it all began with a dime-novel genius who ran a sort of fiction factory.
and a dark-blue convertible.
now, amateur girl sleuth nancy drew is celebrating her 80th anniversary [though she's aged only two years － from 16 to 18 － in the series].
and over the years, her car has also been green, yellow and maroon.
edward stratemeyer of the stratemeyer syndicate created nancy, but died just two weeks following her debut on april 28, 1930, in the secret of the old clock.
his daughters, edna and harriet, stepped up and ran the syndicate for another 52 years.
nancy's author, carolyn keene, was just a pen name for various ghostwriters. the first carolyn keene was mildred wirt benson, who wrote 23 of the first 30 books. harriet stratemeyer adams wrote volumes 31 and 33-56.
since her debut, nancy has solved over 500 cases － but in the classic series [volumes 1-56], never solved murders. over 200 million nancy books have been sold worldwide.
the first 34 volumes were reduced from 25 to 20 chapters, and were revised to omit racial stereotypes.
all three women supreme court justices － sandra day o'connor, ruth bader ginsburg and sonia sotomayor － have noted "daring, intelligent, with tons of initiative" nancy as an early influence.
oh, yeah － and oprah's a fan.
happy happy anniversary to everyone's favorite amateur girl detective, her best friends bess & george, her beau ned and her dog togo － sleuth on, nancy!!
image source: nancy drew sleuth unofficial website