Edward Stratemeyer died suddenly in 1930, the same year the series premiered, and Harriett Adams took over the syndicate. Under her guidance, Nancy underwent a heavy revision in 1959, becoming more sedate and less snooty. Take, for instance, the first book "The Secret of the Old Clock." "1930 Nancy was more emotional and chided herself. She was a little less perfect and more real," wrote Nancy Drew expert Jennifer Fisher. "1930 Nancy referred to the Topham girls as 'vapid creatures' and said they do not deserve the Crowley fortune. By 1959, this rather un-Nancy like behavior was shouldered upon Hannah Gruen."
In the revision, Nancy aged from 16 to 18 (so she could legally drive in all 50 states), exchanged her roadster for a convertible (to keep up with the times) and had more of a familial relationship with the housekeeper Hannah Gruen; originally, she played more of a servant role. Hannah, who was invariably described as "motherly," provided a somewhat parental figure for Nancy, whose mother, we're given to understand, died when Nancy was 3. But at the same time she wasn't so much of a parent as to forbid Nancy from undertaking her various adventures. Adams also removed some of the racially stereotypical characters that had clouded the original series.
In 2004, another set of revisions followed, which put the Nancy Drew books into the first person, and had her tooling around in a hybrid vehicle (still blue) and helping Hannah with domestic chores. Her best friends remained the "pleasantly plump" Bess Marvin and her cousin, the athletic tomboy George Fayne.