Nancy Drew Files #004 “Smile and Say Murder” – Or the one where we open Pandora’s (Twilight GIF) Box.

Previously: Another Nancy vacation ended in death. But really, she should’ve known better because she went skiing, and ew, snow.

Lorraine: There are two types of Nancy Drew books: one where she takes a case and one where she’s doing totally normal, every day things, and someone just happens to die around her. When we least heard from Nancy, she was vacationing when -whoops! Murder.

Sweeney: I really hate when that happens…so inconvenient.

Lorraine: This time around, Nancy has taken on a case. Someone has been sending threatening messages to the publisher and co-owner of Flash magazine. I’d like to imagine from here on out that Flash is something akin to Tiger Beat.

Nancy is amazed because Flash‘s headquarters has six or seven brand new computers. Six or seven. At a magazine. OH, EIGHTIES.

Nancy goes to meet the publisher, Yvonne. We’re told a million times that Yvonne “doesn’t seemed to be liked” or that she’s the type of person no one would mess with. Basically, I think Nancy wants to tell us she’s a bitch. Good thing I’m here to interpret. I got you, Nance.

Sweeney: That Yvonne is a real bitch… (I couldn’t resist…)

Lorraine: Great, now we all picture a disembodied head for the rest of the recap. Don’t worry, that actually improves the story.

Yvonne tells us about the threatening letters and about how she’s sure Mick, the other owner of the magazine, is writing them. Something about cracking up and not being able to handle the pressure of success. For those of you playing at home, this of course means that Mick didn’t do it.

It’s like when you watch an episode of House and within the first 10 minutes he’s all, “it’s autoimmune,” and then it never is autoimmune.


Yvonne further explains that Flash has been offered to be bought out by some big company. She won’t sell and Mick won’t either, but for some reason, the threatening-letter-sender seems to think she will sell. The letters are all, “reconsider selling OR ELSE.” If this all sounds muddled and far fetched: yes.

Sweeney: I thought contrivance was supposed to make things simple and bring people together? Isn’t there some sort of rule against being both awfully contrived and incomprehensible? (Oh, wait. Nevermind.)

Lorraine: After Nan agrees to take the case under the guise of a new intern, Yvonne calls Mick into her office for introductions. Mick comes in, upset to be pulled away from his work and Yvonne just baits him further with insults. She also tells him that she hired Nancy as his assistant “as a surprise.”

Mick is all, “OH HELL NO,” breaks a glass vase in the office, says something to the effect of, “you’re going down, bitch,” and storms out. Yvonne tells Nancy, “SEE? I told you he was cray-cray,” but Nancy isn’t completely buying it.

Sweeney: Sorry. Opening the Twilight gif folder was like opening Pandora’s box. If her box was filled with stupid instead of plagues and sadness and stuff. Or maybe it’s the same thing.

Lorraine: Girlfriend, Twilight isa plague, but I won’t get started on that. Instead I will just nod my agreement. Mostly I agree to you having a Twilight gif folder.

Deciding that, if nothing else, Mick is a tad too eager to break shit, Nancy calls Ned Nickerson, her brown haired on-again, off-again. She tells him she might need some additional protection while she’s on the case. Ned is ticked off because they were supposed to go on some Spring Break trip, and of course, again, Nancy has to cancel for a case. After much hemming and hawing, Ned agrees to join Nan.

It’s funny because last week, while working on a new page for CT, Sara and I were reading through all of our old posts. Sara was sending me funny quotes from some of our past recaps and there was one I found especially entertaining. “Who wrote that?” I asked. “Uh, you,” she said. Oh.

And than I laughed even harder. I forgot I’d written it.

I bring this up now because I usually write the recaps as I read the books. This time around, however, I’ve actually finished the book and I’m trying to recall the important details. This is really hard guys. How have I forgotten already?!

Sweeney: That’s how I felt the one time I tried to go that route. I can’t do it. The vast majority of what happens in these books is absolutely inconsequential and has no impact on the outcome so it’s completely forgettable. NOBODY CAN RETAIN THAT MUCH CONTRIVANCE.

Lorraine: I feel better after that explanation. Thank you. Onward:

Nancy sees a reporter lady (I forgot her name) at Flash whom she knows and could possibly blow her cover. In an attempt to avoid her, she rushes into the nearest office, which happens to belong to David Someshit, editor in chief of Flash and boyfriend to Yvonne. David tells her she better never step foot in his office again. He immediately becomes a suspect, basically because he’s an asshole.

