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Nancy Drew Wiki

Nancy Drew: Girl Detective is the second main Nancy Drew book series, meant to serve as a replacement for the original Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. It was published from March 2004 to February 2012 by Aladdin, a subdivision of Simon & Schuster.

The Girl Detective series was developed following the retiring of longtime editor Anne Greenberg in 2002. Wanting to boost sales to compete with other series, Girl Detective dramatically altered the franchise by featuring stories in the first person, and gave some dramatic changes to the lead characters. It also expanded the universe by giving a more in-depth look at River Heights and its quirky citizens.

Though the series debuted to much publicity and strong sales, it also attracted strong criticism for its changes to both the format and characterization of Nancy Drew. To combat slipping sales, the series had a soft relaunch into a trilogy format that was universally panned. In December 2011, Simon & Schuster announced the cancellation of the series with a new replacement, the Nancy Drew Diaries.


The publisher describes the series in the following way:

Nancy Drew has a new spring in her step. And it's no wonder: We've given her whole world more oomph. In the all-new Nancy Drew, we've enhanced and expanded everything you've loved about Nancy, Bess, and George, and the rest of Nancy's crew. You loved the series before, but with more dimension, you'll love the series even more now! Learn why River Heights is such a hotbed of criminal activity, meet some new key sources of information for Nancy on all her cases, become acquainted with Nancy's new nemesis, and become even closer friends with Bess and George. And that's just the beginning...


In the 1990s and early 2000s, sales of the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories had begun to drop. In 1997, Simon & Schuster cancelled The Nancy Drew Files and its spinoff series due to low sales, but continued the Mystery Stories. However, sales continued to decline; in early 2005, a Simon & Schuster representative said that the digests had been selling about 30,000 copies.

In 2002, longtime editor Anne Greenberg - who had overseen the series since Simon & Schuster bought the Stratemeyer Syndicate in 1986 - retired from the series. As such, it was decided to end the original series and relaunch the character into a new series. The new series was designed to reluanch the Nancy Drew franchise and format to compete with other series in the 8-12 demographic. The new series was developed by writer Bonnie Bryant.[1]

George Edward Stanley served as the ghostwriter of Stop the Clock and Framed.[2] Fans have also speculated that A Race Against Time and High Risk share a ghostwriter.

List of Books[]

# Title Release Arc
1 Without a Trace March 2004
2 A Race Against Time
3 False Notes
4 High Risk
5 Lights, Camera... May 2004 Two-part story
6 ...Action! July 2004
7 The Stolen Relic September 2004
8 The Scarlet Macaw Scandal November 2004
9 Secret of the Spa January 2005
10 Uncivil Acts March 2005
11 Riverboat Ruse May 2005
12 Stop the Clock July 2005
13 Trade Wind Danger September 2005
14 Bad Times, Big Crimes November 2005
15 Framed January 2006
16 Dangerous Plays March 2006
17 En Garde May 2006
18 Pit of Vipers July 2006
19 The Orchid Thief September 2006
20 Getting Burned October 2006
21 Close Encounters December 2006
22 Dressed to Steal February 2007
23 Troubled Waters April 2007
24 Murder on the Set May 2007
25 Trails of Treachery August 2007
26 Fishing for Clues October 2007
27 Intruder December 2007
28 Mardi Gras Masquerade February 2008
29 The Stolen Bones April 2008
30 Pageant Perfect Crime June 2008 Perfect Mystery Trilogy
31 Perfect Cover July 2008
32 The Perfect Escape October 2008
33 Secret Identity December 2008 Identity Mystery Trilogy
34 Identity Theft January 2009
35 Identity Revealed March 2009
36 Model Crime June 2009 Model Mystery Trilogy
37 Model Menace August 2009
38 Model Suspect October 2009
39 Green-Eyed Monster December 2009 Eco-Mystery Trilogy
40 Green with Envy February 2010
41 Seeing Green April 2010
42 Secret Sabotage June 2010 Sabotage Mystery Trilogy
43 Serial Sabotage October 2010
44 Sabotage Surrender February 2011
45 California Schemin' June 2011 Malibu Mayhem Trilogy
46 Mystery at Malachite Mansion October 2011
47 Stalk, Don't Run February 2012


Super Special Edition[]

Graphic Novels[]

Graphic novels series were released in paperback and hardcover format by Papercutz.

