The Real-Life Adventuress Who Turned Nancy Drew Into a Modern Heroine

Mildred Wirt Benson Helped Invent the Fictional Teen Sleuth Who Became a Generational Role Model

Nancy Drew struggled this way and that. She twisted and squirmed. She kicked and clawed. But she was powerless in the grip of the man.

‘Little wildcat! You won’t do any more scratching when I get through with you!’

‘Let me go!’ Nancy cried, struggling harder. The man half-carried, half-dragged her across the room. Opening the closet door, he flung her roughly inside. Nancy heard a key turn in the lock. The sliding of a bolt into place followed.

‘Now you can starve for all I care!’ the man laughed …

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What Are Three Teenagers Supposed to Do When the FBI Raids Their House?

The Wild Story of My Dad’s Mysterious Scraps of Paper, the Agents Who Wanted Them, and Our Race to Find Them First

A Rangers hockey game was on TV as I folded the warm pile of laundry splayed out on the couch. It was a brisk, fall Saturday afternoon in the suburban …

What Raymond Chandler Didn’t Understand About L.A.

His Southern California Was About the Darkness Under the Glitz. Mine Is About the Smell of Smog Mixed With Sea, the Gardeners of the San Gabriel Valley, and the Neighborhoods Philip Marlowe Ignored.

I have to make the kind of confession that is just terrible for an L.A.-based mystery writer: I am not a fan of Raymond Chandler. He has set a tone …

Meet the Philip Marlowe of 15th-Century Paris

At a Time When Detective Work Meant Putting Suspects on the Rack, a Meticulous Sleuth Untangled a Political Conspiracy and Changed the Course of History

On a chilly, moonless Parisian night, Jacquette Griffard was putting her baby to bed when she heard shouts in the street: “Kill him!”

This shoemaker’s wife looked down from her upper-story …