Sunday, August 8, 2010

Book Review: Girl Sleuth - Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her

I read this book several years ago but last week, I was hunting Etsy for some curious find or another and I came across a host of clothing designed to pay homage to the beloved girl detective, Nancy Drew.

As a kid, I read many vintage book series' such as The Hardy Boys and The Bobbsey Twins, but Nancy was always my favorite. In her book all about the history of Nancy, Melanie Rehak describes the publishing process by which many of these young adult series' came to be written. Her account also includes details about how one woman named Carolyn Keene could have possibly written all those harrowing tales about Nancy and her troupe of mystery-solving friends. (Hint: this would be a HUGE spoiler-alert if I continued further.)

What I always loved about Nancy's stories were the tight spots she managed to find herself in and how, seemingly inevitably, she could escape unharmed within the last 10 pages. She was spunky, drove a blue roadster, had true friends, and only wanted to help people. My favorite of the series was The Quest of the Missing Map partly because my American Girl doll Molly also had a teeny, tiny cop of the missing map tome AND also because Nancy's boyfriend had a larger than normal supporting role. The image of Nancy's beau, Ned Nickerson, in polo shirt and penny loafers gave me hope to find a chivalrous gentleman all my own. Luckily, I found one. ;-)

So, if you're looking for a good mystery, Rehak's well-researched book will send you in search of your old Nancy Drews. But, thanks to Rehak's account of how Nancy Drew's world was actually created, you'll never read them the same way again.

PS: I created an Etsy treasury all about Nancy. Check it out here.

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