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Portraits of the Sleuth

25 of the original Nancy Drew® books were illustrated by commercial illustrator, Russell H. Tandy from 1930 to 1949. These include the original art dust jackets for volumes 1-10, 12-26 as well as the internal illustrations for volumes 1-26. When the publishers switched from a glossy paper frontispiece to plain paper frontispieces circa 1941, beginning with The Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion, Russell also revised the frontispieces of the first 17 volumes which were used in printings of these volumes from about 1943 onward. These frontispiece revisions updated the hairstyles, clothing, and accessories in the scenes and resulted in entirely new scenes for several frontispieces.

Russell was a friend of Edward Stratemeyer and had been illustrating some of the books for Edward's Books for Girls series. It was Edward, in the planning of his soon to be published Nancy Drew® series, who submitted the cover illustration of two artists to Grosset & Dunlap: Ernest Townsend's dust jacket art for Two Girls and a Mystery, 1928, and Russell's dust jacket art for Kate Martin's Problem, 1929. Both covers are shown below. Grosset & Dunlap chose Russell as the illustrator for the Nancys--a wise choice indeed, for it was Russell's classic and sophisticated portrayal of Nancy that helped make the series sell quite successfully.

Kate Martin was just an individual character and did not surface in any series of books. Kate Martin's Problem, was part of the Books for Girls series by May Hollis Barton which was a series of unrelated books.

If you'll notice at left, Kate highly resembles Nancy Drew® from the cover of the first Nancy Drew® book, The Secret of the Old Clock, shown at right.

Russell's Nancy Drew® book covers:

The Secret of
the Old Clock

1930
The Hidden Staircase
1930
The Bungalow Mystery
1930
The Mystery at
Lilac Inn

1930
The Secret at
Shadow Ranch

1931
The Secret of
Red Gate Farm

1931
The Clue in
the Diary

1932
Nancy's Mysterious
Letter

1932
The Sign of
the Twisted Candles

1933
The Password to
Larkspur Lane

1933
The Message in
the Hollow Oak

1935
The Mystery of
the Ivory Charm

1936
The Whispering Statue
1937
The Haunted Bridge
1937
The Clue of
the Tapping Heels

1939
The Mystery of
the Brass-Bound Trunk

1940
The Mystery at
the Moss-Covered Mansion

1941
The Quest of
the Missing Map

1942
The Clue in
the Jewel Box

1943
The Secret in
the Old Attic

1944
The Clue in
the Crumbling Wall

1945
The Mystery of
the Tolling Bell

1946
The Clue in
the Old Album

1947
The Ghost of
Blackwood Hall

1948
The Clue of
the Leaning Chimney

1949

Some of Russell's Nancy Drew® book internal glossy frontispiece illustrations:

The Secret of
the Old Clock

1930
The Mystery at
Lilac Inn

1930

Aside from children's book covers and internal illustrations, Russell worked for department stores as a fashion illustrator. He also drew some of the illustrations for Butterick Patterns and designed the logo for the Jansen swimwear line.

A drinking companion of Ernest Hemmingway and Salvador Dali, he also competed in a speed-painting portrait contest with Dali, Norman Rockwell, and other contemporaries. He won the contest for his artwork, The Ruffian. He published only one book, Tandy's Babies, a very rare book to find.

Some other samples of his series book artwork include the following(The Wind's in the West scans were donated by fellow Sleuth Rick Sayers):

Joyous Peggy
1931
Peggy Lee of the Golden
Thistle Plantation

1931
The Girl in the Top Flat
1930
Sallie's Test of Skill
1931
Wind's in the West
1931
Beverly Gray's Adventure
1944
Beverly Gray's Challenge
1945

A sample of a non-Nancy Drew® glossy frontispiece:

Wind's in the West
1931

The following is a list of Russell H. Tandy's series book illustrations--dust jacket covers and internal illustrations--originally printed in Yellowback Library in 1985, compiled by researcher, Geoffrey S. Lapin, copyright 1984. I have added some things to this list that I have come across in my research, noted with an asterisk. If there is something I am missing from this list, please e-mail me here.

