So I was at kids clothing and toy sale the other week, and I found, without a doubt, the most exciting thing to be purchased second hand since some guy found the Declaration of Independence in a desk at a garage sale- a four book set of the Nancy Drew Case Files.
Yes, that’s right. Six hundred pages of epic ’80s awesomeness that I now own and will hold for ever and ever amen.
Because I’m a responsible adult with two children and homeschooling and involved in my church and on a few committees and just generally very busy, I’ve decided to do read them all and then blog about them every two weeks for the next few months.
I know. RESPONSIBILITY. I HAS IT.
So today we have the first installment of our series, a recap of the literary masterpiece, Hit and Run Holiday.
(See what they did there?)
(In case you didn’t, they’ll ram it home like eight more times in the first chapter.)
The first epic thing about this book happens even before the copyright page- this book apparently belonged to a Heather Billington and she completed it in February of 1989. Is the name Heather Billington not the most amazing 1989 name ever? Like seriously. This was a girl who feathered her hair and wouldn’t sit with me at lunch.
(I was two in 1989. So I’m not saying she wouldn’t have sat with me in 1989, just in general.)
We open with the three chums in Fort Lauderdale ready for a weekend of fun, sun, and se…wait. This is still a pretty sanitized teen book. So as close to non-connubial bliss as they get is ogling the lifeguards and commenting (frequently) on their physiques. In a way that I have never heard actual women comment on actual men before in my life.
But hey, I wasn’t around for much of the ’80s.
The opening chapter assures us that Nancy is with Ned Nickerson and things are “actually going well for a change,”(Which is new from the kid books; in the originals, those two gave Mary and Joseph a run for their money in terms of chaste bliss.) so she will be keeping her swimsuit on this weekend thank you very much.
George Fayne is
a lesbian also in a relationship, so she’s basically…not ever mentioned again in the book. Tiny boobs and no lifeguard ogling? ’80s Nancy has no time for you.
Bess Marvin, the pleasingly plumb dumb blond, is, as usual, down to…well. Anyway. We also deviate from the originals in that we’ve apparently become more body conscious since the 1950s- Bess is no longer chubby and “constantly trying to lose five pounds,” but instead has “a pretty figure.” (And no respect for herself.)
The girls get ready while talking about how nice it will be to relax without a mystery and the reader chuckles to herself in her pink bedroom of 1989. Oh, Nancy. You won’t avoid trouble for long.
Indeed, Nancy has to go check on a random friend of hers named Kim because she decided to take a vacation? And her mom is worried? And I don’t know, I didn’t really get this part. But Nancy separates from the rest of the group, while Bess moans about how with Nancy there no one will look at her.
Nancy responds totally nicely, “Don’t worry. I won’t be there for half an hour.”
I can take off my sunglasses in all this shade.
It’s not even a competition. Nancy has already won, fools.
In fact, while she’s running this super important weird errand she “loses count of the number of discos” she is invited to, but maintains she’s “not really tempted” because of Ned. So we learn two things- discos still existed in 1989 and Nancy has a questionable understanding of monogamy.
Anyway, we finally finds Kim’s apartment and interrupts her arguing with some dude named Ricardo (of course) and then Kim doesn’t want to talk about it and Nancy is so frustrated because SHE’S NANCY DREW FOOL and if you’re having problems with ANYTHING my titian hair and perfect build will make it all better and at least I wanna know what’s going on come on Kim pleeeeaaasee????
Kim refuses to give in, and ends up getting run over by a car instead. She suffers no discernable injuries, but is in a dastardly dangerous coma anyways and Nancy has to figure this out all by herself BEFORE IT BECOMES MUUUUURRRRRDDDER.
Why can’t the police help? Illegals.
(I know. But it really said that.)
So Nancy is left all by herself to ignore the beautiful beach, the gorgeous guys, and the multiple people offering to sexually assault her but that’s totally fine because its the ’80s.
