Thursday, October 23, 2008

A Bizarre Nancy Drew PC Anomaly

I found another Nancy Drew matte picture cover that is just plain bizarre. After checking the books on my shelf, I found that I already had one that I had set aside, so I now have two of these rather unusual books. They are identical. I will describe one of them in the singular, because it is easier, but both books have all of the same points.

The book is a matte picture cover edition of The Crooked Banister. It lists to Crocodile Island on the back cover, which would normally date the book to 1978. The only problem is that the book has double oval endpapers. The double oval endpapers were not used until the 1980s, and all of the double oval endpapers books list to Thirteenth Pearl on the back cover—or so I always thought. Farah has very little information on the post-1979 Nancy Drew books in his guide, so it does not help much with the 1980s-era books.

The back cover list dates the book to 1978, but the double oval endpapers date the book to 1982 through 1986. What is even more strange is that the book has the order form inside, and the order form lists to The Strange Message in the Parchment, which dates the book to 1977.

Obviously, the book cannot be simultaneously from 1977, 1978, and 1982 through 1986. The most obvious explanation is that a text block from the 1970s was somehow not bound until the 1980s. However, that does not explain why the back cover lists to Crocodile Island instead of the usual Thirteenth Pearl. It also does not explain why I have two of them.

I'm sure the books are from 1982 through 1986, especially since neither book has the dark blue ink on the top edge. What I do not understand is why the books list only to Crocodile Island on the back cover and to Parchment on the order form (which isn't even supposed to be there in the first place).

I would pass this off as a random anomaly, but if I can find two of them, just months apart, there must be more of them. Are the books from an actual print run? Does anyone else have one of these books? Maybe there are a whole bunch of them out there!


Jenn Fisher said...


I have one of these too! I picked it up at a used bookstore somewhere a few years ago!


Jennifer White said...

Ooh, that means there are a bunch of them! I mean...if I have two and you have one, there have to be more of them. It was probably an entire print run, but why???

This is like all of the hole-punched dust jackets of Mysterious Letter that have been found on mid-1950s tweed books. The hole-punched dust jackets should be only on solid blue books that list to Wooden Lady, yet quite a few have been found on tweed books. I should do a post on that sometime in the next week.