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, 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.
|1946A-1||Plain||No List||3 blank pages at rear|
|1946B-2||Plain||No List||4 blank pages at rear|
|1946C-3||Plain||No List||5 blank pages at rear|
|1946D-4||Plain||No List||6 blank pages at rear|
Nancy Drew #23 The Mystery of the Tolling Bell First Edition Dust Jacket Identification Points
|Printing||Price||Front Flap||Rear Panel||Rear Flap||Format|
|1946A-1||PJC||Nancy Drew #1-23||Beverly Gray #1-13||Cherry Ames #4 ad||9|
|1946B-2||PJC||Nancy Drew #1-23||Cherry Ames #1-6||Cherry Ames #4 ad||9|
|1946C-3||PJC||Nancy Drew #1-23||Cherry Ames #1-6||Cherry Ames #4 ad||10|
|1946D-4||6565||Nancy Drew #1-23||Judy Bolton #1-15||Beverly Gray #1-16||11|
- Farah’s Guide to Nancy Drew, 12th printing