Nancy Drew and Scooby-Doo

by Barb, still at Crime Bake

Yes, that’s right, I’m still at the Crime Bake hotel, even though almost everyone else has packed up and gone home. It feels vaguely like that time in college when you had the very last final on the very last day before the Christmas holidays, and the dorm was empty and a little creepy.

But I’m actually still here for a happy reason. Long before my new granddaughter was born, we had determined that Veteran’s Day weekend was the best possible time for my son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter, Viola, to come up to meet the new niece/cousin. So we’re staying here for a couple of extra days and traveling to our daughter’s place in Boston to take turns holding the baby. (Infants are like campfires. You can stare at them endlessly.)

Many of you may have heard me bemoan that fact that children don’t read mysteries anymore. Vastly oversimplified, my fear is that while I cut my teeth on Nancy Drew, the twenty and thirty-year-olds in my life grew up reading Redwall and Harry Potter.  Therefore as adults, when they read genre fiction, they tend to read fantasy. Meanwhile, the audience for mysteries grows older and older.

My son and daughter-in-law assure me this is not true, and they cite as evidence Viola’s love for Scooby-Doo. Scoopy-Doo and the gang spend their time solving mysteries, after all.

Viola is a great believer in themes, and a planner of themed birthday parties and Halloween extravaganzas. She involves everyone she can seduce into these enterprises, which explains why, two years ago, I, a hater of Halloween and a hater of costumes, found myself happily wandering around Franklin Park Zoo dressed as the Flora, the red fairy from Sleeping Beauty. (Also, Bill was dressed as Merryweather, the blue fairy, so I really had nothing to complain about.)

Halloween 2016

Anyway, this year Viola’s theme was Scooby-Doo and as usual, everyone she had access to had to be part of the act.

Viola’s “other” grandparents, Grammy and Gramps, fulfilling the roles of Shaggy and Fred. Daphne expressing annoyance that the gang isn’t solving the mystery fast enough.

My son Rob points out that Viola can’t even read, but already she is a fan of mysteries. Perhaps there’s hope for the future.

Readers: How did you get started with mysteries? Nancy Drew? Hardy Boys? Encyclopedia Brown? Scooby-Doo? Leave a comment or just say “hi” to be entered in the giveaway for my latest release, Yule Log Murder, a collection of three novellas by Leslie Meier, Lee Hollis and me. The giveaway is open to readers from anywhere.

84 Thoughts

  1. I love costumes (even though I don’t know anything about Scooby Doo…), and these are fabulous pictures! Have fun with the family. I look forward to the girl-cousins pix!

    Oh – Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, and Cherry Ames, Student Nurse, followed shortly by Sherlock Holmes, stories by Poe, and Agatha Christie, because my mother was a huge crime fiction fan.

    Like

    1. My family were huge crime fiction fans, too. I found all my Agatha Christie’s and Dorothy L. Sayers at my paternal grandparent’s house, and all my Perry Masons at my maternal grandparents’.

      Like

  2. My first mystery reading journey began with the Bobbsey Twins, Nancy Drew, The Boxcar Children, and Trixie Belden, then I graduated to Agatha and Perry Mason. The children at the school where I volunteer love mysteries from the A to Z Mysteries to Mary Pope Osborne’s “The Magic Treehouse.” I have been on a quest to read the newest mysteries for middle grade and YA readers each year in order to nominate a few for Malice Domestic. I have created a blog post and some bookmarks to hand out to friends. Follow my blog(or Messenger me) and you can see some I am reading or anticipating. Adults can enjoy them, too, especially the series called “The Book Scavenger” by Jennifer Chambliss Bertman in which the adults and children mention many famous mysteries we all love set in San Francisco! Mary Downing Hahn’s ghost stories are also very popular with the students I know. Each of these authors has a 2018 release. Beth Schmelzer http://www.BESTBOOKSBYBETH.wordpress.com

    Like

  3. I fell in love with Mysteries by reading The Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins and my all-time favorite Tricia Belden. I then moved on to Encyclopedia Brown and The Three Investigators—I loved both of them and trying to solve the mystery before them. I graduated to adult mysteries when I was about 16 and discovered Nero Wolfe. That old fat foodie still holds a special place in my heart as does Archie Goodwin. I will still pick up one of their books to while away the hours. It’s amazing how good writing and good mysteries can be read again and again even if you know the outcome.

