-up to identify!
While watching a favorite show, Criminal Minds, I was rewarded with another mention of Nancy Drew. Agent Rossi called Penelope (geeky tech) on the phone and asked, “Penelope, I need you to get some Intel“… her response was, “Oh, like Nancy Drew style or Jason Bourne, or I can do a ratio of like 27% Nancy Drew and 53% Jason.” (Season 10, Episode 9) Of course, hubby thought me crazy as I ran it back a few times in order to correctly write down what they said… but whatever hubby was thinking, he didn’t say it out loud! (Nancy Drew mention was at 10:04 into the show)
As I was more listening than watching The Young Indiana Jones Chronicles this afternoon… the words said by Young Indie had me pick my head up… “Thank You, Mr. Stratemeyer.” There is only one person by that name I’ve ever heard of, and that is Edward Stratemeyer, the creator of Nancy Drew! (Series 1, Episode 10)
Young Indie was visiting the father of his girlfriend “Nancy“… how ironic his daughter in the show was so named! My thoughts are, that was an homage to the Nancy Drew character… I was so hoping they’d actually mention Nancy Drew by name, but it never happened. Darn! Indie walks in, to find Mr. Stratemeyer behind the keys of his typewriter… stumped on a plot involving the character of Tom Swift. Immediately Indie offers him information he learned recently… and you could tell Mr. Stratemeyer was already writing the plot he needed, in his mind. As Indie and Nancy left, another book was mentioned between them as they drove the T-Model down the street… they mentioned The Bobbsey Twins.
Soon, young Indie and “Nancy” became entwined in solving a mystery… and Nancy became just like Nancy Drew in solving the crime; she quickly took charge as the forceful Nancy! It was enjoyable to watch, as it almost seemed like a Nancy Drew saga!
Even in a comic TV show… Nancy is referenced! In the comic TV series cartoon Archer, Charlotte Vandertunt asked Mother if she was going to blindfold and hide her down in the bomb shelter. Mother replied, “Who are you? The collective pseudonym of Carolyn Keene?” This episode took place in the 1940’s. (I enjoy hearing a reference while watching TV, and often even add my own remark about What Would Nancy Drew Do… to a show!)
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon Prime) – Season 1, Episode 4 (2018)
It was exciting to see that one of my “new” favorite shows, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, was a Nancy Drew reader… and had kept her books! While I enjoyed seeing the yellow spine Nancy Drew on the coffee table… it was clearly the wrong format for the time! This show is set in the time period of 1958… the yellow spines came much later on the scene. They should have had one of the earlier Nancy Drew’s with a coveted dust jacket. It seems the set designer didn’t do their homework on the time period of Nancy Drew… guess she wasn’t a reader! But anyway… this is a great show… hilariously funny!
The little girl they are searching for in CSI (Season 6, episode 5) sure liked to read Nancy Drew… but wish they were the older “yellow spines” as the camera came in close enough to read the titles)
Look what’s on the bookshelves! Monk TV series – Season 3, Episode 16 (scene abt. halfway through the show when Monk revisits family in the library) Wish I knew which titles they chose!
Nancy Drew made Abe Books Top 10 Literary Heroines!
The Top 10 Literary Heroines list was comprised of their Facebook followers… and when the question was posed – “If you could be any literary character, who would you be and why?” Our “Nancy Drew” was in good company!
- Scout Finch: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
- Nancy Drew: Nancy Drew Mystery Stories by Carolyn Keene
- Elizabeth Bennet: Price and Prejudice by Jane Austen
- Alice: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
- Miss Marple: The Mirror Crack’d from Side to Side by Agatha Christie
- Hermione Granger: Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowlings
- Scarlett O’Hara: Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
- Mary Poppins: Mary Poppins (book) by P. L. Travers
- Jo March: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
- Anne Shirley: Anne of Green Gables by L. M. Montgomery
Nancy Drew soon to be in the comics!
Dynamite’s Nancy Drew #1 hits stands in June (2018). Comics produced by Dynamite Entertainment
This new comic book series debuts June 13th… as Nancy Drew, a seventeen-year-old girl, who naturally is good at everything… sound familiar? But top on her list of what’s she the best at…. is naturally solving crimes that comes her way. Somehow, Nancy doesn’t live in River Heights any longer… it will be interesting to see the “why” on that! Did Carson Drew remarry and move the family out of River Heights? As Nancy is only seventeen, surely she didn’t move away by herself? Her life suddenly changes when a mysterious message comes her way… a message that lures her back to her hometown. The preview of this comic leads me to believe that Nancy’s life is in danger, and she will need her “true” friends to help keep her safe. I’ll definitely reserve my order for issue # 1 from Dynamite Entertainment! (Writer: Kelly Thompson and Artist: Jenn St-Onge)
If you’re ever in Indianapolis, Indiana… be sure and check out Books & Brews Pub as it’s all about books and a special brew dedicated to Nancy Drew called “Nancy Brew and the Hoppy Boys.” It’s listed as an extra-hopped pale ale. I emailed them about buying the brew, but they don’t ship to CT. or sell online! This just might mean a “road trip” for a Nancy Brew! If you’re reading and from Indiana… can you send me an empty can!
Board of beers: Nancy… extra-hopped pale ale
I want a can, a glass, and a shirt! If you live in Indiana… help me out!
I need to plan a road trip to Books and Brews!
