Happy 85th Birthday, Nancy Drew!

In Depth

Congratulations to Nancy Drew! Today the titian-haired girl detective celebrates her 85th birthday, and while (hopefully) a new generation of readers takes on The Secret Of the Old Clock and The Hidden Staircase, the rest of us can take a moment and fondly remember all the lessons the intrepid teen private eye has taught us.

As a fan of the books, the TV show, and the video games (not the movie), I’ve learned a great deal from Nancy Drew, such as the fact that haunted houses are never really inhabited by ghosts and also that the people who are friendliest during an investigation are usually the culprits, so you should never trust friendly people ever. I’ve also learned that pretty much anything can be done in a skirt (in fact, they’re quite comfortable for solving crimes) and that freelance mystery-solving is a pretty cool summer job—much more awesome than baby-sitting or working at Hot Dog On a Stick. And if you don’t need money, it’s an excellent opportunity to see the world and visit some of the earth’s creepiest castles, boarding schools, and carnivals.

While Nancy Drew may have faded from the spotlight in the last few years—her computer games aren’t doing particularly well and many teens I know don’t have any idea who she is—her legacy lives on with those of us who are in our 30s and beyond. I’ve been thinking of buying the entire run of Nancy’s adventures on Amazon, and her birthday may be as good a time as any to drop hundreds of dollars on children’s books with some clever twists. (Once someone tried to compare Nancy Drew to The Boxcar Children and I do not speak to that person anymore, because are you kidding me with that shit?) (Do not get me started on those awful brats.)

Happy Birthday, Nancy!

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