My Nancy Drew Dilemma

Like a lot of female mystery authors, I was a huge Nancy Drew fan as a little girl. So, when Avery Flynn mentioned “the Nancy Drew purse” during a panel discussion at Fresh Fiction’s Readers ’n Ritas conference, I started salivating. And right then and there I pulled my laptop from my Michael Kors tote and googled the prized purse.

I’m not sure what I was expecting in a Nancy Drew purse, but what I wasn’t expecting was a vintage book that had been “repurposed” as a handbag. As an author myself, I was naturally conflicted about this mystery massacre. On the one hand, I felt remorse about purchasing the purse and thereby supporting the destruction of an original Carolyn Keene. But on the other, I coveted the repurposed book because it represented both my childhood passion for Nancy Drew and my realized adult dream of becoming a mystery writer.

To resolve my dilemma, I did what any self-respecting, Nancy Drew–obsessed author would do: I NancyDrewPurseInsideemailed my parents and asked for the purse for Christmas. That way, they were the ones who were directly contributing to the slaughter of vintage Carolyn Keene books, not me.

Of course, when Christmas day arrived, The Bungalow Mystery purse was waiting for me under the tree. And it was even more perfect than I could have imagined because I actually live in a historic bungalow home. The funny thing is, I haven’t been able to bring myself to use the purse yet. I’m afraid that I’ll be accused by random strangers of killing a Carolyn Keene, which for me is like having members of a book preservationist society throw red paint on me in my public.

So, readers, tell me: Should I use the Nancy Drew purse or give it a decent burial in my closet?


My Nancy Drew Dilemma — 13 Comments

  1. I love your books. I say put the bag in a shadow box, use it like art. We did it for many collector items over the years. Enjoy it.

  2. Use the purse. No one destroyed the book, it exists and can be reproduced. What they used was an edition of the book, not the original copy. Honor the book and your memories and use it.

  3. Hi Traci!
    As a massive childhood fan of Nancy Drew myself, I think you should use your prized bag – after all, the damage has already been done, and the book killed, so at least let it not have been a pointless death or in vain…don’t you agree? Besides, what better “cortège” than a true fan of the book(s)?

  4. Have you collected any of the Nancy Drew series! If so and you have them on a book shelf place the purse In a place of honor with the books! Or if you haven’t collected any then start! Just an idea!!

  5. I would say use it and enjoy life is soon short and I believe you only get one so enjoy it. Get another if you think it is investment. But the purpose it to use enjoy and show off

  6. Use the purse to honor Nancy’s success & as a good luck charm for yours. Those books didn’t hold up well & would’ve been discarded with a broken spine, mildewed pages, or just general damage. Now the book has dedicated itself to serving you. What better tribute could you offer Nancy than a second season of popularity?

  7. As a Nancy Drew fan I can One hundred per cent tell you to use the purse. I love books and I would love and use a purse like that. Enjoy it. It is already repurposed. And if anyone is tacky enough to say anything bad just say thank you and I really enjoy it too, smile and walk away. But I bet every grown up little girl will love it too. Melody

  8. Is this a first edition? Even if it is it is already “dead’ and would be a “crime” to not use it. If anyone complains just say it was a gift and you HAVE to wear it. The people that do the actual “killing” of the book are the ones that are “guilty”.

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