Sunday, June 20, 2010

Nancy Drew turns 80!

I think the first real mystery novel I ever read was Nancy Drew's Secret of the Old Clock.  I devoured the rest of the series and have been hooked on suspense ever since. In honor of Nancy's 80th birthday, here's a fun little post I found on:



1. Edward Stratemeyer, of the Stratemeyer Syndicate, created 
Nancy Drew in 1929.  

2. The first three books in the series: The Secret of the Old 
Clock, The Hidden Staircase, and The Bungalow Mystery all 
debuted on April 28, 1930. 

3. Carolyn Keene is a pen name for various ghostwriters who 
have written the books over the years. The first Carolyn Keene 
was Mildred Wirt Benson who wrote 23 of the first 30 Nancy 
Drew books. 

4. When Stratemeyer died 2 weeks after his Nancy Drew series 
debuted in 1930, his daughters Harriet Stratemeyer Adams and Edna Stratemeyer took 
over the series. Harriet ran the Syndicate for 52 more years. She also penned volumes 31 
and 33-56 in the classic series. 

5. Nancy Drew first came to the big screen in 1938 with Nancy Drew…Detective, the first 
of what would be 4 movies released from 1938-1939 and produced by Warner Brothers. 

6. Beginning in 1959 through 1978, the first 34 volumes in the series were revised and 
cut down from 25 chapters to just 20. 

7. Nancy Drew made her television debut along with The Hardy Boys in 1978 with 
alternating Sunday night mysteries on ABC. Actress Pamela Sue Martin played Nancy 

8. The Stratemeyer Syndicate switched publishers in 1979 from Grosset & Dunlap to 
Simon & Schuster resulting in a lawsuit between the parties. Both publishers continue to 
publish Nancy Drew books today. The Stratemeyer Syndicate was sold to Simon & 
Schuster in 1984. 

9. Over 500 Nancy Drew books have been published since 1930. From the classic series 
to spin-offs like the Nancy Drew Files, there isn’t a case that Nancy Drew hasn’t solved! 

10. In 1993, the first ever Nancy Drew Conference was held at the University of Iowa 
with over 500 in attendance and original Carolyn Keene Mildred Wirt Benson made the 
news as ABC’s Person of the Week. Today, the tradition of annual conventions continues 
with the Nancy Drew Sleuths fan group hosting yearly conventions for fans and would-be 
gumshoes. Visit their website:          
Nancy Drew © & ™, Simon & Schuster, Inc. 
Compiled by Nancy Drew consultant, Jennifer Fisher, 


  1. Great post, Lydia! Oh, how I adore Nancy Drew! I loved the books, I watched the television show religiously. This series (and the Hardy Boys of course!) was a great way to get addicted to reading as a kid.

  2. I so agree Penny about these books being a great way to get kids reading. I can't wait until my daughter is old enough for them!

  3. Great post! I grew up reading Nancy Drew and other series books. Books were my favorite gifts and my mom always got me a new one for birthday and Christmas presents. My early love of reading encouraged me to pursue writing.

  4. Love Nancy...she is the reason I am a writer today! Thanks for all the great info on her.

    Alison Chambers

  5. I love Nancy Drew! I have all fifty of the "original" mysteries, and I re-read at least a few of them a year. Currently working my way through from the beginning again and loving it.
    On the retro-romantic front, I've picked up a few stand-alone John Dickson Carr novels that are awesome.
    (Thanks for the link, btw! And love the website.)

  6. Thanks Jennie. How fabulous to have all fifty of the originals! I had many of them from childhood and gave them away to my grammar school when I moved. I'm glad the kids in my old school are reading Nancy, but I also wish I had them now for my daughter.