Dana Girls - mysteries by Carolyn Keene

Well, ‘Carolyn Keene’ was a pseudonym of Edward Strathmeier (sp?), and he himself didn’t write the books either but farmed them out to others, and in the case of Nancy Drew, that was Mildred Wirt. (she wrote everything from “Old Clock” to “Blackwood Hall”).

Anyway, if you had some of the older Nancy Drew books lying around, you probably noticed blurbs on the covers advertising the Dana Girls’ Mystery Stories by the same author Carolyn Keene.

General-Questions content: Anyone have any idea if the same ghost-writer (Mildred Wirt) wrote the Dana Girls books as well as the Nancy Drew books? The ‘Carolyn Keene’ monicker on the jacket doesn’t seem to me to constitute proof of this, although it seems entirely reasonable.

General-questions content ii: On my bookshelf, I have a couple of other childhood books passed along from prior generations: Hoofbeats on the Turnpike and and Wooden Shoe Mystery, by…Mildred Wirt! Same Mildred Wirt that was ‘Carolyn Keene’ for Nancy Drew purposes?

MPSIMS content: I had three Dana Girls’ books: Clue in the Cobwebs, Secret of the Hermitage, and the Mystery of the Locked Room. Those are the only three in the series I ever read. Who else ever read any of them? Do you remember which titles?

This lists the books Mildred Wirt wrote the “Stratemeyer Syndicate.” She did write the Dana Girls books!

I loved the Dana Girls…I wonder if I would enjoy them if I read them now?


I believe that the first Dana Girls stories were ghosted by Leslie MacFarlane, who was the original Hardy Boys ghost as well. He did not last long in the role, preferring “boy” books to “girl” ones. Or so says his autobiography, aptly named Ghost of the Hardy Boys. (Speaking as a male who has ghostwritten several “girls’” fiction books, though not Nancy Drew, I say he was a wimp:D.)

I don’t have a copy of the book but think I know where to find one if you’re curious about the ones he wrote.