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Nancy Drew

It's kind of cool when the creation of a series of detective stories is as much a mystery as any the main character solves. Nancy Drew is that kind of series, each book ostensibly written by Carolyn Keene but really the work of a team of ghostwriters and editors churning out novel after novel about the exploits of a smart, brave and attractive adolescent girl named Nancy Drew who solves mysteries as an amateur sleuth.

Carolyn Keene never actually existed. Edward Stratemeyer (the inventor of series as diverse as the Bobbsey Twins and Tom Swift) wanted a series for girls that would complement his immensely successful series for boys, the Hardy Boys mysteries, and invented Ms. Keene to serve as the pseudonym for a number of writers (most of them journalists) who would flesh out the plot outlines he developed. As it turned out, Nancy Drew surpassed all other Stratemeyer characters in popularity, becoming a favorite of girls and boys, adults, children and teenagers.

Nancy is a headstrong girl with solid morals and a keen sense of justice. Using her seemingly limitless funds and her lawyer father's counsel, she solves mysteries, reveals villainy and restores equilibrium all over the United States (though primarily in her native New England) with the help of friends and her own prodigious intellect. One of the great appeals of these books (especially the original 56 titles—the only ones we carry) is Nancy's refreshing respect for authority that aids rather than restricts her independent spirit.

The texts of the first 34 Nancy Drew books come in two versions; the original versions had 25 chapters and often 200+ pages. They sometimes included the racial prejudices and ethnic stereotyping of the1930s and '40s authors, but this is not a rampant problem in the books. Starting in 1959 until 1977, these were revised, although this was more for monetary reasons: the publisher found it cheaper to print books with 20 chapters and around 180 pages. This shortened the books and left out more of the prejudice, but it also quickened the pace of the books and homogenized the characters.

A common criticism of these revisions is that Nancy emerges less confident, less feisty, more subdued. While this may be true, she is still a girl of great ability and integrity who uses her indomitable nature and wit to solve problems others are too afraid to investigate themselves. This isn't great literature by any stretch—but if your kids need a break with some just-for-fun books that won't compromise your morals, the Nancy Drew stories remain a solid choice.

Review by C. Hollis Crossman
C. Hollis Crossman used to be a child. Now he is a husband and father, teaches adult Sunday school in his Presbyterian congregation, and likes weird stuff. He might be a mythical creature, but he's definitely not a centaur. Read more of his reviews here.

Below is a list of the entire series:

  1. Secret of the Old Clock
  2. Hidden Staircase
  3. Bungalow Mystery
  4. Mystery at Lilac Inn
  5. Secret at Shadow Ranch
  6. Secret of Red Gate Farm
  7. Clue in the Diary
  8. Nancy's Mysterious Letter
  9. Sign of the Twisted Candles
  10. Password to Larkspur Lane
  11. Clue of the Broken Locket
  12. Message in the Hollow Oak
  13. Mystery of the Ivory Charm
  14. Whispering Statue
  15. Haunted Bridge
  16. Clue of the Tapping Heels
  17. Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk
  18. Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion
  19. Quest of the Missing Map
  20. Clue in the Jewel Box
  21. Secret in the Old Attic
  22. Clue in the Crumbling Wall
  23. Mystery of the Tolling Bell
  24. Clue in the Old Album
  25. Ghost of Blackwood Hall
  26. Clue of the Leaning Chimney
  27. Secret of the Wooden Lady
  28. Clue of the Black Keys
  29. Mystery at the Ski Jump
  30. Clue of the Velvet Mask
  31. Ringmaster's Secret
  32. Scarlet Slipper Mystery
  33. Witch Tree Symbol
  34. Hidden Window Mystery
  35. Haunted Showboat
  36. Secret of the Golden Pavilion
  37. Clue in the Old Stagecoach
  38. Mystery of the Fire Dragon
  39. Clue of the Dancing Puppet
  40. Moonstone Castle Mystery
  41. Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes
  42. Phantom of Pine Hill
  43. Mystery of the 99 Steps
  44. Clue in the Crossword Cipher
  45. Spider Sapphire Mystery
  46. Invisible Intruder
  47. Mysterious Mannequin
  48. Crooked Banister
  49. Secret of Mirror Bay
  50. Double Jinx Mystery
  51. Mystery of the Glowing Eye
  52. Secret of the Forgotten City
  53. Sky Phantom
  54. Strange Message in the Parchment
  55. Mystery of Crocodile Island
  56. Thirteenth Pearl

 

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84 Items found Print
Nancy Drew #01
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #01
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #02
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #03
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (3 in stock)
Nancy Drew #04
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #05
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (3 in stock)
Nancy Drew #06
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #06
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$3.60 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #07
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #08
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #09
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #09
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #09
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #10
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #11
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #12
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (2 in stock)
Nancy Drew #12
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$3.60 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #13
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (2 in stock)
Nancy Drew #13
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #14
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #15
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #15
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$3.60 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #16
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #17
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #18
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #18
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$3.60 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #19
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #20
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #21
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (2 in stock)
Nancy Drew #21
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #22
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (2 in stock)
Nancy Drew #23
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #23
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #24
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #25
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #26
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #27
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #28
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #29
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #29
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$3.60 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #30
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #31
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #32
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #32
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$3.60 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #33
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$2.80 (2 in stock)
Nancy Drew #33
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$3.60 (1 in stock)
Nancy Drew #34
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #35
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #36
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
Nancy Drew #36
by Carolyn Keene
from Grosset & Dunlap
for 3rd-6th grade
in Nancy Drew (Location: A10-01C)
$3.60 (1 in stock)
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