Hello Nancy Drew mystery lovers in Canada, the United States and Newfoundland. It has been fairly quiet here at the Nancy Drew Research Institute (NDRI) this week. The board of directors is seemingly pleased with the direction of the research, we’ve picked up more customers in eastern Europe who are paying handsomely for the results of the research and there is a feeling of bonhomie amongst the team here that is unusual, to say the least. Normally, we have five researchers reading a single edition from the oeuvre at the same time. Independently, notes are taken, cross referenced with the findings of the other members of the team, discussed collectively and then posted. Often, there are conflicts. An example of this might be Nancy goes to a shopping mall and purchases, lets say, a gift. The troubles arise from the very real conflict of should the person who is not even mentioned in the book (i.e. the sales clerk) be included in the statistics. Some say yes. Some say no. Although the guidelines that have been created for us by another team of Nancy Drew researchers seem very definitive – there are gaps. This other team is not affiliated with the NDRI. Instead, they belong to the Association of Nancy Drew Research Guidelines Research (ANDRGR). The problems are, as you can imagine, not just in relation to the guidelines and any fault that we might find with them, but with calling into question the professionalism of their whole association. It’s complicated, n’est ce pas? As to the particular guideline relating to this specific question – here it is:
ARTICLE ONE HUNDRED AND FORTY THREE: SUBSECTION SEVEN: UNMENTIONED CHARACTERS IN A NANCY DREW MYSTERY STORY
Whereas there are a number of people in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories whose significance to the main action of the solving of the mystery are incidental to almost completely unimportant, as evidenced by their receiving no ink whatsoever in the book, it is advised by the ANDRGR that these people should not be enumerated in the official statistics.
It seems clear. But, you try getting five professional researchers in a room together trying to decide if the person who engages with Nancy in the transaction of purchasing a gift to bring joy to the heart of an orphaned girl (with the unintentional added effect of winning the trust of said orphan girl and therefore bringing you closer to solving the mystery) is, in the words of the ANDRGR, a character of “almost complete unimportan(ce).”
Ahhhh… Controversy. We live for it here at the NDRI.