Carolyn Keene is the pseudonym of the authors of the Nancy Drew mystery stories and The Dana Girls mystery stories, both produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. In addition, the Keene pen name is credited with the Nancy Drew spin-off, River Heights, and the Nancy Drew Notebooks.
Edward Stratemeyer, the founder of the Syndicate, hired writers, beginning with Mildred Wirt, later Mildred Wirt Benson, to write the manuscripts for the Nancy Drew books. The writers were paid $125 for each book and were required by their contract to give up all rights to the work and to maintain confidentiality.
Benson is credited as the primary writer of Nancy Drew books under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. Harriet Adams (Stratemeyer's daughter) rewrote the original books and added new titles after the withdrawal of Benson.
Other ghostwriters who used this name to write Nancy Drew mysteries included Leslie McFarlane, James Duncan Lawrence, Walter Karig, Nancy Axelrad, Patricia Doll, Charles S. Strong, Alma Sasse, Wilhelmina Rankin, George Waller Jr., Margaret Fischer, and Susan Wittig Albert. Also involved in the Nancy Drew writing process were Harriet Stratemeyer Adams's daughters, who gave input on the series and sometimes helped to choose book titles;: 158 the Syndicate's secretary, Harriet Otis Smith, who invented the characters of Nancy's friends Bess and George;: 140 and the editors at Grosset & Dunlap.: 228
In 1979, the Stratemeyer Syndicate changed publishers to Simon & Schuster, a move that the former publishers, Grosset & Dunlap, went to court to prevent, claiming a breach of contract. The decision was made in favor of the Syndicate, stating that they could choose which publisher they would like to use for subsequent entries in the series.
|36||Harriet Adams||The Secret of the Golden Pavilion||1959|
|37||The Clue in the Old Stagecoach||1960|
|38||The Mystery of the Fire Dragon||1961|
|39||The Clue of the Dancing Puppet||1962|
|40||The Moonstone Castle Mystery||1963|
|41||The Clue of the Whistling Bagpipes||1964|
|42||The Phantom of Pine Hill||1965|
|43||The Mystery of the 99 Steps||1966|
|44||The Clue in the Crossword Cipher||1967|
|45||The Spider Sapphire Mystery||1968|
|46||The Invisible Intruder||1969|
|47||The Mysterious Mannequin||1970|
|48||The Crooked Banister||1971|
|49||The Secret of Mirror Bay||1972|
|50||The Double Jinx Mystery||1973|
|51||Mystery of the Glowing Eye||1974|
|52||The Secret of the Forgotten City||1975|
|53||The Sky Phantom||1976|
|54||The Strange Message in the Parchment||1977|
|55||Mystery of Crocodile Island||1978|
|56||The Thirteenth Pearl||1979|
|57||Harriet Adams||The Triple Hoax||1979|
|58||The Flying Saucer Mystery||1980|
|59||Nancy Axelrad||The Secret in the Old Lace|
|60||The Greek Symbol Mystery|
|61||The Swami's Ring||1981|
|62||Sharon Wagner||The Kachina Doll Mystery|
|63||Nancy Axelrad||The Twin Dilemma|
|64||Richard Ballard||Captive Witness|
|65||Nancy Axelrad||Mystery of the Winged Lion||1982|
|66||James Duncan Lawrence||Race Against Time|
|67||Richard Ballard||The Sinister Omen|
|68||Sharon Wagner||The Elusive Heiress|
|69||James Duncan Lawrence||Clue of the Ancient Disguise|
|70||Sharon Wagner||The Broken Anchor||1983|
|71||James Duncan Lawrence||The Silver Cobweb|
|72||The Haunted Carousel|
|74||The Mysterious Image|
|75||Sharon Wagner||The Emerald-Eyed Cat Mystery|
|76||The Eskimo's Secret||1985|
|77||James Duncan Lawrence||The Bluebeard Room|
|78||The Phantom of Venice|
- Martin, Douglas (May 30, 2002). "Mildred Benson Is Dead at 96; Wrote 23 Nancy Drew Books". The New York Times. Retrieved January 20, 2019.
- Rehab, Melanie (2006). Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her. Harvest Books. ISBN 978-0156030564.
- Plunk-Powell, Karen (1993). The Nancy Drew Scrapbook: 60 Years of America's Favorite Teenage Sleuth. St. Martin's Press. p. 29. ISBN 978-0312098810.