You’re looking for the Best Nancy Drew Books to read? So this article will present to you the complete and indisputable ranking of the best original Nancy Drew books ranked from worst to best.
Nancy Drew is among the most well-known fictional characters of all time, and several authors under the pen name Carolyn Keene have written about her in their books.
Edward Stratemeyer initially introduced this character in his book collection, and Nancy Drew started gaining popularity shortly after. The personality has made an appearance, using a twist and touch in every author’s narrative, and as a consequence of the exact reason, it’s also evolved.
Nancy Drew Books Overview
Nancy Drew is a popular book series created by publisher Edward Stratemeyer and written under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. The series follows the adventures of teenage amateur detective Nancy Drew as she solves mysteries and crimes.
The first book, “The Secret of the Old Clock,” was published in 1930 and since then, over 175 books have been written in the series.
The books are aimed at young adults and have been praised for promoting independence, intelligence, and resourcefulness in female characters. The Nancy Drew series has been adapted into various media including movies, television shows, and computer games.
Top Rated Best Nancy Drew Books To Start With
Below is the list of Nancy Drew books ranked worst to best that Penn Book recommended for you:
The Secret in the Old Attic
Everybody knows that the loft is the spookiest aspect of the home (basements are terrifying). In cases like this, Nancy Drew has to help an extremely old, very sad guy locate missing sheet music, making him wealthy while coping with a few romantic plays with Ned Nickerson.
Together with spiders, skeletons, and a villain called Bushy Trott, and The Secret in the Old Attic is among the most suspenseful Nancy Drew Books in the sequence.
The Secret of Red Gate Farm
Any book which features a cult immediately shoots up towards the very top of my listing. From The Secret of Red Gate Farm, the cult in question wears white hooded robes (yikes) and calls itself the Black Snake Colony.
There is also a strange perfume that brings criminals along with a sad sack woman and her grandma who may shed their plantation if Nancy Drew can not assist them believe it or not, that randomness somehow makes sense in the long run. The Secret of Red Gate Farm
The Password to Larkspur Lane
An odd carrier pigeon providing an even stranger message (Blue Bells Now Singing Horses) kicks off The Password to Larkspur Lane, among those all-time Nancy Drew greats.
Following a series of mysterious events, Nancy Drew finally ends up that many older men and women are being held against their will in a fancy mansion.
Therefore crooks can take their cash. Teenage Nancy subsequently goes undercover as an older woman to rescue everybody inventive!
The Ghost of Blackwood Hall
The Ghost of Blackwood Hall contains all séances, hoaxes, an abandoned mansion inhabited by an organ playing ghoul, scam artists, hypnotized women who devote their hard earned cash to a bogus orphanage, a visit to New Orleans, abductions, quicksand!
There is so much happening, which is just why this is the best Nancy Drew ever composed. Each spooky, spooky, and strange thing that takes place in this book. It is beautiful from start to end.
The Invisible Intruder
Nancy Drew’s old pal Helen and her husband invite many people to go ghost hunting together, which makes them precisely the sort of friends we ought to all have. Together, the team experiences a ghost horse, investigates a haunted guesthouse, and watches as a vacant kayak pops across a pond. This one is wonderful.
The Hidden Staircase
Nancy Drew, always keen to assist a friend in need, checks out her chum’s grandma’s home, following the household gets convinced it is haunted.
Nancy’s trying to decode that scenario; a stranger warns her and her dad are at risk because of a project he is working on, so she attempts to get into the base of that. Double the puzzle, double the pleasure.
The Clue in the Jewel Box
Nancy Drew could be River Heights royalty, but Madame Alexandra is real royalty. A queen who’s presently living in exile under an assumed name, Madame Alexandra is among those series’ more intriguing protagonists, using a rear story reminiscent of the Romanovs. Nancy Drew should help her locate her lost grandson and eliminate the lousy poster with zero ways who’s pretending to be him.
The Clue in the Jewel Box has strong pacing, and a side plot about pickpockets since everybody in this city is either a burglar or the victim of a burglar.
The Sign of the Twisted Candles
That is just another Nancy Drew narrative focusing on an older man getting conned, but this time, the sufferer is Bess and George’s great uncle, Asa Sidney.
