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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 This was driven by complaints of racist behaviors/stereotypes, outdated language and situations, and a desire to shorten the books for printing costs and to compete with television.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. 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 1982, and the Syndicate and its characters were sold to Simon & Schuster in 1986. 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

# Title Writer Orig. Year Revised
1 The Secret of the Old Clock Mildred Wirt Benson 1930 1959 by Harriet Adams
2 The Hidden Staircase Mildred Wirt Benson 1930 1959 by Harriet Adams
3 The Bungalow Mystery Mildred Wirt Benson 1930 1960 by Patricia Doll
4 The Mystery at Lilac Inn Mildred Wirt Benson 1930 1961 by Patricia Doll
5 The Secret at Shadow Ranch Mildred Wirt Benson 1931 1965 by Grace Gote
6 The Secret of Red Gate Farm Mildred Wirt Benson 1931 1961 by Lynn Ealer
7 The Clue in the Diary Mildred Wirt Benson 1932 1962 by Harriet Adams
8 Nancy's Mysterious Letter Walter Karig 1933 1968 by Harriet Adams
9 The Sign of the Twisted Candles Walter Karig 1933 1968 by Patricia Doll
10 The Password to Larkspur Lane Walter Karig 1933 1966 by Patricia Doll
11 The Clue of the Broken Locket Mildred Wirt Benson 1934 1965 by Grace Gote
12 The Message in the Hollow Oak Mildred Wirt Benson 1935 1972 by Grace Gote
13 The Mystery of the Ivory Charm Mildred Wirt Benson 1936 1974 by Priscilla Baker-Carr
14 The Whispering Statue Mildred Wirt Benson 1937 1970 by Harriet Adams
15 The Haunted Bridge Mildred Wirt Benson 1937 1972 by Priscilla Baker-Carr
16 The Clue of the Tapping Heels Mildred Wirt Benson 1939 1969 by Harriet Adams
17 The Mystery of the Brass-Bound Trunk Mildred Wirt Benson 1940 1976 by Harriet Adams
18 The Mystery at the Moss-Covered Mansion Mildred Wirt Benson 1941 1971 by Harriet Adams
19 The Quest of the Missing Map Mildred Wirt Benson 1942 1969 by Priscilla Baker-Carr
20 The Clue in the Jewel Box Mildred Wirt Benson 1943 1972 by Priscilla Baker-Carr
21 The Secret in the Old Attic Mildred Wirt Benson 1944 1970 by Priscilla Baker-Carr
22 The Clue in the Crumbling Wall Mildred Wirt Benson 1945 1973 by Priscilla Baker-Carr
23 The Mystery of the Tolling Bell Mildred Wirt Benson 1946 1973 by Priscilla Baker-Carr
24 The Clue in the Old Album Mildred Wirt Benson 1947 1977 by Priscilla Baker-Carr
25 The Ghost of Blackwood Hall Mildred Wirt Benson 1948 1967 by Priscilla Baker-Carr
26 The Clue of the Leaning Chimney George Waller, Jr. 1949 1967 by Priscilla Baker-Carr
27 The Secret of the Wooden Lady Margaret Scherf 1950 1967 by Priscilla Baker-Carr
28 The Clue of the Black Keys Whilemina Rankin 1951 1968 by Priscilla Baker-Carr
29 The Mystery at the Ski Jump Alma Sasse 1952 1968 by Ann Shultes
30 The Clue of the Velvet Mask Mildred Wirt Benson 1953 1969 by Priscilla Baker-Carr
31 The Ringmaster's Secret Harriet Adams 1953 1974 by June Dunn
32 The Scarlet Slipper Mystery Charles S. Strong 1954 1974 by Ann Shultes
33 The Witch Tree Symbol Harriet Adams 1955 1975 by Ann Shultes
34 The Hidden Window Mystery Patricia Doll 1956 1975 by Mary Fischer
35 The Haunted Showboat Harriet Adams 1957
36 The Secret of the Golden Pavilion Harriet Adams 1959
37 The Clue in the Old Stagecoach Harriet Adams 1960
38 The Mystery of the Fire Dragon Harriet Adams 1961
39 The Clue of the Dancing Puppet Harriet Adams 1962
40 The Moonstone Castle Mystery Harriet Adams 1963
41 The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes Harriet Adams 1964
42 The Phantom of Pine Hill Harriet Adams 1965
43 The Mystery of the 99 Steps Harriet Adams 1966
44 The Clue in the Crossword Cipher Harriet Adams 1967
45 The Spider Sapphire Mystery Harriet Adams 1968
46 The Invisible Intruder Harriet Adams 1969
47 The Mysterious Mannequin Harriet Adams 1970
48 The Crooked Banister Harriet Adams 1971
49 The Secret of Mirror Bay Harriet Adams 1972
50 The Double Jinx Mystery Harriet Adams 1973
51 Mystery of the Glowing Eye Harriet Adams 1974
52 The Secret of the Forgotten City Harriet Adams 1975
53 The Sky Phantom Harriet Adams 1976
54 The Strange Message in the Parchment Harriet Adams 1977
55 Mystery of Crocodile Island Harriet Adams 1978
56 The Thirteenth Pearl Harriet Adams 1979
57 The Triple Hoax Harriet Adams 1979
58 The Flying Saucer Mystery Harriet Adams 1980
59 The Secret in the Old Lace Nancy Axelrad 1980
60 The Greek Symbol Mystery Nancy Axelrad 1980
61 The Swami's Ring Nancy Axelrad 1981
62 The Kachina Doll Mystery Sharon Wagner 1981
63 The Twin Dilemma Nancy Axelrad 1981
64 Captive Witness Richard Ballard 1981
65 Mystery of the Winged Lion Nancy Axelrad 1982
66 Race Against Time James Duncan Lawrence 1982
67 The Sinister Omen Richard Ballard 1982
68 The Elusive Heiress Sharon Wagner 1982
69 Clue in the Ancient Disguise James Duncan Lawrence 1982
70 The Broken Anchor Sharon Wagner 1983
71 The Silver Cobweb James Duncan Lawrence 1983
72 The Haunted Carousel James Duncan Lawrence 1983
73 Enemy Match James Duncan Lawrence 1984
74 The Mysterious Image James Duncan Lawrence 1984
75 The Emerald-Eyed Cat Mystery Sharon Wagner 1984
76 The Eskimo's Secret Sharon Wagner 1985
77 The Bluebeard Room James Duncan Lawrence 1985
78 The Phantom of Venice James Duncan Lawrence 1985
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
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
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
174 A Taste of Danger 2003
175 Werewolf in a Winter Wonderland 2003

See also

External Links

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