Nancy Drew

For Thursday Thirteen Nancy Drew trivia, scroll to the bottom of the post.

I scored sneak preview tickets for Nancy Drew, which releases Friday June 15th. This newest incarnation of the most famous girl detective stars Emma Roberts, niece of Julia Roberts.

Already famous in her home town of River Heights for her sleuthing abilities, Nancy and her father movie to Los Angeles and promises to give up her favorite pastime. Carson Drew is played by Tate Donovan, and has a much more prominent role his daughter’s life than in the books, thankfully. Carson, concerned for Nancy’s safety, insists she stop her sleuthing and be a normal girl. But being “normal” isn’t so easy for Nancy Drew. When she gets to Hollywood High, it becomes quite apparent that she’ll stand out. From her retro 50s look, complete with penny loafers, to her insistence on excellence in everything she does, Nancy doesn’t fit the mold of a regular teenager. And sleuthing is in her blood.

Nancy feels compelled to solve the mystery of the death of a famous actress that died years ago in the home that she and her father are renting. With the help of Corky (played by Josh Flitter), her only friend from school, and Ned Nickerson (played by Max Thieriot), her friend that still pines for her back in River Heights, Nancy quickly unravels clues behind the mystery of the old mansion. Josh Flitter’s role as Corky was the source of most of the humor in this fun movie. He did a wonderful job and will probably have a bright future in comedy.

Emma Roberts also did a great job as Nancy Drew. She was smart and cute, if a bit younger than I thought Nancy should be. The cheesy beginning where Nancy stops some bumbling thieves may be the weakest point in the movie, but with the change to L.A., the story definitely picks up.

There are a few points where children may jump at supposed “ghost” sightings, but have no fear. Nancy Drew definitely deserves its PG rating. Cute and fun, Nancy Drew is a treat for all ages, especially for those of us who grew up reading the books.

Nancy Drew

Thursday Thirteen Nancy Drew Trivia:
1. Nancy Drew is the heroine detective of the popular mystery series created and outlined in detail in 1930 by Edward Stratemeyer, with the first manuscripts written by Mildred A. Wirt Benson and edited by Stratemeyer’s daughter Harriet Stratemeyer Adams.

2. The Stratemeyer Syndicate was known for publishing book series using one invented author’s name for all books, no matter who wrote them. In the case of Nancy Drew, the name Carolyn Keene was chosen. Edward Stratemeyer wrote outlines for the first four stories in the series, but died before the books were published. His daughter Harriet Stratemeyer Adams succeeded him as the head of the syndicate.

3. The name Carolyn Keene has also been used to author a shorter series of books entitled The Dana Girls. This series features two female detective sisters and is a kind of crossbreed of The Hardy Boys, who were two male detective brothers, and Nancy Drew, one female detective.

4. Nancy Drew books have been in print continuously since 1930.

5. Nancy Drew was depicted as an independent-minded teenager, usually sixteen, but gradually aging to eighteen by the mid 1940s (this was changed when the original books were later revised; she is always eighteen) who has graduated from high school.

6. Nancy is blue-eyed, bold and adventuresome. Her hair color is described variously as “strawberry blond” and “titian.” She becomes involved in mysteries without always being a welcome presence. She is known to always carry a flashlight, occasionally carries a gun (1-5 early volumes only), and actually uses it against dangerous animals at Shadow Ranch, drives in her blue roadster at high speeds on gravel roads, breaks and enters, trespasses, sneaks about, opens locked doors, lockers, chests, drawers, etc., and is rather high-handed with adults, including law enforcement, from time to time.

7. Nancy lives with her father, attorney Carson Drew. In volume four of the original series, it is stated that Nancy’s mother died when Nancy was ten years old, a fact that changed in later revisions.

8. Nancy is joined in her sleuthing activities by her two close friends, George Fayne and Bess Marvin. George and Bess are cousins who have opposite personalities and appearance. George, tall and slim, with short black hair, makes a point of being a tomboy, while Bess, slightly plump with luxurious set hair, but not clearly described as blonde until 1936, has the most girly appearance and girly attitude of the threesome.

9. Boyfriend Ned Nickerson is introduced in volume seven, The Clue in the Diary and appears in nearly every story. He frequently appears at Nancy’s mystery sites across the United States, despite the fact that he is a student at Emerson University in the next town. He is so enamored by Nancy that he frequently allows her to control the relationship, which gets him into trouble several times.

