2018 A to Z: U… All About Nancy Drew

2018 A to Z: U… All About Nancy Drew

U glassIn 2016 I first learned of the 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!


U is for… Unusual Finds, Urban Dictionary, Unlikely Events Happening to Nancy, Undressing, Unconscious, Unraveling Mysteries, and Underground Tunnels/Caves

Unusual Finds:

card books

The Secret Of The Old Clock is a box of postcards of book covers

I spotted a box sitting on an antique shelf showing The Secret of the Old Clock book cover on it… that certainly peeked my interest… I had to know what was inside! It turned out to be a box of postcards, with each card portraying one of the Nancy Drew book covers. It was just too cute to leave behind… besides displaying them with my books, I thought I might be able to use them in a craft… one day. They came home with me!

Urban Dictionary:

The “Urban Dictionary” online gave the meaning of “Nancy Drew” as… to fake something or escape out of a situation, like feigning unconscious until your captor loosens their grip… then you run away… sound familiar?

Unlikely Events that Happens to Nancy: But in the case of being Nancy Drew… they were all very “likely”!

  • Threatening phone calls to Nancy at her home… happening more than once!
  • How many times has Nancy’s roadster or convertible been run off the road, sideswiped or hit from behind? She took all the dents in stride though… just write a check and the car is magically repaired… never loses her cool over a damaged car.
  • Nancy has even had someone break into her bedroom! Guess the watchdog Togo wasn’t on guard duty that night. You’d think Mr. Drew would have had a security system, but that was the time when people left their doors unlocked!
  • A threatening letter was left for Nancy in the mailbox once… was there a stamp on that letter? If not, that was a federal crime in itself!
  • How many times has Nancy been kidnapped or rendered unconscious? Check back on Letter K…  you are in Letter U… so keep reading!
  • Nancy was pushed, shoved into a closet… like when she was on the hunt for the will in The Secret of the Old Clock and told: “no one will ever find you.” Even though she did get herself out of that closet, her friends George and Bess would have never stopped looking for her!

But “All’s Well” that “Ends Well” in the Nancy Drew books!


We all know that our Nancy was not the type of girl to undress, show too much leg, always being prim and proper; I’m sure her bathing suit was quite modest for the times… especially during the 1930’s. I haven’t found any mention of Nancy undressing or being caught undressed, but again there was George caught in her unmentionables… In as much as my mother wanted to be a detective like Nancy Drew, she wasn’t nearly as modest as Nancy was. Mama loved to sunbathe when she grew up on the farm… but her idea of sunbathing was going out in the middle of her fathers wheat field and sunbathing in the nude! My grandfather would get so mad at her, yelling to put her clothes back on that someone would see her… but she’d reply, “we live in the country, who’s going to see me.”

In The Clue in the Crumbling Wall, George takes an accidental swim… falling in a pond where the girls have trespassed while searching for Heath Castle. George takes off her outer clothes to hang on nearby bushes to dry and hides in a nearby stone house out of sight. While she’s patiently waiting for them to dry, she spots a young boy stealing her clothes… and runs off. As this was written in 1945, chasing him in her undies would have been taboo… but I’m sure it wouldn’t have bothered George one little bit!


Stratemeyer had a so-called “recipe” for his books in the very beginning… they must only be 25 chapters… no more… no less; no character can be knocked unconscious more than once per book; action should be shown which would require exclamation marks; last, to write the book in about 30 days.

FYI: Nancy, always “unconsciously” assumes the lead in almost all instances!

The Hidden Staircase: (RT) Nancy lays unconscious… after falling down a ladder in discovering the hidden staircase. Funny how Nancy can be knocked out one moment, and be perfectly fine the next!

The Bungalow Mystery: (RT) Nancy and her father drag a man and woman out of a car unconscious… they turn out to be villain Stumpy Dowd and his wife. And not to be outdone… Nancy is knocked unconscious later by Stumpy… he sneaks up on her while she’s talking to Jacob; a double unconscious in this book!

Nancy’s Mysterious Letter: (RT) Hannah administers first aid to the unconscious mail carrier Ira Nixon.

The Mystery at Lilac Inn: (RT) While Nancy was searching for clues with her flashlight, she discovered her friend Helen unconscious.

The Sign of the Twisted Candles: (RT) Nancy and Ned discover a man unconscious below the ladder, which had been leaned against the house. Ned leaves Nancy to go phone the police, while Nancy goes inside looking for the guard. All of a sudden, the unconscious man was suddenly standing behind her… Nancy quickly realized that the man had faked his unconscious to outwit them.

The Clue in the Crumbling Wall:  (RT)Nancy, Bess, and George take a boat out to the Heath castle to search for clues, but before reaching the shore, another boat appears from and crashes into them, sending Bess overboard. George dives in and Nancy helps to pull an unconscious Bess onboard.

