Mysterious beginnings…the books that made us fans

Part 2 – Nancy Drew

Every mystery fan worth her salt has heard of Nancy Drew.  Most love her, a few think she’s just a little too perfect. I fall into the former category. Nancy Drew was everything I wanted to be as a teenager – beautiful, wealthy, accomplished, kind, and self-reliant.  You could always count on Nancy to do the right thing. It’s sort of the way I feel about Disney World – it’s the way life ought to be (but usually isn’t).

Nancy began her career in 1930, ghostwritten by a number of authors under the pen name Carolyn Keene. The series was revised beginning in 1959 to tone down racist stereotypes. I’m pretty sure I read the revised versions as a kid – for one thing some people think Nancy’s character was softened and made less outspoken in the revisions and I really can’t imagine that she could have been much sweeter than in the books I read. I’d like to get my hands on the originals – I bet they’d be fun.  Since then, a new series featuring an older Nancy was produced, and there have even been a few movies which received mixed reviews. However the coolest incarnation is the Nancy Drew computer game.

In 1998, Her Interactive introduced the first Nancy Drew game Secrets Can Kill and has produced over thirty adventures since then. I bought the first one for my kids the year it came out and quickly found that I loved them just as much as they did.  The games are full of humor, making it so much fun to play Nancy, asking questions, searching for clues, risking it all. Some of the games let you drive a car, some let you explore mansions or castles. All of them let you call your friends for help, which we had to do embarrassingly often. I heartily recommend these fabulous games as a truly fun way to spend time with a child – if you don’t have one, channel your inner youthful self. Nancy is in peril a few times, but there’s no real violence and plenty of puzzles and brain teasers.  And remember, when you get stuck, you can cheat by surfing the many forums…or so I’ve heard.

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One Response to Mysterious beginnings…the books that made us fans

  1. Jackie says:

    Or continue playing the game with your children well into their 20’s. I love this game!