    Like

  4. My love for mysteries seem like it began when I was born! My dad was a huge reader and lover of a good mystery, so I come by it naturally! Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys were my first true mystery books. I became hooked on Sherlock Holmes when I was 10 and read The Speckled Band. That did nothing for my fear of snakes, I tell you!
    As for mysteries on TV or the big screen, always Scooby Doo on Saturday mornings! The first movie I saw that could be considered a thriller/mystery was Wait Until Dark. My parents went to the drive-in to see it, and even though I was suppose to be sleeping, I was not! Probably not the movie for a 4 year old to see! It has become one of my favorite movies though.

    Like

  5. I started with Nancy Drew, Cherry Ames, The Bobbsey Twins, and Trixie Belden. Loved them all. As I got older, Phyllis Whitney became a favorite. I used to read a lot of crime/detective novels, but I don’t like all the gore that seems to go into them now. Cozy mysteries are now my absolute favorites.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. My Father had a complete set of the Rover Boyswhich I read. After reading most of the books in the children department of the library I started Nancy Drew, the Hardy boys, Cherry Ames , a favorite fOlder Victoria Holt, Mary Stewart, Mary Roberts Rinehart, Barbara Michael, Rex Stout, Ellery Queen and Phyllis Whitney.

    Like

  7. Old school here — started with Hate the Great and Encyclopedia Brown. Then I progressed to Nancy Drew, but I really loved the Trixie Belden series. I had the whole set when I was a kid and still re-read them! I love a good mystery!

    Like

  8. I’ve always thought it was Nancy Drew, but I realized recently that my love of Encylopedia Brown predated Nancy. And I remember watching the original Scooby cartoons – a lot of fun.

    Like

  9. How cute are these pictures? I tell my nieces/ nephews that I’m Velma because of my red hair and glasses. My sister was a big fan of Nancy Drew, so by default as the younger siblings I followed whatever she did. I love Nancy Drew. She was quite smart and courageous for her time. The Hardy Boys were great books, but much better onscreen with Parker Stevenson and Sean Cassidy. Oh those were great days when the bedroom stayed in the bedroom, swear words were dang and jinkies, and the mystery was real.

    Like

  10. Encyclopedia Brown, and then Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew. I used to watch Scooby Doo, too, but I wasn’t big on TV when I could be reading. I detoured briefly into teen romance and then romance, but now I’m back to mysteries, which will always be my first love.

    Like

  11. Don’t worry!! Kids might not read as much anymore… but there are still bookworms out there. I’m 15 and I love reading mysteries. My love for mysteries started when I saw a Sherlock Holmes themed episode of one of favorite cartoons. I loved watching mtsteries and then started reading Nancy Drew. Eventually I discovered cozy mysteries, and here I am now!

    Like

      1. Sherry – yes! I made a friend about a year ago who loves cozies. We started a cozie mystery book club that we do with her grandmother and her mother. It’s fun!

        Like

  12. I love this! Not only does she have a great imagination, she’s got you all wrapped around her finger.

    Scooby Doo is an excellent gateway to mysteries.

    Like

  13. I started with the Happy Hollisters, Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys & Trixie Belden and never looked back!

    Like

  14. My oldest is 9 and reads chapter books, though somewhat grudgingly, because she’s required to read and summarize each day for school. So I’m trying to get her to read mysteries to make her reading more interesting and fun and get her to love reading again.

    I remember that feeling of being one of the last few in the dorm all too well! Enjoy your time with your family!

