By way of the amazingly educated members of Child-Lit...an informative article on Nancy Drew and the many later serialized manifestations starring the teen detective.
I hate to say this, but I was never a fan of Nancy. The plots of the first few originals are complex and keep you reading, but even as a child I never identified with Nancy. Though she was smart and independent, she was also wealthy, popular, and beautiful. And even though I was a skinny kid I really hated reading that Beth was "pleasingly plump." Drove me crazy.
I would prefer if publishing houses would consider some new heroines instead of rehashing the same old stuff. I prefer Sammy Keyes (by Wendelin van Draanen) to Nancy.