I own a copy of this book, and I go back to read it regularly. I LOVE this book. I grew up reading Nancy Drew mysteries, and that sparked an interest in collection juvenile mystery fiction from the early 20th century, including Ruth Fielding (screenwriter), Vicki Barr (stewardess), Beverly Gray (reporter), and Judy Bolton. Thanks to this wonderful book, I learned about some of the original writers of the Nancy Drew mysteries, under the Carolyn Keene pseudonym, and some of their other work. I tracked down another series by Mildred Wirt Benson (who wrote some of Nancy's earliest adventures) -- the Penny Parker series. With Penny, she had freedoms she didn't have with Nancy, due to Stratmeyer Syndicate pressures. In a word, Penny Parker is delightfully feisty, bordering on bratty. I laughed out loud reading the books.
If you're interested in how these series -- Nancy Drew, Hardy Boys, Dana Girls, Honey Bunch and Norman, etc. -- were created, you will love this book. It's lively, funny, full of terrific information and anecdotes, and will get you interested in all sorts of characters you may have missed in this type of series' heydey.
I was in the stacks looking for something else, and this volume caught my eye. I couldn't resist. This book talks about the evolution of the novel in Victorian times, how novels became fashionable, sensation novels, how novelists became celebrities, and more. Filled with odd little bits of information, this is an engaging, unusual book -- terrific to read before going back to a classic Dickens or Bronte novel on a long winter's night.