Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon
C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: Leslie McFarlane in 1931
Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1967 by Tom Mulvey
Cover: Rudy Nappi, blue, yellow, nighttime in the park in the rain. This is one of my favorite covers. Frank and Joe look serious and grown up, the rain effect is beautifully done with the lights burning yellow in the background as the clock is about to strike midnight, and there is Anchor Pete just like in the book. Wonderful cover. Simply magnificent work by Mr. Nappi.
Where’s Fenton This Time?: California, working on a case that, natch, ties into the boys’ case. Chapter XX cavalry!
Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, Biff, Jerry, Iola and Callie.
What’s Chet’s Hobby This Time?: Nothing. He does speak well of his jalopy when it gets insulted, so I suppose he was spending his time on Queenie.
Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: Some undescribed cake. Harrumph. At least give us some details of the food, please.
Plot: Robberies that vary in location from time to time to stay one step ahead of the law, and this time it’s in Bayport, that notorious nexus of nefariousness. Frank and Joe are asked to grab a nifty spy radio some scientist had invented, but the radio is a Hitchcock MacGuffin. The real story is the gang of thieves who decide to get rid of the Hardy Boys since they are getting in the way. There’s kidnapping, plane crashes, a guy who uses an anchor as a weapon (did you not see the cover? That’s chapter 19 right there!), stolen cars, the works. Yet it’s all Bayport.
Review: This is a good one. It’s a tightly contained story without any traveling or odd side plots or Chet hobbies and the like. Crooks versus Hardy Boys, with the motif of the clock striking midnight repeated throughout the book. This is a simple mystery well told.
Score: 9 (8 for the pretty good story, extra point for the terrific cover)