Anna Andrews - PEGGY LEE (Cupples & Leon)

Peggy and Michael of the Coffee Plantation
Peggy Lee of the Golden Thistle Plantation
Peggy Lee and the Mysterious Island
Peggy Lee, Sophomore

May Hollis Barton - BARTON BOOKS FOR GIRLS (Cupples & Leon)

Hazel Hood's Strange Discovery
Kate Martin's Problem
The Girl in the Top Flat
The Search for Peggy Ann
Sallie's Test of Skill
Charlotte Cross and Aunt Deb

Lilian Grace Copp (Cupples & Leon)

Joyous Peggy

Frankin W. Dixon - HARDY BOYS (Grosset & Dunlap)

The Short-wave Mystery
The Secret Panel
The Phantom Freighter
The Secret of Skull Mountain
The Sign of the Crooked Arrow
*The Secret of the Lost Tunnel

Alice B. Emerson - BETTY GORDON SERIES (Cupples & Leon)
Interior Art Only

Betty Gordon and the Hale Twins
Betty Gordon at Mystery Farm
Betty Gordon and the Mystery Girl

Alice B. Emerson - RUTH FIELDING SERIES (Cupples & Leon)
Interior Art Only

Ruth Fielding and Her Double
Ruth Fielding and Her Greatest Triumph
Ruth Fielding and Her Crowning Victory

Elsie B. Gardner - THE MAXIE SERIES (Cupples & Leon)

Maxie, An Adorable Girl
Maxie, In Venezuela
Maxie, Searching for her Parents
Maxie At Brinksome Hall
Maxie and her Adventures in Spain
Maxie in The Jungle

Howard R. Garis - BUDDY SERIES (Cupples & Leon)

Buddy on the Farm
Buddy In School
Buddy and His Winter Fun
Buddy at Rainbow Lake
Buddy and His Chum
Buddy At Pine Beach
Buddy and His Flying Balloon
Buddy on Mystery Mountain
Buddy on Floating Island
Buddy and the Secret Cave
Buddy and His Cowboy Pal
Buddy and the Indian Chief
Buddy and the Arrow Club

Howard R. Garis - THE CURLEYTOPS SERIES (Cupples & Leon)
Dustjacket art only

Carolyn Keene - DANA GIRLS MYSTERY STORIES (Grosset & Dunlap)

The Secret in the Old Well

Carolyn Keene - NANCY DREW MYSTERY STORIES (Grosset & Dunlap)

The Secret of the Old Clock
The Hidden Staircase
The Bungalow Mystery
The Mystery at Lilac Inn
The Secret at Shadow Ranch
The Secret of Red Gate Farm
The Clue in the Diary
Nancy's Mysterious Letter
The Sign of the Twisted Candles
The Password to Larkspur Lane
The Clue of the Broken Locket
(Interior Art Only)
The Message in the Hollow Oak
The Mystery of the Ivory Charm
The Whispering Statue
The Haunted Bridge
The Clue of the Tapping Heels
The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk
The Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion
The Quest of the Missing Map
The Clue in the Jewel Box
The Secret in the Old Attic
The Clue in the Crumbling Wall
The Mystery of the Tolling Bell
The Clue in the old Album
The Ghost of Blackwood Hall
The Clue of the Leaning Chimney

Josephine Lawrence (Cupples & Leon)

Wind's in the West

Clinton W. Locke - PERRY PIERCE MYSTERY STORIES (Henry Altemus Company)

Who Closed the Door
Who Opened the Safe
Who Hid the Key

Fenworth Moore - JERRY FORD WONDER SERIES (Cupples & Leon)

Wrecked on Cannibal Island
Lost in the Caves of Gold
Cast Away in the Land of Snow

Frank Gee (Glines) Patchin - THE PONY RIDER BOYS SERIES (Saalfield)
Dust jacket art only

*Harold M. Sherman (Grosset & Dunlap)

Hold That Line

Ames Thompson - THE JEWEL SERIES (Cupples & Leon)

The Adventure Boys and the Valley of Diamonds
The Adventure Boys and the River of Emeralds
The Adventure Boys and the Lagoon of Pearls
The Adventure Boys and the Island of Sapphires

Janet D. Wheeler - BILLIE BRADLEY SERIES (Cupples & Leon)

Billie Bradley at Sun Dial Lodge
Billie Bradley an the School Mystery
Billie Bradley Winning the Trophy

Wayne Whipple - THE AMERICAN HISTORY MAKERS SERIES (Goldsmith)
Dust jacket art only

The Story of Young George Washington
The Story of Young Benjamin Franklin
The Story of Young Abraham Lincoln


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