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The Hidden Staircase

The Hidden Staircase, was first published in the regular Nancy Drew® series in 1930. By 1959, it had been revised by Harriet Adams and the Cameo version is the revision. Originally, it was written by Mildred Wirt Benson, who wrote 23 of the original text Nancy Drew® books. Velvet Mask was her 23rd and the last volume she wrote for this series and was the first volume chosen for the Cameos.

In 1959, the Nancy Drew Readers Club premiered and its promotional volume was Velvet Mask. Since it was the promotional volume it is more widely available than the other 12 cameo editions. It only cost club members 10¢, while other volumes each month would be $1.49 each. Hidden Staircase was published in the Cameo format in 1960 along with 5 others from that 1960 set. The volumes from the 1960 set are harder to find than those from the 1959 set. Hidden Staircase is one of the hardest of all Cameos to find whether in dust jacket or without its dust jacket.

The dust jacket featured the art shown at left by Polly Bolian which was also the same art used for the frontispiece. The dust jacket background was yellow in color. The covers as shown above were grey and the spine was yellow in color. The ribbon holding the Cameo was red and the endpapers featured the same red colored ribbon. Shown below are the endpapers, the full dust jacket, and an ad for the cameo editions:

There were 8 line drawings throughout the text on two pages each. The text started on page 7 and due to the larger size of the pages the pages do not match up the same with the regular book version. The internal for pages 22-23 was featured on the back of the dust jacket. Click on the thumbnails below to view these fine drawings by Polly Bolian:

Pgs 22-23
Pgs 48-49
Pgs 74-75
Pgs 90-91
Pgs 112-113
Pgs 132-133
Pgs 154-155
Pgs 174-175


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