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Nancy Drew in Books Sightings: Books About Nancy Drew

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Clues for Real Life: The Classic Wit and Wisdom of Nancy Drew Meredith Books, November 2007. Hardcover with dust jacket.

Listing Description: "Nancy Drew, America's favorite young sleuth, has solved mysteries involving old clocks, twisted candles, velvet masks, broken lockets, and other unusual clues. But as you read the books, you may not have noticed the wealth of advice within them. That's why Nancy has compiled a collection of insightful quotes that address the mysteries of life in Nancy Drew's Clues for Life.

This book was created for today's modern woman who grew up with the wisdom and wit of Nancy Drew. Written in classic Nancy style, it includes quotes on everything from friendship and relationships to career advice. Filled with memorable and fun illustrations of Nancy over the past 75+ years, this book is a must-have for women of all ages.


Girls series books have been popular since the early 1840s, when books about Cousin Lucy, a young girl who learns about the world around her, first appeared. Since then, scores of series books have followed, several of them highly successful, and featuring some of the most enduring characters in fiction, such as Nancy Drew. In recent decades, series books like The Baby-Sitters Club and Sweet Valley High have become staples for young readers everywhere.

In Sisters, Schoolgirls, and Sleuths: Girls' Series Books in America, Carolyn Carpan provides a social history of girls' series fiction published in America from the mid-19th century through the early 21st century. Carpan examines popular series, subgenres, themes, and characters found in approximately 100 series, noting how teenage girls are portrayed in girls' series fiction and how girls' series reflect or subvert the culture of the era in which they are produced. Her study also focuses on the creation, writing, and production of such books.

This is the first study of American girls' series books to examine the entire genre from its beginnings in the 1840s to the present day, revealing facts about a sub-genre of children's and young adult literature that has rarely been studied. Appendixes in this volume include a listing of the girls' series covered in the book as well as important books about girls' series fiction.

A parody of Nancy Drew will be published April 2005: Confessions of a Teen Sleuth. Authored by Chelsea Cain, the following is a synopsis:

For all those grown-up fans of everyone’s favorite girl detective, this loving mock-memoir is here to set the record straight.

“If you are reading this, then I am gone and this manuscript, per my instruction, has been delivered to the writer Chelsea Cain for publication as she sees fit...” With these words, Chelsea Cain’s delicious and affectionate parody of the beloved Nancy Drew series is off and running. According to Nancy—or Nancy Drew-Nickerson, to be exact (yes, she married sweetheart Ned)—she was certainly not a fictional character, and Carolyn Keene was not a hard-working team of writers, as most people believe. In fact, Carolyn was Nancy’s college roommate, who shamelessly plagiarized her tales from Nancy’s exploits—and, in the process, got a whole lot wrong. For one thing, Nancy did get older, and each chapter of this book reveals Nancy and her chums solving a mysterious case in a new phase of life. Here are the daring escapes, brilliant guesswork, and dependable stock characters—including not only Bess, George, and Ned, but also interlopers such as the Hardy Boys and plucky nurse Cherry Ames—that have delighted generations of Nancy Drew fans. And here, also, are the parts of teen-sleuth life that you never saw: the secret romances, reckless driving, minor drinking problems, political action, and domestic drama that have, up till now, remained hidden from Nancy’s adoring public.

Check out Susan Kandel's second installment in her Cece Caruso gumshoe series, Not a Girl Detective. The Nancy Drew Sleuths and their 2003 NYC convention provided inspired research for Susan's book and the hilarious fictional Nancy Drew® fan group, the Nancy Drew Society of Chums. Cece writes biographies of dead mystery writers and manages to stumble upon mysteries while researching. She's also a vintage clothing aficionado. Susan's first novel in the series, I dreamed I married Perry Mason, was a Los Angeles Times bestseller. Not a Girl Detective will be published in June 2005. Visit Susan's website more information and vintage clothing tips!

Synopsis of Not a Girl Detective:

Cece Caruso spent her youth idolizing teenage super-sleuth Nancy Drew, a fantasy that surely influenced her grown-up job writing biographies of deceased mystery writers. And before she knows it, Cece gets a shot at imitating the beloved girl detective.

Researching the life of pseudonymous author Carolyn Keene, she meets a fascinating collector of "Blue Nancys," the early books with blue covers. The collector even offers her the use of his Palm Springs vacation house when Cece attends a wacky fan convention to meet more Nancy-holics. But amid the fun, Cece discovers her patron stone-cold dead, and now she has to unmask a very sly killer before a dangerous enemy comes after her.

Melanie Rehak's book on Nancy Drew, Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her, will be published in September, 2005. It should prove fascinating reading for all Nancy Drew fans.
Renee Walker's Lulu published, The Dark Side of River Heights, explored secrets in Nancy Drew's world and looks at Nancy Drew in a different light. An interview with the author can be found in the June 2005 issue of The Sleuth.
The Wisdom of Nancy Drew: The Nancy Drew Guide to Solving Life's Little Mysteries. By Dominique Christin. Cider Mill Press. Oct. 2007.

Listing Description: "For five decades, girls have idolized Nancy Drew, purchasing millions of books showcasing her adventures. And now, timed to coincide with the release of a major new Nancy Drew film, comes a Magnetic Wisdom devoted to the inspirational titian-haired super-sleuth. After all, who better to serve as a role model? Aside from being brilliant, beautiful, and talented, she had an adoring boyfriend and zipped around in a really cute sports car. Inside this wonderful, full-color gift edition are her life lessons, covering everything from etiquette and wilderness tips to advice on mystery-solving. It’s got the answer to every predicament in which a young lady could find herself, with tips taken from classic editions of her stories and fabulous reproductions of her most famous covers through the years."

The Official Nancy Drew Handbook: Skills, Tips, and Life Lessons. By Penny Warner. Quirk Books. Nov. 2007.

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