Original edition cover
|Illustrator||Russell H. Tandy|
|Series||Nancy Drew Mystery Stories|
|Publisher||Grosset & Dunlap|
|1933, revised 1966|
|Media type||Print (Hardback & Paperback)|
|Preceded by||The Sign of the Twisted Candles|
|Followed by||The Clue of the Broken Locket|
The Password to Larkspur Lane is the tenth volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. It was first published in 1933 under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. The actual author was ghostwriter Walter Karig in his third and final Nancy Drew novel and his final appearance for the Stratemeyer Syndicate.Due to Karig passing away in 1956, this book and his other two Nancy Drews, as of January 1, 2007, have passed into the public domain in Canada and other countries with a life-plus-50 policy.
The story opens with Nancy tending her prize delphiniums when a mysterious carrier pigeon lands in her yard. Nancy contacts the registry for the carrier pigeon.
Meanwhile, housekeeper Hannah Gruen takes a fall and must be treated at the local orthopedist's office. Her attending physician, Dr. Spires, confides to Carson Drew and Nancy that he was forced to tend an elderly woman for her shoulder under peculiar circumstances: the driver of a car blindfolded him when they drove him there, so he would not be able to guess her location, but the doctor believes their destination might have been someplace called Larkspur Lane. Events led him to believe the patient was being held prisoner.
The only clue to the woman's identity is a bracelet with a family crest. Nancy, of course, sets out to track the crest, discovering it belongs to the Eldridge family of St. Louis.
In the meantime, the pigeon registry contacts Nancy about the bird, suspecting criminality is involved. Effie Schneider, a foolish girl who serves as Hannah's substitute, gets in on the action when Nancy attempts to track the carrier pigeon's flight into the country. A ferocious woman attacks Nancy and steals the bracelet from her. Due to threats of intruders and increasing danger, the Drews temporarily retreat and accept Helen Corning's invitation to visit Sylvan Lake.
Coincidentally, Nancy rescues a young Eldridge child from a mishap at the lake and learns that an elderly relative is missing. Nancy and Helen explore the vicinity, finally finding "L.S. Lane". Near the little-used road is an estate surrounded by delphiniums and an electrified fence. Elderly patients are outside on the grounds. Mrs. Eldridge is also outside near the fence and reveals she is indeed a prisoner.
Nancy and Helen disguise themselves as an old lady and her nurse, and enter using the password "singing horses". Nancy reaches Mrs. Eldridge and rescues her. She sends Eldridge safely away with Helen before being imprisoned by the evil doctor and his partners, who kidnap wealthy, elderly people and force them to sign over money and securities.
Nancy escapes from her cistern jail and sabotages the crooks' getaway airplane just as the police arrive.
The word "The" is dropped from the title, and the front cover looks similar to the 1933 edition.
The plot is similar, although condensed. Bess and George are included in more of the action. A subplot involving supernatural events at Helen Corning Archer's in-laws' summer place on Sylvan Lake (ghostly blue wheels of rolling fire) leads Nancy there. The butler, Morgan, is involved in minor crimes as well. Bess accompanies Nancy in the rescue operation instead of Helen, with Bess dressing like a nurse and George the ailing party.
In 1938, the story was used as the basis for Nancy Drew, Detective, the first of four Nancy Drew movies, starring Bonita Granville.
An episode of the Nancy Drew television series is named "The Lady of Larkspur Lane". In the episode, Nancy, Ned and George visit the local insane asylum who is named Larkspur Lane.
The original 1933 artwork is by the fashion illustrator Russell H. Tandy, illustrator for the Nancy Drew series from 1930 to 1949.
Tandy's original dust jacket artwork remained in print until 1962, long after most early volume dust jackets had been modernized for 1950s readers by illustrator Bill Gillies. The original art shows Nancy in a genuflection position wearing a very full, loose dress.
Collectors speculate publisher Grosset & Dunlap commissioned an updated illustration of the same scene during the transition from Gillies to new series artist Rudy Nappi in 1953. However, due to the presentation of Nancy posed crouching in a pencil skirt, the new painting may have shown an indiscreet display of her thigh where the slim skirt crept above Nancy's knees. Presumably, this was deemed inappropriate for American readers and the artwork was shelved. This art later appeared on British dust jackets for this volume in 1960.
