Monday, January 07, 2019

31 Days of Nancy Drew Topic #7 Classic Nancy Drew Series Special Editions

31 Days of Nancy Drew Topic #7

Classic Nancy Drew Series Special Editions

There are a few special editions and books related to the classic 56 series and I want to briefly highlight those today. They are the The Nancy Drew Cookbook - Clues to Good Cooking, The Nancy Drew Sleuth Book - Clues to Good Sleuthing, and a set of 2 large picture cover books Mystery of the Lost Dogs and The Secret of the Twin Puppets and the Nancy Drew Triple Edition. There are library bound versions of all but the triple edition--at least I've never seen a library bound version of triple edition - if by chance anyone else has, let us know.


Loosely tied to Nancy Drew were A Nancy Drew Favorite Classic editions of Heidi, Grimms' Fairy Tales and Black Beauty. Grosset & Dunlap published these as Nancy Drew's favorite classics and the books feature that slogan.

I'll go into other collectible items - like boxed sets, coloring books/etc. in a future 31 days blog on classic book related collectibles. For today's blog you can see some information at my website on these in the book related collectibles section and also at my Pinterest board on these collectibles.

Nancy Drew Cookbook

I have a section of my website on the Nancy Drew Cookbook in which I somewhat (ha!) sarcastically review each chapter in depth and list contents and recipe info/etc. While there are some good recipes in the cookbook there are some very sinister sounding ingredients in some of these recipes! Like the Black Key Mystery Patties should frankly stay a mystery! And the Tolling Bell Tuna Rolls, well those might inspire the elfish dreams Nancy had in Tolling Bell, just sayin'. Of course, I'm a little picky, so perhaps my review is through the eyes of a pickier person but there are some definite ingredient abominations regardless of whether you're picky or not!

Fun facts: the first printing omitted tomatoes from the Italian Salsa di Pomidoro. Also the first printing has red endpapers. And, you will note inside the book on the copyright pages, it lists the printing year so these can be identified as to printing year. Further, the yellow spine picture covers printed in the 70s--some print runs for books featured an ad on the back of the book for the cookbook - two styles exist, one with "Solved" in red. I collect these for fun.

Penguin has reprinted this cookbook, though it's now out of print so you can find the reprint too. I have a cookbook that Harriet Adams signed and also another signed cookbook that comes with a letter relating to how it was signed which I've shown here.

History behind the scenes - Harriet Adams wasn't happy with the clip art style illustrations and also wanted it to have a spiral binding rather than the regular binding it has. In a 3-28-73 letter found at the Stratemeyer Syndicate archives at the NYPL from Harriet to Harold Roth, President at Grosset & Dunlap, she notes she's "ashamed of the first edition" and further goes on to state that "the book is a disaster and unworthy of being a companion to the Nancy Drew series. The fault rests with the art department and the layout person. From the beginning I was disappointed with the picture situation. I did not want sticks of butter or disproportionate milk cartons but sketches with some originality and cute quips, some of which we supplied but they were brushed off."  She also sends in comments she's received and tells Roth to read them and weep as she has. Noting, "My dream of a Nancy Drew super duper cookbook ended in a rude awakening." Hypers!

Publicly though, everything was coming up roses and Harriet praised the book. In an article dated 8-3-1973 in the Daily News, by Georgia Smith, "For Nancy Drew, cooking is no mystery now," the cookbook is reviewed. Smith states, "Now comes 'The Nancy Drew Cookbook' with enough recipes to keep Nancy trapped in the kitchen for 159 pages. Instead of cracking secret codes our plucky girl...has been reduced to cracking eggs and stirring up things like 'Sleuth Soup' and 'Hidden Staircase Biscuits.' " In the article, Harriet was interviewed and she credits Grosset & Dunlap with the cookbook idea, noting cookbooks were very popular. Harriet also said the recipes were developed in consultation with 3 of her 11 grandchildren at home on her farm. The woman who signed a release for ghosting the cookbook was Patsy Bogle, though Syndicate partner Nancy Axelrad has revealed that some of the recipes in the cookbook were provided by her and Harriet Adams. Nancy notes Mysterious Mannequin casserole, Souffle Gruen, Scarlet Slipper Raspberry Punch, and India Bhapa Doi were her submissions. So it appears to have been a collaboration of sorts.

Harriet was promised that a 2nd edition of the cookbook would fix illustration/etc. complaints, but that never happened.

Nancy Drew Sleuth Book

In 1979, The Nancy Drew Sleuth Book: Clues to Good Sleuthing was published by Grosset & Dunlap. It featured a large thumbprint on the cover with a silhouette of Nancy and her trusty magnifying glass--same scene repeats on the back cover. Cover design was by Rudy Nappi. Chapters ranged from handwriting to fingerprints to codes. Each chapter featured Nancy and her Detective Club and sleuthing stories with tips.

Penguin also reprinted this book, now out of print, but you can also find copies of the reprint.


Mystery of the Lost Dogs and The Secret of the Twin Puppets

Two oversized picture books, Lost Dogs and Twin Puppets - feature art by Rudy Nappi and illustrations inside by Tom O'Sullivan. The internal illustrations were published in black and also a brown shade so you can find both versions. And the library edition so  technically there are 3 books for each title you can collect with the different variations. Library editions have a library marking on the back cover -- logo - lower right area.


Nancy Drew Triple Edition

The triple edition encouraged readers to "Meet Nancy Drew" in the 3 exciting mysteries inside - The Secret of the Old Clock, The Hidden Staircase and The Bungalow Mystery. The cover is a special art that Rudy Nappi created for this which showcases the clock, staircase and bungalow surrounding Nancy's face. It was later used on the Twin Thriller book club edition featuring books 1 and 2.


In the comments, let me know if you collect these special editions? Which is your favorite? Have you read any of them and what did you think? Have you tried recipes from the Cookbook? If so, what are your favorites?

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