How Would Nancy Drew’s Mysteries Differ in Present Day?

Posted by Jill Effron

Nancy Drew was an iconic teen sleuth who solved mysteries involving clocks and staircases all while driving a hip blue convertible. Ever wonder what the original Nancy Drew would be like in today’s world? Yes, there is a Nancy Drew movie out right now, but ever wonder how the original character — the one whose stories are bound in a yellow spine – would handle today’s world?

Since the OGND (original gangster Nancy Drew) first appeared as a literary icon, it’s no longer a mystery if suddenly the person on the other end of the phone hangs up. There’s no more calling the phone company to track down a number. There’s no element of surprise anymore when one answers the phone. With the advent of *69, redial, caller ID and phones that flash your friend’s face on your screen when they call, we have lost any element of surprise or mystery when a phone rings. Answering phones and sudden hang-ups are no longer a clandestine mission, anymore than they are aggravating.

Here are some other instances that might trip up the OGND up in today’s world:




First dates are no longer mysterious when there is Tindr, Bumble and J-Date. Not only would Nancy not have to sniff out her dream date from a slew of restaurant goers, she'd know what he looks like from his online profile! On top of that, she wouldn’t have to give side-eye or twist her mouth wondering his backstory because she already stalked him on Facebook. For these reasons alone the OGND might stay perpetually single today. Unless, of course she finds the one guy who is a serial killer, and he didn’t add that to his profile. Then her dating life would get interesting…





Remember the time when you would sit by a landline phone waiting for your friend to call you back because she had to answer her call waiting? Or maybe you and your BFF got in a fight and it was a battle of who was going to call who first? Or you were waiting for the phone to ring to confirm plans to go to the mall? Yeah, the only waiting Nancy would do these days is waiting to see those 3 dots pop up when your friend is texting you back… but either forgot what he or she wanted to say…or forgot to hit send. Plus, if they just ghost you without turning off the "read" message, well, it won’t be a mystery if Nance stops talking to you, now will it? To the OGND, these high-tech friends would just be annoyances, like mosquitoes at a barbecue rather than intriguing. She won’t be uncovering something salacious and sinister in this mind-boggling episode.





Since you can DVR, or binge on Netflix and Amazon, plus fast-forward through any show and movie, mysteries are well…no longer a mystery. Want to know who dunnit? Fast-forward to the end. Back OGND’s time videotape had not been invented yet. If she wanted to watch a mystery after a day of solving mysteries, she would have to sit through the whole show or movie. It’s not very relaxing to take work home with you – but to each their own. None of this fast-forward to the end nonsense. Nowadays she would get bored and fast. And being the top-notch detective that she is, she would know the perp in a Law and Order: SVU episode by the end of the cold open. Bo-ring.





The mystery of “What is in this dish?” is no longer a mystery. Since there are so many folks with food allergies these days, ingredients are either listed on the menu or the wait staff can rattle them off to you. “Is that sherry I taste in this onion soup?” The OGND would once wonder while at a relaxing dinner with her father — is now replaced by a harried waiter or waitress overhearing this as they walked by their table. Quickly, he would pivot back to Nancy and immediately ask if she was allergic. Nance wouldn’t have to leave the restaurant ever wondering what made the food taste so darn good. That secret is loooong gone.


In summation, the original Nancy Drew would be awfully bored and not challenged in the least in this new world. Every possible ounce of a mystery can now be solved in Act One or in less than ten minutes.

Jill Effron

Jill Effron

Jill Effron is a writer of Facebook status updates and blogs. Before that, she spent over ten years working in every genre of television. Outside of the TV world, Effron wrote, directed and produced plays and award-winning short films.