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Nancy Drew Wiki

The Nancy Drew Files a spin-off Nancy Drew series published by Simon & Schuster, which ran from 1986 to 1997. Developed after the sale of the Stratemeyer Syndicate to Simon & Schuster, this series saw Nancy solve more mature mysteries - oftentimes involving murder - and dealing with romantic dilemmas.


  • Nancy Drew - Nancy is the main character, who is repeatedly into mysteries and other guys besides her boyfriend, Ned Nickerson.
  • Bess Marvin - Bess has a lot of boyfriends through the series. This often gets her into trouble, like being kidnapped, such as The Final Scene.
  • George Fayne - Like in the other series, George is interested in sports. However, she also has some romantic interests as well, notably in the "Summer Love Trilogy".
  • Ned Nickerson - Ned is Nancy's on-and-off boyfriend, who has a rocky relationship with her.
  • Carson Drew - Nancy's father, a widowed lawyer, who sometimes gives Nancy mysteries.
  • Hannah Gruen - Hannah is the motherly housekeeper of the Drew's house, who has been working there since the death of Nancy's mother 15 years before.
  • Brenda Carlton - Brenda Carlton is a reporter for Today's Times, owned by her father, Frazier Carlton. She often causes trouble for Nancy, but is also portrayed as an incompetent rival for Nancy. She first debuts in Secrets Can Kill. She also appears in the Nancy Drew Notebooks, the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys SuperMysteries, and in some Digests books.
  • Chief McGinnis - McGinnis serves the same purpose as in other series, as River Heights' Chief of Police. Also staying is his friendly relationship with the Drews.
  • Detective Ryan - A local police detective, who often butts heads with Nancy.

Publishing history[]

Following the sale of the Stratemeyer Syndicate and its properties to Simon & Schuster, the publishers decided to launch a teen-oriented series to compete with such series as Sweet Valley High. Simon & Schuster put the original Nancy Drew series on hiatus for over a year to launch the Files series. The final two volumes to be published before the hiatus, The Bluebeard Room and The Phantom of Venice, are often referred to as "backdoor pilots" to The Nancy Drew Files.

Like the "Digest" books, The Nancy Drew Files was handled by book packager Mega-Books, and edited by Anne Greenberg. While the "Digest" books published a new book every other month, The Nancy Drew Files would publish a new book every month at its height. Both series utilized ghostwriters, many of whom are still unknown. However, some known for the Files series include: Susan Wittig Albert (#6, 11, 14, 22, 26), Bill Albert (#14, 22, 26), Deborah Gaines (#40, 44), and Louise Ladd (#90, 98).

At its height in the late 1980s, The Nancy Drew Files launched two spin-off series. The first was Supermystery, a crossover series with The Hardy Boys Casefiles. The second was River Heights, a romance/soap opera series introduced to directly compete against Sweet Valley High; the thirty-ninth novel, The Suspect Next Door, served as a "backdoor pilot" for the River Heights series. A third spin-off, Nancy Drew on Campus, was launched in 1995.

In the late 1990s, the popularity of all Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series in general began to wane. In 1995, Simon & Schuster announced The Nancy Drew Files would begin every-other-month releases like its parent series. Finally, in 1997, the publisher announced that all of the teenage-aimed Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys spin-offs would be cancelled. The Nancy Drew Files released its final title in December 1997.

At least four planned titles were rewritten into the Digest series. The Missing Horse Mystery matches an ISBN number originally given to Nancy Drew Files #128. The Case of the Captured Queen features Files recurring character Brenda Carlton, her only appearance in the Digest series.

List of titles[]