    Like

  15. Showing my age here: Bobbsey Twins and the whole Grosset & Dunlop list of girls’ mysteries. My favorites were Beverly Gray and Judy Bolton, neither of which were syndicate written. I still have the Beverly Grays, plus some older books in that series that date from the 1930s. Beverly was a newspaper reporter and writer who solved mysteries with the help of college friends and a fiance. Judy Bolton actually got married in that series but that didn’t stop her from sleuthing. I moved on to Agatha Christie and the rest much later, after a Gothic phase (Whitney, Holt, Maybury, Howatch). I read my parent’s books first. My mom was a Perry Mason fan and my dad read historical novels.

    Like

  16. Although I read and loved all the Nancy Drew mysteries and they may have been my first mysteries, I am of the generation of the scholastic book club and the book mobile that came to school. I’ve always been drawn to the mysteries and those are the books that I was drawn to from a variety of authors. I may have had one book with adventures like the Pipi Longstocking series, but the bulk of my selections were always mysteries.
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

    Like

  17. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love mysteries. I always say that my journey began with Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys books like so many folks, but Barb’s post helped me to realize that the first mysteries I attempted to solve were also of the animated variety with Saturday morning hallmark Scooby Doo, Where Are You? Thank you for the trip down memory lane, Barb, and I’m so happy to learn that kiddos are still trying to figure out the whodunnits at an early age with the same colorful bunch!

    Like

  18. The photos are beyond fantastic! With apologies to your husband’s dignity, this is my first view of him and it’s not a look one can un-see! I’m completely smitten. You too look magnificent. Reminds me that as young children we had a favorite babysitter that spun quirky fairy stories for us that I and my 60-something siblings still remember and re-tell to the young ones in our lives. As for mysteries — your question & these comments brought up a wave of nostalgia for my long-passed mother, who subscribed to Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock magazines, which I also eagerly devoured. Since then I’ve found some 1960s vintage mags from time to time and am crestfallen at their dated, not very clever tone, but they hooked me at the time. My mother died right around when “Murder she wrote” was starting up on TV — and that’s still my comfort TV show. I think of my mother when watching; Jessica Fletcher (the only Angela L role I truly love, none of the wicked/brashness of her early roles) has morphed into a kind of mother figure for me. (Also conflated with Mrs. Pollifax, my literary idol.) As a young child? Wasn’t fond of Nancy Drew at the time; leaned towards Edward Eager, Madeline L’engle, C.S. Lewis. They are “fantasy” but I have almost zero tolerance for most adult fantasy/sci-fi… not my language at all. I think the common denominator is the experience of being drawn into an imaginary world where problems arise that I can relate to, a hero/ine figures it all out, and 3 hours later all is well. Would that I could make that plotline work with the news!

    Like

  19. I like to say I started with Nate the Great, which is a picture book mystery series. Nate finds things his friends in the neighborhood are missing. Some of them use good clues that kids that age could potentially use to figure out the case as well.

    But I really look at my time reading Encyclopedia Brown, the Hardy Boys, Nancy Drew, and Trixie Belden as the time that cemented my love of mystery.

    Im sure I would enjoy some fantasy. But as I like to say, I fell into mystery and I can’t get out. Not that I’m trying that hard.

    Like

  20. Oh, definitely Nancy Drew. I still have dozens of the books. I, too, was a Scholastic Book Club fan and read as many books as I could get my mom to buy! And, yes, I loved Scooby Doo. A few years ago I discovered The Mysterious Benedict Society (written circa 2008) and wish that trilogy had many more books. It’s definitely a children’s fantasy mystery series that should appeal to most kids.

    I love all the costumes and the willingness of the adults to play along. That’s the way to grow confident, creative kids into confident, creative adults. Good for you!

    Like

  21. Definitely a Scooby Doo fan here! I was reading somewhere just a month or so ago that it was the 50th anniversary of the launch of the Scooby Doo, Where Are You? series! Go Scooby and the gang!
    -Melanie

    Like

  22. Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden, Dana Girls and everything from there!

    Great seeing so many of you at Crime Bake. Enjoyed it tremendously!

    Like

  23. Hi Barb,

    And a Happy Veteran’s Day to everyone!