Nancy helps Mick and some other interns out on a photo shoot and sees a softer, more caring side to him. But she also learns that’s he’s a big practical joker. In fact, he rigged a rubber ax to fall on top of her and, well, Nancy didn’t find it funny. I on the other hand laughed out loud.

Sweeney: Why don’t our other fictional characters get this kind of treatment? I feel a little cheated.

Lorraine: Someone plants a tarantula in Yvonne’s desk and Nancy finds really crappy clues, like Mick’s jacket button near Yvonne’s desk. Yvonne remains convinced that Mick is guilty. Three or four different characters are all, “why don’t we just call the police,” and I’m all, “OMG, RIGHT?” but they seem to forget they suggested it even before all the words are out.”Why don’t we call the po… OH LOOK A BUTTON. SHINY.”

Sweeney: I’ll stop now.

Lorraine: Nancy remembers that she knows asshole David from somewhere else. See, some contrivance contrivance contrivance contrivance, means that contrivance contrivance contrivance which Nancy remembered contrivance. Lo and behold, David used to work for MediaCorp, the company trying to buy out Flash magazine and the source of all our strife.

Sweeney: MediaCorp sounds like a Rupert Murdoch owned company. David used to work for Rupert Murdoch and is therefore the murderer. In all other circumstances, you could point out that this is illogical. Not here in Traumaland, folks!

Lorraine: Through some snooping, Nancy finds a letter that insinuates that David is still working for MediaCorpRupert Murdoch.

Over in anytime-is-a-good-time-for-boy-problems-land, aka, the next chapter, Nancy is getting really jealous of Ned flirting with Mick’s sister Sondra.

Ned: What’s your problem?
Nancy: Nothing.
Ned: Then why are you avoiding me?
Ned: …so there is a problem?

Yes, Ned. Yes. Mostly the problem is that Nancy is the one ignoring Ned and taking him for granted because she gets off on figuring things out and not on… uh, penis.

After a lunch with George and Bess, Nancy’s best friends who appear in this book to remind us that they are the stupidest girls ever invented, Nancy returns to work. She hears a gunshot and runs to Yvonne’s office. Yvonne faints in front of her. The office fills up with nosy bitches, Nan takes Yvonne’s pulse and notices that it’s racing instead of being faint. Like what usually happens when one faints.

Nancy, best detective ever, notices but decides to ignore it for the time being. Instead she starts detecting shit, aka looking around the room, and notices Mick is absent. She decides he’s totally the attempted murderer. Later that day, when Mick shows up, Nancy walks in on him pulling out a revolver out of his desk drawer.

Nancy tries to un-arm him and perhaps make a citizen’s arrest? I don’t know, but again, a shot is fired and Mick goes down. Just then, the police walk into the office (did I forget to mention they were called? Police are so insignificant) and arrest Nancy for the murder of Mick. Meanwhile, Ned is hugging and consoling Sondra. I mean, sure her brother is dead, but dude, your girlfriend is in handcuffs. Go pat her on the head, kay?

Sweeney: I lied. I just had to show you that Ned and RPattz have things in common.

Lorraine: We get a page or two of Nancy defending herself when LOL JAYKAY, Mick gets up all, “what a headache!” Apparently these CHICAGO POLICE OFFICERS arrested Nancy for MURDER before they actually checked if there was a dead person. Well, fuck. No wonder no one wants to call the police.

Sweeney: No. Just. No. I refuse to believe this. This is an astounding new level of stupid that goes well beyond your standard issue *facepalm* moments that are so endemic in these books.

Lorraine: Nancy and Mick are taken down to the station. Our girl detective tells the officer that she saw Mick pulling the gun out of his desk and- oh, hey what do you know. They’ve run super!fast!ballistics! and the gun was in fact the gun used to shoot at Yvonne. That’s enough evidence for the Chicago PD, who arrest Mich for attempted murder.

Sweeney: I really should know better than to try to make this shit make sense.

Lorraine: Sondra is still crying. Ned is still hugging her. Nancy breaks up with Ned. Nancy finally decides to remember that Yvonne faked fainting. You know, after she got a man arrested. She goes back to Flashand develops the roll of film in Mick’s camera. One of the pictures gives Mick an alibi and I’d explain how, but it involves shadows and the position of the sun. I shit you not.

Yvonne fires Nancy because she was supposed to get Mick arrested not get him out of jail. Mick, on the other hand, is totally grateful, and decides to pay her back by taking her to some magazine awards called “The Maggies.” Again, I’m not making this up.

Flash wins an award and Yvonne and Mick go up to accept. Unfortunately, one of the stages lights falls on top of Mick. Yvonne jumps out of the way on time.

