Read Around Ohio: The Secret of the Old Clock

Mildred Wirt Benson writing as Carolyn Keene


“With soaring sprits, Nancy walked homeward.”

The Secret of the Old Clock (1930) is the first book in the long-running Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. The series author, Carolyn Keene, is a pseudonym for a collection of authors, beginning with Mildred Wirt Benson, who wrote 23 of the first 30 Nancy Drew books.

In The Secret of the Old Clock, Nancy helps a poor family locate the missing will of a deceased relative by which they will inherit a fortune.

This book and many others in the series were eventually revised with alternative plots and the removal racial stereotypes by Harriet Stratemeyer Adams, the publisher of the series through the Stratemeyer Syndicate.

Benson was a longtime journalist and columnist for The Toledo Blade and a ghostwriter for numerous other children’s fiction series. She died in 2002.

If you enjoyed The Secret of the Old Clock, we suggest these Ohio side trips: