Nancy Drew and Her Sister Sleuths

Essays on the Fiction of Girl Detectives

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About the Book

This collection of essays focuses on the girl sleuth, made famous by Nancy Drew but also characterized by other famous detectives like Cherry Ames, Trixie Belden, Linda Carlton, and even in contemporary media by Veronica Mars and Hermione Granger of the Harry Potter series. Topics include the disputed origins of Nancy Drew and the Stratemeyer Syndicate; the intertwined relationships between the Syndicate and Nancy Drew’s many ghostwriters; the distinct and evolving textual identities of the Cherry Ames series; the adaptation of the traditional archetype by contemporary girl detectives like Veronica Mars, Lulu Dark, and Ingrid Levin-Hill; and the ways in which Harry Potter’s Hermione Granger, while a central character in the series, is often at odds with the male-centric, fantasy-genre world of Harry Potter himself.

About the Author(s)

Michael G. Cornelius is an award-winning novelist and the author or editor of numerous scholarly works. He is the chair of English and Communications at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

Melanie E. Gregg is an associate professor of French at Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania. Her research is focused primarily on French women writers of the Early Modern period and the twentieth century.

Bibliographic Details

Edited by Michael G. Cornelius and Melanie E. Gregg

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 216
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2008
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3995-9
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vi
Introduction: The Mystery of the Moll Dick
MICHAEL G. CORNELIUS      1

The Nancy Drew Mythtery Stories
JAMES D. KEELINE      13
Originator, Writer, Editor, Hack: Carolyn Keene and Changing Definitions of Authorship
LINDA K. KARELL      33
Alice Roy, Détective: Nancy Drew in French Translation
MELANIE E. GREGG      47
Race and Xenophobia in the Nancy Drew Novels: “What kind of society…?”
LEONA W. FISHER      63
“They blinded her with science”: Science Fiction and Technology in Nancy Drew
MICHAEL G. CORNELIUS      77
Linda Carlton: Flying Sleuth/Sleuthing Flier
FRED ERISMAN      96
The Girl Sleuths of Melody Lane
H. ALAN PICKRELL      109
Measuring Up to the Task: Cherry Ames as Nurse and Sleuth
ANITA G. GORMAN and LESLIE ROBERTSON MATEER      124
Puzzles, Paternity, and Privilege: The Mysterious Function(s) of the Family in Trixie Belden
STEVEN J. ZANI      140
Not Nancy Drew but Not Clueless: Embodying the Teen Girl Sleuth in the Twenty-first Century
MARLA HARRIS      152
Hermione Granger as Girl Sleuth
GLENNA ANDRADE      164
Teen Sleuth Manifesto
MELISSA FAVARA and ALLISON SCHUETTE-HOFFMAN      179

About the Contributors 199
Index203

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “an excellent addition…recommended”—Choice
  • “interesting…thought-provoking…a great choice”—School Library Journal
  • “an absorbing read”—Feminist Collections
  • “valuable collection…most of the essays are highly readable and cover fresh ground”—Mystery Scene
  • “a welcome addition”—Dime Novel Round-Up
  • “interesting, useful, and sometimes entertaining volume”—Children’s Literature Association Quarterly