The Hidden Staircase

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The Hidden Staircase
The original cover of Nancy Drew and the hidden staircase
Author Carolyn Keene
Illustrator No apparent info
Country United States
Language English
Series Nancy Drew Mystery Stories
Genre Mystery
Publisher Grosset & Dunlap
Publication date
  • April 29, 1930 (original)
  • 1959 (revised edition)
Media type Print (Hardback & Paperback)
Pages 210(1930-1959); 180
ISBN 0-448-09502-5
OCLC 17335741
Preceded by The Secret of the Old Clock
Followed by The Bungalow Mystery

The Hidden Staircase is the second volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series written under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, published in 1930 and revised in 1959.[1]

Summary, 1959 edition[edit]

In the beginning of "The Hidden Staircase" Nancy gets a mystery call from her friend Helen Corning, and she is introduced to Mrs. Flora Turnbull and Mrs. Rosemary Hayes, by Helen, who is the great- granddaughter of Miss Flora and great niece of Aunt Rosemary. Miss Flora believes that their home, Twin Elms Mansion, is haunted. Nancy has just agreed to help solve the mystery of Twin Elms when a man named Nathan Gomber tells Nancy that her father, Carson Drew, is in great danger. Gomber represents a client and other land owners, dissatisfied with the proceeds of land purchases for a new railroad. Mr. Drew tells Nancy to go to Twin Elms with Helen and help Miss Flora and Mrs. Hayes, as he will be traveling to Chicago during the first part of Nancy's stay at the old estate and join her later.

After an enjoyable dance with her former prom date, Nancy and her father inspect the railroad construction near the river, but are forced to swim to safety when a runaway truck nearly runs them down. Nancy and Helen pack their bags and head off to Twin Elms, with Helen announcing the news of her private engagement over the weekend, en route. At Twin Elms, Miss Flora explains her theory of a ghost, and explains the disappearance of items both precious and of little value, and strange things happening such as music with no explanation. A chandelier moving by itself, and a mask held up in the windows over the next few days lead Nancy to investigate the interior and exterior of the Colonial house thoroughly. Nathan Gomber, coincidentally, is trying to buy the historic home over protests from the Turnball family. Although an adjoining estate with a twin home is available for purchase, it is rundown and not of interest to Gomber.

In the meanwhile, Nancy's father fails to return from Chicago, and after tracing him to the train station, she is led to believe from eyewitness accounts that he has been possibly drugged and kidnapped. Nancy continues to search for clues to her father's whereabouts and also to solve the mystery of the intruder at Twin Elms, helped by a night watchman and discovery of a secret room. She and Helen decide to investigate the neighboring estate for clues to a secret entrance, since the house was built with the same design as Twin Elms.

Upon their arrival at the realtor, Nancy is horrified to discover Nathan Gomber has just purchased the neighboring estate. Mr. Harris agrees to lend the girls a key since Gomber has not taken possession, and they make a daytime visit to Riverview Manor. Nancy finds a secret panel to an underground passage and staircase. The tunnel leads to another staircase. But at the top of the stairs is a man who stops Nancy and Helen. Nancy discovers a missing property owner, hidden staircases and passages inside Twin Elms, and that her father is a prisoner in the tunnel. Nathan Gomber is imprisoned.


  1. ^ Lundin, Leigh (1 June 2014). "Secrets of the Girl Sleuth". Orlando: SleuthSayers. Retrieved 8 June 2014.