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Girl Sleuths of the Golden Age by Helen Chappell

I was about eight when I first became a library patron. And the first book I checked out was a Nancy Drew. The Secret of the Old Clock was my first taste of the wonders of the golden-haired sleuth who could do no wrong. Living with her widowed father, famous attorney Carson Drew, Nancy, who seemed to be fresh out of high school, rode around the countryside in her blue roadster, with loyal, if slightly wimpy, boyfriend Ned Nickerson, and her two BFF’s, butch George and timorous Bess. Nancy didn’t work and didn’t go to college. Her father treated her like a cross between a spoiled puppy and a mature adult. The absence of a mother or anything like a chaperone gave Nancy all the freedom in the world to solve her mysteries. Ned, in the sexually non-threatening way preteen girls like, was there to provide the date and the muscle. Bess and George were there simply to sing backup to Nancy’s lead. Nancy was perfect, from the tip of her blonde head to the soles of her designer shoes, which made me sort of irritated with her. Turns out it also made a lot of other young girls irritated, too. But Nancy Drew mysteries were

like potato chips. You couldn’t stop with just one tale of Nancy tracking down a lost will or an evil diamond smuggler. Every Friday I returned the last Nancy to the library and checked out the next one. They came in blue covers, and the artwork dated the books to the ’30s, which made them positively quaint by the late ’50s. In the black and

Mildred Augustine Wirt Benson (Carolyn Keene) was the original author of the Nancy Drew mysteries. She passed away in 2002 at age 96. 9

March 2013 Tidewater Times  

March 2013 Tidewater Times

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