# Title Pub. Collected editions
1 Secrets Can Kill Jun 1986 Nancy Drew Files Vol. I
Nancy Drew Files Vol. I cover
ISBN 978-153446312
Sep 24, 2019
2 Deadly Intent
3 Murder on Ice Sep 1986
4 Smile and Say Murder Oct 1986 Nancy Drew Files Vol. II
Nancy Drew Files Vol. II cover
ISBN 978-1534463158
Sep 24, 2019
5 Hit and Run Holiday Nov 1986
6 White Water Terror Dec 1987
7 Deadly Doubles Jan 1987
8 Two Points to Murder Feb 1987
9 False Moves Mar 1987
10 Buried Secrets Apr 1987
11 Heart of Danger May 1987
12 Fatal Ransom Jun 1987
13 Wings of Fear Jul 1987
14 This Side of Evil Aug 1987
15 Trial by Fire Sep 1987
16 Never Say Die Oct 1987
17 Stay Tuned for Danger Nov 1987
18 Circle of Evil Dec 1987
19 Sisters in Crime Jan 1988
20 Very Deadly Yours Feb 1988
21 Recipe for Murder Mar 1988
22 Fatal Attraction Apr 1988
23 Sinister Paradise May 1988
24 Till Death Do Us Part Jun 1988
25 Rich and Dangerous Jul 1988
26 Playing with Fire Aug 1988
27 Most Likely to Die Sep 1988
28 The Black Widow Oct 1988
29 Pure Poison Nov 1988
30 Death by Design Dec 1988
31 Trouble in Tahiti Jan 1989
32 High Marks for Malice Feb 1989
33 Danger in Disguise Mar 1989
34 Vanishing Act Apr 1989
35 Bad Medicine May 1989
36 Over the Edge Jun 1989
37 Last Dance Jul 1989
38 The Final Scene Aug 1989
39 The Suspect Next Door Sep 1989
40 Shadow of a Doubt Oct 1989
41 Something to Hide Nov 1989
42 The Wrong Chemistry Dec 1989
43 False Impressions Jan 1990
44 Scent of Danger Feb 1990
45 Out of Bounds Mar 1990
46 Win, Place, or Die Apr 1990
47 Flirting with Danger May 1990
48 A Date with Deception (Summer of Love #1) Jun 1990
49 Portrait in Crime (Summer of Love #2) Jul 1990
50 Deep Secrets (Summer of Love #3) Aug 1990
51 A Model Crime Sep 1990
52 Danger for Hire Oct 1990
53 Trail of Lies Nov 1990
54 Cold as Ice Dec 1990
55 Don't Look Twice Jan 1991
56 Make No Mistake Feb 1991
57 Into Thin Air Mar 1991
58 Hot Pursuit Apr 1991
59 High Risk May 1991
60 Poison Pen Jun 1991
61 Sweet Revenge Jul 1991
62 Easy Marks Aug 1991
63 Mixed Signals Sep 1991
64 The Wrong Track Oct 1991
65 Final Notes Nov 1991
66 Tall, Dark, and Deadly Dec 1991
67 Nobody's Business Jan 1992
68 Crosscurrents Feb 1992
69 Running Scared Mar 1992
70 Cutting Edge Apr 1992
71 Hot Tracks May 1992
72 Swiss Secrets (Passport to Romance #1) Jun 1992
73 Rendezvous in Rome (Passport to Romance #2) Jul 1992
74 Greek Odyssey (Passport to Romance #3) Aug 1992
75 A Talent for Murder Sep 1992
76 The Perfect Plot Oct 1992
77 Danger on Parade Nov 1992
78 Update on Crime Dec 1992
79 No Laughing Matter Jan 1993
80 Power of Suggestion Feb 1993
81 Making Waves Mar 1993
82 Dangerous Relations Apr 1993
83 Diamond Deceit May 1993
84 Choosing Sides Jun 1993
85 Sea of Suspicion Jul 1993
86 Let's Talk Terror Aug 1993
87 Moving Target Sep 1993
88 False Pretenses Oct 1993
89 Designs in Crime Nov 1993
90 Stage Fright (Files) Dec 1993
91 If Looks Could Kill Jan 1994
92 My Deadly Valentine Feb 1994
93 Hotline to Danger Mar 1994
94 Illusions of Evil Apr 1994
95 An Instinct for Trouble May 1994
96 The Runaway Bride Jun 1994
97 Squeeze Play Jul 1994
98 Island of Secrets Aug 1994
99 The Cheating Heart Sep 1994
100 Dance Till You Die Oct 1994
101 The Picture Of Guilt Nov 1994
102 Counterfeit Christmas Dec 1994
103 Heart of Ice Jan 1995
104 Kiss and Tell Feb 1995
105 Stolen Affections Mar 1995
106 Flying Too High Apr 1995
107 Anything for Love May 1995
108 Captive Heart Jun 1995
109 Love Notes Jul 1995
110 Hidden Meanings Aug 1995
111 The Stolen Kiss Oct 1995
112 For Love or Money Dec 1995
113 Wicked Ways Feb 1996
114 Rehearsing For Romance Apr 1996
115 Running into Trouble Jun 1996
116 Under His Spell Aug 1996
117 Skipping a Beat Oct 1996
118 Betrayed by Love Dec 1996
119 Against the Rules Feb 1997
120 Dangerous Loves Apr 1997
121 Natural Enemies Jun 1997
122 Strange Memories Aug 1997
123 Wicked for the Weekend Oct 1997
124 Crime at the Ch@t Café Dec 1997

Nancy and Ned's relationship[]

In the Files series, Nancy and Ned have more depth in their relationship than any other series. They are often portrayed as a dysfunctional couple, who depend on the toxicity and drama of how Nancy's cases interfere with their relationship. Arguments are common between the two, mainly as it has something to do with Nancy's sleuthing, or a female in a case Nancy believes is getting too close to Ned. However, Ned does try and support Nancy's detective work, although he is not always successful in this.

Ned broke up with Nancy at the end of Two Points To Murder, because he thought that Nancy didn't trust other people anymore, and had even started distrusting him. He says that it's time that they started dating other people. They are seen with their new love interests in False Moves, and officially get back together in Buried Secrets.

In possibly the most notable book of the series, Till Death Do Us Part, Ned proposes to Nancy, to keep his promise that she would be the first girl he ever proposed to. Ned instead becomes engaged to another woman immediately after, although it is because he is using it as a cover to investigate her.

The romance and soap opera aspect of the series has been criticized by some fans. One of the main criticisms is that the romance is poorly written, or not given enough attention in the books to be effective.

Nancy's Cheating[]

A notable issue with the romantic aspect of the series is Nancy's frequent infidelity. Although she is in a relationship with Ned, Nancy has often kissed other men (who, for the most part, are suspects in the case) besides Ned. This can often cause some of the drama in their relationship, although it sometimes does not. Her behavior is often ignored or excused in the books, which has been criticized by fans. A list of these men include:

  • Secrets Can Kill - Darryl Gray
  • Smile and Say Murder - Mick Swanson
  • Hit and Run Holiday - Dirk Beaumon
  • Wings of Fear - Paul
  • Sisters in Crime - Peter
  • Summer of Love trilogy - Sasha

Foreign Editions[]

  • In Norway, the Nancy Drew Files were called Nancy Drew Tar Saken.
    • The publisher accidentally included the Digest book Stranger in the Shadows in the series. The cover was edited so that Nancy was not wearing a sweater, and was wearing a shirt instead.
    • Similarly, three Files books were put into the Norwegian Digest series.
  • In France, the Nancy Drew Files were called Les Enquêtes de Nancy.
    • The first 6 Files books were published, along with Digest books The Eskimo's Secret, The Bluebeard Room, and The Phantom of Venice.


External Links[]