So when I first read The Secret of the Old Clock and welcomed Nancy's blonde bob and magnifying glass into my life, I was instantly enamored. Here was a woman I could imagine, a woman I wanted to be; unlike the Disney princesses before her, Nancy was the captain of her own adventure. Smart, determined, curious, Nancy's value rested in her brain rather than her looks. She chased haunted stagecoaches, caught cat thieves, traveled the world foiling jewel heists and escaping the grasp of kidnappers. She remained loyal to her friends, and while she had a relationship, it didn't define her. She didn't need saving; what she needed was a good magnifying glass and enough coffee to keep her awake during stakeouts.
Like any true fangirl, my obsession has only continued to grow over the last two-plus decades, encouraged by an array of on-screen detectives worthy of Nancy Drew's legacy. And while Nancy was the first female detective to cross my path, she's far from the only one to make history.