There is also the bonus of a mysterious name (The Twisted Candles’ indication? What exactly does this mean?) Along with a family feud between George and Bess. This one had no unexpected play, as Nancy’s friendship with Bess and George was put to the test over her participation within their ancestral strife.
Additionally, it has some of the finest descriptions in each of the Nancy Drew books they’re so vibrant, details about everything down into the arched doorways and wall sconces of this inn in which Asa is imprisoned in a tower.
The Quest of the Missing Map
Within this enjoyable romp The Quest of the Missing Map, Nancy Drew sets out to obtain the lost guy with ownership of the titular overlooking map.
She winds up meeting a whole gaggle of sailors, many extremely awful. Additionally, there are several kidnappings because occasionally, Carolyn Keene (whoever it may be the day) does not know when to stop.
The Hidden Staircase
As a sucker for a haunted house story, I must include this one. Nancy Drew adventures into an older family friend’s mansion following odd things begin happening.
A bulge in the nighttime, along with spooky shadow on the walls, soft sound of music you know, the usual. Additionally, there is another puzzle between her daddy and the railroad industry that Nancy must resolve concurrently.
The Secret of Shadow Ranch
What is supposed to become a fun filled vacation for Nancy Drew immediately turns into the issue as is frequently true for Nancy. There is a ghost creature visiting the ranch, which many men and women think is a portion of an old curse by an outlaw that murdered people at Shadow Ranch. Founded by Bess and George, Nancy should determine what’s happening before it is too late.
The Secret of the Old Clock
The Secret of the Old Clock – The original Nancy Drew mystery, the one who began it all. Nancy kicks off her popular mystery series by looking for a missing will to assist many of her buddies (beginning Nancy’s long tradition of being involved in puzzles courtesy of her buddies).
It is a pretty straightforward puzzle, with no of those twists and turns that after entrances offer, but that is a brand new, inexperienced Nancy Drew. Also, it is enjoyable to see her beginning.
Mystery at Lilac Inn
This was my initial introduction to Nancy Drew, so I have a soft spot for this. Following Nancy’s friend Emily’s acquires the Lilac Inn, odd things occur, causing Emily to believe something is attempting to stop her from opening the inn.
So obviously, Nancy moves to the cottage onto the inn’s property. There is a car chase, a bomb, a kidnapping, and identity theft throughout the narrative. So essentially, it’s everything.
In this entry in the Girl Detective series, Nancy Drew generates a profile at a favorite virtual reality game to research a situation of cyberbullying. As individuals hide behind their internet identities, Nancy wonders how she could crack this situation. Here is the first book from the Identity Mystery Trilogy.
This brief trilogy is a part of the Girl Detective series, and also, the internet environment is a great chance to pace our favorite female soldier.
Once Upon a Thriller
Stories about Nancy Drew Books constantly provoke me and this is an excellent one. There is a crime spree around town, which is bad. But the odd part is that the offenses appear to match those of the plots out of Lacey O’Brien’s popular Nancy Drew mystery series. Can this be a superfan? A bizarre coincidence? Or perhaps even the writer? Read and see.
In this novel, Nancy Drew and her greatest buddies are extremely enthusiastic about getting a sleepover at their buddy’s place and have opted to amuse themselves with cake and a pajama style series.
Still, the thing they anticipate is your town girl doll motif. Her very best friend, who’s hosting the celebration, finds out that the doll is stolen. This story revolves around the stolen doll as well as the mystery behind it.
The Clue in the Old Stagecoach
The next one is The Clue in the Old Stagecoach. Nancy, Bess, and George spend their holiday looking for an old stagecoach full of concealed treasures, which might finance a neighborhood college.
Some components of The Clue in the Old make it feel like the women went back in time to the Old West (it does not help that Bess virtually met her passing because of a water wheel), and there’s a different Americana vibe.
The Hidden Window Mystery
This one is for most of the Architectural Digest subscribers out there. Nancy Drew travels to Charlottesville, Virginia, to attempt and discover a long lost gothic stained glass window obtained from England. She investigates colonial mansions, inspects (possibly haunted) attics, and wonders what is behind a large brick wall.
This one differs from its focus on decor and buildings, and the trip to locating the window, adorned with a peacock, is rewarding.
The Crooked Banister
This has among the greatest covers, as it features Nancy plus a robot that looks like it’s going to be the one to perform her in eventually. The book also has a fairly good storyline, as it includes a bizarre home with odd features (such as jagged banisters) and Nancy’s effort to obtain the man or woman who possesses it.
The Haunted Showboat
Having been on a showboat earlier, let alone a haunted person, the name alone is fascinating to me personally. A lot is happening in this one, using a visit to New Orleans, bridezillas, along with a search for treasure, but if you find out that the real ghosts are, it is going to melt your heart.
The Secret of the Wooden Lady
The lady in question is the lost figurehead of this Bonny Scot, a clipper ship located in Boston Harbor. A captain would like to purchase the Bonny Scot, but he can not purchase it minus the figurehead. This is a good story, with a few dangerous turns and twists.
Nancy’s Mysterious Letter
In Nancy’s Mysterious Letter of the Number of Nancy Drews Are There in the World? our detective receives a letter meant for a British heiress named Nancy Drew.
It turns out that this girl is lost, and Nancy is determined to find her to catch the cad who would like to steal her inheritance. Here is the first of some Nancy Drew books to incorporate a bumbling mailman, which will be a trope you do not often see.
The Mystery Of The Glowing Eye
A lot of action occurs, beginning with a pilotless helicopter providing a creepy note to Nancy telling her to plead that the Cyclops. There is also an additional kidnapping, this time of Nancy’s particular buddy Ned Nickerson, along with a surprise marriage proposal. Altogether, it is a strange story, and you need to wonder what psychedelics were utilized in the book’s writing.
The Whispering Statue
In this book (the original Nancy Drew version, not the rewrite), Nancy gets her cute dog Togo, who’s awful when they meet. She winds up going undercover from the rewrite to locate a stolen statue, using a wig and sunglasses because of her disguise. Perhaps not the ideal puzzle, but maybe not the worst.
The Mystery of the Fire Dragon
Firecrackers! A Visit to Hong Kong! A missing woman that resembles George! A Global rendezvous with Ned Nickerson! While maybe not a nail biter, it has its moments that will set you on edge.
The Witch Tree Symbol
Nancy goes into Amish country to search for lost furniture, but until you can say rumspringa, she finds herself amid another mystery, this one between odd symbols. The Amish shortly turn her and believe she is a witch, and frankly, if she had been burnt at stake, this name would have left it high on the list.
The Clue in the Crumbling Wall
Nancy is hoping to help someone locate their inheritance, but this time, she is doing it in the mystical Heath Castle. The Clue in the Crumbling Wall certainly has a few components you won’t find recycled in some of those other Nancy Drew Books, such as multiple juvenile delinquents roaming the roads, stealing purses.
The Clue of the Dancing Puppet
If you do not need your dreams haunted by puppets, particularly human sized ones who dance around in there, bypass this one. This is a perfectly fine novel that proves if Nancy wants to give up that detective existence, she can become a celebrity.
The Scarlet Slipper Mystery
Tons of Nancy Drew novels revolve around dance and missing stones, and this is no exception. Why is it different from the debut of a fictional country called Centrovia, but that is not sufficient to push this one higher on the record?
The Clue of the Leaning Chimney
Fortunately, nobody knew as a mason to repair this leaning chimney since it hinted that Nancy needs to obtain a lost Chinese vase. This is your typical, middle-of-the-road puzzle.
Mystery of Crocodile Island
Nancy, George, and Bess are traveling to Crocodile Island to Locate a Lot of poachers. Because this is in Florida, you know what things get bizarre (like, submarines spying Nancy bizarre), but what stands out the most is that this can be an educational book.
Readers learn about the differences between crocodiles and alligators, how crocodiles live in the wild, how quickly they are, what they want to eat, etc.
The Clue of the Broken Locket
The Clue of the Broken Locket is nice but quite boring, even though there’s so much happening. While attempting to use the broken locket’s clue to discover a hidden treasure, Nancy, Bess, and George experience a ghost boat.
Attempt to assist a guy being screwed from his royalties with a recording company, and go to a Pudding Stone Lodge (that is, admittedly, a fantastic title). It simply does not feel like there’s a great deal of link to the characters introduced in this title.
The Clue In The Diary
This one feels like the writer tried a new plot but was stopped by the Checklist of Things That Must Be in a Nancy Drew Book (which was thankfully thrown away soon afterward).
The Phantom Of Pine Hill
The villain was very clever, and I loved Bess’s role in the finale. If only Ned would stop laughing at Native Americans.
Mystery Of The Brass-Bound Trunk
Today was a bit messy for both Nancy and the editor.
The Mystery Of The Ivory Charm
This is Dickensian racist nonsense.
The Ringmaster’s Secret
Ivory Charm The Redux – This time, without the racism or mystical weirdness.
Mystery Of The Brass-Bound Trunk
Today was a bit messy for both Nancy and the editor.
The Message In The Hollow Oak
I love the plot idea, but it relies on padding to add excitement. Nancy, please stop trashing Native American burial sites.
The Bungalow Mystery
These themes are very similar to The Secret of the Old Clock, but I was not feeling it.
The Mystery Of The 99 Steps (#43)
Please put an end to racism. I implore you…
The Haunted Bridge
I would rank this higher if they took down the bridge against the creepy-crawling Nancy.
The Clue In The Old Album
Wow. This book has both rampant racism and a ridiculous villain plot. Although I was skeptical that Nancy Drew would inspire me to throw a cactus at someone else, here we are.
How Hard Are Nancy Drew Books to Read?
The Nancy Drew novels were initially intended for readers between the ages of 8 and 12. She seems to be a fantastic role model for young females, mainly since men have traditionally dominated detective roles. Don’t we all want to provide our daughters the tools they need to reach their potential?
However, before allowing an 8 to 12-year-old to read even the first 56 novels, there are a few concerns you should be aware of:
Nancy’s age in the novels has been modified from 16 to 18 to reflect what she is doing (she was initially 16). She may handle specific problems that are too serious for a little girl. For instance, Nancy’s dad is abducted in Book 1. Of course, it depends on your youngster’s sensitivity to trying circumstances.
The stories also had beauty standards that would annoy a young tween, such a persistent emphasis on the girls’ attractive haircuts and thin physique.
You could encounter erroneous images of minorities since the books were produced at a period when the value of diversity wasn’t yet stressed. (It makes you wish they had sensitivity readers back then, eh?)
Do You Have to Read Nancy Drew Books in Order?
Although the novels are part of a series, you are not required to read them in sequence. This is fantastic, mainly because some hard copy books could be available in secondhand shops, but not all of them.
Of course, Kindle is another easy reading choice, and most Nancy Drew novels are also on there.
Reading Nancy Drew Books
Children might enjoy reading mystery stories like the Nancy Drew series. It is a fun way to pass the time and fosters critical thinking abilities like searching for hints and solving complex puzzles.
When Was Nancy Drew Written?
The first volume of the “Nancy Drew Mystery Stories,” “The Secret of the Old Clock,” was released on April 28, 1930. Readers first saw the tenacious teenage protagonist Nancy Drew in work written under the pen name Carolyn Keene.
How Many Books In The Nancy Drew Series?
In nine series, more than 533 Nancy Drew novels have been released as of 2019. The fictitious Nancy Drew was established as the Hardy boys series by Edward Stratemeyer’s female equivalent.
Are Nancy Drew Books Scary
It could even encourage young readers to pick up the Nancy Drew novels. Violence, certain frightful situations (which are soon handled), and sometimes but subtly foul language are all present. For these reasons, Nancy Drew and The Hidden Staircase aren’t appropriate for kids under the age of nine.
What Does Nancy Drew Look Like?
Nancy, who is often characterized as between the ages of 16 and 18, has red-blond hair and blue eyes. When it comes to her wardrobe choices, she is often described as having a “timeless” aesthetic and dressing more for comfort than current trends.
The finest Nancy Drew novels have a strong plot and a challenging mystery for readers to solve. Despite the wide variety of Nancy Drew novels available, some stand out more than others.
The Secret of the Old Clock, The Hidden Staircase, and The Bungalow Mystery are some of the top Nancy Drew novels. These works are timeless masterpieces with intriguing mysteries for readers to unravel.