Nancy Drew is a fictional character, a sleuth in an American mystery series created by publisher Edward Stratemeyer as the female counterpart to his Hardy Boys series. The character first appeared in 1930. The books are ghostwritten by a number of authors and published under the collective pseudonym Carolyn Keene. Over the decades, the character evolved in response to changes in US culture and tastes. The books were extensively revised and shortened, beginning in 1959, in part to lower printing costs with arguable success. In the revision process, the heroine's original character was changed to be less unruly and violent. In the 1980s, an older and more professional Nancy emerged in a new series, The Nancy Drew Files, that included romantic subplots for the sleuth. The original Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series started in 1930 and ended in 2003. Launched in 2004, the Girl Detective series features Nancy driving a hybrid electric vehicle and using a cell phone. In 2012, the Girl Detective series ended, and a new series, Nancy Drew Diaries, was launched in 2013. Illustrations of the character evolved over time to reflect contemporary styles. The character proves continuously popular worldwide: at least 80 million copies of the books have been sold, and the books have been translated into over 45 languages. Nancy Drew is featured in five films, three television shows, and a number of popular computer games; she also appears in a variety of merchandise sold around the world.
The Bungalow Mystery is the third volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series written under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. It was the last of three books in the "breeder set" trilogy, released in 1930, to test-market the series.
The Secret of the Old Clock is the first volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series written under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. It was first published on April 28, 1930, and rewritten in 1959 by Harriet Stratemeyer Adams.
The Mystery At Lilac Inn is the fourth volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. It was first published in 1930 under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. Mildred Wirt Benson was the ghostwriter for the 1930 edition.
The Secret at Shadow Ranch is the fifth volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. It was first published in 1931 under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, and was ghostwritten by Mildred Wirt Benson. This book, as of 2001, ranks 50 on the list of All-Time Bestselling Children's Books, according to Publishers Weekly, with 2,347,750 sales since 1931.
The Clue in the Diary is the seventh volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series, and was first published in 1932 under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. Its text was revised in 1962.
Nancy's Mysterious Letter is the eighth volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. It was first published in 1932 and was penned by Walter Karig, a replacement writer for Mildred Wirt Benson. Benson declined series work when the Depression forced a reduction in the contract fee provided to Stratemeyer Syndicate writers, so Karig, already an established Stratemeyer writer, took over the authorship. Due to Karig having died in 1956, the 1932 version passed into the public domain in Canada and other countries that have a life plus 50 policy, in 2007.
The Sign of the Twisted Candles is the ninth volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. As the second volume written by Walter Karig, it was originally published in 1933 under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. Due to Karig having died in 1956, as of January 1, 2007, the 1933 book and the other two Nancy Drew books he wrote, have passed into the public domain in Canada and other countries with a life-plus-50 policy.
The Mystery of the Fire Dragon is the thirty-eighth volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. It was written under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, and was first published in 1961.
The Clue of the Broken Locket is the eleventh volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. It was first published in 1934, and was written by Mildred Benson under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. It was later revised by Harriet Stratemeyer in 1965, and the story was mostly changed with a few elements of the original.
Walter Karig was a prolific author, who served as a US naval captain. Karig wrote a number of works on Allied naval operations during World War II. He also wrote scripts for the television series Victory at Sea. Besides his works on naval history, Karig was a novelist, publishing under his own name, and a journalist.
The Clue of the Tapping Heels is the 16th volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. It was first published in 1939. An updated, revised, and largely different story was published under the same title in 1970. A facsimile edition of the 1939 version was published by Applewood Books. As of 2006, this title is still in print.
The Mystery of the Ivory Charm is the thirteenth volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. It was first published in 1936 under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. The actual author was ghostwriter Mildred Wirt Benson.
The Mystery of the Tolling Bell is the twenty-third volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. It was first published in 1946 under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. The actual author was ghostwriter Mildred Wirt Benson.
The Ringmaster's Secret is the thirty-first volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. It was first published in late 1953 under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. The actual author was ghostwriter Harriet Stratemeyer Adams.
Russell Haviland Tandy was an American illustrator, best known for his cover art for early editions of the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys series.
Georgia "George" Fayne is a character in the popular Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. She is one of Nancy's best friends and cousin of Bess Marvin. Her real name is Georgia, although no one calls her that except her parents.
The Nancy Drew Mystery Stories is the long-running "main" Nancy Drew series, which was published under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. There are 175 novels — plus 34 revised stories — that were published between 1930 and 2003 under the banner; Grosset & Dunlap published the first 56, and 34 revised stories, while Simon & Schuster published the series beginning with volume 57.
The Honey Bunch series of books were part of the Stratemeyer Syndicate's production of 20th century children's books featuring adventurous youngsters, which included the series Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys and the Bobbsey Twins. This series was written under the pseudonym Helen Louise Thorndyke, and published for most of its duration by Grosset & Dunlap. The series began in 1923 and chronicled a young girl named Honey Bunch on her various trips and adventures. Along with Laura Lee Hope's series Bunny Brown and His Sister Sue, it was one of their most famous series for younger children.
Nancy Drew... Detective is a 1938 American comedy film directed by William Clemens and written by Kenneth Garnet. The film stars Bonita Granville, John Litel, James Stephenson, Frankie Thomas, Frank Orth and Helena Phillips Evans. The film was released by Warner Bros. on November 19, 1938.