Very interesting piece from the New Yorker on Edward Stratemeyer, the man behind the Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys syndicate. Hope the link works.
I still remember how shocked I was to discover that the first Hardy Boy campfire tales were written in the 1920s -- which in turn led to the understanding that the series wasn’t the product of one mind. (How could it be, when new casefiles were churned out every month even in the late 1980s.) Like most Hardy Boys addicts in school, I used to occasionally wonder how one author could be so prolific - before realising that the name ‘Franklin W Dixon’ (and ‘Carolyn Keene’ for Nancy Drew) was a front. (In a poll conducted for an issue of our school magazine, the putative Mr Dixon came in first by a huge majority in the "Favourite writer" category; I think Sidney Sheldon was second!)