|Title:||The Secret of Red Gate Farm (Nancy Drew Mystery #6)|
|Publisher:||Grosset & Dunlap|
|Tags:||amateur detective, detective, fiction, mystery, female detectives, Nancy Drew (Fictional character)|
Out on a leisurely shopping trip, Nancy, Bess and George encounter an odd French-Chinese perfume saleswoman, who is reluctant to sell a particular fragrance to Bess. On a return train trip to River Heights, they ponder her odd behavior and encounter the malnourished Millie (Joanne in the later versions of the book) Byrd, who is on her way to "the city" to seek employment. Millie becomes acquainted with the girls, and when Nancy accompanies her to a job interview, she uncovers a mysterious code in the office. Millie's grandmother, owner of Red Gate Farm, welcomes the trio and Millie to her farm where they plan to vacation as paid boarders, and assist with waiting on other boarders. Once on the farm, Nancy uncovers a strange group called The Black Snake Colony—a "nature cult"—who are tenants on an outlying portion of Mrs. Byrd's farm. Accused of passing counterfeit money, Nancy shares details of the odd colony and the codes obtained in the office building with Federal agents. [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for Benson, Mildred A. Wirt
The most famous writer who worked on the Girls’ Books Series was Mildred A. Wirt Benson. She was bom Mildred Augustine in Ladora, Iowa, in 1905. She met Edward Stratemeyer in New York in 1925 and began working for his syndicate as a writer who fleshed out his plot outlines for juvenile mystery stories. In 1929, she began to write Stratemeyer’s Nancy Drew Mystery Stories for a reported S125.00 per book. In 1950, three years after her husband Asa Wirt died, she married George Benson, the editor of The Toledo Times, from which point her professional career was focused on newspaper writing.
Mrs. Benson reportedly gained her first series book writing experience with Volumes 23 to 30 of the Ruth Fielding Series. She wrote twenty-three of the Nancy Drew books and several Dana Girls and Kay Tracey books, all for the Stratemeyer Syndicate. Under her own name, she wrote many other series, such as the Brownie Scouts. Penny Nichols, Penny Parker, and the most unusual to carry the by-line of a woman writer, the six Dan Carter Cub Scouts books for boys.
—All About Collecting Girls’ Series Books. John Axe, 2002.
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