|Original 1930s cover, no dust jacket|
While working on a guest blog post this week I had to dig deep to pinpoint the exact moment I realized I wanted nothing more in my life than to become a mystery writer. That defining moment occurred when I was 10 years old and read The Secret of the Old Clock, the first in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories, 1959 edition. This motivated me to revisit the source of my inspiration, so I curled up in a cozy chair in a sunny spot and read the classic, only this time it was the original text of the 1930 version. I felt like a little girl again.
|1930's edition dust jacket|
cover art by Russell H. Tandy
Book Title: The Secret of the Old Clock
Author: Mildred Wirt Benson, writing as Carolyn Keene
Genre: YA Mystery Adventure
Publication date: 1930 (I read a 1991 reprint of the original)
Publisher: Applewood Books
Favorite Passage: Long after his daughter had retired, Carson Drew sat by the fire. At last he, too arose.
“It wouldn’t surprise me if
has stumbled upon a real mystery,” he told himself, as he snapped out the electric light and turned toward the stairway. “Perhaps I shouldn’t encourage her to dig into it, but after all it’s in a good cause!” Nancy
Beach Read Rating: 5 (out of 5) Beach Umbrellas
Review: I remember twice in my life when my beliefs were shattered. First as a child when my friend
told me there was no Santa Claus, and second as an adult I found out there was no Carolyn Keene. There were actually eight writers of the original 32 stories (and many more for the more than 500 ensuing Nancy Drew books and associated spin offs), This was all the brain child of Edward Stratemeyer who formed a syndicate for the series books for children (including Hardy Boys, Bobbsey Twins and Tom Swift series), wherein he’d develop the plot then send it out to ghostwriters to complete the manuscript. The ghostwriters were contractually obligated to never reveal themselves as the author. Fellow Ohioan Mildred Wirt Benson wrote 23 of the original titles, earning her $125 for each book, never to collect a single penny in royalties. Barrie
And all that adds to the mystery of these mystery books. But that's another topic for another day.
But if you want to take a trip back in time on the heels of an adventurous young girl, you won’t find a better way to spend a delightful afternoon than with your old friend, Nancy Drew, Girl Detective!
Cover blurb: In this first of the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories,
, unaided, seeks to find a missing will. Her search not only tests her keen mind but also leads her into a thrilling adventure. Nancy