Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Nancy Drew Blog Party Day 12 - Nancy Drew Spin-offs

Nancy Drew Spin-Off Series

Since the 1980s we've had several paperback spin-off series published. These include the Nancy Drew Files, Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Super Mysteries, Nancy Drew Ghost Stories 1 and 2, Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Super Sleuths 1 and 2, Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Be a Detective Series, Nancy Drew Notebooks, Nancy Drew Clue Crew, Nancy Drew On Campus, Nancy Drew Graphic Novels, and Nancy Drew Girl Detective.

Of these spin-offs, the longest running spin-off was the Nancy Drew Files series at 124 books. It was probably the most successful of the spin-offs, although the Notebooks and Clue Crew are definitely pretty popular as well. Nancy Drew Girl Detective had a 7 year run but won't even have reached 50 volumes once it ends early next year.

Of these spin-offs, my favorites are the Nancy Drew Files and the Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys Super Mysteries. These came out when I was a teenager and I liked the modern style of them to a degree and the romance. Nancy also solved murders and there was some flirtation between her and Frank Hardy which was different from the usual Ned Nickerson.

The one I like least? Nancy Drew On Campus. This is the antithesis of what Nancy Drew--classic Nancy Drew--was all about and such which was "safe and sane" entertainment for kids. Harriet Adams and the Stratemeyer Syndicate's mantra. To which I firmly agree with. These books were more about social issues and college romance than mystery. Not at all the reason why kids read Nancy Drew. They read Nancy Drew for MYSTERY. Without much mystery they were just terrible all around. And while Nancy Drew Files was a bit of a departure from Classic Nancy, it was much better styled as a mystery series and was more successful in that regard.

Which ones do you like and dislike and why?



Kansas Mad Man said...

Well, quite honestly, the super mysteries are "okay," but I don't care for any of the other, deuterocanonical series. My best friend's little girl is reading the Notebooks, though, so I hope that will lead to borrowing some of my books (or some fun birthday gifts).


Lena Marsteller said...

I love the Nancy Drew files. My favorite is Murder on Ice. I also like the SUper Mysteries Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. I do like the nancy Drew Girl Detective, but only some. Most are really good, but lately they are not as good as I hoped they would be.

What is your favorite Nancy Drew File?

Shell in the City said...

I enjoyed the ND Files, I was also a teenager at the time and enjoyed the romance and fashion aspects of the books. In fact, I would note on my desk calendar when the new ones were to come out so that I could buy them asap!

Shell in the City said...

One of my favorites of the ND Files was Till Death Do Us Part.

Regina L. said...

LOVED the ND Files - I was a teenager when they came out, and my friends and I DEVOURED those books. In my recent quest to become reacquainted with Nancy, I started re-reading these along with the original Mystery Stories. My favorite was Til Death Do Us Part, too - A really clever mystery with the great setup of Ned asking Nancy to marry him. This book could actually hold up as an adult mystery novel.

The longer the series continued, though, the more repetitive it became and the more it emphasized romance rather than mystery. Nancy and Ned fight, Nancy flirts with another guy, blah blah.

I've read some of the Girl Detective books, and they make me feel conflicted. I like that the spirit of Nancy resembles the original series, but the fact that she's kinda considered a dork and a klutz seems wrong, somehow. I get that they wanted to un- "Mary Sue" her, but still. Plus, the characters seem much younger than 18, even though Ned's in college and they refer to the fact that the girls aren't in high school anymore. It all just seems "off" to me.

On Campus - awful, awful. The characters bore no relation to any of the previous incarnations and it was all about romance and drama rather than mystery.

Jenn said...

@Lena--I like a lot of the early ones especially and the first one is one I've always liked where she goes undercover at the high school--Secrets Can Kill.

I think as with the Files and as with GD series, the earlier ones are much better when they're launching and putting more effort into getting them off the ground, and then as time goes on, the effort isn't as 100% as it once was.

Kara said...

I LOVED the supermysteries and still do! They're by far my favorite series outside of the originals.
The SuperSleuths and Be a Detective are pretty close behind.

I HATE the On Campus books. I absolutely cannot stand some of the changes in characters and their actions.

The Notebooks are cute for kids as with the Clue Crew.

The ND GD series started out kinda dumb imo but got better after the first book or two. went down hill again. They were too rushed and generic.

Nancy Drew files: I do really love these too. There are exceptions of course. Book 8 does not exist to me. But several of the others are fantastic! @Regina I LOVE Till Death do Us Part too! It's up their as my fav!

Regina L. said...

@Kara - Book 8 made me mad, too! :)

Nancy Lauzon said...

I agree, people read Nancy Drew for the mystery, so it sounds as though some of these spin-offs were way off base.


nancycollector said...

My favourite Nancy Drew series is the classic books. I read a combination of both original and revised texts books as a child so the first 56 books hold a special place. I liked the Files series and read most of them up to about book 70. I also like the Notebooks very much - entertaining stories for younger readers. The Supermysteries were great with the Hardys - longer stories with more mystery. I disliked the soap opera like On Campus series and the first person Girl Detective books. In that series, I felt "Nancy" was missing from "Nancy Drew." I like the heroine to be like "trailblazing" 1930s Nancy or "finishing school" 1960s Nancy, but I didn't like "scatterbrained" 2000s Nancy. I also didn't care to read the Clue Crew books because they are somewhat similar to the Girl Detective series.

Anonymous said...

I love the Files/Supermysteries! I read them around the same time as the classics, and I liked that they were more towards "whodunnit" than suspense on the mystery spectrum. Too many favorites to list, though #24 is certainly included!

The graphic novels are for the most part pretty good (though I wish they hadn't revamped the series). I think it really helps to have consistent author/illustrators.

Notebooks and Clue Crew both seem pretty good from what I've read. Clue Crew Nancy is less of a klutz, and I do like that there is a consistent wider cast of characters with her classmates.

I agree with everyone else, though, that the On Campus series was a total fail. I read one and will never read another.

Jennifer said...

Of the spin-off series, the Nancy Drew Files is the best. However, the series does suffer from too much repetition, and by the time I read through all 124 of them, I could not remember what most of them were about. I did enjoy many of them, though. I just wish I could remember which ones. :(

Jan said...

I know so little about anything beyond the first 56 volumes - this is so interesting!
Jan Rader

Jewel Divas said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the Files series, Nancy's wardrobe was outstanding. All those clothes of hers and Bess, had me in a frenzy trying to find matching stuff where I live. I succeeded for awhile too, having the same pieces as Nancy, Bess or George.

On Campus was bad, last on my list. Notebooks and Clue Crew are great for little kids, although CC and GD have overusage of Nancy being a klutz etc, and I don't think books should have demeaning words or phrases where the characters put themselves down.

I also loved the series 79-175, although towards the end of those they got bad with the age change and smirking at each other all the time. Ugh! Bad! But the early ones were great.

Also loved Ghost Stories, Supermysteries and all the bits and pieces. Not so much now. Not enough Supermystery action for me.

Tiara :)