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The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories is the first book series to feature Nancy Drew, and it is the most well-known series in the Nancy Drew franchise. The series ran from 1930 to 2003 and consists of 175 books, which are still in print today. The first 56 books were published by Grosset & Dunlap, and the remaining books were published by Simon & Schuster.

History

Original

The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories were first published on April 28, 1930, by publisher Grosset & Dunlap. The series was created by book packaging pioneer Edward Stratemeyer, who died two weeks after the character's debut. Upon his death, his daughters Harriet Adams and Edna Stratemeyer (later Squier) took over his book packaging company, the Stratemeyer Syndicate.

From 1930 to 1957, each volume consisted of 25 chapters, with approximately 210 pages. From 1930 to 1936, each featured three illustrations plus a frontispiece. From 1937 onward, there was only the frontispiece. In 1943, Russell Tandy revised all the front pieces to ink-lined sketches, due to rationing during World War II. In 1950, Russell Tandy retired and was replaced by artist Bill Gillies. Gillies was then replaced in 1953 by Rudy Nappi.

Revisions

Beginning in 1958, the Stratemeyer Syndicate began the process of revising every Nancy Drew book published up to that point (34 volumes). This was driven by complaints of racist behaviors/stereotypes, outdated language and situations, and a desire to shorten the books for printing costs and to compete with television. The first 34 books were revised in a process that lasted from 1959 to 1977.

In the revision process, many titles took on choppy storylines, dropped/changed subplots and characters, and in some cases, completely different plots. Eight titles ended up with completely different plots as a result of this:

  • 2. The Hidden Staircase
  • 4. The Mystery at Lilac Inn
  • 5. The Secret at Shadow Ranch
  • 11. The Clue of the Broken Locket
  • 12. The Message in the Hollow Oak
  • 14. The Whispering Statue
  • 17. The Mystery of the Brass Bound Trunk
  • 18. The Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion

The revised editions each consist of 20 chapters, and are approximately 170-180 pages in length. The illustrations became pencil sketches of various scenes, and there are approximately six of these throughout each book (plus the frontispiece).

Move to Simon & Schuster

By the late 1970s, relations between the Stratemeyer Syndicate and Grosset & Dunlap had become tense. Harriet Adams was often in dispute with Grosset & Dunlap editor Anne Hagan over the series' direction, and was upset with many of the publisher's decisions during the last couple of years of their association. Many of the Syndicate's partners also believed the publisher was withholding proper royalties by using the contract signed by Edward Stratemeyer fifty years earlier for the royalty (which, by the late 1970s, had become a very low figure due to inflation and the end of the gold standard in 1933). To cut costs, Adams approached the publishers about switching the Syndicate's series to paperback format. However, Grosset & Dunlap adamantly refused.

In 1979, the Stratemeyer Syndicate announced it would leave longtime partner Grosset & Dunlap for its competitor, Simon & Schuster. The latter not only agreed to print the books in paperback, but also to give more creative control to the Syndicate. Shocked by the move, Grosset & Dunlap sued both the Syndicate and Simon & Schuster (then owned by Gulf + Western) for breach of contract. In 1982, a judge found that while Grosset & Dunlap could reprint the titles it already had printed up to 1979, the Syndicate was free to take their series to whichever publisher they wanted.

Adams died in March 1982, and the Syndicate and its characters were sold to Simon & Schuster in 1985. After the sale, the publisher put the Mystery Stories on hiatus to launch The Nancy Drew Files. In 1987, the series was revived, with Mega-Books serving as the packager, and Anne Greenberg as the editor. The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories continued at Simon & Schuster until 2003, lasting 175 volumes across both publishers.

In 2005, when both Simon & Schuster and Grosset & Dunlap celebrated the 75th anniversary of the Nancy Drew character, Grosset & Dunlap was allowed to republish books 57 through 64 in hardcover format for the first time. They retained the same formatting and illustrations from their first printings. These books went out of print in 2013.

List of Books

1930-1979: The "Original 56"

