Friday, July 30, 2010

2010 Book Hunting For Nancy Drew #1

During our 80th anniversary Nancy Drew convention this year in Florida, we chartered a bus and spent a day book hunting around the Merritt Island/Orlando/Deltona area which was fabulous. Another day after sightseeing, we ended up in Melbourne at Judi Weaver's Mystery Manor Book Shop. It was to die for! :)

Thousands of series books--many in pristine condition, some full to near full series. Series book heaven or as one Sleuth coined it, a "bookgasm."

Look through these images (click for a larger image) to get a better view and if you're interested in contacting Judi about books you need for your collection, her e-mail is:

Lots of books and collectibles!

Costumes and other memorabilia for sale too.

Just one corner area of shelves!

Sleuth Gina found the Nancy Drew 70s Halloween costume!

Sleuth Jim scored a signed Nancy Drew book!

Lady Judi Weaver

So much to see!

So happy to be there!

Tables stacked with more books!

Foreign editions too!


Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Nancy Drew Pocketbook Mysteries

Check out this photo of actress Jennifer Garner's daughter Violet--she's carrying the Nancy Drew Pocketbook Mysteries set! It is a cute book bag that comes with the first 2 Nancy Drew books. It features the vintage 1930 cover from The Secret of the Old Clock, but the books are the 2 revised versions still being published today by Penguin/Grosset & Dunlap.

I have just the bags, (no books), up for sale at The Sleuth Shop.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Stop The Presses! Nancy Drew Cusses!

UPDATE - Nancy Drew Cusses No More!

This was not any kind of policy to make Nancy Drew edgy has some have theorized at discussion groups online and Facebook, which I really didn't think so myself. It was simply an editorial mistake that will not happen again. It will be corrected in future printings. They aim to keep Nancy Drew cuss-free as well as drug/sex/et...c. free as is the usual, so that should take care of that!


It was brought to my attention by fans that the latest Nancy Drew/Hardy Boys paperback Super Mystery Gold Medal Murder which just came out, has Nancy Drew cussing. I was really surprised! I feel a mixture of very mild amusement (as in could have been worse the word she said!) and yet at the same time I'm kind of saddened and shaking my head because bottom line, it's just inappropriate for a children's book--most of all, it's inappropriate for Nancy Drew. And fans are really unhappy across the board from what I can tell from younger ones to the older set. Over the last few years I've heard people mention a typo or a grammar error that slipped through and then more recently a few continuity errors (River Heights suddenly becoming River City and Ned Nickerson's name changing/etc.) that had me shaking my head a little, but this latest one with the cussing seems to have really crossed a line.

In all of 80 years since Nancy Drew debuted in 1930, she's never cussed. She's always been polite and skilled in etiquette and even when she's been frustrated or upset, she never cursed, nothing like that, some times she held back retorts and just put a smile on her face instead to irritate the criminals. The Stratemeyer Syndicate who created and produced this series for 54 years until it was sold to Simon and Schuster had a police of "safe and sane" books for kids - wholesome fun entertainment which never crossed a line into politics, social issues, drugs/alcohol, overt romance, sex, or any of those kinds of subjects. These are kids books after all ;) Simon and Schuster has had the series in it's ownership since 1984 and has towed the line with some minor exceptions--Files series and On Campus for older teens--but for the 8 to 12 set they've kept the books wholesome.

When parents and grandparents think of Nancy Drew, they know these books are good wholesome entertainment for kids. Nancy Drew is supposed to be a role model for girls and boys. People don't expect to see cussing, they don't expect to see social issues that can be controversial, drugs, sex and those kinds of things. These things may be deemed OK for other children's books (well, not really in my opinion), but never for a Nancy Drew book.

In the latest, Gold Medal Murder Super Mystery, Nancy says the word "damn" in the 2nd to last chapter (pg. 163) and here is the context - Frank is chasing the culprit and talking to Nancy on the phone--things aren't going right and Nancy thinks to herself:

"Damn! I thought. If [he/she] got out of the house, our
chances of catching [him/her] were slim."

In most circles, the word "damn" is considered profanity and is not appropriate for children especially those in the 8 to 12 set to which these books are targeted for. Regardless of the fact that at least she didn't say the F-word or the S-word or something to that effect, she still cussed and no one that's speaking out about this so far finds that acceptable. We've had discussions at the discussion group online and at our Nancy Drew Facebook.

What you find in a children's book, should be something that a mature and responsible adult, who should know better, would find appropriate. "Damn" is really not. And parents, teachers, Home-Schoolers, librarians, etc. shouldn't feel like they have to censor a Nancy Drew book or keep it from a child.

I'm not sure if this is an issue where an editor missed this or actually thought it was reasonable and let it slide, or if this was a new policy instituted to make the books more "edgy." I hope it's not the latter and that it's an oversight.


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Mildred Wirt Benson aka Carolyn Keene

Happy 105th to our original Carolyn Keene, Mildred Wirt Benson. She was born in Ladora, IA in 1905 on July 10. She was only 24 when she wrote the first Nancy Drew book. She came to this great opportunity from having been hired by Edward Stratemeyer who created Nancy Drew. He gave her a job writing Ruth Fielding books and that segued into the Nancy Drew series.

Aside from her legacy as Carolyn Keene, she also wrote other books and series--135 published works (sometimes erroneously stated as 136 if you're including the UK version of Quarry Ghost, which I don't as it's just a foreign edition). A favorite of hers was the Penny Parker series:

Mildred was also a journalist and an adventurer in her later years. Here she flies for a news story:

In her later years she received recognition for having written some of the early Nancy Drew books and that meant fans would come calling--like our Nancy Drew Sleuths group who met her in 2001 in Toledo. Here she is signing some books for us:

She was quite the fascinating woman and very intelligent. Some of her adventures have even rivaled those of Nancy Drew - like getting kidnapped in S. America once.


Friday, July 09, 2010

Nancy Drew Books: Scary Things Kids (& Adults) Do #4

Another eBay gem--and someone bid on it! I wonder if they thought the footprints were original to the cover?

I suppose the ink-stamped footprints all over the cover have an air of mystery about them ;) But what a way to deface a Nancy Drew book cover! Clever yet scary!