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Nancy Drew Mystery Stories®

On April 28, 1930, Nancy Drew® debuted to the world and a sleuth was born in the form of a three-volume breeder set. This set included the first 3 volumes shown above, The Secret of the Old Clock, The Hidden Staircase, and The Bungalow Mystery.

Under the pen name of "Carolyn Keene," Mildred "Millie" Wirt Benson began what would become legendary--an independent, intelligent, plucky sleuth. Nancy could chase after suspects in her classy frocks and in heels, drive off for adventure in her blue roadster at her every whim, and solve even the most baffling of mysteries. She was every child's dream and a great way to escape into the world of River Heights with its many mysteries waiting to be solved by Nancy. Millie herself was an independent person and was only 24 years old when she wrote the first book. Her feisty spirit became embodied in Nancy's personality and character.

Millie wrote 23 of the first 30 original text Nancy Drew® books:

  • volume #1, The Secret of the Old Clock
  • volume #2, The Hidden Staircase
  • volume #3, The Bungalow Mystery
  • volume #4, The Mystery at Lilac Inn
  • volume #5, The Secret at Shadow Ranch
  • volume #6, The Secret of Red Gate Farm
  • volume #7, The Clue in the Diary
  • volume #11, The Clue of the Broken Locket
  • volume #12, The Message in the Hollow Oak
  • volume #13, The Mystery of the Ivory Charm
  • volume #14, The Whispering Statue
  • volume #15, The Haunted Bridge
  • volume #16, The Clue of the Tapping Heels
  • volume #17, The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk
  • volume #18, The Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion
  • volume #19, The Quest of the Missing Map
  • volume #20, The Clue in the Jewel Box
  • volume #21, The Secret in the Old Attic
  • volume #22, The Clue in the Crumbling Wall
  • volume #23, The Mytery of the Tolling Bell
  • volume #24, The Clue in the Old Album
  • volume #25, The Ghost of Blackwood Hall
  • volume #30, The Clue of the Velvet Mask

You will have an original Millie text if your book has 25 chapters and around 200 or so pages. If you have a version with just 20 chapters and a copyright date of later than 1959, this is a revision of Millie's original text. These revisions are mostly the writing of Millie, but they have been pared down, scenes added or deleted, and as Millie would say, they "took the spice out of them." Volumes 2, 4, 5, 11, 12, 14, 17, and 18 were all new stories with new plots and characters when revised and only 2 and 4 bear some similar resemblance to Millie's original texts.

If you are looking for the originals, you can always sleuth in your local bookstores and antique malls, online at bookstores and auction sites such as eBay, or you can buy Applewood Books reprints online at their website or at your local retail bookstores. Books 4 and 5 have introductions by Millie which are very interesting to read.

For more information on the Nancy Drew series and its formats, please visit The Nancy Drew Sleuth Unofficial Website!

Copyright 2001-2015 by Jennifer Fisher. All Rights Reserved. Nancy Drew® and the Hardy Boys® are registered trademarks of Simon & Schuster, Inc. All rights reserved. This site is neither affiliated with nor endorsed by Simon & Schuster, Inc. Any of Simon & Schuster's Copyright material appearing on this site complies with fair or acceptable use principles established in U.S. and International copyright law for the purpose of review, study, criticism, or news reporting.