Book Collecting

Nancy Drew #21 Secret in the Old Attic – First Edition Identification Guide

The Secret in the Old Attic is the twenty-first volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. It was first published in 1944 under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene. The actual author was ghostwriter Mildred Wirt Benson.

Summaries (original edition)

Nancy Drew 21 Secret In The Old Attic
Nancy Drew 21 – Secret in the Old Attic

Nancy searches for clues to missing music manuscripts written by the late soldier Philip March. March’s daughter and his father, living together on the family estate, are rapidly running out of money, and believe some of Philip’s music is being sold and played on the radio. Nancy goes to his estate, Pleasant Hedges, to investigate, with the assistance of her good friends, Bess and George. They search the estate, for clues, and also find valuable antiques that they sell for Mr. March so he can get some money in the meantime. Also, her father’s client, Mr. Booker, solicits her aid in his investigation of a rival company, the Dight plant, which seems to be manufacturing silk cloth using his patented methods. And what is Bushy Trott, manic scientist, doing at the Dight plant?

There is also a subplot in the original text in which Nancy is confused as to why Ned hasn’t asked her out to a dance. It turns out that Diane Dight, daughter of the owner of the Dight plant, intercepts his communication asking Nancy out so that she can date Ned and another boy, also involved in the mystery, can date Nancy. At the end, Nancy is imprisioned in a room with a black widow spider, about to give her a deadly bite. But Ned and Effie Schnieder, the maid, rescue her just in time. Nancy and Ned figure out how they were tricked, and make up.

Nancy continues trying to solve both mysteries, discovering hidden songs in the process. The resolution of both cases are quite climactic.

Nancy Drew #21 The Secret in the Old Attic First Edition Book Identification Points

Only the first few printings of the first/second year are included. Printings codes are based on the Farrah Guide, 12th printing. Please refer to the guide for later printings.

How to Identify Nancy Drew - The Secret in the Old Attic First Edition Guide
PrintingFrontisCopyright PageRear Book Ads
1944A-1PlainNone/Format 5
1944B-2PlainNone

Nancy Drew #21 The Secret in the Old Attic First Edition Dust Jacket Identification Points

How to Identify Nancy Drew - The Secret in the Old Attic First Edition Dust Jacket
PrintingPriceFront FlapRear PanelRear FlapFormat
1944A-1PJCNancy Drew #1-21Judy Bolton #1-15Dana Girls #1-126
1944B-2PJCNancy Drew #1-21Beverly Gray #1-13Dana Girls #1-126
Nancy Drew 21 Secret In The Old Attic 1944A-1
First edition Dust Jacket Identification Points for Nancy Drew 21 – Secret in the Old Attic 1944A-1

Reference:

  • Wikipedia
  • Farah’s Guide to Nancy Drew, 12th printing

BOOKSTORE: Rare, Antiquarian, First editions, Illustrated Children's Books

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