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6 Ideas For Nancy Drew’s 90th Birthday (That Aren’t Killing Her)

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Annika Barranti Klein

Staff Writer

Annika Barranti Klein likes books, obviously.   Twitter: @noirbettie

So it would seem that a bunch of men have decided that the best way to celebrate the 90th anniversary of The Secret of the Old Clock is to once again team up Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys (yay!) so that the latter can solve the former’s murder…wait whut.

Yeah. Some men are writing a story about some boys solving the murder of Nancy Drew. To celebrate Nancy’s birthday.


Now, I realize that there is basically no way on earth that Nancy is actually dead. And I do, believe it or not, understand how marketing works. But selling it this way is harmful and insulting, and there are so many better ways it could have been done. Starting with HIRING WOMEN, immediately moving to NOT GOING WITH THIS STORY LINE AT ALL and concluding with MORE TRANSPARENT MARKETING. It’s not like Nancy Drew is a hard sell.

I have some suggestions for that middle point, even if I think all of this is basically unfixable if you’re not going to hire women. But what do I know.

6 Ideas For Nancy Drew’s 90th Birthday (That Aren’t Killing Her)

1. One of the Hardy Boys has been murdered (or at least it looks that way). The surviving brother comes to Nancy Drew for help solving the mystery.

PROS: No killing off Nancy, or even pretending to! Still a Hardy Boys crossover! It is okay to (pretend to) kill off a dude, because there is no history of fridging men for women’s stories!
CONS: I mean, I guess this could still suck if you leave out Bess and George? So don’t do that.

2. Nancy Drew is missing (isn’t that better than murdered?!) and Bess and George solve the mystery. Optionally, they may involve the Hardy Boys to keep it a crossover.

PROS: Literally everything!
CONS: Literally none!

3. Crossover with the Dana Girls instead! The Dana Girls were another Stratemeyer Syndicate creation, also written by Carolyn Keene, also crime-solving girl detectives. They’re sisters, which makes them like the Hardy Boys but better!

PROS: Keeping it in the Stratemeyer/Keene family! More girl detectives! You can use kinda any plot you want here and it won’t matter! NO FRIDGING!
CONS: I can’t think of any! I mean, I guess it needs a plot. Details!

4. Nancy Drew retires from the Girl Detective life, only to get pulled back in when her dad, attorney Carson Drew, is forced to ask the Hardy Boys for help on a case and they go missing. Nancy has to solve the case and rescue the boys.

PROS: Still a Hardy Boys crossover! Back to basics with helping out Carson!
CONS: Eh, it isn’t terribly exciting or original, but that’s kind of the formulaic series way.

5. Nancy wants Bess and George to attend an event with her and Ned Nickerson, but the girl detective’s best friends don’t have dates! The Hardy Boys fill in at the last minute.

PROS: This is a terrible idea, and yet it is somehow still superior to the crap that is being published.
CONS: Everything else.

6. Murder (or pretend to murder) literally anyone else! The only people not on the table here are Bess, George, and Hannah Gruen! My pitch: Murder Carson Drew and have all the detectives who’ve ever graced the pages of a Stratemeyer novel get together to solve the murder! (Guess what, he faked it for a case.)

PROS: Everything! This is a pretty good idea!
CONS: None!

Listen, I came up with these in approximately 15 minutes. And yet? Somehow? They are better than the hot garbage that is parading around as a Dynasty Comics press release.

Do better, comics. And hire some goddamn women.