Book Collecting

Nancy Drew #38 Mystery of the Fire Dragon – First Edition Identification Guide

The Mystery of the Fire Dragon is the thirty-eighth volume in the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories series. It was written under the pseudonym Carolyn Keene, and was first published in 1961 by Grosset & Dunlap.

This is the final Nancy Drew published with a Dust Jacket and a conclusion to our collectors’ First Edition Guide to Nancy Drew. Hope you’ll enjoy the guides. It has been a long journey producing it.

Summaries (original edition)

Nancy Drew 38 Mystery of the Fire Dragon
Nancy Drew 38 – Mystery of the Fire Dragon

Nancy Drew is called to New York City by her Aunt Eloise to solve a missing-person case. The granddaughter of her elderly Chinese author neighbor, Mr. Soong, has been kidnapped. The search is on, first by disguising Nancy’s friend George Fayne as the missing Chi Che, and then pursuing a lead at Chi Che’s place of employment, a book store, where Nancy encounters its suspicious owner, Mr Stromberg.

Nancy decides to visit the store again but as she goes along the sidewalk, Nancy is knocked-out by a falling vase which hits her on the head. While Nancy is unconscious, Bess and George take up the mystery and a red-haired man is quickly arrested.

A series of clues leads the girls to Hong Kong, where Nancy’s boyfriend, Ned Nickerson, joins the action. Nancy foolishly follows “Chi Che” on board a plane, and is herself kidnapped. Ingenious Nancy uses her lipstick to signal for help on the plane windows. After her rescue, she follows more clues to an international smuggling ring, and, utilizing a disguised George once again, forces the thieves out of hiding and has the chance to finally locate the missing girl.

Nancy Drew #38 The Mystery of the Fire Dragon 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.

PrintingFrontisCopyright PageNotes
1961A-1PlainNancy Drew #1-38, Dana Girls #1-22
1961B-2PlainNancy Drew #1-38, 4, Dana Girls #1-22
1961C-3PlainNancy Drew #1-38, Dana Girls #1-23Last printing with Dust Jacket

Nancy Drew #38 The Mystery of the Fire Dragon First Edition Dust Jacket Identification Points

PrintingPriceFront FlapRear PanelRear FlapFormat
1961A-1100100SynopsisDana Girls #1-22Nancy Drew #1-3816
1961B-2100100SynopsisDana Girls #1-22Nancy Drew #1-3816
1961C-3100100SynopsisDana Girls #1-22Nancy Drew #1-3816
Nancy Drew 38 Mystery Of The Fire Dragon 1961A 1
First edition Dust Jacket Identification Points for Nancy Drew 38 – Mystery of the Fire Dragon 1961A-1


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

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