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Nancy Drew bigger and better or just one more retread?

Scanning Publisher’s Lunch this morning, I discovered Nancy Drew is being trotted out one more time but as a woman for the 21st century. USA Today’s Gary Strauss commented on the “heavy dose of 21st-century hipness and relevancy” being injected in the Nancy Drew series, beginning with four new books coming in March. (S&S plans to issue six books a year.) ‘She tools around River Heights in an environmentally friendly, gas/electric hybrid car. She uses computers to solve detective work. And she tells her crime-fighting tales in first person.’ Meanwhile, the first Nancy Drew mystery still sells; THE SECRET OF THE OLD CLOCK is said to have sold 150,000 hardcovers last year (that’s what it says).”
USA Today story

As I read this I recalled Houston’s mystery writer Joan Lowrey Nixon’s comments in an interview a couple of years ago. She spoke of the inspiration she received as a young girl from reading the Nancy Drew books. (On a sad note, Joan–a 5-time Edgar winner–left us last year but her lifetime achievement in writing is a source of inspiration for other writers and a continued pleasure-filled reading experience for young adults and children.) “Nancy Drew was ahead of her time because she was so independent,” said Joan. “She had that independence kids craved. She didn’t have to ask permission for anything. She just did it.”

Will the “hip, new” Nancy Drew catch on? She will if Simon and Schuster and Her Interactive have anything to do with it. They’ve already licensed the name and have Nancy Drew “apparel, video games and backpacks.” Now USA Today reports the publisher and Warner Brothers are considering a film. Will The Case of the Branding of Nancy Drew make it to the silver screen soon? Probably not, a woman of the 21st century must go DVD.


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