Madame Alexander introduced a Nancy Drew doll in 1967… I was fifteen years old and probably had outgrown Nancy… now growing into boys! The doll carried binoculars, a camera and came with two outfit choices… either a plaid coat or a dress and a short jacket. Harriet Stratemeyer Adams never approved of the design of the doll… she thought the doll’s face was too childish, but they marketed it anyway! I wonder if she eventually changed her mind? I love how the name tag actually reads, Nancy Drew. At present, I do not have a Nancy Drew doll in my collection…. but a girl can dream and hope!
I can see why Harriet didn’t like the dolls face… I’m not crazy for her either as she looks too young. Maybe they should have released a Barbie as Nancy Drew… are you listening Mattel? Photo Courtesy of: nancydrewsleuth.com
Several Nancy Drew coloring, activity and puzzle books were published in the 1970’s. I always enjoyed coloring as a child… sure wish they had marketed them earlier in the late 50’s so I could have colored them. Now trying to find them, is like, well… trying to find a needle in a haystack! I’ve seen a couple offered for sale, but way over-priced and if many of the pages are already scribbled and colored on… what’s the point in buying! Maybe one day… I’ll pick up a stack of books at a tag sale… and there they will lay! I’m a dreamer!
Photos courtesy of nancydrewsleuths.com
After the Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boy’s TV show debuted in the 70’s, they produced a metal tin lunch box and even a Halloween costume to tie into the new television icons. They also produced one for The Hardy Boys, not wanting to leave them out. I do have the lunchbox in great condition, but missing the thermos… It’s on my want list! I graduated from high school the year this came out so I wouldn’t have been caught dead carrying this… LOL… now I would! (Lunchbox photo from Ebay)
Samples of most of the Nancy Drew fabric… who knew they had so many varieties… and I want them all! Photo from Ebay.
The latest Nancy Drew merchandising that’s had me crazily searching for… is “fabric”! Even though it came out several years ago, it’s still lurking around in fabric stores and on eBay… but way over-priced! I’ve picked up several pieces when I find it, but I really hope to find the fabric with the book spines showing… and I have a feeling that specific one will be hard to find! I’ve seen so many awesome projects people have made, from quilts to carry bags to book pouches. I made my granddaughter Ella a Nancy Drew book pouch for Christmas as she’s the first of my five who has become a Nancy Drew reader… now reading the Clue’s Crew Nancy Drew books. Before Christmas, I made her a book bag from Tinkerbelle fabric, which she loved… showing it off at school to her friends and teachers! I made her teacher one for Xmas… Ella was excited about giving one
Bookbag I made for granddaughter Ella!
2005: Carlton Cards introduced a 75th Anniversary Christmas ornament of Nancy Drew. They pictured her on the front of the first book, The Secret of the Old Clock. I love how she looks like she just stepped out of the book! It took me awhile, but I finally hunted one down and was excited to hang it on my tree last year. I’m hoping Carlton will introduce another one!
Imagine if they made one for every book cover… I could fill a tree!
I recently bought these Nancy Drew puzzles… they were supposed to have been my winter project! Unfortunately, I’ve spent so much time researching for my Nancy Drew A to Z… and knitting socks… well, they are still sealed, and waiting for me!
Barbie’s gone… Nancy Drew! Nancy, Bess and George re-dressed by artist Mika Ingerman. Check out her blog for more tiny apparel!
In asking my mother about Nancy Drew, she said... “I enjoyed reading Nancy Drew as a young girl, but I wasn’t fortunate enough to actually own any books myself. I grew up on a farm, and my father wasn’t going to buy me books… as he didn’t look at them as a necessity. My girlfriend, June Boswell, who lived in town, always had the latest ones and let me borrow hers. I’d read quickly and return as I couldn’t wait to read the next book. On the early books I read, I remember seeing Nancy on the cover dressed as a flapper… in clothing like my mama wore. I found one of Mama’s outfits once hanging in the closet in the hallway… it was a polka dot dress, with a hat to match… just like the hat Nancy Drew wore. I often dressed up in those clothes and pulled the hat down just like Nancy… I always wanted to be like Nancy Drew and solve mysteries. “Even today, mama still reads a Nancy Drew book once in awhile… books she finds for me. I’m sure she encouraged me to read Nancy Drew when I was young… and I know she re-read them right along with me!
My Little Nancy Drew:
My little Nancy Drew – Ella!
My oldest granddaughter Ella is now 8 years old and I’m slowly introducing her to Nancy Drew. I’ve bought her several of the Nancy Drew Clue Crew books… they are awesome and the best reading for her age now. Nancy is eight years old in the Clue Crew books… a perfect age to draw her into the world and love of Nancy Drew. Oh, I so wish I had those when I was 8!
Recently she saw the book I was reading, The Clue in The Diary, and thought it the greatest thing… that I was reading also. That night before bed, she took the very same one out of her bookcase and began attempting to read. I’m not sure if those books she can manage just yet, with all the words and events they’re involved in, but she tries. I sure hope the interest remains as I’ve already filled her bookcase with all the flashlight issues.
I did ask her if she knew what the word “roadster” meant and Ella said, “I think a car.” I have a good little detective there… she will go far!
No. 2 granddaughter McKinley, age 5, is the next one to begin reading. It’s funny when she picks up a book and reads words! It must be exciting in their eyes when they first learn how to read… opening up a whole new world for them. I gave her a Nancy Drew Clue Crew book last Christmas… she’ll be reading it soon and I hope… asking for more! (When she opened the book, her first words were, “GiGi, I can’t read all of this…. there’s a lot of pages!” It was funny watching her facial expressions, as the size of the book seemed to intimidate her… she thought I was expecting her to read it immediately! Recently I’ve begun reading chapters to her as we wait in dropping her off at school.
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