While visiting Mick in the hospital, Nancy has her A-HA! moment and puts together that David and Yvonne are in cahoots and are trying to frame Mick. Yeeeeeeeah. Maybe you should’ve been paying more attention when Yvonne hired you and basically said, “MICK DID IT.” Or even when she FIRED YOU just because you proved Mick didn’t do it. Stupid Nancy.

Nancy calls Ned and he’s all happy because he think she’s calling to make-up. Nancy actually says, “no. This is more important.” Ned is all, “bitch. More important than our relationship?” Nancy just sort of “duh’s” him.

Nan arrives at Flash where it’s time to take down the suspects, but not before Ned and Nancy have a relationship talk. Yeah, that’s fine. Let’s discuss your jealousy issues and hope the murderer doesn’t, you know, get away.

When all that talking is over with, Nancy goes to try and tape a confession from Yovonne. She manages to outsmart Nancy though and holds a gun to her face. Yvonne sets the darkroom on fires with Nancy, Ned and Sondra in there. She ties them up but Nancy remembers how Houdini sometimes used his teeth to escape and chews her way through Sondra’s rope. NOPE. STILL NOT KIDDING. The kids manage to escape, and Ned and Nancy find time, while the office is still burning, to kiss and cuddle.

In the end, Yvonne is arrested, Flash didn’t suffer too much damage from the fire and Ned and Nancy love each other and tell each other that 8 times in the last two pages. Ned confesses to kissing Sondra once, but Nancy has to forgive him because she kissed Daryl Gray way back in book one. Not to mention, she stands in front of different guys on her covers all the time.

Every time I read another one of these books, I’m amazed at how dull they are. WHY DOES THIS KEEP SURPRISING ME?


Next time on The Nancy Drew Files: Nan travels to Fort Lauderdale for Spring Break. Guess who also lives in Fort Lauderdale? LORRAINE. Will Lorraine suddenly start hating where she lives? Find out in #5 – Hit and Run Holiday.


Marines (all posts)

I'm a 20-something south Floridan who loves the beach but cannot swim. Such is my life, full of small contradictions and little trivialities. My main life goals are never to take life too seriously, but to do everything I attempt seriously well. After that, my life goals devolve into things like not wearing pants and eating all of the Zebra Cakes in the world. THE WORLD.

Sweeney (all posts)

I collect elaborate false eyelashes, panda gifs, and passport stamps. I earned my MA in Global Communications and watching too many YouTube videos. Now people pay me to edit YouTube videos. The circle of life. Reconciling my aversion to leaving the house/wearing pants with my deep desire to explore everything is my life's great struggle.

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  • Nugs

    Oh God. So. Much. Twilight.

    Must. Start. Drinking.

    PS- that Yvonne pic is from my Facebook, isn't it?

  • As much as I hate the Twishite Saga, I kind of loved those GIFs… And come on y'all – you can't blame Ned, really. He's got to overcome a surname that I always read as "Knickers On", so he's clearly going to struggle with the ladies!! Even if they are thick as brick shithouses… (< -- that's Australian for 'dumb as a box of hammers') Also? I once read a children's book from the early 90s which featured a ton of computer nerds ooh-ing and aah-ing over a new computer in a magazine. It had a full colour screen, a 1GB hard drive, and cost $10,000. Lol.

  • Because Lorraine and Nancy Drew will be in the same place, does that mean our snarky friend will make sure all the places she solves these murders in will be legit?

    I think we're going to need proof that Nancy was really there. You go, Lorraine!

  • Ley

    Holy Twilight GIFs, Sweeney you have some mad collecting skills.

  • I LOVE this one. So much stupid happening all at once! She chewed through a rope with her motherfucking teeth. Don't deny how badass that is, Lorraine.

  • Pingback: Nancy Drew Files #003 “Murder on Ice” – Snow is stupid.()

  • Pingback: Nancy Drew Files #005: “Hit and Run Holiday” – Or why you should never be friends with Nancy Drew.()

  • Pingback: Nancy Drew Files #006 “White Water Terror” – Someone’s trying to kill you, FYI.()

  • Karen

    Hello, friends! It’s your friend from the future, returned to inform you that Future Photobucket has gone to the dark side and broken all your embed links.

    CURSE YOU, 2017!

    Also, I have to agree with Sara: chewing through ropes to escape is both ridiculous and kind of badass.

    • Ya know, it’s probably for the best that my Twilight gif folder is broken. But maybe this weekend I will decide to back up my Photobucket in a fit of nostalgia.

      • Karen

        Fair enough. I decided to say “fuck it” and just use a different site in the future, but I just thought you might want a heads up.