Prolific illustrator Joseph Rudolph Nappi - known to fans of Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys as Rudy Nappi, passed away at the age of 92 on March 13, 2015, preceded in death by his wife Peggy just a few days prior.
Rudy was our guest of honor at our 2010 Nancy Drew 80th Anniversary Convention in Florida - both at our "land" convention on Merritt Island and then on our "sea" convention on a cruise to the Bahamas. They were both so friendly and kind to fans and seemed to have a very good time chatting about his illustration career.
We presented him with our highest honor, the Nancy Drew Sleuths Honorary Sleuth Award.
He illustrated many of the classic Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew books. His first Nancy Drew cover was for book #30, The Clue of the Velvet Mask, published in 1953. He would go on to do original first art covers for books 30-34, go back and revise covers for books 1-5 and 8-34 and then did the original/only art covers for books 35-56 from 1953 to 1979. Here are the first and last Nancy Drew covers he painted.
Here are 2 original Nancy Drew paintings produced by Rudy Nappi for book 2 The Hidden Staircase and book 33 The Witch Tree Symbol: