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(Victoria, BC - April 18, 2005) It is 75 years since Nancy Drew, the sleuth from River Heights, began solving mysteries. Today, the teenage heroine is still going strong with demand for rare early books and newly published stories.

Online bookseller – which offers more than 70 million new, used and rare books for sale from over 13,000 sellers – lists over 19,000 Nancy Drew books, more than any other retailer. They range from $1 to $1200 for original copies of the first book, The Secret of the Old Clock, which was published on April 28, 1930.

Bev Matz is one of North America’s leading authorities on Nancy Drew. A professional bookseller since 1993, Bev’s passion for the sleuth has inspired a personal collection of 3,000 books and memorabilia. She lists 500 Nancy Drew books for sale on

"It started in my childhood when I remember my father picking up a Nancy Drew book in a thrift store in Butte, Montana," said Bev, who operates her online book business, Bev's Books (& Collectibles), in Wheat Ridge, Colorado. "There are many people from my generation who grew up with these books and, like me, they are still fascinated with Nancy and her adventures.

"I rediscovered the books in 1992. I was recovering from cancer and they inspired me to become a professional bookseller when I was looking for a new career. There is still worldwide interest in Nancy Drew from the UK to France to Australia and across Europe. She has been printed in 14 languages. The majority of people collecting rare Nancy Drew books are women but I have come across a few men."

Nancy Drew was created by Edward Stratemeyer in 1930 as a female-orientated follow-up to his Hardy Boys series. He developed an assembly line format with ghost authors writing according to a strict formula. Carolyn Keene is listed as the author but is a pseudonym. A young graduate called Mildred Wirt Benson wrote 23 of the first 30 books and her identity was only revealed in 1980 during a court case.

New titles are still published regularly and over 200 million books have been sold in total. Over the years, the format has altered. Nancy aged from 16 to 18, her roadster changed to a convertible and then a hybrid, racial stereotypes were abandoned and the books were shortened.

"Nancy is intelligent, brave and has deductive reasoning – all qualities needed to solve a mysteries," said Bev. "She continues to inspire girls to be anything they want to be."

The anniversary has inspired several new books about Nancy. Chelsea Cain's Confessions of a Teen Sleuth is a tongue-in-cheek parody, while Papercutz is publishing a series of graphic novels which begin with The Demon of River Heights.


About AbeBooks
AbeBooks is the world's largest online marketplace for books, with over 70 million new, second-hand, rare, and out-of-print titles listed for sale by more than 13,000 independent booksellers from around the world. AbeBooks has millions of registered customers who collectively purchase more than 20,000 books a day from its 5 global websites (,,, and A true internet success story, has been selling books online since 1996, and is a private company based in Victoria, BC Canada, with offices in Düsseldorf, Germany.

Richard Davies, PR & Publicity Mgr.,
Ph: 250-412-3238

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