10. The Secret of the Old Clock is the first book in the Nancy Drew mystery series, released in April 1930.

11. Bonita Granville portrayed Nancy Drew in four films in the late 1930s, Nancy Drew: Detective, Nancy Drew: Reporter, Nancy Drew: Trouble Shooter, and The Hidden Staircase. Frankie Thomas was cast as the rechristened “Ted” Nickerson, who acted more as a sidekick than boyfriend. Carson Drew remained as her father, but Hannah Gruen became Effie Schneider and George and Bess were eliminated completely. All four movies were released on a 2-disk DVD, just three days before the New Nancy Drew film premiered.

12. A television series called The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries ran from 1977 to 1979 and starred Pamela Sue Martin as the girl detective. The first two seasons are now available on DVD.

13. More than 200 million Nancy Drew books have been sold worldwide.


34 thoughts on “Nancy Drew”

  1. Great movie/thursday thirteen tie-in. I have seen online that MANY Nancy Drew fans are annoyed about this movie. I thought it looked cute and fun. I’ll see it, on DVD if not at the theatre.

    We are going to see a sneak of Fantastic Four tonight, can’t wait.

  2. Hmmm. Your review is encouraging, but given the state of movie theaters here and the fact that I live with 3 males, I doubt I’ll see it until it’s on DVD.

    I loved Nancy Drew–have great memories of staying up, literally reading under the covers with a flashlight, but I’m a little concerned about her being turned into a cute-generic kid sleuth. It didn’t help that I saw Josh Flitter on the Tonight Show and I got a very negative impression of him.

  3. I must have read at least one Nancy Drew book, but have absolutely no memory. I know I read a few hardy Boys books.

    The film looks cute, maybe I’ll take my little sister.

  4. Carl – I can’t wait for FF too.. I think I’ll take my dad to see it for Father’s Day..

    Darla – I don’t know. I think she has more personality in this movie than she did in the books. But that’s just me..

    Fence – It is really cute. Most young girls will love it.

    Christine – My sister gave me hardback books of the first 6 books in the series. I haven’t cracked into them yet. But I have a feeling I will this weekend!

  5. Oh, I wrote “Carolyn Keene” when I was young and her “secretary” wrote me back to tell me how pleased she was to get my letter LOL I still have that letter.

  6. I LOVED ND growing up. I read all of the books (that were out) by age 8. I credit her for my poor eyesight – too much reading under the covers with a flashlight!
    I wanted to BE ND, and sent away for ‘crime kits’ etc that were advertised on the back of comic books so I could solve mysteries. Sadly, my neighborhood was pretty quiet. No murders, ghosts, mysteriously missing things…

  7. Glad to hear you liked the movie. Sounds quite different than the books but it does look cute so I’ll try to go see it. I love all the trivia that you included. Wow, I hardly remember anything about those books. Then again, I was a bit more into the Trixie Belden books.

  8. I want to see the movie too, but I am embarrassed to admit it because it’s a “teeney-bopper” movie. I read every book and loved the older shows. It looks really cute!

  9. I LOVED Nancy Drew when I was younger. The Nancy in this movie looks a lot younger than I expected, but I guess it’s to appeal to a younger audience. Both my daughters want to see it. So I guess that gives me a good excuse!

  10. Well I love Nancy Drew but I have to admit that one thing that put me off the movie is that they made the character so young. But I’ll give it a shot. Thanks for the movie review! 🙂 I’ll add it to my list.

  11. I used to love these and the Hardy Boys, not so much the Dana girls.

    I might check out some of the new ones at the library, but I hated the ones that are set with Nancy at college.

  12. The commercials for this make it look worth seeing. Which is saying a lot since I’m a 40 something male. I read lot’s of Hardy Boys as a kid, but never have read one Nancy Drew.

    So, is the actress Eric Roberts’s daughter?

  13. Nancy Drew brought me to my best friend when I was in grade three. I saw ‘The Witch Tree Symbol’ on her desk, I asked her if I could borrow it. 34 years later we’re still going strong. I still have my Nancy Drews and I too thought the new Nancy looked young – until I remembered that to an 8-year-old, an 18-year-old is the height of sophistication.

  14. I am so excited for this movie to come out. I had no idea that the actress was Julia Roberts’ niece. She looks perfect for the role!

    I used to LOVE Nancy Drew. And the Hardy Boys. Do you ever miss reading the books you read when you were younger?

    Happy TT!

  15. JAM – According to, yes.. She’s Eric Robert’s daughter.

    spyscribbler – I do miss them! That’s why I’ve been trying to track down some of my favorites from way back when on Amazon and various places.

  16. I love, love, love Nancy Drew. I did realize that the movie was opening today. Not sure how I feel about it. I will probably see it on DVD!

    Thanks for the stroll down memory lane.

  17. I love Nancy Drew and have all her books, I enjoy the games and own all of them including the DS game, I went to see it the first day it was out.
    I highly recommend it, a gripping yet amusing storyline.

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