Book Collecting

Nancy Drew #23 Mystery of the Tolling Bell – First Edition Identification Guide

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.

Summaries (original edition)

Nancy Drew 23 Mystery Of The Tolling Bell
Nancy Drew 23 – Mystery of the Tolling Bell

Nancy, Bess, and George travel to the picturesque seaside town of Candleton to meet Carson Drew’s client, a woman named Mrs. Chantrey, who has been cheated out of money by buying phony stock. On the way, they stop in Fisher’s Cove where Bess buys expensive “Mon Coeur” perfume from a suspicious woman. Upon arrival in Candleton, they meet busy Mrs. Chantrey at her restaurant, the Salsandee shop, and help out as waitresses for a day. While waiting on tables, Nancy meets a mysterious diner named Amos Hendrick. He tells her of his search for a missing Paul Revere bell. When he leaves, Nancy finds a piece of paper that he dropped with a mysterious message on it and gives it to Mrs. Chantrey for safekeeping.

When Mr. Drew fails to join the girls as planned, Nancy is worried. She soon finds that he has been kidnapped and left in a hotel. She rescues her father, who thinks that he has been drugged. Meanwhile, Nancy also becomes interested in the local story of Amy Maguire, who married a man named Ferdinand Slocum despite her parents’ disapproval.

While talking with Mrs. Chantrey and the other residents of Candleton, they tell her of a cave which is said to be inhabited by a ghost who rings a bell every time water rushes through it. Nancy investigates and is swept into the sea by rushing water until she is rescued. This does not stop her and she continues to investigate the cave, which lies directly under the Maguire house. Then, Nancy discovers that many other residents of Candleton besides Mrs. Chantrey have been scammed into buying fake stock in the “Mon Coeur” brand. Nancy eventually tracks down the perfume scammers, finds out the true story of Amy Maguire, uncovers the ghost, and, with the help of the mysterious piece of paper, rescues the tolling bell, which turns out to be the valuable Paul Revere bell that Amos Hendrick was searching for.

Nancy Drew #23 The Mystery of the Tolling Bell 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 Mystery of the Tolling Bell First Edition Guide
PrintingFrontisCopyright PageNotes
1946A-1PlainNo List3 blank pages at rear
1946B-2PlainNo List4 blank pages at rear
1946C-3PlainNo List5 blank pages at rear
1946D-4PlainNo List6 blank pages at rear

Nancy Drew #23 The Mystery of the Tolling Bell First Edition Dust Jacket Identification Points

How to Identify Nancy Drew - The Mystery of the Tolling Bell First Edition Dust Jacket
PrintingPriceFront FlapRear PanelRear FlapFormat
1946A-1PJCNancy Drew #1-23Beverly Gray #1-13Cherry Ames #4 ad9
1946B-2PJCNancy Drew #1-23Cherry Ames #1-6Cherry Ames #4 ad9
1946C-3PJCNancy Drew #1-23Cherry Ames #1-6Cherry Ames #4 ad10
1946D-46565Nancy Drew #1-23Judy Bolton #1-15Beverly Gray #1-1611
Nancy Drew 23 Mystery Of The Tolling Bell 1946A-1
First edition Dust Jacket Identification Points for Nancy Drew 23 – Mystery of the Tolling Bell 1946A-1

Reference:

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

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

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