Written by Penny Warner
Published by Quirk Books
We grew up with the original Nancy Drew series, and while we have our reservations about newer adaptations (and some slightly less new adaptations of Carolyn Keene’s books, we are delighted that the titian-haired detective is being introduced to the growing number of Younger People Than Us out there. But what we like in particular are the tongue-in-cheek homages like this fabulous book. If you’ve ever secretly wanted to emulate everyone’s favorite girl sleuth, then The Official Nancy Drew Handbook is for you.
Even when you first lay eyes on the wonderfully retro cover, it is clear that author Penny Warner has an appreciation for Nancy’s legacy. She quotes from the original books and alludes to specifics from Carolyn Keene’s oeuvre throughout this guide. Lest the quick-texting girls of today get bored with Nancy’s square reputation, however, Warner adds really nice touches of modernity to update the teenage detective and her advice. The guide to stocking your handbag, therefore, includes not only a handkerchief and magnifying glass, but your PDA and cell phone as well, along with some hand sanitizer. While you can still learn How to Tap Out a Morse Code Message With Your High-Heeled Shoes, assuming of course that you’ve been kidnapped by a bad guy (see How to Tell a Good Guy From a Bad Guy in Chapter 4 or How to Thwart a Kidnapping in Chapter 5), you also learn How to Set a Goal and Stick to It, a good skill for any young woman these days.
Whether you grew up with the classic Nancy Drew, or didn’t know who she was until Emma Roberts hit the screen recently, The Official Nancy Drew Handbook is a joy for any age to read and appreciate. Warner has kept the spirit of our heroine alive in this very enjoyable guide, and we do think that Nancy would approve of the efficiency and style in which her lifestyle is being taught to new generations.