The Password to Larkspur Lane: (RT) Even after being knocked unconscious the night before… Nancy still plans to break into the estate where she believes Mrs. Eldridge is being held… and says “let’s have milk and crackers and pretend someone didn’t just try to murder me.”

The Clue of the Broken Locket: (RT) With not a second to lose, Nancy grabs the unconscious girl and rolled the both of them off the path to safety… just before the speeding log would have slammed into them. This time it wasn’t Nancy who was unconscious, but instead an unknown person she stumbled upon in the forest.

The Secret of the Old Attic: (RT) After Nancy snuck into the room following Bushy Trott, her throat began to burn and her eyes water… “I’d better get out of here!” she decided, holding her breath! “Some kind of gas is escaping!” She groped again for the window… missing it she slumped to the floor where she lay unconscious. (OT)

The Thirteenth Pearl: (RT) Nancy and Ned are chloroformed as they leave the building where the pearl cult is celebrating… so they both are rendered unconscious!

The Secret of the Golden Pavillion: (RT) This time it’s Nancy’s father, Carson Drew, who was found unconscious by his secretary.

The Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk: (RT) In the “original text” Nancy is knocked unconscious when she backs into a stack of leather luggage… they quickly toppled on her, and she fainted into unconsciousness from the blow. In the “revised text“, Nancy, George, and a sailor were down in the hold when suddenly the ship lurched, toppling all the luggage over on them all… knocking George out. Nancy was so upset, thinking George might be seriously hurt… that she then passed out! (double unconsciousness)

The Crooked Bannister: (RT) Nancy, Bess, and George are eager to spend an exciting weekend at a mysterious pink zigzag house with a crooked banister… hence the name! Along with this mysterious house, also comes an unpredictable robot… and being unpredictable, the robot attacks Nancy and literally squeezes the breath out of her and becomes unconscious!

The Secret of the Wooden Lady: (RT) While Nancy talked to Bess on the phone, Bess said, “I think someone is in my house,” then she screamed and dropped the phone. Nancy hopped into her car, and after arriving, she was attacked on the front steps of Bess’s house. The strong man quickly pressed his thumb on the back of her neck, giving her unbearable pain… causing everything to go black. When Nancy regained consciousness, she found herself back in her car. She tried to stumble up the walk to Bess’s house, but she was too weak and fell back into the car… blasting the horn until Bess’s father came out. Nancy sent him back into the house to check on Bess, where he found her unconscious on her bedroom floor. (double unconsciousness)

The Clue of the Tapping Heels: (RT) George and Nancy fall into unconsciousness as they are overcome from incense smells. They pass out not once, but twice. (would this be a double-double unconsciousness?) Incense is enough sometimes to make anyone pass out!

The Ringmasters Secret: (RT) In joining the circus to try and solve a mystery, Nancy showed off her trick horse riding skills but passed out after her horse was spooked. Every time she turned around something was happening! First she was choked with a whip and almost passed out… and later she blacked out on the train after a dark cloth was thrown over her head; later, acid exploded in her bag and temporarily blinded her, and if that wasn’t enough… she was shoved into a lion’s cage, but Ned stepped in for that rescue.

The Mystery of the Fire Dragon: (RT) Nancy decides to visit a bookstore, and while walking on the sidewalk, she is knocked unconscious by a falling vase hitting her on the head. Bess and George continued working on the case while Nancy remained unconscious…

The Phantom of Pine Hill: (RT) Nancy accidentally knocked herself out when yanking too hard on a secret panel. Later, Nancy and George are both knocked out when one of the bad guys used a “knockout spray gun” when they were caught snooping. I’m not sure what they meant by the use of a knockout spray gun… new one to me! (I thought it was written… somewhere… that there was only suppose to be one unconscious per book… but again Nancy was knocked out twice in this book!

The Double Jinx Mystery: (RT) Mr. Thurston and Ned investigated mysterious things happening near the aviary, and after being delayed, Nancy found them both unconscious. After Ned and Mr. Thurston recovered, Mr. Thurston went back to check on the birds, while Ned and Nancy looked for clues. Following footprints away from the aviary and past the Thurston property, they found an easy clue, an empty chloroform bottle.

The Hidden Window Mystery: (OT) Nancy is first hit from behind and lost consciousness and later on, while visiting Susan and Cliff Carr, she was hit from behind by a rock and was found unconscious… Dr. Tillett was called to the house.

After all those “knock-outs”… we must conclude that Nancy had a very “hard head“!

Underground Tunnels/Caves:

Image result for underground cave in nancy drew bookThe Hidden Staircase: Nancy discovers a hidden staircase with many passageways in the stone mansion while searching for ghosts.

The Secret of the Red Gate Farm had a tunnel on the farm which the criminals used… don’t all criminals have a tunnel or cave they hide in?