She goes on a massive manhunt for whoever hurt Kim for…well, we’re not sure. And we’re not sure why. And we’re also not sure how hurt Kim is. We are sure that Nancy can break into a hotel room with her bra hook, natch.
Of course she can.
Nancy must enlist the help of her friends though, or at least she has to brag about how busy she is and how she has to go help Kim and probably solve the immigration crisis as well, and so she runs into George (who is alone) and Bess (who has found a piece of manmeat that Nancy immediately claims as her own.)
Because she’s allowed to do that. She’s Nancy Drew, bitches.
Bess is mildly upset, but let’s be honest, she wasn’t going to keep a guy named Dirk with her figure anyways.
Turns out Dirk (Yeah. Dirk.) may have some information about the mystery! Information that he insists he can only tell Nancy while he’s actually having sex with her. She declines (probably because of her awesome relationship with Ned) but suggests they go surfing instead and also wear very few clothes and bring their best double entendres, so basically the same thing tbh.
Nancy stops at the hospital long enough to be annoyed at her friend’s mother for crying (not helping, lady- why don’t you whip off your bra and try breaking into something!) and assures herself that she’s still alive. Then it’s on to romance and crime fighting with Dirk.
Except it turns out Dirk is just a creep. Dirk has exactly no information, and what’s worse is that HE MAY BE IN ON IT?
No. I can’t believe you almost trusted him with your heart, Nancy.
Nancy returns to her hotel room, dejected that she wasted her time with a “phony lead.” Yes, Nancy. That’s why the unsolved rate is so high in coastal cities. The actual police detectives get confused by their sexual feelings for suspects and end up on party boats with them all the time as well.
Finally, like twenty pages of ridiculousness later, Nancy finally meets an illegal herself- Rosita! Rosita actually does know something about Kim’s “accident” and furthermore, Nancy doesn’t swing that way so she’s not distracted. They have a lovely little talk in Spanish (because of course Nancy speaks fluent Spanish) and Nancy discovers that Kim had gotten involved in trying to shut down a human trafficking scheme somewhere in Fort Lauderdale.
(Maybe at one of those discos.)
Armed with this information, Nancy is ready to crack this case WIDE OPEN YOU GUYS. Without any authority or warrants or anything. BUT STILL. Unfortunately she ends up being tied to the bottom of a pier instead and left for dead.
(I don’t know.)
Using only her superhuman ability to cheat death at every turn, Nancy escapes and runs back to the hotel to tell Bess (who has hooked up with Dirk, of course) that Dirk is probably the guy who is smuggling illegals and I don’t even know, this has something to do with a party boat. Beats me with a stick what. But there we are. Bess is dejected and probably pregnant because she’s a moron, and Nancy is triumphant because, well, she’s Nancy.
They decide that the best way to catch this dastardly person is to sneak on to the boat for a party (?) and disguise themselves (??) and then free all the human cargo hidden in the ship (??? I’ve got nothing guys.)
But first, Nancy has to hide her hair, because it’s as big a tell of her identity as Bess’s ass.
BUT WAIT. DIRK IS ON BOARD.
AND HE STOPS THEM.
DIRK IS GOOD.
(Nancy immediately jumps him.)
(Bess cries. And probably eats everything in sight.)
Turns out, Dirk is a super sexy detective who has been trailing the real criminal (who is basically not even important in this book) for like years and was just waiting for a twenty-two-year-old chick from River Heights to pop in and put the smackdown on this crazy lady.
Guys. I don’t even know. This is ridiculous.
But it all ends up okay, because this is Fort Lauderdale in the ’80s. Rosita the Illegal is all of a sudden not illegal and wants to be an engineer, the bad guys go away, Kim magically comes out of her coma, and Nancy makes out with Dirk one more time.
And then they go back to jetting home to River Heights to take a REAL vacation…or do they????
Stay tuned next week when Nancy goes on a winter vacation…but will she take a vacation from intrigue?
(No. No she won’t.)