Nancy Drew was my first exposure to the fiction mystery novel, and it didn't take third grade me long to figure out the formula. Something crazy happens, Nancy is on the case with her pair of good friends, and then she messes around until she is knocked out, and the criminal reveals all. Not exactly crime solving. Then, the Applewood books re-releases of the early Nancy Drew novels changed that. Nancy was much spunkier, slightly more white-privledged (yes, that's possible), and much more adventurous. So, what happened? This biography of Carolyn Keene details the number of ghost writers, from the first outlines from the proposal to start a new line of serial novels to the daughter of the original publisher through the 1970s. Everyone who participated in the creation of the Nancy Drew myth made revision almost necessary in the eyes of Harriet Adams, the daughter of Edward Stratemeyer, the original publisher. Harriet wanted to maximize her deceased father's role and legitimize herself as the leader of the Stratemeyer Syndicate after his death, at the expense of the ghost writers. Mildred Wirt, who becomes much of the focus of the forgotten Caroyln Keenes that Melanie Rehak selects to profile, is the more adventurous, modern author who after writing serial novels, learned to fly and kept up reporting for the same small town paper well into old age. The formula that Harriet Stratemeyer Adams later favored also minimized the role of the myriad of ghostwriters who were responsible for the Nancy Drew mysteries. The behind the scenes politics of ghostwriting and the creation of one of the most recognizable American characters sheds light onto how Nancy's creation produced one of the standards of American childhood.