Great reviews for Millie!

My biography of Millie Benson is picking up some great press!

Check out these excerpts from reviews of Missing Millie Benson: The Secret Case of the Nancy Drew Ghostwriter and Journalist:

“Here is a biography intended for young people that may find its true audience among children’s literature history aficionados and—of course—adult readers who grew up on Nancy Drew. Rubini opens with the dramatic trial that established Mildred Benson as the author behind the pseudonym Carolyn Keene: “Millie” wrote twenty-three of the first thirty original Nancy Drew titles… The biography is eminently readable and well organized…Appended with an impressive wealth of back matter (“Extra Clues”) including a timeline, a chronological list of Millie’s books, a glossary, source notes, and an extensive bibliography.”

Horn Book Magazine, November/December issue.

“Digging into archives and the memories of surviving acquaintances as well as published histories, Rubini spins an account of Benson’s long and active life that throws a strong light on the source of Nancy Drew’s own admirably intrepid and independent spirit.…An enlightening peek behind the curtain for Nancy Drew fans.”

Kirkus Reviews

Missing Millie Benson is as lively and compelling as a Nancy Drew Mystery Story. For anyone who loves Nancy, getting to know the woman who first brought her to life in this wonderful biography is not just a treat but a necessity—an inspiration to young writers and sleuths alike!”

Melanie Rehak, author of Girl Sleuth: Nancy Drew and the Women Who Created Her

Read, read, read.


“Read, read, read. That’s all I can say.”

Nancy Drew offered this incredible advice in the first Nancy Drew Mystery Story, written by Carolyn Keene.

I wished I’d written that. I’m sure that for years the real Carolyn Keene, Mildred “Millie” Augustine Wirt Benson, wished readers knew that she had.

The Secret of the Old Clock was not only the first Nancy Drew Mystery, it was the first Millie wrote for Edward Stratemeyer.

Millie was the original Carolyn Keene.

And Edward was the genius behind such series as The Hardy Boys, The Bobbsey Twins, and yes, Nancy Drew.

Edward created the Stratemeyer Syndicate, which served as a “book packager”, a connection between ghostwriters he would hire and publishers.

Millie wrote 23 of the first 30 of the Nancy Drew Mystery Series. And then she went on to write a total of 135 books for children, often up to 13 books a year. And, while she was doing so, she was tending to her bed-ridden husband and her young daughter.

Then Millie became a reporter, working for the Toledo Times and The (Toledo) Blade for a combined 58 years.

As if that wasn’t enough, Millie obtained her private pilot’s license at the age of 62. She didn’t stop there. She applied for NASA’s Journalist in Space Program when she was in her eighties.

Millie once stated that a character she created, Penny Parker, was more Nancy Drew than Nancy Drew was.

I might suggest Millie Benson was more Nancy Drew than either of the fictional characters.

It was a fascinating journey researching and writing Millie’s biography.

Missing Millie Benson: The Secret Case of the Nancy Drew Ghostwriter and Journalist is available now at your favorite bookstore.

In the immortal words of Millie, “Read, read, read. That’s all I can say.”