Masters of Mystery

In what has become an unexpectedly timely tribute, Nancy Drew comes to audio for the first time; Mildred Wirt Benson (who used Carolyn Keene as her pen name and wrote 30 of the original series books) died on May 28 at the age of 96. Listening Library has just published The Secret of the Old Clock (Nancy Drew Mysteries #1), featuring an excellent, energetic performance by stage and screen actress Laura Linney (You Can Count on Me). Three additional Nancy Drew Mysteries will appear this summer. (Unabridged, two cassettes, 3 hrs., $18 ISBN 0-8072-0754-3, ages 8-up, May)

Nancy's teen-sleuth counterparts, Joe and Frank Hardy, are not to be left out, however. The Hardy Boys Mysteries also make their audio debut with The Tower Treasure (The Hardy Boys Mysteries #1) by Franklin W. Dixon, read by actor Bill Irwin (Eight Men Out) in a well-balanced, thoroughly engaging portrayal. The next three titles in the series will roll out this summer. (Listening Library, unabridged, two cassettes, 3.5 hrs., $18 ISBN 0-8072-0766-7 ages 8-up, May)