Saturday, May 1, 2010

Could Morgantown be River Heights?

It’s been such a busy week in River Heights—er, um, Morgantown—we nearly missed a very important occasion: the 80th anniversary of the publication of the first Nancy Drew mystery, The Secret of the Old Clock. Thank heavens Professor Rosemary Hathaway alerted TCH to this important event. The actual date was April 28, but any day is a good day for sleuthing, so keep on celebrating.

And if you’re a diehard Nancy Drew fan (and if you’re not, why not? what’s wrong with you?), you might consider the Nancy Drew Challenge, which is to read the first 56 books—the ones with the yellow spines—in 2010. It’s not too late to start.

If you’d like to cheat, check out Bookshelves of Doom, a quite wonderful blog that includes plot summaries and various “what’s up with that?” moments for many Nancy Drew mysteries. Here, for example, is everything you need to know about Nancy from that first book: "She's not just good at changing tires. Nancy is also generous—she buys groceries for an old lady. And she's an Emma-style meddler—she finds out that a girl wants to sing and tricks her into an audience with a premier operatic voice instructor who just happens to live in River Heights. She may be rich, but she's no snob—she loooooves to help poor people. She has an excellent appetite, can cook, is well-versed in first aid, loves hiking, can repair an outboard motor, is athletic and knows how to use a lever, is very responsible, and maybe most importantly, has fantastic women's intuition."

Wow, huh? Especially the part about the lever. Who knew?

And if anyone wants to play Nancy Drew this summer, please speak with Professor Dennis Allen or me. Professor Allen will be purchasing a roadster very soon and we intend to drive hither and yon sleuthing and allowing people to admire our brains and good looks. After all, Morgantown is very much like Nancy's hometown of River Heights, a town in which "everyone knows everyone" and yet a mystery lurks around every corner. Think about it. It's kinda true.


  1. So does that make Dennis Bess, or George? Not Ned--nobody wants to be lame old boyfriend Ned. In case you need some cool merch to get outfitted for your adventures, check this out:

  2. From the looks of this book's cover, she can also transport herself into other fictional works; Wuthering Heights, in this case.

  3. Originally, I had planned to be the detective, with Mary Ann as one of the sidekicks (Bess, I think), but Mary Ann explained that I had misunderstood the meaning of "nancy."

  4. Mary Ann, did you ever see the Nancy Drew themed Northern Exposure episode? Or anyone else for that matter? There's a great sequence with Janine Turner dressed up like her.