In Clue of The Broken Locket… there was a tunnel leading from the castle to the lake… making it easier for them in trying to scare everyone away with the ghostly canoe gliding over the misty lake.

The Message in the Hollow Oak… Nancy heads to the Ohio River near Elizabethtown, Illinois in trying to solve the mystery. She went to check out a place that pirates used years ago called Cave in Rock.

The secret of The Old Attic… Nancy finds herself in a tunnel full of cobwebs, but she eventually discovers her way out. Just from the title of the book, I knew she’d end up in a tunnel somewhere that she would need to escape from.

Mystery of the Tolling Bell… Nancy flashed on the light to reveal that the stairs led down to a dark narrow tunnel beneath the old house. It didn’t take her long to venture into that tunnel through a cave from the beach. It was there that she found…. well, you’ll have to read to find out!

The Ghost of Blackwood Hall… “How would you like to go with me to Blackwood Hall?” asked Nancy. “The book at the library told various stories about this old mansion, which stands within a few miles of River Heights. It’s haunted, has a secret tunnel, and is said to house the ghost of one Jonathan Humphrey who lost his life in a duel. Would you like to explore it with me?” WHO would refuse such an offer… I’d be right there with Nancy!

The Hidden Window Mystery… Nancy believed that the tunnel she found was from the Civil War… a tunnel used for slaves to escape through. She quickly suggested that the regular cellar doors be securely bolted, the secret entrance to the tunnel nailed shut, and the trap door in the attic covered with a heavy trunk. (I’m sure the references to slavery was erased from the “revised text”… I’ll have to re-read to see what was written about how the tunnel was used.)

The Secret of The Golden Pavilion… While Nancy watched the octopus waving its tentacles at the opening of the cave, she wasn’t noticing the very large fish swimming toward her… was it the Kaahupahau coming to save her; which was the old Polynesian name given to the Queen of the Sharks that lived in the cave. You’ll have to read to discover! 

The Phantom of Pine Hill… Ned and Nancy searched along the coastline and underwater for caves… but it wasn’t until Nancy and her trusty fingernail file that discovered the secret panel… did they finally make the discovery!

The Invisible Intruder… Nancy had help on this one with Ned. He shone his light below to discover the steps cut out of solid rock, where they descended to find themselves in a short tunnel.

The Crooked Banister… Nancy’s beam of her flashlight revealed an opening, which resulted in being a tunnel. She hurried along the vaulted corridor, made of stone and earth.

The Secret of Mirror Bay… Nancy Says, “we’re here to ask you a question, have you ever seen a cave up in the mountains where thieves might hang out.” The cave I’m thinking of is up in the rough part of the woods“, the clerk said.” Now, who would ask a question like this other than our Nancy Drew!

The Secret of The Forgotten City... Nancy and George finally found the entrance to the bandit’s cave. George said, “what a place for a hunted man to hide out in.” As Nancy waded in, a sudden rush of water swept into the tunnel and knocked her over… the current was soon sweeping her along into the foaming tunnel. (Can’t you just picture all the ocean foam pushing Nancy deep into the tunnel)

The Sky Phantom… No opening is ever too small for Nancy to squeeze through; good thing she had a flashlight hooked on her jeans. She quickly beamed the light inside and saw that it was quite large. You just knew Nancy was curious to discover what was inside!

Mystery of Crocodile Island…  As Nancy and George searched through the mangroves, amidst the sounds of crocodiles grunting and hissing… they came to a low coral cave. At even the mention of walking in areas where crocodiles roamed would have been enough to make me leave that island!

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2018: A to Z – All About Nancy Drew

© 2018, copyright Jeanne Bryan Insalaco; all rights reserved

About Jeanne Bryan Insalaco

My blog is at: https://everyonehasafamilystorytotell.wordpress.com/
This entry was posted in 2018: A to Z - All About Nancy Drew, Daily Writings and funnies... and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

7 Responses to 2018 A to Z: U… All About Nancy Drew

  1. Anne Young says:

    You have certainly uncovered many points of interest in all your researching

    fellow A to Z-er – I found U a little hard

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wendy says:

    I enjoy your comments as much as the information – like wondering why Mr. Drew didn’t install a security system. LOL. As we superimpose our reality on the stories, we should realize being Nancy’s friend would be risky business.

    Liked by 3 people

    • LOL… yes if you were Nancy’s friend you sure ran the risk of being kidnapped or knocked unconscious! But you ate well hanging around with her… that’s ok for George, but poor Bess suffered always trying to lose 5 lbs!


  3. Kim says:

    I love the urban dictionary meaning for Nancy Drew! Haha.
    And I agree, that girl must have had one hard head indeed. I’m not sure if she was more frequently knocked unconscious or kidnapped!

    Liked by 1 person

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