    Perhaps it will lower your anxiety level a tiny bit if I tell you that I didn’t start out in mysteries. I started out with science fiction. Actually, remembering back, I actually DID start out with fantasy. When I was about three my mother started reading me a chapter of The Wizard of Oz at bedtime every night.

    Then, as we were nearing the end of the book, she became “too busy” to read me that chapter every night, so I was really motivated. Her ploy got me into the habit of reading for pleasure … especially at bedtime.

    The first book I can remember choosing and reading for myself was Between Planets by Robert Heinlein, and from that moment I was hooked on science fiction. I stormed through all the Heinlein and Asimov books we had in the house. My mother (also a science fiction fan) subscribed to Analog Science Fact and Fiction magazine, so I started reading it when she was done. (Another good habit she started in me.)

    My first mystery was What Mrs. McGuillicuddy Saw.(the American title of Agatha Christie’s The 4:50 from Paddington). And I immediately fell in love both with the genre and Agatha Christie. Except for The Murder of Roger Ackroyd, which is in a class by itself, it remains my favorite Agatha Christie to this date. To this date I can still remember that book. It was a hardback with a bright red cover and was just small enough to fit comfortably in five-year-old hands.

    There’s just one thing I’d like to say here: Parents (and Grandparents too, of course), you can give your child no greater lifetime benefit than to read to them daily. Those of us here know and understand just how wonderful and life-enhancing books can be, but children have so much visual media available to them between television, video games and even computers, that they need that push into the magical world of books from us where imagination is better than the best CGI effect.

    Like

  24. Viola & her theme costumes is so adorable. I didn’t start reading mystery until I was an adult & have yet to read any Nancy Drew books.

    Like

  25. I didn’t get started until I was an adult and someone a work introduced me to The Cat Who….. series. I’ve been hooked ever since.

    Like

  26. I started reading Agatha Christie in 3rd grade! My teacher was reading her books, one day I wasn’t feeling well so didn’t go out to pe, she had left her book on her desk, I was reading it when the class came back in, so she started lending me her AC books 🙂

    Like

  27. I also started with Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple series when I could first read (summer before Kindergarten!)
    teddi1961(at)arcemont(dot)com

    Like

  28. I was more of a Tricia Belden fan than Nancy Drew fan but I read both. When I was 11 my mother gave me my first Agatha Christie book to read.

    Like

  29. Oh, Barb, this photo is priceless! Viola is one lucky girl – I wonder what you and Bill will be wearing next year?

    Like

  30. Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden were my introduction to mystery reading. My mother was a reader and she was always taking us to the library and we always had books in the house.

    Like

  31. Batman comics and Enid Blyton’s mysteries for kids (the Five Find-Outers, the Famous Five and others). But the first book I thought of as a mystery was Erle Stanley Gardner’s “Case of the Duplicate Daughter” when i was 11. I immediately became hooked on Perry Mason.

    Like

  32. I have always been a huge fan of mysteries – those are what I mainly read – and I still have all my Nancy Drews, Hardy Boys, Dana Girls, Bobbsey Twins, Cherry Ames, Trixie Beldens, etc. I even have several Beverly Grays – my mom read those when she was a kid! I loved Scooby Doo as a kid also, and kept my Scooby Doo lunch thermos well into adulthood – until it fell apart. Until recently I worked in a library (alas, we closed due to mold!). For a reader challenge I had to read YA book – I chose an old Phyllis A Whitney! No doubt I would love “Yule Log Murder” and would definitely add it to my library’s collection when we eventually re-open!

    Like

  33. Nancy Drew is the first mystery series I remember reading. But she was soon joined by The Hardy Boys, Trixie Belden, The Bobbsey Twins, The Happy Hollisters, Dana Girls, Kay Tracy and I can’t leave out The Three Investigators! I’m sitting here in my living room looking at my collections of these books fondly. My cozy collections are just my grown up versions of those book friends. And I have to say, oh my gosh, Viola sounds like a girl after my own heart. I LOVE theme parties! In my family, I don’t care how old you are, you get a themed birthday party. I love to make themed cakes and sometimes have to create decorations when it is a very obscure theme, but I love it.

    Renee

    Like

Comments are closed.