# Title Orig.

Year

Ghostwriter Rev. Year Ghostwriter
1 The Secret of the Old Clock 1930 Mildred Wirt 1959 Harriet Adams
2 The Hidden Staircase 1930 Mildred Wirt 1959 Harriet Adams
3 The Bungalow Mystery 1930 Mildred Wirt 1960 Patricia Doll
4 The Mystery at Lilac Inn 1930 Mildred Wirt 1961 Patricia Doll
5 The Secret at Shadow Ranch 1931 Mildred Wirt 1965 Grace Gote
6 The Secret of Red Gate Farm 1931 Mildred Wirt 1961 Lynn Ealer
7 The Clue in the Diary 1932 Mildred Wirt 1962 Harriet Adams
8 Nancy's Mysterious Letter 1932 Walter Karig 1968 Harriet Adams
9 The Sign of the Twisted Candles 1933 Walter Karig 1968 Patricia Doll
10 The Password to Larkspur Lane 1933 Walter Karig 1966 Patricia Doll
11 The Clue of the Broken Locket 1934 Mildred Wirt 1965 Grace Gote
12 The Message in the Hollow Oak 1935 Mildred Wirt 1972 Grace Gote
13 The Mystery of the Ivory Charm 1936 Mildred Wirt 1974 Priscilla Baker-Carr
14 The Whispering Statue 1937 Mildred Wirt 1970 Harriet Adams
15 The Haunted Bridge 1937 Mildred Wirt 1972 Priscilla Baker-Carr
16 The Clue of the Tapping Heels 1939 Mildred Wirt 1969 Harriet Adams
17 The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk 1940 Mildred Wirt 1976 Harriet Adams
18 The Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion 1941 Mildred Wirt 1971 Harriet Adams
19 The Quest of the Missing Map 1942 Mildred Wirt 1969 Priscilla Baker-Carr
20 The Clue in the Jewel Box 1943 Mildred Wirt 1972 Priscilla Baker-Carr
21 The Secret in the Old Attic 1944 Mildred Wirt 1970 Priscilla Baker-Carr
22 The Clue in the Crumbling Wall 1945 Mildred Wirt 1973 Priscilla Baker-Carr
23 The Mystery of the Tolling Bell 1946 Mildred Wirt 1973 Priscilla Baker-Carr
24 The Clue in the Old Album 1947 Mildred Wirt 1977 Priscilla Baker-Carr
25 The Ghost of Blackwood Hall 1948 Mildred Wirt 1967 Priscilla Baker-Carr
26 The Clue of the Leaning Chimney 1949 George Waller, Jr. 1967 Priscilla Baker-Carr
27 The Secret of the Wooden Lady 1950 Margaret Scherf 1967 Priscilla Baker-Carr
28 The Clue of the Black Keys 1951 Whilemina Rankin 1968 Priscilla Baker-Carr
29 The Mystery at the Ski Jump 1952 Alma Sasse 1968 Ann Shultes
30 The Clue of the Velvet Mask 1953 Mildred Wirt Benson 1969 Priscilla Baker-Carr
31 The Ringmaster's Secret 1953 Harriet Adams 1974 June Dunn
32 The Scarlet Slipper Mystery 1954 Charles S. Strong 1974 Ann Shultes
33 The Witch Tree Symbol 1955 Harriet Adams 1975 Ann Shultes
34 The Hidden Window Mystery 1956 Patricia Doll 1975 Mary Fischer
35 The Haunted Showboat 1957 Harriet Adams
36 The Secret of the Golden Pavilion 1959 Harriet Adams
37 The Clue in the Old Stagecoach 1960 Harriet Adams
38 The Mystery of the Fire Dragon 1961 Harriet Adams
39 The Clue of the Dancing Puppet 1962 Harriet Adams
40 The Moonstone Castle Mystery 1963 Harriet Adams
41 The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes 1964 Harriet Adams
42 The Phantom of Pine Hill 1965 Harriet Adams
43 The Mystery of the 99 Steps 1966 Harriet Adams
44 The Clue in the Crossword Cipher 1967 Harriet Adams
45 The Spider Sapphire Mystery 1968 Harriet Adams
46 The Invisible Intruder 1969 Harriet Adams
47 The Mysterious Mannequin 1970 Harriet Adams
48 The Crooked Banister 1971 Harriet Adams
49 The Secret of Mirror Bay 1972 Harriet Adams
50 The Double Jinx Mystery 1973 Harriet Adams
51 Mystery of the Glowing Eye 1974 Harriet Adams
52 The Secret of the Forgotten City 1975 Harriet Adams
53 The Sky Phantom 1976 Harriet Adams
54 The Strange Message in the Parchment 1977 Harriet Adams
55 Mystery of Crocodile Island 1978 Harriet Adams
56 The Thirteenth Pearl 1979 Harriet Adams

1979-1985: The "Wanderer Era"

The list of authorship is confirmed from "the Beneckie Papers", a list of Syndicate ghostwriters which Nancy Axelrad composed in 1985 during the sale of the Stratemeyer Syndicate. The authorship of volumes 73 and 75 are unknown.

# Title Orig. Ghostwriter
57 The Triple Hoax 1979 Harriet Adams
58 The Flying Saucer Mystery 1980 Harriet Adams
59 The Secret in the Old Lace 1980 Harriet Adams & Nancy Axelrad
60 The Greek Symbol Mystery 1980 Nancy Axelrad
61 The Swami's Ring 1981 Nancy Axelrad
62 The Kachina Doll Mystery 1981 Sharon Wagner
63 The Twin Dilemma 1981 Nancy Axelrad
64 Captive Witness 1981 Richard Ballard
65 Mystery of the Winged Lion 1982 Nancy Axelrad
66 Race Against Time 1982 James Duncan Lawrence
67 The Sinister Omen 1982 Richard Ballard
68 The Elusive Heiress 1982 Sharon Wagner
69 Clue in the Ancient Disguise 1982 James Duncan Lawrence
70 The Broken Anchor 1983 Sharon Wagner
71 The Silver Cobweb 1983 James Duncan Lawrence
72 The Haunted Carousel 1983 James Duncan Lawrence
73 Enemy Match 1984
74 The Mysterious Image 1984 James Duncan Lawrence
75 The Emerald-Eyed Cat Mystery 1984
76 The Eskimo's Secret 1985 Sharon Wagner
77 The Bluebeard Room 1985 James Duncan Lawrence
78 The Phantom of Venice 1985 James Duncan Lawrence

