Life, according to Nancy Drew

In fifth grade, after I’d exhausted the library’s supply of Three Investigators titles, I discovered Nancy Drew a couple of aisles away, and then proceeded to exhaust the titles on that shelf. Most of the Nancy Drews I’ve read are the 90’s paperbacks, though, and I’ve only steadily made my way through the yellow-spined hardcover classics (1-56) in the past few years.

Last Christmas I got myself a nifty Nancy Drew book from Book Sale for only P140 (under $3!) — Clues for Real Life: The Classic Wit and Wisdom of Nancy Drew, which goes well with the Nancy Drew Address Book I found on sale at another bookstore.

Clues for Real Life is a handbook for life’s little mysteries, Nancy Drew style!

The introductory chapter starts out with a concise but colorful history of Nancy Drew  over the years. It discusses the identity of Carolyn Keene, who — I hope I’m not ruining anyone’s childhoods here — doesn’t really exist.

Nancy  Drew is the product of various authors writing for the Edward Stratemeyer Syndicate, the same group behind hit series The Bobbsey Twins, The Rover Boys, Tom Swift, The Outdoor Girls, Dorothy Dale, Ruth Fielding, and of course, the Hardy Boys. Edward Stratemeyer wrote up the plots and outlines, but the team of ghostwriters wrote the actual stories.

Nancy Drew was one of the last and most successful projects of Edward Stratemeyer. The series’ most notable ghostwriters include Mildred Wirt Benson (toted as “the original Carolyn Keene) and Edward Stratemeyer’s own daughter, Harriet Stratemeyer Adams.

The meat of the book is a collection of tips on various aspects of life: career, friendship, dating, dealing with difficult people, travel, style, and food — all based on Nancy’s experiences from the various mysteries she’s handled.

Hardbound and in full color, showcasing Nancy Drew cover art and chapter illustrations as well as several sleuth-worthy quizzes and puzzles, this is definitely a book for every Nancy Drew lover:

Nifty, huh? I really enjoyed reading this book!

Oh, and I just want to show you my Nancy Drew address book:

Nancy Drew just rocks! :)


Clues to Real Life: The Classic Wit and Wisdom of Nancy Drew, hardcover with dustjacket, 5/5 stars

Book #65 for 2010



20 thoughts on “Life, according to Nancy Drew”

    1. Hahaha I didn’t take a photo of my Nancy Drew books na. They’re an odd mix of hardbounds and worn-out paperbacks!

  1. this was the series that turned me the bookish person that i am now. i loved the adventure of going to exotic locations to solve mysteries. i also really enjoyed the friendship and romance between the characters. i can’t stand the modern sequels, though. i feel as if much of the magic with the series was lost with the addition of perkiness.

    1. The paperbacks (57-175 I think) from the original series are pretty well-written actually and show Nancy’s transition into the 90s. The case files are hit and miss, but readable. It’s the River Heights series that are far off the mark.

  2. Wow! Nice book. We have the complete hardbound Bobbsey Twins and Nancy Drew series from childhood – my mom made sure to keep them safe at her house, where the nephews and nieces may read but not take home! All plastic-covered, naturally ;-)

    1. Envious! Saw Gege’s collection too at her parents’ house — droolworthy. Am collecting them piece by piece, so someday, hopefully, I’ll have the complete set too :D

      The new hardbounds are just awful! The binding’s stiff and the book is hard to open. They’ve redone the inside illustrations too. Retro-style, but you know they’re new.

  3. Oh you’ve made me nostalgic! I loved Nancy Drew! I owned an entire collection of those hardbound old fashioned Nancy Drew books. But I never knew Carolyn Keene didn’t exist! :(
    Those books were so wholesome. The new ones are a tad racy by the old standards, aren’t they? Anyway, the book you’ve got there is really cool! Would have loved to have had it before.

    1. The later casefiles and the River Heights series, those were the ones that were more grownup and gritty.

      I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for more copies of this book; I’d love to give one away here.

    1. :) I’m afraid I’m not giving away any of these books at the moment. In case I find another copy to give away here, will let you know

  4. Hi, Blooey! :)

    I’m happy you reviewed this really cool book. Am an ND fan. When I saw this book sa booksale, would have wanted to give this away to a friend but I thought against it kasi nga like na like ko. Hehe

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