# Title Release Arc
1 The Demon of River Heights February 2005
2 Writ in Stone July 2005
3 The Haunted Dollhouse November 2005
4 The Girl Who Wasn't There February 2006
5 The Fake Heir April 2006
6 Mr. Cheeters is Missing July 2006
7 The Charmed Bracelet October 2006
8 Global Warming February 2007
9 Ghost in the Machinery May 2007 The High Miles Mystery trilogy
10 The Disoriented Express August 2007
11 Monkey-Wrench Blues November 2007
12 Dress Reversal February 2008
13 Doggone Town May 2008
14 Sleight of Dan August 2008
15 Tiger Counter November 2008
16 What Goes Up... February 2009
17 Night of the Living Catchke May 2009 2-part mystery arc
18 City Under the Basement August 2009
19 Cliffhanger November 2009
20 High School Mystery February 2010 2-part High School Mystery arc
21 High School Mystery: Part II: The Lost Verse May 2010
Nancy Drew: The New Case Files
1 Nancy Drew, Vampire Slayer September 2010
2 Nancy Drew, Vampire Slayer II: A Vampire's Kiss December 2010
3 Together with the Hardy Boys August 2011



  • Nancy Drew is eighteen years old and lives with her father in River Heights. When Nancy was three years old, her mother died. Nancy is quick-witted, but sometimes forgetful when thinking about a case. Luckily, her friends George and Bess, and her boyfriend Ned Nickerson, are there to help her. Bess tries to get Nancy to wear clothes that Bess likes because she thinks they are fashionable, but Nancy prefers comfort over style.
  • Carson Drew is Nancy's father, a lawyer who is famous in River Heights. He has a gift for solving difficult crimes, which he passed down to his daughter. He has been a widower since Nancy's mom died when she was three.
  • George Fayne, her real name being Georgia, is an athletic computer whiz and one of Nancy's best friends. She is a sarcastic pessimist, who tends to be moody.
  • Bess Marvin is Nancy's other best friend and George's cousin, though they don't have much in common except their friendship to Nancy. Bess is flirty and, according to Nancy, seems perfect in every way.
  • Ned Nickerson is Nancy's boyfriend. He sometimes comes along with Nancy on her cases. Ned is in college and tends to be casual. He works for his father's newspaper, River Heights Bugle.
  • Hannah Gruen has been living with the Drew family ever since Nancy's mother died. Hannah is their housekeeper and is like a member of the family, therefore she is protective of Nancy, sometimes even when she is working on a case. But she trusts Nancy.
  • Deirdre Shannon is Nancy's arch-enemy and former classmate. Deirdre's grade school nickname was Dee-Dee. Their dislike for each other began when they were in first grade. Deirdre's father is also an attorney. She has a big crush on Ned Nickerson; even though he is dating Nancy, she will flirt with him. Sometimes, Deirdre tries hard to be as obnoxious as possible. With her black hair, green eyes and pale skin she looks like another Cruella De Vil.
  • Chief McGinnis is the figure of the law in the series. In the old Nancy Drew stories, he and Nancy had a friendly relationship, but in Girl Detective their relationship is more antagonistic. Nancy beats him to crime scenes and solves mysteries before him, so he is jealous of her success.
  • Luther Eldridge is an expert on River Heights history and he often helps Nancy on her cases. Nancy likes spending time with Luther because she can learn interesting things from him. When Nancy was in the first grade, his entire family - including his daughter, Nancy's classmate - was killed in a car accident.
  • Mrs. Mahoney is the wealthiest person in River Heights and the owner of Rackham Industries. Her husband's ancestors were the Rackham Gang. The Rackham Gang was part of the great River Heights Heist and escaped with the money by using the Muskoka River. Mrs. Mahoney's husband is the only thing that makes her related to the Rackham Gang.
  • Harold Safer is Nancy's neighbor. He owns the town's cheese shop and likes sunsets and Broadway musicals. In the first book, Without a Trace, Harold is accused of smashing a zucchini patch. Nancy and her friends help him prove his innocence.
  • Charlie Adams is a worker at Carr's Garage. He has an unrequited crush on Nancy, and half of the time does not even charge her. In Pit of Vipers, he is framed for the theft of a snake; Nancy is surprised to find he is a rare snake collector.
  • Evaline Waters is the town librarian. She is a friend of Nancy's and Mrs. Mahoney. In High Risk, she almost loses her home to Rackham Industries, but Nancy is able to find an old zoning law to help save her home.
  • Scotty Fayne is George's annoying twelve-year-old brother. He frequently calls her by her real name.
  • Maggie Marvin is Bess' twelve-year-old sister.


Without a Trace reached the New York Times bestseller list in the Children’s Series category, and #113 on USA Today’s Top 150 sellers list.

The series received harsh reviews from fans, who mostly criticized changes made to Nancy; these included making Nancy clumsy, absent-minded, and incompetent. Several books were also criticized for continuity errors and editing mistakes. The series received even more criticism in trilogy format, in which new complaints were given towards the lack of action, slow pacing, an overuse of numerous bland, unmemorable characters, and the mysteries being spread into the trilogy when it was unnecessary.


  1. Jacobson, Aileen (March 14, 2004). The case of the new Nancy Drew. Newsday. Retrieved January 12, 2023.
  2. George Edward Stanley Papers. The University of Southern Mississippi -- de Grummond Children's Literature Collection. Retrieved January 12, 2023.