1987-2003: The "Digests"

# Title Orig. Ghostwriter
79 The Double Horror of Fenley Place 1987
80 The Case of the Disappearing Diamonds 1987
81 The Mardi Gras Mystery 1988
82 The Clue in the Camera 1988
83 The Case of the Vanishing Veil 1988
84 The Joker's Revenge 1988
85 The Secret of Shady Glen 1988
86 The Mystery of Misty Canyon 1988
87 The Case of the Rising Stars 1989
88 The Search for Cindy Austin 1989
89 The Case of the Disappearing Deejay 1989
90 The Puzzle at Pineview School 1989
91 The Girl Who Couldn't Remember 1989
92 The Ghost of Craven Cove 1989
93 The Case of the Safecracker's Secret 1990
94 The Picture-Perfect Mystery 1990
95 The Silent Suspect 1990
96 The Case of the Photo Finish 1990
97 The Mystery of Magnolia Mansion 1990 Alison Hart
98 The Haunting of Horse Island 1990
99 The Secret at Seven Rocks 1991
100 A Secret in Time 1991
101 The Mystery of the Missing Millionairess 1991
102 The Secret in the Dark 1991
103 The Stranger in the Shadows 1991
104 The Mystery of the Jade Tiger 1991
105 The Clue in the Antique Trunk 1992
106 The Case of the Artful Crime 1992
107 The Legend of Miner's Creek 1992
108 The Secret of the Tibetan Treasure 1992
109 The Mystery of the Masked Rider 1992
110 The Nutcracker Ballet Mystery 1992
111 The Secret at Solaire 1993
112 Crime in the Queen's Court 1993
113 The Secret Lost at Sea 1993
114 The Search for the Silver Persian 1993
115 The Suspect in the Smoke 1993
116 The Case of the Twin Teddy Bears 1993
117 Mystery on the Menu 1994
118 Trouble At Lake Tahoe 1994
119 The Mystery of the Missing Mascot 1994
120 The Case of the Floating Crime 1994
121 The Fortune Teller's Secret 1994
122 The Message in the Haunted Mansion 1994
123 The Clue on the Silver Screen 1995
124 The Secret of the Scarlet Hand 1995
125 The Teen Model Mystery 1995
126 The Riddle in the Rare Book 1995
127 The Case of the Dangerous Solution 1995
128 The Treasure in the Royal Tower 1995
129 The Baby-Sitter Burglaries 1996
130 The Sign of the Falcon 1996
131 The Hidden Inheritance 1996
132 The Fox Hunt Mystery 1996
133 The Mystery at the Crystal Palace 1996
134 The Secret of the Forgotten Cave 1996
135 The Riddle of the Ruby Gazelle 1997
136 The Wedding Day Mystery 1997
137 In Search of the Black Rose 1997
138 The Legend of the Lost Gold 1997
139 The Secret of Candlelight Inn 1997
140 The Door-to-Door Deception 1997
141 The Wild Cat Crime 1998
142 The Case of Capital Intrigue 1998
143 Mystery on Maui 1998
144 The E-mail Mystery 1998
145 The Missing Horse Mystery 1998
146 The Ghost of the Lantern Lady 1998
147 The Case of the Captured Queen 1999
148 On the Trail of Trouble 1999
149 The Clue of the Gold Doubloons 1999
150 Mystery at Moorsea Manor 1999
151 The Chocolate-Covered Contest 1999
152 The Key in the Satin Pocket 2000
153 Whispers In the Fog 2000
154 The Legend of the Emerald Lady 2000
155 The Mystery in Tornado Alley 2000 George Edward Stanley
156 The Secret in the Stars 2000
157 The Music Festival Mystery 2000
158 The Curse of the Black Cat 2001
159 The Secret of the Fiery Chamber 2001
160 The Clue on the Crystal Dove 2001
161 Lost in the Everglades 2001
162 The Case of the Lost Song 2001
163 The Clues Challenge 2001
164 The Mystery of the Mother Wolf 2002
165 The Crime Lab Case 2002
166 The Case of the Creative Crime 2002
167 Mystery By Moonlight 2002
168 The Bike Tour Mystery 2002
169 The Mistletoe Mystery 2002
170 No Strings Attached 2003
171 Intrigue at the Grand Opera 2003
172 The Riding Club Crime 2003
173 Danger on the Great Lakes 2003 George Edward Stanley
174 A Taste of Danger 2003
175 Werewolf in a Winter Wonderland 2003

See also

External Links

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