If I were granted the rights to Nancy Drew…
By Tracy Kiely
Nancy Drew – The Case of The Missing Keys
Now in her mid-forties, Nancy lives in San Diego. Her marriage to Ned Nickerson, ended in divorce after only five short years. As she later told her friend Bess, “Ned was a dud in the sack. I should have seen it coming, I mean we dated for years and all he ever did was hold my hand! Plus after we got married, he wanted me to stop investigating mysteries. As if! He said that constantly finding me tied up in an attic or in a trunk was interfering with his job as an insurance salesman and was something of a turnoff. You’d think he’d be grateful for the excitement!”
Nancy’s father and famed attorney, Carson Drew, handled the logistics of the divorce ensuring that Ned didn’t get one penny of Nancy’s rather considerable fortune. As River Heights is a small town, many of the inhabitants were upset with Nancy. Those who hadn’t ended up in jail due to her meddling had bought their insurance policies from Ned. Soon, many of the women at the country club stopped asking Nancy to join their various committees, and several invitations to big dances mysteriously went “missing.” With a cool flip of her titian hair, Nancy merely laughed it all off. She tossed her Gucci bags into the back of her antique blue Roadster and drove with her known skill (although responsibly and within the speed limit) out of town. Nancy then headed west for San Diego, where she stayed for a while with her old chum and college roommate George Fayne.
Having spent most of her high school years dealing with the assumption that she was a lesbian based on the fact that she had short hair and was athletic, George decided to put her reputation to good use. As such her college years were a hedonistic blur of sex, drugs, and more sex. Although rumors about her exploits abounded, no one ever really believed them. “Christ, people are dumb,” George used to laugh as she rolled one of her trademark joints, “Just because a girl can throw a damn ball they think she must be gay.” George now lives with her husband, Tony, and their three children. She's coach for the local high school's girl's volley ball team, and in her spare time makes a lucrative income writing erotica.
Nancy is soon smitten with the charm of San Diego and decides it is the perfect place for her set down new roots. Here she can play golf, tennis, swim, ride horses, and paint with her usual flawlessness. She is also intrigued by George’s revelation that Frank Hardy lives in La Jolla working as a karate instructor and is no longer with “that bitch, Callie Shaw.” She quickly and efficiently buys a “darling” house and decorates it in exceedingly good taste. In a bold move, she then decides that if she is going to start anew, she really should die her hair blonde. “No one could ever pronounce titian,” she later explained. “It was really annoying.”
Soon Nancy’s old friend – and George’s cousin – Bess Marvin pays Nancy a visit. Bess now works as a body image counselor for young girls. Having been referred to as “pleasantly plump” all through high school, Bess developed a severe eating disorder and was eventually hospitalized. Now healthy and in a “good place emotionally,” Bess is thrilled to hear from her old friend and the timing couldn’t be more perfect because Bess thinks there’s something “odd” going on at the clinic where she volunteers. “I think the keys to the drug cabinet have been stolen and replaced with a replica!” she breathlessly tells Nancy.
Another case calls…oddly enough, Nancy Drew's people have not.