Monday, November 23, 2009

Harriet Stratemeyer Adams' Nancy Drew Cookbook

From time to time you score a gem on eBay and then there's the icing on the cake! I recently saw a Nancy Drew Cookbook for sale at eBay--signed by Harriet Adams. For those of you wondering who Harriet is, she was Edward Stratemeyer's daughter and she ran the Stratemeyer Syndicate from 1930 until her death in 1982. She wrote quite a few of the classic Nancy Drew books too. The cookbook was put together by a writer for hire and first came out in 1973. I own 2 copies already--a first printing and a library edition. But this one I will treasure the most.

It is signed, "Best Wishes to Barbara From Carolyn Keene (Harriet Adams)"

What was so interesting was some of the materials included with the cookbook--the seller had received these items when he had purchased it originally. These included several newspaper and magazine cutouts of articles such as the obituary piece shown below published in 1982 after Harried passed on. What was so neat was the letter written by "Aunt Barbara" telling the story of how she came to get the book signed by Harriet.

For Barbara, it was a great privilege to visit Harriet's home. She considered Harriet an idol, having read the Nancy Drew books as a child. A friend of Barbara's was Harriet's neighbor. Barbara spent the night at Harriet's and got to visit with her and tour the home as well as visit the offices. Harriet took down her personal copy of the Nancy Drew Cookbook and autographed it to Barbara. This letter will be reprinted in an upcoming issue of The Sleuth.



Fran. said...

OMG! What an awesome find!! I would love to have that book! Thanks for having a blog for us die-hard Nancy Drew fans!! One of the best parts of my childhood! and now in my big girl (grown up) world I am reading Nancy Drew again! Just amazing!! Thanks again, Fran. XO

Jenn said...


Thanks :) It was a neat find that turned out neater than I expected.


Anonymous said...

What an awesome find-congratulations! It's amazing what neat stuff is out there.

Tammy said...

I am also pleased to have in my collection an autographed The Nancy Drew Cookbook, Clues to Good Cooking by Carolyn Keene (Harriet Adams) 1974 edition. Her signature is at an angle like yours and she signed using both names to Nancy Smith. Perhaps you or someone could help me to determine its value. Thank you for having this blog available to Nancy Drew fans.

Jenn said...

Tammy I paid about 75.00 for my cookbook with the autograph so I'd say it's in that range for value up to maybe 150.00.


Roxanne Sagala said...

I was just looking for information on the Nancy Drew cookbook and came across this note. I too have a Nancy Drew Coobook signed by Caroline Keene/Harriet Adams. The note was written to me, personally, by Ms. Adams in the early 70s. My mother was a nurse in Muhlenberg Hospital in Plainfield, NJ and used to give a ride to one of the nurses aides. The aide's boyfriend actually worked for Ms. Adams and took care of her farm. Very often my mother would take the aide to the farm and purchase eggs and also drop her off. She was able to meet Ms. Adams and tell her what an ardent fan I was and that, even though I was attending college, I still collected and read the Nancy Drew series. Ms. Adams then got a copy of the cookbook from her house and along with a personal photo, signed it and had mom give it to me. I am still thrilled to own that copy and doubt I will ever part with it.

Jenn said...


Thanks so much for sharing your story about how you got your Nancy Drew Cookbook signed, how neat! If you have any stories of Harriet Adams and her farm, I'd love to hear them some time. You can reach me via e-mail at: