Carolyn Keene

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Carolyn Keene is the pseudonym of the authors of the Nancy Drew mystery stories and The Dana Girls mystery stories, both produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. In addition, the Keene pen name is credited with the Nancy Drew spin-off, River Heights and the Nancy Drew Notebooks.

Edward Stratemeyer, the founder of the Syndicate, hired writers, beginning with Mildred Wirt, later Mildred Wirt Benson, to write the manuscripts for the Nancy Drew books.[1] The writers initially were paid $125 for each book and were required by their contract to give up all rights to the work and to maintain confidentiality.

Benson is credited as the primary writer of Nancy Drew books under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene.[2] Harriet Adams (Stratemeyer's daughter) rewrote the original books and added new titles after the withdrawal of Benson.[3]

Other ghostwriters who used this name to write Nancy Drew mysteries included Leslie McFarlane, James Duncan Lawrence, Walter Karig, Nancy Axelrad, Priscilla Doll, Charles Strong, Alma Sasse, Wilhelmina Rankin, George Waller Jr., Margaret Scherf, and Susan Wittig Albert. Also involved in the Nancy Drew writing process were Harriet Stratemeyer Adams's daughters, who gave input on the series and sometimes helped to choose book titles;[2](p158) the Syndicate's secretary, Harriet Otis Smith, who invented the characters of Nancy's friends Bess and George;[2](p140) and the editors at Grosset and Dunlap.[2](p228)

In 1979, the Stratemeyer Syndicate changed publishers to Simon & Schuster, a move that the former publishers, Grosset and Dunlap, went to court to prevent, claiming a breach of contract. The decision was made in favor of the Syndicate, stating that they could choose which publisher they would like to use, for subsequent entries in the series.

In 1985, the Syndicate was bought by publishers Simon & Schuster; the Drew books are now handled by Mega-Books, a New York book packager.[4]


Nancy Drew[edit]

1930-1957 (25 chapter text at Grosset & Dunlap/Stratemeyer Syndicate)
#PersonStoryYearRev.Revised by
1Mildred Wirt BensonThe Secret of the Old Clock19301959Harriet Adams
2The Hidden Staircase
3The Bungalow Mystery1960Patricia Doll
4The Mystery at Lilac Inn1961
5The Secret of Shadow Ranch19311965Grace Gote
6The Secret of Red Gate Farm1961Lynn Ealer
7The Clue in the Diary19321962Harriet Adams
8Walter KarigNancy's Mysterious Letter1968
9The Sign of the Twisted Candles1933Patricia Doll
10Password to Larkspur Lane1966
15Mildred Wirt BensonThe Clue of the Broken Locket19341965Grace Gote
12The Message in the Hollow Oak19351972
13The Mystery of the Ivory Charm19361974Priscilla Baker-Carr
14The Whispering Statue19371970Harriet Adams
15The Haunted Bridge1972Priscilla Baker-Carr
16The Clue of the Tapping Heels19391969Harriet Adams
17Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk19401976
18Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion19411971
19The Quest of the Missing Map19421969Priscilla Baker-Carr
20The Clue in the Jewel Box19431972
21The Secret in the Old Attic19441970
22The Clue in the Crumbling Wall19451973
23Mystery of the Tolling Bell1946
24The Clue in the Old Album19471977
25The Ghost of Blackwood Hall19481967
26George Waller, Jr.The Clue of the Leaning Chimney1949
27Margaret ScherfThe Secret of the Wooden Lady1950
28Whilemina RankinThe Clue of the Black Keys19511968
29Alma SasseMystery at the Ski Jump1952Ann Shultes
30Mildred Wirt BensonThe Clue of the Velvet Mask19531969Priscilla Baker-Carr
31Harriet AdamsThe Ringmaster's Secret1974June Dunn
32Charles StrongThe Scarlet Slipper Mystery1954Ann Shultes
33Harriet AdamsThe Witch Tree Symbol19551975
34Patricia DollThe Hidden Window Mystery1956Mary Fischer
35Harriet AdamsThe Haunted Showboat1957
1959-1979 (20 chapter text at Grosset & Dunlap/Stratemeyer Syndicate)
36Harriet AdamsThe Secret of the Golden Pavilion1959
37The Clue in the Old Stagecoach1960
38The Mystery of the Fire Dragon1961
39The Clue of the Dancing Puppet1962
40The Moonstone Castle Mystery1963
41The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes1964
42The Phantom of Pine Hill1965
43The Mystery of the 99 Steps1966
44The Clue in the Crossword Cipher1967
45The Spider Sapphire Mystery1968
46The Invisible Intruder1969
47The Mysterious Mannequin1970
48The Crooked Banister1971
49The Secret of Mirror Bay1972
50The Double Jinx Mystery1973
51Mystery of the Glowing Eye1974
52The Secret of the Forgotten City1975
53The Sky Phantom1976
54The Strange Message in the Parchment1977
55Mystery of Crocodile Island1978
56The Thirteenth Pearl1979
1979-1985 (20 chapter text at Simon & Schuster/Stratemeyer Syndicate)
57Harriet AdamsThe Triple Hoax1979
58The Flying Saucer Mystery1980
59Nancy AxelradThe Secret in the Old Lace
60The Greek Symbol Mystery
61The Swami's Ring1981
62Sharon WagnerThe Kachina Doll Mystery
63Nancy AxelradThe Twin Dilemma
64Richard BallardCaptive Witness
65Nancy AxelradMystery of the Winged Lion1982
66James Duncan LawrenceRace Against Time
67Richard BallardThe Sinister Omen
68Sharon WagnerThe Elusive Heiress
69James Duncan LawrenceClue of the Ancient Disguise
70Sharon WagnerThe Broken Anchor1983
71James Duncan LawrenceThe Silver Cobweb
72The Haunted Carousel
73Enemy Match1984
74The Mysterious Image
75Sharon WagnerThe Emerald-Eyed Cat Mystery
76The Eskimo's Secret1985
77James Duncan LawrenceThe Bluebeard Room
78The Phantom of Venice

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lundin, Leigh (28 May 2014). "The Secret of the Ageless Girl". New York: Ellery Queen. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d Rehak, Melanie (2006). Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her. Harvest Books. ISBN 015603056X. 
  3. ^ Lundin, Leigh (1 June 2014). "Secrets of the Girl Sleuth". Orlando: SleuthSayers. Retrieved 8 June 2014. 
  4. ^ Plunkett-Powell, Karen (1993). The Nancy Drew Scrapbook: 60 Years of America's Favorite Teenage Sleuth. St. Martin's Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0312098810. 

External links[edit]