I've been reading the Nancy Drew Files series recently, and I just realized that Brenda Carlton hasn't shown up in a long time.
Brenda is supposed to be Nancy's big rival. She's basically the 1980's equivalent of Deirdre Shannon; both of them are selfish, spoiled rich brats who mess up Nancy's investigations. They're the same age as Nancy. Brenda was in Books 1, 4 and 10. She also appears in some of the 8-year-old Nancy Drew books.
I find it interesting that both of Nancy's rivals are incompetent. Brenda is a bumbling idiot, who likes to think that she's a great detective. Deirdre couldn't detect her way out of a paper bag. I guess the series didn't want to give Nancy any legitimate competition, when it comes to mystery-solving.
Kind of a lost opportunity there. I mean, half of Brenda's storylines are her, challenging Nancy to a mystery-solving competition. You know, "I bet I can solve the mystery before you do!". But outside of issuing challenges, Brenda doesn't seem interested in solving mysteries. Neither does Deirdre. What's the point of having a rival, who doesn't actually compete with you? Seems strange.
Book 20 takes place at the local newspaper, and I kept expecting Brenda to show up, 'cause that's where she works. Nope, she's not in the book at all. I sure hope they haven't written her out of the series. She was an interesting character. Well, kind of.