Who Wrote It?: Franklin W. Dixon
C’mon, Who Really Wrote it?: Leslie McFarlane in 1945. And yes, as World War II comes to an end, so does the great Mr. McFarlane’s participation in this series comes to a close. This is the last Hardy Boys book he wrote, so let me take a moment and thank him for wonderful childhood memories. Yes, I know, his originals were 25 chapters and written in a more complex manner than the revisions, and what I’m reviewing are the revisions. But he gave us the Hardy Boys, and for that I am thankful.
Was It Revised?: Yes, in 1966 by Priscilla Baker-Carr. Just as we say goodbye to Leslie McFarlane, we now say hello to Ms. Carr for she will be revising most of the next dozen or so books. Ms. Carr, you are now in the spotlight. Welcome.
Cover: Rudy Nappi. The red and yellow habit is being carried on by Joe. This steps back from the recent abstract covers and returns to the classic look: Frank and Joe staring at danger. This one is a night scene with blowing snow, Frank using his short-wave radio, Joe peering in at some nefarious doings. Great cover.
Setting: Bayport, and briefly Canada.
Where’s Fenton This Time?: He’s got his routine down pat: be part of some related part of the case that keeps him out of his kid’s hair until he’s needed in chapter XX on Deus Ex Machina airlines.
Which Chums Show Up?: Chet, with Biff, Tony, Phil, Callie and Iola showing up a bit.
What’s Chet’s Hobby This Time?: Taxidermy. No, he won’t use it after this book. His closet must be stuffed with old hobby tools…
Aunt Gertrude’s Dessert: Made some nice meals, but no pie. I’m getting impatient. And hungry.
Plot: Some strange short-wave transmissions get picked up by Frank and Joe, and some business espionage, and missing jewels, and stuffed animal heads that carry a secret, and juvenile delinquents that Frank and Joe take care of (hi, 1966). Yes, it all ties together.
Review: Classic Hardy Boys. A good mystery involving code words, Chet’s hobby is the center of the Bayport universe, the stuffed animal plot is fun and clever. It moves. It works.